Any Tom, Dick or MexicoCassie can tell you what to do in Mérida but can they give you a quick and dirty ‘Bring’, ‘Visit’, ‘Do’, ‘Taste’ and ‘Buy’ list?

Ditch Tom and Dick because Mexico Cassie can! So, without further ado, I offer you my top tips for visitors to this amazing city.

Bring

  1. Mosquito repellent. True, you can buy it here but you’ll probably be happy to have it to hand immediately. The mosquitos can be brutal here.
  2. Water bottle. This place is hot and you’ll need to drink a lot!
  3. Sun Glasses. Seriously people, it’s hot and sunny.
  4. Sandals or shoes with some grip: the pavements are, in many places, bizarrely shiny and slippy. Cheap flip flops often don’t cut it, unless you’re as sure footed as a mountain goat.

Do

  1. A free walking tour. Personally, I loved Pink Cactus for this.
  2. Stroll the length of Paseo de Montejo, exploring the shops, cafes and museums.
  3. Visit the Cementerio General.
  4. Take time to check out some of the less famous plazas.
  5. Walk my favourite road; calle 6464a. Take it slow, feel the heat, enjoy the colours and the ambiance.
  6. Explore on line before you arrive to check out if there are interesting festivals while you’re in town. There often are. I recommend using Yucatan Today as your starting point.

Cementerio General, Mérida

Calle 64

Visit:

  1. Luis de Galvez market (maybe take a tour. I enjoyed my tour with adventures-mexico.com*)
  2. Quinta Molina on Paseo de Montejo.
  3. Ki Xocolatl – a true hidden gem of a chocolate shop. It’s in the corner behind the stage on Santa Lucia.
  4. Have a drink or lunch at Casa San Angel at the base of Paseo de Montejo. Make sure you stick your head inside and check out the incredible decoration.

If you’re in town with children then do check out my various posts on things to do with kids in Merida:

Taste:

  1. Chilaquiles. This is an incredible breakfast food. It possibly isn’t for the faint hearted but it is well worth the effort. Basically, it’s a plate of totopos (nacho chips to the Brits) covered in either red or green salsa (I prefer green), simmered a bit and then served with a selection of cheese, cream, eggs, beans, chicken guacamole. Wow is basically all I can say.
  2. Ice Cream. It’s true that Mexico does ice cream very well and Merida is no exception. My personal favourites are Pola, a pretty trendy store on Calle 55 and the original sorbet stop in Merida, Dulceria Y Sorbetaria Colon (one on Montejo and one on the Plaza Grande.
  3. Michelada. Again, this is a Mexican drink rather than a local speciality but if it’s your first time in Mexico you won’t have tried this little beauty. Basically, it’s a beer with lime squeezed in the bottom, and then salt and chili wiped around the glass rim. It is stunning. You can get a non spicy version, called the chelada.
  4. Tacos at Wayan’e. This small ‘restaurant’ is something of an institution in Merida. We held of going for a while and then really regretted it all the time we’d wasted not eating there! Get there early to enjoy tacos of choice at this small, totally chilled out hole in the wall style restaurant. Find it in Itzimna neighbourhood.
  5. Marquesitas. I wasn’t sure if I should add this to the list or not. It isn’t the best quality food you’re ever going to eat. Hell, you may not even think it sounds tasty at all but it’s a traditional Meridano food and it’s interesting, to say the least! Basically, it’s a street food that combines a pancake with an ice cream cone and then stuffs it full of random sweet fillings. My personal favourite is queso de bola (cheese that looks like edam) and peanut butter. My kids love cajeta (a local toffee type sauce made from goat milk).

Marquesita stand

Buy:

  1. Hammocks. Obviously. I recommend getting them from Hamacas Merida on Calle 65 just off Plaza Grande (only because we bought ours from there and found the staff to be helpful, knowledgeable and the hammocks to be of great quality).
  2. Guayaberas – it’s a shirt. For men. They’re a Yucatecan thing. Cubans think they invented this shirt and Yucatecans think they did. Whatever, it’s just a shirt but they’re pretty nice, they’re good for hot weather and people really do wear them here. You can get cheap ones or spend literally hundreds of dollars on one. There are also nice women’s clothes here that actually don’t look weird and horrendous when you get them home too. Do check out the local shops.
  3. Interesting foods: a) Yucatecan honey. It’s delicious and I don’t even like honey. b) Amaranth. This is an ancient grain that seems to have its origins in Yucatan. It’s delicious and good for you. It can be made in to healthy sweets (for Day of the Dead) or added to salads, cereals and baked goods. c) My son would suggest taking cajeta home. See above. Basically a dulce de leche.
  4. Tags. Tags are awesome shoes made by local artisans. They’re a sort of espidrille I guess. I loved mine to death and now need a new pair. Find their cool shop on the corner of calle 58 and 49.

Amaranth skulls

My Tags enjoying the English sun

So there you have it. My top tips for getting the most out of trip to Mérida (Mexican Mérida, that is. I don’t know about other Méridas!). However, if you have more time in the region and fancy some out of town trips, why not consider: a day trip or two or a visit to a ruin or two?

*This tour was offered in exchange for a review on my blog.


Cassie

Mexico Cassie is technically British Cassie but who cares? Currently in the process of moving one family across the ocean and back to Mexico. Hurrah!

10 Comments

Dann Castillo · 18/01/2018 at 5:32 pm

I actually have never been to Mérida (I am a bad Mexican), but it looks like such a cute place judging by the pictures! I really liked your recommendations! I am a chilaquiles fan, although I must confess I tried to cook them for my British boyfriend and I failed horrendously. I hope he agrees to try the real deal when he comes to Mexico. Also, I didn’t know Yucatecan honey was a specialty! I am definitely going to try it! =D

    Cassie · 18/01/2018 at 10:56 pm

    I made chilaquiles once and they were amazing but I bet I couldn’t do it again! Some things are just better made by other people.

Heidi · 19/01/2018 at 9:17 am

Mérida is such a cute city. And we love both free walking tours and chilaquiles. Thanks for the tip to bring mosquito repellant, because that is something I would not have even thought to pack. And I agree with you on not making the chilaquiles at home. I’m a good cook but they still lacked just a bit compared to the ones I had out.

Lisa · 19/01/2018 at 11:07 am

I love love loved Merida when I was there! In fact, I wish I’d stayed longer to do some of these things on your list. Marquesitas sound amazing, mainly because I love bola de queso! I definitely have to book a return ticket soon, it’s calling me!

    Cassie · 19/01/2018 at 4:54 pm

    Come join is for bola de quest!

Tracy · 19/01/2018 at 3:19 pm

I haven’t been to Mexico but this place sounds amazing! Great food and shopping and a great atmosphere by the sounds of it too! Free walking tours are a bonus too!

Bhusha · 20/01/2018 at 9:25 am

These a some excellent tips. The free city tour is definitely something I’d do!
6464a sounds interesting! That colorful thing is a cemetery??? Whoa!
Btw, I think I’ll love marquesitas!

Diana · 21/01/2018 at 9:07 am

Hey Cassie, loved reading your recs as I know almost nothing about Merida. I love chilaquiles in the US and would love to try some authentic ones in Merida. The free walking tour sounds great too – I’m always fan of those! Thanks for the tips 🙂

What To Expect From Carnaval In Merida (A Perfect Beginner's Carnaval) · 06/02/2018 at 10:37 am

[…] And if you’re considering coming in to town for carnaval, why not check out my posts on awesome things to do in, and around, the city, or even my post on things you should know about Merida? […]

Day Trips From Merida: Izamal - The Yellow City. Don't Miss Out! · 15/02/2018 at 2:06 pm

[…] it’s just a 45 minute drive from Merida, which is certainly interesting! Valladolid is less than 1h30 away and the whole region is full of archaeological sites and cenotes […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: