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Hi, I'm Georgina! A coffee-loving adventure enthusiast here to share my favorite travel tips with you! My goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Georgina D'Angelo

The Ultimate Merida Itinerary: 3 Days

It’s time to explore the capital of the Yucatan state of Mexico! Merida is a bustling city offering a rich foodie scene, colonial architecture, Mayan history, colorful street scenes, and a welcoming locale. 

If you haven’t yet visited Merida, this is your sign to plan your Merida Mexico itinerary. Explore the streets and eat all you can. You won’t want to miss the traditional Yucatecan dishes, picturesque cathedrals, and multicolored buildings.

Merida Itinerary - Alpacka My Bags

Get ready for your trip with the ultimate Merida itinerary. Three days a great amount of time to explore the best parts of the city without rushing.

I spent a week adventuring in Merida and researched all I could so I could find the best things to do. Below is the best way to spend 3 days in Merida. 

Table of Contents:

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Where to Stay in Merida, Mexico

To make the most of your Merida itinerary, it’s important to find a great place to stay. Merida offers a plethora of places to stay, but the best way to immerse yourself here is to stay in a boutique hotel.

Hotel Real Toledo

If you're looking for the best area to stay in Merida, I recommend looking in the Plaza Grande (central) area, or slightly north in the Santa Lucia or Santiago neighborhoods.

Enjoy a home cooked breakfast, relaxing by the pool, and a comfortable night’s sleep at the best hotels in Merida below.

Breakfast Included

Located Near Plaza Grande

Price Range: $70 nightly average

Breakfast Included

Chic and modern

Price Range: $157 nightly average

Breakfast Included

Very highly rated

Price Range: $129 nightly average

Explore, eat, and relax to your heart’s content with 3 days in Merida. Now you know where to stay, let’s plan what to do! Here is the ultimate Merida, Mexico itinerary. 

The Ultimate Merida Itinerary

Get ready to explore with 3 days in Merida! The map below shows all the locations included in this Merida itinerary. You can use it to map out your own adventures.

One Day in Merida 

Breakfast at Márago Coffee

If your hotel doesn’t offer breakfast or you wish to head out instead, make a stop at Márago Coffee. They have some of the best coffee in town as well as a variety of food options. Grab a quick bite or a full meal before your first day of exploring Merida.

Parque de San Juan

One thing you can’t miss while in Merida is the parks and squares. These are a big part of local life in Merida. They’re clean and usually full of greenery. Head south from the city center to Parque de San Juan to kick off your Merida itinerary. 

  • Cathedral - Located in Parque de San Juan

  • Arco de San Juan - Located on the edge of Parque de San Juan

Stroll to the Main Plaza and a Lunch Break

Stop for a lunch break at one of the recommended restaurants below and then make your way to Plaza Grande.

Plaza Grande

The main square in Merida, Mexico is Plaza Grande. You cannot miss this square while visiting Merida. It boasts some of the most famous sights in the city including the Cathedral of San Ildefonso, the Merida sign, and the government building.

You can also catch a market here on the weekends. Locals will bring their crafts, clothes, etc. to sell in covered stands.

Rooftop Dinner at Picheta

The best place to enjoy dinner on the first night of your Merida itinerary is Picheta. This rooftop restaurant is a popular place. I recommend arriving when they open, at 5 pm, so you can snag a table right by the wall. You’ll get the best view for sunset!

Enjoy a delicious meal with a view of the cathedral and bell tower at Picheta. The service is great and they have vegetarian options as well.

Pok ta Pok on Saturday Nights

On Saturday nights in Merida, you can catch a live reenactment of Pok ta Pok, a traditional Mayan ball game. They close off the street right in front of the cathedral.

Plan to arrive around 7:30 pm; the ceremony and game begin at 8 pm, but the stands fill up quickly. 

Pok ta pok on Plaza Grande - Merida Mexico Itinerary

Merida Itinerary: Day 2

Breakfast at Tinoc Café

Tinoc Cafe is a coffee shop and restaurant that offers a full coffee bar and a delectable selection of food. They have small bites like pastries as well as full meals for those who want to fuel up for a day of exploring. 

Walk or Bike Paseo de Montejo

Every Sunday, the city closes one side of Paseo de Montejo so people can walk or bike freely on it. You’ll see locals and tourists alike enjoying this Sunday activity.

If it's not Sunday, you can still enjoy the avenue from the sidewalks.

Admire the Architecture

There are many beautiful buildings along Paseo de Montejo. Make sure you take the time to leisurely enjoy the avenue’s urban beauty. Above are just a couple of the pretty sights dotting the street.

Museum of Anthropology

Located on Paseo de Montejo, the Museum of Anthropology is a great place to spend and hour or two. It only costs about $5 per person and they have English translations available. Learn about the Mayan ruins and the art of maintaining such historical sites.

Lunch at Rosas & Xocolate

One of the most famous restaurants in Merida is located on Paseo de Montejo. Rosas & Xocolate is a great option for lunch, but I highly recommend making reservations before you even arrive in Merida. 

Lunch time may not be so busy, but it is still a very popular place. If you get in, enjoy the delicious food and live music in this chic pink hotel.

Head Down to Monumento a La Patria

Another famous site in Merida is the Monumento a La Patria. This Mayan style monument is a masterfully created depiction of Mexican history. You can also visit at night to catch it lit up.

If you have time…Visit a Cenote and Museum

Are you a speedy tourist? If you have time after you’ve visited the Mayan monument, take an Uber or taxi to the Mayan World Museum of Merida. It’s one of the best museums in Merida and costs less than $10 USD. 

You can also see the Cenote Ka’Kutsal while you’re up in northern Merida. Also known as the “Costco Cenote” this natural site is located in the local Costco parking lot. You can’t swim in it, but it is neat to see if you have the time.

Parroquia Santa Ana

Merida’s cathedrals are so beautiful. As well as the Catedral de San Ildefonso on the Plaza Grande, another cathedral to add to your Merida itinerary is the Parroquia Santa Ana

It’s located just a couple blocks away from Paseo de Montejo making for the perfect little side adventure. You might even catch mass happening.

Parroquia Santa Ana - Merida, Mexico

Dinner at Micaela Mar & Lena

Seafood lovers, this is a must on the ultimate Merida itinerary. Micaela Mar & Lena offers a variety of seafood dishes as well as several twists on traditional Yucatecan dishes.

The decor and ambiance of this restaurant are spot on. The service and food are both fantastic too. After strolling around Paseo de Montejo and surrounding areas, enjoy a relaxing end to your day at Micaela Mar & Lena.

Make sure you make reservations! It can get very busy in the evening.

Merida, Mexico Itinerary: Day 3

Explore More of Merida’s Streets

With 3 days in Merida, you can slow down and enjoy the streets of Merida on your last day in the Yucatan capital. There are many free and cheap museums to enjoy at your own pace.

You can also admire the colorful architecture and grand cathedrals. Below are some of the best things to add to your Merida itinerary.

Day Trip or Local Tour

Another popular activity to enjoy while visiting Merida is a day trip. There are many famous ruins surrounding the Yucatan capital, as well as beach towns, vibrant small cities, and local tours to enjoy. 

To explore more of Merida and the surrounding areas, take a look at the following best tours and day trips from Merida. 

Best Time to Visit Merida, Mexico

The best time to visit Merida is November through April. These months are cooler and less rainy making for great weather to stay out and explore the city. The least busy, least rainy, and still fairly cool months are November and April.

December through March are the busiest months in Merida. The weather is the coolest and January is when they celebrate the founding of the city. These factors attract many tourists making them the most crowded months.

Summer in Merida can get unbearably hot and very rainy. I recommend avoiding May through September if possible.

How to Get Around in Merida

The best way to get around Merida is by walking. You can see more of the city this way and really appreciate the architecture and culture. 

Biking is also an option. You can find free bikes in Plaza Grande if you’re lucky, or head to Paseo de Montejo for cheap bike rentals. They have single bikes, double bikes, bikes with carts, and more.

I recommend getting a taxi or Uber from the airport to your hotel and back. Make sure you establish a price before your journey begins. It should be no more than $30 if you’re going from the Merida International Airport to anywhere near the center of Merida. 

  • Walking

  • Biking

  • Taxi or Uber

Restaurants Not to Miss in Merida, Mexico

The food is one of the best reasons to visit Merida. Try traditional Yucatecan dishes like suckling pig tacos, lime soup, and Huevos Motulenos.

If you’re a vegetarian you’ll have to skip many of the local dishes, but don’t worry, you still have delicious food options in Merida. As a pescatarian, I stuck to seafood and vegetables and ate incredible food.

Add these restaurants and cafes to your Merida itinerary or switch out one of the recommended places above.

Salsas - Merida Restaurants

3 Days in Merida: FAQ

Is Merida worth visiting?

Merida, Mexico is a must visit if you want to explore the Yucatan. The colorful architecture, ever-present Mayan culture, and Yucatecan food are all reason enough to visit this capital city.

Merida offers something for everyone including the modern vibes of Paseo de Montejo, the chaos of the local mercados (markets), and delectable food options for days. 

How many days in Merida?

You could easily stay in Merida for a week and still have more to explore in the city and surrounding towns. But if you want to see more of Mexico or are in a time crunch, 2 to 3 days in Merida is great.

This will allow you time to see the city’s best sites, try lots of Yucatecan and Mexican food, admire the culture, and fall in love with Merida.

Is Merida safe for tourists?

Merida is one of the safest cities in North America. After visiting with my mom and as a solo woman, I can attest to the safety of the city. Thankfully, I never felt nervous or unsafe while visiting Merida. 

As with anywhere you should always stay aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings safe. Don’t flaunt your money and always be respectful of locals and other tourists. 

I recommend learning a few Spanish phrases if you don’t know some already. This will help you make the most of your time in Merida as well as show the locals that you care about their culture and their home.

NOTE: Merida is invisibly divided between north and south. The north end of the city is more modern. This is where many American expats live and lots of tourists stay when visiting.

The southern side of Merida is full of locals. This is not a problem, just be aware that you may not see many tourists this side of the city. I personally felt just as safe in the south as I did in the north.

Try to plan your route before you head out into the streets. They are busy so avoid stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and getting in everyone’s way.

Appearing to be lost also makes you much more of a target as you stand out significantly if you’re staring at your phone and clearly don’t know what you’re doing.

3 Days in Merida

Merida, Mexico is a vibrant city located in the Yucatan state of Mexico. Offering colorful buildings and historic architecture, a heavy Mayan culture, and food like no other, you do not want to miss out on Merida. 

Now you know how to explore the best parts of the city with this ultimate Merida itinerary. If you can, plan to stay 3 days in Merida so you can truly admire the city’s culture, history, and food. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a day trip to the coast or Mayan ruins. Merida has something for everyone. Take the time to leisurely stroll through the streets and see the city’s most authentic parts. Visit a museum or two; many of them are free or cheap.

Try all the Yucatecan food you can, or enjoy the seafood and vegetarian options you can find. This Merida, Mexico itinerary will leave you wanting to return!

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Hi, I'm Georgina, adventure enthusiast and creator of Alpacka My Bags. I'm here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 


I've been exploring this beautiful planet since I was a child, so I decided it was time to share my travel tips with others to enjoy. After college, I knew the "traditional career path" was not for me.


I needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer. It sounds cliché but you do only live once. So I made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that I wanted to share them with others so you can enjoy them too! 

My passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join me, and often my partner and my dog, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as I have, I hope you find my tips useful for all of your future travels.

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