Driving our rental car from Chichen Itza into the bustling city of Merida, one thing struck us immediately...this city was beautiful. And very colorful. I wanted to grab my camera right away and start capturing the beautiful pastel color combinations.
After settling down in the hotel we were staying, Luz en Yucatan, we put on our walking shoes and headed out to meander in the city center. Small enough to easily find your way around, but large enough to have plenty to do - Merida was a lovely stop during our Mexican vacation, and I'm glad we got to explore for a little bit there.
In the center of town are a few lovely squares, the main one being flanked by restaurants, cafes and shops on 3 sides and the large cathedral on the 4th. The cathedral is worth a quick look, as is the side chapel which houses regular prayer services. Avoid the main tourist sidewalk cafes and shops directly on the square, as the prices are inflated, but you don't have to walk too far down a side street to find better, more authentic options.
On Sundays, there is an outdoor market/fair called Mérida en Domingo in the main plaza. Eat, people-watch, and shop... and remember that hammocks are this region's specialty, so if you want to bring a hammock back from Mexico, be sure to shop for one here. Look for a good, tight weave, and material made from agave (not cotton)...as agave won't shrink and some say helps in repelling moquitos.
A unique thing to notice in this town, are small plaques on the street corners. Normally placed on the side of the corner building, these small signs display images and funny old Spanish descriptive names for the streets (as the official street names are all numbered). These names were passed down from many generations past and have significance with someone/something or an event that happened on that street.
Overall, Merida is a lovely stop for a day or two, as there are many things to wander around and explore, although not too busy, it's a great place to slow down a little and just see what you come across.