A day in Merida: The Paseo de Montejo
Why visit Mérida?
Inland from the beaches and all inclusive hotels, but still removed from the cenotes, grutas and ruins sits Mérida, the capital city of the Yucatan. For years this small city was overlooked by most travelers visiting for Cancun’s white beaches. Yet a slow trickle always made there way to Mérida. Now a food city and cultural destination, Mérida boasts museums, art, music and restaurants to keep visitors and locals busy with activities.
The Paseo de Montejo:
While not the heart of Mérida centro, this historic street holds a lot of the prestige of Yucatan behind it’s walls and in it’s stones. You can still see the colonial style housing that was once ubiquitous in this area of the city. The history is now mixed in with the modern flow of life, giving Mérida a bright and distinctive style. The Paseo de Montejo and adjacent Calle 60 (to centro) are full of vibrant Yucatecan life and house some of the cities most exciting galleries, restaurants and music.
I suggest starting early as Merida streets heat up during the day.
8-9am Breakfast El Apapacho
9-10 am Walk to the monument and back
10-11 am Coffee break Márago Coffee
11am-1pm Museum in Palacio Canton
1-2 pm Lunch Korean Grill
2-4 pm Shopping/Galleries/Parque Santa Ana/Rest at Hotel
4-5 pm Ice cream cool down break Casa Pipi Cucu
5-8 pm Dinner and drinks Nación Brava
9 pm-onward Night out
Nik’s Suggested Places on
Paseo de Montejo
Breakfast: El Apapacho
A great space to eat and rest. You are greeted with the small store and reading lounge when you first enter. You can buy some books or sit and read from their library.
The restaurant space and tables is just past the reading lounge.
This place opens early and is great for vegan or vegetarian breakfast, although if you are eating breakfast in your hotel/hostel you can keep it on your lunch list.
Location: Calle 62 #354 between 41 and 43 Centro Merida
Hours: 10 am-10pm (Closed Tuesdays)
What to see: Monumento Paseo de Montejo
After breakfast I would walk off the belly by heading North to see the houses and Monumento de Paseo Montejo first. You can walk up one side of Historic Paseo Montejo and back down the other to not miss any of the house old houses that line the streets. Luckily the Paseo Montejo is heavily lined by trees, but because of the famed Merida heat this tour is best done in the morning before 11 am.
The monument at the end of Paseo de Montejo is the history of Mexico and it was carved by hand by a contemporary artist. It’s best photographed from across the street but you should cross the roundabout to get a good look at the art. You can walk around it a number of times and see something new each time.
Other viewing options:
There is also a tour bus for those who can’t make the walk easily.
*If it’s Sunday* you can rent a bike
Every Sunday morning they shut down the street of the Paseo de Montejo and bikers can enjoy the historic ride to and from the monument on their own or rented bikes.
It’s a real treat and the fastest, safest way to see the monument.
Coffee Break: Márago Coffee
You will probably either need to cool down or a pick me up after the walking tour.
I suggest a coffee break that is on your way back before you go to the museum.
This cafe has a number of tables, and a good air conditioning system. They have hot or cold drinks and specialize in international coffee techniques like
Location: Paseo de Montejo #481 between 39 and 41
Hours: 8 am -10 pm daily
Museum: Palacio Canton
(Museo Regional de Antropologia)
You finally have the chance to go inside on of the Paseo Montejo mansions.
The Regional Anthropology museum is housed inside the Palacio Canton. You will learn about the history of the city dating back to when it was the biggest Mayan city in the Yucatan, though it hennikin green gold rush days, until current.
Often there are special exhibits too.
Location: Paseo de Montejo #485 on the corner of 43
Hours: 8am -4:30pm (closed Mondays)
Lunch: Korean Grill
You may not think Korean food when you first arrive in the homeland of tacos, but there is a rich Asian immigrant community to the Yucatan.
There are many great places to have lunch on Paseo de Montejo but, this is a vegan recommendation.
They have a number of vegetable rice and noodle dishes.
(some are even gluten free)
The staff is very helpful and the location is clean.
Location: Paseo de Montejo #470 between 37 and 39
Hours: Noon-10pm daily
Colectivo Muul Meyaj
Local artesanal handicrafts and foods made by community members surrounding Mérida. I buy many organic food products here and I like shopping for small gifts when I travel home because I know they are all handmade nearby.
Calle 45 #499 between 58 y 60 in front of the Parque Santa Ana Church
Hours: 9 am-1pm and 4-7 pm Monday-Friday and
9am-2pm Saturday and Sunday
Parque Santa Ana:
All around the park square there are different shops selling anything from trinkets to regular t-shirts all the way up to fine linen hand stitched garments.
Location: In the market and all the streets that face the park.
Another chance to see the inside architecture of one old house.
This upscale boutique offers food, clothing and amazing architecture.
Location: Paseo de Montejo #498 on the corner of 45
Hours: 10 am -10 pm daily
Vegan Ice cream: Casa Pipi Cucu
After an afternoon spent shopping, walking or resting everyone deserves a good ice cream. I’m also a big fan of dessert first making this a great pre dinner stop. This place looks like is was designed for instagram but my main draw is the vegan ice cream.
Location: Calle 47 #464D between 54 and 52
Hours: 4-11 pm daily (open until 1 am Friday and Saturday)
Dinner: Nación Brava
What better way to get to know a city, than drinking a local craft beer?
They Yucatan is up and coming in the beer scene and this brewery and restaurant are a wonderful showcase of what the Yucatan is doing. I love nearly every brew I’ve tried there plus they have vegan options. I always have the burger.
Location: Calle 50 #435 on the corner of 49 (one block from Santa Ana park)
Hours: 5pm-Midnight (closed Mondays)
(this place was previously called Linda Mérida Ceveceria and both names come up in google maps)
*none of the above establishments paid for mentions*
Stay tuned for more articles about Mérida:
a tour of the centro market
and what to do in the North of the city
are all coming soon.