Merida, the Yucatan State capital, is one of the greatest cultural hubs in Mexico, giving you access to magical Mayan ruins, nature reserves, and an old colonial heritage coming from a unique blend of Native, Mayan, and Spanish influences.
With its huge number of historical landmarks and cultural attractions, it’s good to know where to stay in Merida in order to enjoy what this incredible city has to offer you.
That’s why I decided to write this guide with the best areas in Merida Mexico, including the best hotels and affordable hostels for each of them!
In this article you’ll find travel tips for any taste and budget: Centro is the typical spot for anyone who is coming to the city for the first time and it is further broken down into a few different neighborhoods that I will talk about today.
Zocalo is at the very heart of the city, Santiago will be great if you’re traveling with the family, Santa Lucia is the best option for nightlife, Santa Ana is perfect for budget travelers while Paseo de Montejo is for travelers looking for a higher luxury price range!
Just take some time to read this article and you’ll find the neighborhood and accommodation that suits you the most… but don’t let too much time pass to book your hotel, this is one of the most loved destinations in southeastern Mexico!
By the way, in case you are skeptical, Merida is actually the second safest city in North America so you won’t have to worry about the typical crime issues Mexico is infamous for, as anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula!
Let’s start the trip in Merida!
If you are in a hurry
If you want to book now, then waste no more time, check out this quick list with the best hotels in Zocalo, the historic center of Merida Mexico, from luxury to budget price range:
Mansión Mérida Boutique Hotel
Best luxury hotel
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Casona 61 by GuruHotel
Best value for money
Kuka y Naranjo
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here’s a map to help you have a mental image of all the areas in Merida Mexico that I will be talking about in this post. Centro, the city center of Merida is made up of the following 5 areas, each with their own characteristics.
1. Zocalo – where to stay in Merida for the first time
Zocalo, also known as Plaza Grande or Historic Plaza Mayor, is a huge square in the heart of Merida’s historic center. With all the ancient attractions and hotel options it has to offer, this area is definitely where to stay in Merida for first-time visitors!
In fact, the Plaza is completely surrounded by some of the most important historical buildings in Merida, like the Fernando García Ponce Museum, the Olimpo Cultural Center, the Government Palace, and Teatro Mérida.
The best one though is located on the west side of the Plaza: the Merida Municipal Palace.
This incredibly beautiful building has a cool pink façade of sweeping arches, but the best part is the interiors, decorated with colorful and interesting events. And by the way, entry is free, so you have no excuses to skip this place!
Other than a lot of culture and history, in Zocalo you can explore its lovely cafes, good restaurants, and cool shops! And all through the year, you will find any kind of event and performance like the traditional dance of Yucatán and La Vaquería.
Regarding accommodation, you won’t have any problem finding hotels here, from budget hotels and hostels to more luxurious options, all surrounded by arts and cultural centers.
So what are you waiting for? Check out my hotel tips and make sure you book them far in advance… you could find some good deals!
Mansión Mérida Boutique Hotel
Set in Merida downtown, this Boutique Hotel and Restaurant is the perfect choice if you want to stay in Merida in total luxury and comfort! Offering a swimming pool, a bistro bar, and a spa, here you can get some deserved relaxation after visiting the best attractions in Merida Mexico. You’ll for sure love the elegant rooms and the delicious restaurant serving international specialties!
Other accommodation options in Centro
Casona 61 by GuruHotel
Enjoy your spacious room with access to a swimming pool, and free parking in Merida downtown
Kuka y Naranjo
This is one of the best hotels in Merida with an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and central location in Merida
Located in the heart of Merida downtown, this luxury apartment hosts up to 6 people, perfect for a family!
Things to do in Zocalo
- Check out the historical murals of Merida Municipal Palace
- Attend La Vaquería event for some local arts and culture
- Visit the Merida Cathedral built from ancient Mayan ruins!
- Check out the Olimpo Cultural Center for films & live performances
- Walk in the ‘Passage of the Revolution’, a glass-roofed tunnel with art installations!
- Check out the Mexican art exhibits at the MACAY Museum of Yucatan Art.
2. Santiago – the best area in Merida Mexico for families
Just west of Zocalo Plaza you will find the area of Santiago. This area is perfect to travel with the family thanks to its central location within walking distance of all the best attractions, but also offering many green parks to relax and so many dining options where to taste the most delicious Mexican food!
Santiago is an old neighborhood that continues to gain popularity within the ex-pat community so you will enjoy an international atmosphere in this great area.
Here you’ll also find many ancient churches, parks, and sports fields to explore, but the area is particularly known for the market. Head to Calle 70 and you’ll find many authentic restaurants with the best food in Merida! (A foodies paradise!)
And if you happen to be here in August, you HAVE to attend Santiago’s famous festival, when the area becomes particularly alive with colorful fireworks and lots of Mexican-style celebrations
If you ever get tired of all the culture you’ll find in El Centro (and in Merida in general), you can always extend your trip to Cancun, in the Yucatan Peninsula, at just 50 minutes by flight or three hours by road! On the contrary, if you want to keep going with your cultural trip, you should definitely check out the Riviera Maya, always in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Now let’s check out the best hotels in Santiago of Merida:
Merida Santiago Hotel Boutique
Located within Merida downtown, this beautiful boutique hotel offers an outdoor pool to relax and a restaurant where to have the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The property also has a great central location in the middle of many restaurants and bars and is only 10-minute drive away from Merida International Airport.
Other accommodation options in Santiago
Hostal La 59
Looking for budget hotels? This is one of the best hostels in Merida, with a great continental breakfast!
Majikal Estudio Jade Maya
Entire cozy apartment with free street parking: a true little piece of paradise in the busy Centro of Mérida
Things to do in Santiago
- Learn about the region in Museo Casa Montejo
- Discover Yucatan’s highlights on this full-day tour
- Have a taste in Lucas de Galvez Market!
- Check out the Museum of the City of Merida
- Discover the Mayan culture at the Mayan World Museum
- Try the best street food of Merida on this tasty walking tour
- Explore Chichen Itza, the Pink Lagoon, and Pink flamingos with this tour!
3. Santa Lucia – where to stay in Merida for nightlife
Santa Lucia is a residential area located in the north of Centro, preserving a local and community vibe, and international at the same time thanks to the many ex-pats living there!
Its cozy atmosphere combined with its great location a few steps from the city’s best attractions makes Santa Lucia a unique neighborhood in Merida.
The hub of the neighborhood is the colorful Santa Lucia church, offering a pink façade, along with the park just close by, the Parque Santa Lucia, where many of Merida’s cool festivals and fairs take place.
The best one ever is the Yucatan Serenade dance festival, happening weekly since 1965, where you’ll enjoy some great live music from local bands! And every Saturday, there is “la Noche Mexicana” (Mexican Night) with dance performances and concerts.
In a few words, if you’re looking for the best nightlife in Merida, Santa Lucia is the place to be, with its countless international restaurants, bars, and clubs, where you can dance until early hours!
The area is also home to many affordable hotels, perfect if you want to save some money during your trip… let’s check them out!
Incredible luxury hotel in central Mérida only 500 m from Paseo de Montejo. The hotel’s style is very beautiful and will make you feel like you are in a typical Mexican casa. The rooms are super quiet, spacious, and have comfortable mattresses… perfect to get some good sleep after an intense day of visiting! Another plus? The staff is super friendly and helpful (check out the reviews!).
Other accommodation options in Santa Lucia
Casa Lucia Hotel Boutique
Check out this historic hacienda, one of the best hotels in Merida if you’re looking for a mid-range option
Hotel María Jose
This is definitely one of the more affordable hotels in Merida, perfect if you want to stay on a budget
Stylish, modern and colonial
Feel like at home in this entire house located on one of the nicest, most central areas in all of Merida Centro
Things to do in Santa Lucia
- Have a picnic at Santa Lucia Park under the shady palm trees
- Take a day trip to Uxmal to learn about Mayan history and culture
- Gaze at the cool pink façade of Santa Lucia church
- Attend the Yucatan Serenade dance festival
- Dance the night away every Saturday at “la Noche Mexicana”
4. Santa Ana – where to stay in Merida Mexico on a budget
Just north of Santa Lucia you will find the tiny Santa Ana neighborhood, offering the most thriving artistic scene in Merida with its countless independent art galleries from modern artists and museums.
Like Santa Lucia, the Santa Ana area is spread around Santa Ana Park (Parque de Santa Ana), featuring a big plaza (square) with many street vendors and food stalls.
The square itself hosts some interesting cultural attractions like 18th-century Santa Ana church, a fountain, and a monument to the politician Andrés Quintana Roo.
And if you want to reach the attractions of the historic center, Santa Ana has also a great location connected to the heart of the Centro area thanks to Paseo de Montejo boulevard!
Well… what do you need more from a neighborhood? I’ll tell you what: some super affordable hotels, and you’ll be happy to hear that Santa Ana is the best place if you want to stay on a budget, offering cheap hotels and hostels for any taste!
Boutique by The Museo
This boutique hotel is located in a Mexican-style historic building and is definitely one of the best hotels to stay in Merida Mexico! Here you can start your day with an incredible breakfast and finish it with a drink in the bar, or splashing in the beautiful outdoor pool. Another plus? The Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport is only a 15-minute drive away, and they have free parking!
Other accommodation options in Santa Ana
One of the best places to stay in Merida Mexico, located just nearby La Mejorada Park
Hotel Santa Ana
One of the most affordable hotels in Merida Mexico, perfect for budget travelers!
Located in the heart of Mérida Mexico, this is one of the best places for couples!
Things to do in Santa Ana
- Walk around Santa Ana square and check out its food stalls
- Gaze at the beautiful fountain and Andrés Quintana Roo monument
- Visit Santa Ana Church to see its cheerful yellow face
- Have a tour of Yucatan’s best cultural highlights like Hacienda Sotuta de Peon
5. Paseo de Montejo – the most upscale area in Merida Mexico
Paseo Montejo (Montejo Walk) is the most important street in Merida, running through the north of the city, directly to its heart.
Most of the life of the city center is concentrated in Paseo de Montejo, a tree-lined boulevard whose name comes from the founder of Merida Francisco de Montejo, offering also many hotel options, from hostels to luxury hotels.
This is a particularly good place to stay in the city if you’re looking for an upmarket area with some luxurious hotels!
In fact, in this leafy avenue, you’ll find many boutique hotels at way higher rates, and great historical mansions, some of them converted into museums that you can actually visit!
But this is also a great area if you just want to spend some leisure time shopping in the many chic boutiques and stores selling everything from clothing to Mexican souvenirs with Mayan designs and ceramics.
Being a pretty touristic area, in Paseo Montejo, you’ll also find many fashionable cafes, restaurants, and bars where to enjoy the Mexican delicious cuisine or just chill and do some people watching, my favorite thing when I visit a new place!
Casa Lecanda Boutique Hotel
Are you ready for one of the best places to stay in Merida Mexico? This 5 stars adults-only hotel offers luxurious rooms and a great location just nearby Mérida’s Paseo Montejo and only a 15-minute drive away from the airport. Here you will enjoy a drink in the stylish wine and tequila bar or some relaxing treatments in the wellness center!
Other accommodation options in Paseo de Montejo
Diez Diez Collection
One of the best hotels in Merida if you’re looking for great value, with access to an amazing breakfast and a bar
Mi Ca-sa En Merida
Enjoy the family rooms of this affordable hotel in Merida Mexico, one of the best places for budget travelers
Vida Gitana Superb Home
Stunning home just a couple of meters away from the main restaurants and attractions in Merida Mexico
Things to do in Paseo de Montejo
- Shop in the many clothing and shopping stores
- Check out the Monumento a la Patria monument
- Visit the old Palacio Cantón (Anthropology and History Museum)
- Check out the 20th-century Merida twin houses: the Casas Gemelas
- Grab the best ice cream of the city in Heladeria El Colón
- Have a delicious coffee at the Cafeteria Impala
- Try the famous Pox (local Mayan liquor) in one of the many bars
Frequently asked questions about hotels in Merida, Mexico
📍Which is the best place where to stay in Merida Mexico?
The best place where to stay in Merida Mexico is Zocalo, in the heart of the city center, offering hotels for any price range. The best places are definitely the luxurious Mansión Mérida Boutique Hotel or Kuka y Naranjo, one of the best budget hotels in Merida!
💚 Is Merida Mexico a safe city?
Yes, Merida is one of the safest cities in Mexico, so you won’t have to worry about the country’s reputation for crime. Beyond Merida, the entire Yucatan Peninsula is also considered quite safe for travelers!
👪 Where to stay in Merida Mexico with the family?
The best places to stay in Merida Mexico with the family are Viva Merida Hotel Boutique or the more affordable Hostal La 59. Both hotels are located in Merida Centro: the colonial center of the city.
💵 Where is the best area to stay in Merida Mexico on a budget?
The best places to stay in Merida Mexico on a budget are Casa Tavera, offering great value, or the cheaper option Hotel Santa Ana. You will find both hotels in the Merida neighborhood of Santa Ana, offering the best budget hotels!
We finally came to the end of this extensive article about where to stay in Merida Mexico, the capital of Yucatan, an amazing city offering a huge colonial heritage!
We went through the main areas for different interests of the city along with the best hotels and hostels in Merida, from luxury boutique hotels to more affordable options, so you have everything you need to make the right decision!
Among all the Merida hotels and hostels we’ve been through, I bet you are undecided about which one is the best for your interests and price range!
No worries: here are my 2 absolute favorites places to stay in the city of Merida, with a central location and great reviews:
- Mansión Mérida Boutique Hotel – one of the best places to stay in Merida if you’re looking for luxury, offering a beautiful swimming pool and a spa
- Casona 61 by GuruHotel – perfect for a mid-range price with great value, conveniently located in Merida downtown!
If you like them, make sure you book them as fast as you can: Merida is not waiting for you!
I hope you found this article helpful and you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed giving you travel tips and doing the research for you!
If you have any doubts or questions about Merida areas and hotels, please leave them in the comment: I’ll be super happy to answer you!
Have an amazing trip to Merida!