According to author and FODORS.COM collaborator Teddy Minford, Mérida is Mexico’s Chicest Weekend Getaway, as the Yucatán’s biggest city is quickly becoming one of the most fashionable places in the Americas.
The colonial city of Mérida, in the middle of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, is one of those magical places that has somehow stayed under the radar despite gorgeous architecture, fantastic restaurants, and some of the most stylish hotels in the world.
Mérida is popular with Mexican and European tourists, but it’s not really on the itinerary for most Americans visiting Cancun, Tulum, or Chichen Itza. The city is the cultural hub of the region, with historic haciendas, art and history museums, and a location near some of the most fascinating Mayan ruins, colorful villages, and incredible cenotes in the country.
But while Mérida would be worth a visit just for its location alone, the real reason this city has topped must-visit lists in recent years (including our own 2019 Go List) are the shops, boutique hotels, and hidden bars that are shockingly hip, incredibly stylish, and packed with more fashion than any other town of its size in this hemisphere.
The city is the perfect size—it’s big enough to keep you interested for at least a few days and small enough that you can get your bearings quickly and learn to navigate the genius grid system (odd streets run north to south, even streets run east to west) within minutes. The city center revolves around the cathedral, which is open to visitors. On weekends and holidays, you’ll find live music and street vendors in the town square, while horse-drawn carriages click-clack through the cobblestone streets.
The joy of Mérida is in aimlessly wandering from shop to cafe to bar to restaurant and finding something new hiding behind a crumbling facade. It’s a city where some of the best places are hidden in plain sight, waiting to be discovered. From secret speakeasies and hip hotels to cool cafes and chic boutiques, we have the ultimate guide to the Yucatán’s most fashionable weekend getaway.