Merida’s Art Scene Getting Worldwide Recognition

Merida’s art scene is ever-growing and is starting to get worldwide recognition. With the help of government-funded programs and an influx of international talent coming to the area, the Yucatan capital is posturing itself to be a favorable destination for the creative arts. The Pinacoteca del Estado de Yucatan (Yucatan Painting Gallery), which is a part of the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (Yucatan’s Autonomus University), operates a small ground floor gallery in the downtown area. It holds an artistic reverence that attracts art connoisseurs from around the world. Moreover, there are numerous art museums showcasing Mexican and other world-renowned artists’ extraordinary work. Merida’s art scene is, in fact, stealing the spotlight.

Merida’s Art Scene Deserves Recognition

Art Exhibition

The historical setting of Merida, year-round warm weather and cultural influences are an ideal platform for adventure-seeking artists. Because of this, art galleries like The Bernardini Gallery are starting to migrate towards Merida’s art scene. Not only is there plenty of local talent contributing to Merida’s growing market, but artists from as far away as Cuba and New York are taking notice as well.

Popular Art Museums in Merida

The Museum of Popular Art resides in the historic district of Merida. It is the perfect place for displaying a variety of art that comes in many shapes and forms. The following venues are an attributing factor to the rising popularity in Merida’s art scene.

Galerie Merida

Galerie Merida’s building projects an architectural theme that radiates colonial descent and provides an ambiance with its higher ceilings and traditional tile. The gallery holds an abundance of contemporary and fine artwork by some of the region’s most noted artists. The gallery also has an outdoor section that exhibits some magnificent sculptures.

Museo de la Canción

Museo de la Canción portrays the art of Yucatecan music and how it has influenced many national and international cultures. Even though the museum signage and information are mostly in Spanish, it still offers a visual remembrance of times past. They say music makes the world go around!

Palacio del Gobierno

Palacio de Gobierno Merida

Palacio del Gobierno (Governor’s Palace) is a turn-of-the-century government building where the walls illustrate the history of the Mayan people and their cultural beliefs. The murals were painted by the famous Fernando Castro Pacheco who still resides in Merida and paints in his own distinctive way.

Museo Contemporaneo Ateneo de Yucatan

The Museo Contemporaneo Ateneo de Yucatan (also known as MACAY) has a multitude of halls displaying a variety of fine art. It is located in a government-owned building in central downtown Merida that dates back to the 1500s. There are exhibits that display work from several well-known local artists. It also offers a bit of an educational tour that walks you through the world’s history of art.

Amaro Restaurant Gallery

Amaro Restaurant Gallery is in a peaceful courtyard where the walls are filled with fabulous art. Enjoy a refreshing beverage and local cuisine while viewing some magnificent art pieces. Who said art galleries had to be indoors?

Other places that are worth a mention are Centro Cultural de Merida Olimpo, located across Plaza Grande, and the Merida City Museum. The latter is housed in the old post office building. Both these venues display ancient artwork from the Mayan era, as well as the Spanish conquistadores.

Merida: Perfect for artists, expats and retirees

Merida’s art scene is quickly developing. Because of this, the city is becoming an important icon in today’s world of art. Practicing, up-and-coming, and well-known artists are flocking to the region to explore different art avenues. They look to expand their creativity, find alternative inspiration and possibly devise a new era with their given talents. In turn, this creates a unique and artistic experience to anyone visiting, living or retiring to Merida or anywhere nearby (such as the Riviera Maya). It opens up plenty of cultural activities for those that enjoy bathing in art and discovering new artists around. Visit Merida and explore the finer threads of life that bring joy to all your senses.

Weekend Getaway to Merida

Forbes magazine named Merida the American Capital of Culture in 2017 for the second year in a row. This makes it the only city to hold the title twice. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, this colonial city is just a three-hour drive from Playa del Carmen by car. Merida is one of the oldest cities in Mexico and has been occupied fully throughout the years. Because of this, it holds many traditions. You will notice the old stonework and architecture as you take a stroll through the city.

Culture, History and Gastronomy


Visitors know the Yucatan Peninsual for its gastronomy. Merida has an abundance of small markets scattered throughout the city with all the gastronomical delicacies your palate can imagine. If you’re more hands-on, you can try one of the many cooking classes offered by Mayan chefs. It makes for an interesting day spent in the kitchen and a good switch up from walking and hanging on the beach.

Because it is a colonial city there are many museums around to tell the story of its past. The Gran Museo del Mundo Maya de Merida is the best one. Here, you will find interesting information about the Yucatan’s history and its many fascinating artifacts. If you enjoy photography, you may also want to visit the Museum of Anthropology and History. It is found within a mansion on the large Paseo Montejo. The museum features stunning photography.

The Mayan connection with the underworld

Besides walking around the city and visiting the museums and markets, there are many fun activities for nature lovers. There are plenty of cenotes around the outskirts of Merida. The Mayans used the cenotes as consecrated wells to connect with the gods. They would perform offerings and mystical ceremonies. Many of the cenotes surrounding Merida can surprise you with hidden artifacts, or even skulls of the sacrifices they made.


You will find a lively city full of culture. The squares in Merida often feature musicians and food in the parks. They are great places to spend the day, having a picnic and enjoying the beautiful scenery that Merida provides. People from Mexico are very friendly and welcoming, and they will welcome you into the city with a warm smile and open arms. They love speaking with foreigners, opening up their shops and even their homes to share an afternoon. Don’t forget to visit the many historical churches in the city. They are worth visiting and make for great photo opportunities.

a sacrifice to please your stomach

If by the afternoon your stomach is claiming a sacrifice for itself, visit one of the many ice cream parlors. The Soberteria Colon is perhaps the most famous one, followed by Pola. Locals and tourists know these ice cream shops for their delicious desserts and cool ice creams for a hot day. Speaking of which, beware of the heat! Merida can reach high temperatures and given that it is half an hour from the coast, there is not much ocean breeze to cool off with. Stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid a heat stroke!

Merida is a great place to visit during the holidays due to its many fun parades, markets and festivals. Day of the Dead is an especially neat time to visit the city. Locals make quite a celebration of the life of those who have passed. It is a sight to be seen. In the end, it doesn’t matter when you visit, Merida will have something to offer. A weekend getaway may result in you wanting to spend more time there. Retirees living in Playa del Carmen can visit Merida easily. It makes for fun weekend trips throughout the year.

merida: the best getaway

Unlike the Riviera Maya, Merida is not lined with five-star resorts, which means accommodation is focused more towards small boutique hotels and apartments. This allows for a more intimate and authentic experience, far from the Americanized one you might be used to in Playa del Carmen. And if you are eager to keep coming back, you might want to consider purchasing a vacation home.