Thinking about living or visiting Merida, Mexico?
We can see why – the warm weather year-round, the beautiful colonial architecture and yummy Yucatecan food available on every corner. What more could you ask for right?
Well…what about where to stay in Merida?
Great question! Where you stay in Merida can directly affect how much you like your stay. How? If you’re too far out of the best areas, you can get too lazy to take an Uber in. And if you’re right where the action happens? Well…you might not get a good night’s sleep!
It’s a worthwhile question to spend some time to research, read blogs (like this one) and hopefully find the best neighborhood in Merida for you to stay in.
We spent almost 3 weeks living in Merida as digital nomads and we had an absolute blast. Without knowing much about the areas, we booked a place with our friends. Only when we understood how Merida’s neighborhood worked – did we know if we made a good choice or a bad one (but more on that later).
One thing we know for sure – choosing where to stay in Merida is one of the important factors to get the most of your time there.
Why Should Digital Nomads Live In Merida?
Are you a digital nomad, remote worker, or full-time traveler considering living in Merida?
You’ve come to the right place! We also had the same question when we were trying to pick the cities we would live in in Mexico. Our first time around we were living in Playa del Carmen then San Cristobal del Casas digital nomads.
Merida continued to stay a top option for us because of a couple of reasons:
- Fast, reliable wifi
- Safest city in all of Mexico
- Great day trip activities nearby like visiting Chichen Itza
- Warm weather year-round
- Beautiful beaches like Progreso just 30 minutes away
- Affordable cost of living in Merida
The verdict? We approve! We found a couple of Merida coworking spaces, delicious cheap eats and a small digital nomad community. It’s probably a great place to start off your digital nomad journey in Mexico because it’s super safe, equipped for digital nomads and people are friendly. You should just go and see for yourself!
It kind of sounds like all a digital nomad could want, right? Again – it seemed too perfect to ignore and so off we went to stay in Merida for nearly 3 weeks in November. The only thing you need to watch is where you stay in Merida. Stay too far and you might have a completely different experience!
Quick Answer: Where To Stay In Merida As Digital Nomads?
- Santa Ana: Best Overall Neighborhood In Merida:
- Santiago: Best Place To Stay In Merida For Couples:
- Paseo de Montejo: Best Area In Merida For A High-Quality Of Life
- Benito Juarez Norte: Best Place To Stay In Merida If You Have A Car
Things You Need To Know About Where To Stay In Merida
Before we get into where to stay in Merida, there are just a couple of things you should know…
Weather in Merida
What’s the weather in Merida like? If I could sum it up in 2 words it’s this: Hot & Humid! Choosing the right time to visit is very important because if you go during the height of summer – it might be too hot for you to do anything! The best time to visit Merida is October, November and December. These are the months that are less humid and cooler (but definitely still warm at 85F).
Wifi Speeds in Merida
We had strong wifi wherever we went in Merida. In fact – some of the best we’ve had in all of the places we visited in Mexico. While we were Playa del Carmen digital nomads, we got wifi speeds of around 25+ Mbps. During our time living in San Cristobal de las Casas as digital nomads, we got wifi speeds of around 20+ Mbps. Living in Merida we had internet speeds of 30+ Mbps and over 200+ Mbps if we worked at a coworking space.
Getting Around Merida
This is the most tricky part about Merida and why it’s so crucial to figure out where to stay in Merida. It’s a pretty big city so you’re spread out far and wide. The easiest way to get around is taking an Uber which costs anywhere between $2-$5 USD.
There is a public bus that goes throughout the city and while it’s pretty cheap compared to Uber – it’s VERY unreliable. Our friends waited more than an hour for a bus and there’s no bus schedule that they tend to stick to – you’re kind of left not knowing if/when you’ll be picked up.
Food / Restaurant Scene in Merida
One of the best things to do in Merida is to simply eat. The Yucatecan cuisine is easily available and worth trying a couple of times! There are so many it gets hard to choose but we created a summary of the best restaurants in Merida to help you narrow down the list of places to try.
Coworking Spaces in Merida
Are you a digital nomad who loves coworking spaces? Us too!
You’re in luck because there are plenty of coworking spaces in Merida to choose from. We personally liked Conexion60 – they have day passes available for $200 pesos ($9.72 USD).
The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Merida Mexico For Long-Term Stays
This beautiful colonial city is known for its European-style mansions, cleanliness and overall safety. Merida continues to attract digital nomads because of the quality of lifestyle you can have for a relatively good price ratio.
You’ve got tons of accommodation options from old-style haciendas to modern apartments – there’s something for everyone looking to stay in Merida. The Yucatan peninsula offers plenty of activities like swimming in cenotes, eating at the yummy food stalls and touring historical buildings.
But if you’re staying in a bad location – it could make your time in Merida not so great. It is actually one of the largest cities in Mexico and the public transportation is honestly not the best.
This detailed guide’s main purpose is to help you find the best location for your trip style. Here’s where to stay in Merida Mexico (only the best areas) for anyone looking to stay long-term:
1. Santa Ana
If you pick Santa Ana as your place to stay in Merida, you’ll basically have the best of both worlds! Why? You are located in the middle of the 2 most popular areas: Zocalo and Paseo Montejo.
To the north of Santa Ana, you’ve got the beautiful street filled with mansions – Paseo de Montejo. It’s an up-scale area with a long walking street that’s just so beautiful! And to the south of you is Zocalo – the central area with all the main tourist attractions. Each will take about 10-15 minutes walking so like I said – the best of both worlds within walking distance!
The prices are a little less than if you were to stay at Zocalo but you might get a better, spacious apartment too. There are plenty of restaurants or small food stalls everywhere around you and you can hang out in the popular park – Parque de Santa Ana in the afternoons.
Santa Ana is the best place to stay in Merida for you if you want to walk everywhere and be far enough away from the most popular tourist areas.
On the west side of the city center is the beautiful area of Santiago. You’ve got parks all around, plenty of restaurants to choose from and a good selection of coffee shops too.
It’s only a 10-15 minute walk to the city center from Santiago so if you don’t mind walking then you won’t have to take public transport/Ubers from this area. There are also plenty of grocery shops around which makes ‘living’ so much easier.
The Airbnbs/apartments in this area look much more modern, spacious and they are priced pretty reasonably. While not as expensive as staying in Zocalo, it’s still a great area and that’s reflected in the rental prices.
If you want easy access to the center without being too close to all the tourists – Santiago might just be the best neighborhood in Merida for you!
3. Benito Juarez Norte
Benito Juarez is located a 20-minute drive from the city center of Merida. This is where we stayed! This modern, safe and modern neighborhood is a popular place to stay for locals and tourists alike.
I’ve added this area in our where to stay in Merida guide because we personally experienced what it’s like to live here. While the 20-minute drive can scare some people off – this area is worth it! We spent many afternoons just walking through the neighborhood and it’s very beautiful.
We shared a 2 bedroom apartment with our friends and the value for money was so much better than any of the places we saw in the city center. There’s a couple of bus stops nearby for public transport but again it’s unreliable.
If you choose to stay in Benito Juarez Norte, you will definitely need to rent a car or at least be okay with taking an Uber everywhere.
4. Paseo de Montejo
Oh the beautiful Paseo de Montejo! Named after Merida’s founder – Francisco de Montejo, it’s one of the most beautiful streets in all of Mexico, in my opinion. You’ve got these historic mansions that have architecture influenced by the Spaniards, great shopping and nightlife to enjoy too.
On Sundays, they close the streets and locals can bring/rent bikes and ride along the Paseo Montejo. It’s an awesome thing they do for their community in Merida! This up-scale, scenic, leafy avenue is a popular place for people to stroll or even jog through. The mansions have since been converted into museums which you can visit for a fee. It’s a great place to stay if you love to walk around and just explore!
The prices for your Airbnbs and/or apartment will definitely cost more as this is a coveted location in Merida. It might be rare to get a spot right on the street so it’s normal to be a couple of blocks away from the main street itself. You’re likely to stay in a colonial hacienda-style place that can come with a pool, depending on your booking of course.
5. Zocalo – Centro Area
Want to be within walking distance of anything happening in the city center?
Then your best place to stay in Merida would obviously be the most central location, Zocalo (Centro area). Most Airbnbs will be within 2-5 blocks of the main square, Plaza Grande, which makes it easy to get around using any ride-shares or public transport.
The main tourist attractions in Merida’s Historic Center include Museo Casas Montejo, Palacio Municipal de Mérida, and Catedral de Mérida – San Ildefonso. There’s so much beautiful history and culture to explore within a couple of blocks radius – it’s definitely hard to get bored when living in the Zocalo area of Merida.
The prices for Airbnbs/long-term apartments will be much higher (eg. starting from $800 USD) because you’re right in the middle of all the action. If you’re looking for more budget options, keep reading below.
Notable location – Santa Lucia
Another popular place to add to the ‘where to stay in Merida’ list is Santa Lucia. It’s very close to the city center and walking distance to everything you might need like cafes or restaurants.
Conclusion: Where To Stay In Merida Mexico?
Now you know the 5 best places to stay in Merida…but which one is the best?
I’d have to say it’s a tie for Santiago and Santa Ana. Matthew and I usually like locations where we are just that further bit away from the city center but close enough to walk in. Both these areas tick the box plus they are safe, have tons of cafes and restaurants, and you get an Airbnb with a fair value for money ratio. While we enjoyed our time in Benito Juarez Norte, we really struggled with transport options (mainly because we’re cheap and don’t like paying Uber lol) so something closer to the action would have suited us better.
We hope this helps and answers the question “where to stay in Merida?”. You will enjoy living in Merida, its safety and the comfortable lifestyle there just like we did!