Even amid a pandemic, travelers did not forget Merida when casting votes for the “Best Small City.”
Conde Nast Traveler magazine ranked Merida No. 3 in its readers’ choice awards, right between Monte Carlo and Chiang Mai, Thailand. At No. 1 was another Mexican city — San Miguel de Allende.
“The streets of Merida are bursting with the colorful facades of Spanish colonial architecture, but the capital of Mexico’s Yucatan state is also steeped in Mayan history,” Traveler stated. “Centrally located on the Yucatan Peninsula, UNESCO World Heritage sites like the ancient cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza are an easy day trip, or head 40 minutes north to the beaches on the Gulf shore in Progreso. Locals recommend visiting Fundación de Artistas, a nonprofit featuring art exhibits in a 19th-century home; Gran Museo del Mundo Maya, a modern cultural museum; and the traditional Yucatecan food at the super casual Manjar Blanco.”
Two of the three recommendations are open now; Fundación de Artistas has been dark for months and hasn’t listed a new exhibit since 2015.
Merida bested some more famous destinations like Florence, Edinburgh and Salzberg. But it’s a comedown from 2019 poll, when Merida was No. 1.
Kyoto, Japan, was voted the best “big” city in the world.