The city of Mérida was founded in in 1542 by the Spanish conquistadores, and named after the town of Mérida in Extremadura in Spain. Lonely Planet named Mérida as the American capital of culture in 2017 for it´s lively music and cultural flamboyance.
Mérida has a centro historico typical of colonial Spanish cities. The street grid is based on odd-numbered streets running east/west and even-numbered streets running north/south, with Calles 60 and 61 bounding the “Plaza Grande” in the heart of the city.
Mérida has been nicknamed “The White City” (La Ciudad Blanca), though the exact origin of this moniker is not clear.
As the state and regional capital of Yucatán, Mérida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres, and shops. Mérida retains an abundance of beautiful colonial buildings and is a vibrant cultural center with music and dancing playing an important part in day-to-day life. At the same time it is a modern city boasting a comprehensive range of shopping malls, auto dealerships, top-quality hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities.