A Travel Price Comparison for Mexico Merida vs. Mexico City for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Old Town

Should you visit Merida or Mexico City?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Merida or Mexico City, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Merida

Merida is a traditional, colonial, and historical city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Mexico City

Mexico City is a dynamic, colorful, and cultural city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. It's also popular because of the food, shopping, and museums.

Merida and Mexico City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Merida or Mexico City?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Mexico City than Merida. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Mexico City is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Merida attracts visitors for its historical sights. Merida is more touristy than Mexico City and is known for its vibrant plazas, long running history, and colonial architecture. Mexico City is famous for its vibrant street food scene, colorful markets, and historic architecture. It is also well known for Zócalo.

How is Merida different from Mexico City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Mexico City and Merida. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Merida or Mexico City?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is terrific for its museums and history. Also, Merida is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Mexico City has many famous sights for visitors. The city is filled with historic buildings, fascinating museums, and interesting landmarks. At the heart of the city is Zócalo, where the country's constitution was signed. Nearby you'll find the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Templo Mayor. Other interesting museums in the city include the National Museum of Anthropology, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the National History Museum.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Merida. The city is filled with culture and traditional heritage, and there are many museums and architectural landmarks that will educate and inform visitors on the area. Gran Museo del Mundo Maya is a highlight for many visitors. It's also worth visiting Museo Casa Montejo and Museo Palacio Canton. If you want to visit ruins, then the Dzibilchaltun Mayan Ruins are about 45 minutes outside of town.


Is the Food Better in Merida or Mexico City? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is terrific for its restaurants. Also, Merida is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Known for it's food and restaurant scene, Mexico City is always at the top of any foodie's travel list. The city food scene is as diverse as the population itself. There are countless ways to experience the amazing street food, but there are also world class chefs working in award winning restaurants. Make sure you try the chilaquiles, tacos al pastor, and chiles en nogada.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Merida makes for a great culinary experience. It's a top foodie destination in the Yucatan region and visitors will enjoy the many local restaurants and diverse local dishes that are influenced by the Mayan, Spanish, and Caribbean cultures. The most well known local dish is cochinita pibil, which is marinated pork shoulder. Other popular dishes include sopa de lima (lime soup), papadzules (enchiladas with pumpkin seed sauce), and relleno negro (a local stew).

Is Merida or Mexico City Better for Nightlife?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is terrific for its evening party scene. Also, Merida is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Mexico City is a must-see party destination. It's a huge city, so of course there's no shortage of diverse nightlife activities. Some of the most popular neighborhoods for nightlife include the downtown, La Condesa, and Colonia Juárez. For upscale clubs head to Polanco and for trendy and eclectic venues check out Roma.

The people in Merida know how to have a good time. Most tourists take advantage of the nightlife scene in the city's downtown area, while locals congregate in the northern part of town. The city has bars, theaters, night clubs, and live music that keeps the energy high late into the night.

Is Merida or Mexico City Better for its Old Town?

Merida
Mexico City

Merida is an excellent place to visit for its historic old town charm. Also, Mexico City is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Merida. Centered around the city's Grand Plaza, the old town is filled with colonial architecture and colorful buildings. The Catedral de San Ildefonso was the first cathedral built in the Americas. There are also monuments and examples of Mayan art and culture.

Many visitors go to Mexico City to see the historical old town. Centro Historico spreads out from Zócalo Plaza, and has many buildings that date back as far as the Aztec period. Many tourists gather here to explore the history and wander down the pedestrian-only Calle Madero.


Is the Shopping Better in Merida or Mexico City?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is terrific for its shopping areas. Also, Merida is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many people travel to Mexico City specifically to go shopping. The city has everything from open-air bazaars (tianguis) to modern shopping malls. There are international brands as well as local art galleries, handicrafts, and retail outlets.

Merida is an extremely popular place for shoppers. There are colorful markets that are filled with artisan crafts and traditional clothing. Visitors enjoy discovering the unique vendors and picking up souvenirs that are unique to the area.

Is Merida or Mexico City Better for Families?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is an excellent place to visit for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Merida is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Mexico City. It's a huge city, so there are enough diverse activities to keep everyone entertained. There's even a Six Flags. Popular museums for kids include Papalote Museo del Niño and Museo de Geología. There's also the Acuario Inbursa, and make sure you check out a Lucha Libre show.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Merida. The weekend is the best time to visit the city, as this is when there are the most activities. There are live performances that educate visitors on Mayan traditions. There are also historic museums, bike-friendly streets, and a vibrant central market.

Is Merida or Mexico City Better for Couples?

Merida
Mexico City

Merida and Mexico City are both nice to visit as a couple.

Merida is a good city for couples to visit. If you're interested in Mayan culture and history, then this is a wonderful destination. There are also romantic hotels, excellent restaurants, and plenty of fascinating activities that couples will enjoy.

Mexico City is a nice destination for couples. The city is filled with parks where you can enjoy a picnic, museums that are fascinating to walk through, and cultural activities that are one-of-a-kind. You can ride on a gondola in Xochimilco or spend the day exploring the amazing food scene.


Is Merida or Mexico City Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Merida
Mexico City

Merida and Mexico City are both very good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Merida. It's a relatively large city with a number of hostels and budget hotels, so backpackers will have no problem finding a place to stay.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Mexico City. It's a big city with a wonderful atmosphere and many hostels. Backpackers who want to experience the culture, food, and personality of Mexico will love a visit here.

Is Merida or Mexico City Better for Students?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Merida is not popular with students.

Mexico City is a great city to visit as a student. International students love the art, architecture, food, and culture that this colorful city has to offer.

Merida is not popular with students.

Is Merida or Mexico City Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Merida
Mexico City

Mexico City is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. Also, Merida is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its public transit.

Mexico City offers a very effecient public transportation network. The city has a complex and comprehensive public transit system that includes a metro, metrobus, and local buses.

You'll find some public transit in Merida, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. While there are local bus routes, they can be a bit challenging to figure out when you first arrive.


Is Merida or Mexico City a more walkable city?

Merida
Mexico City

Merida is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Mexico City is lacking in options for its walkability.

Merida is a very walkable destination. It's a very walkable city and most visitors don't have a car.

Mexico City is generally not very walkable. While you can walk within many neighborhoods, such as the historic city center, it's impossible to walk between neighborhoods and in many parts of the city.

For even more information, also check out Is Merida Worth Visiting? and Is Mexico City Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Mexico City or Merida?

How long in Merida or Mexico City?

In either Merida or Mexico City, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Mexico City than Merida because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Merida, and 3-5 days is enough time in Mexico City.

Families should spend more time in Mexico City than Merida. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Mexico City, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Mexico City than Merida. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Mexico City that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Mexico City than Merida if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Mexico City.


  • How many days in Merida or Mexico City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Merida 1-2 
    Mexico City 3-5

One day in Merida or Mexico City?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the colonial city of Merida. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Mexico City is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Merida or Mexico City?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the colonial destination of Merida. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Mexico City is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.


Five days in Merida or Mexico City?

The historical city of Merida offers shopping and museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Mexico City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Merida or Mexico City?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Merida. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the colorful big city of Mexico City. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Cancun, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Mexico, The Best Historical Tours in Mexico, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Mexico.


Which place is cheaper, Mexico City or Merida?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Merida is $87, while the average daily cost in Mexico City is $213. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Merida and Mexico City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Merida $44
    Mexico City $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Merida $88
    Mexico City $82
Compare Hotels in Merida and Mexico City

Looking for a hotel in Merida or Mexico City? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Merida


Hotels in Mexico City


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Merida Hotel Prices and Mexico City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Merida $18
    Mexico City $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Merida

Also for Merida, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Merida Rejon Airport (MID) to Progreso Port: $62
  • Private Transfer from Airport to Hotel in Merida One Way: $48
  • Private Transfer From Uxmal to Merida, English Speaking Driver: $73
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Merida hotels to Merida airport: $41
  • Mexico Private Transfer from Merida airport to central Merida: $41
  • One-way Airport Transfers to Merida Hotels: $120
  • Merida hotels to Mérida International Airport (MID) - Private Departure Transfer: $33
  • Merida Rejon Airport(MID)to Tulum hotels-Arrival Private Transfer: $115
  • Merida Rejon Airport (MID) to Tulum hotels - Round Trip Transfer: $230

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Mexico City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Mexico City:


  • Metro
    $1.20
  • Uber Ride
    $4.19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mexico City

Also for Mexico City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service in Mexico APT-HTL (MEX) : $36
  • Transfer to and from Mexico City Airport: $30
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Mexico City - Mexico Airport (MEX): $43
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Tlalnepantla - Mexico City Airport (MEX): $83
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Mexico Airport (MEX)- Mexico City: $93
  • Transfer from Mexico City Airport to Puebla: $245
  • Transfer Mexico city Airport - Mexico city Downtown hotels: $18
  • Transfer Mexico City Airport to Downtown and Zona Rosa Hotels: $80
  • Transfer Mexico City - Taxco - Acapulco (2 days): $83
  • Transfer Airport - hotel in Mexico City: $80
  • Toluca to Toluca Int Airport (TLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $65
  • Toluca hotels to Toluca Airport TLC Departure Private Transfer: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Merida or Mexico City?

Prices for flights to both Mexico City and Merida change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Merida $29
    Mexico City $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Merida

For Merida, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Nandayo Food Tour: $43
  • Merida Walking Food Tour. Authentic & Local Cuisine: $64
  • Taste of the Yucatan: Merida Cooking Class and Market Visit: $89
  • Private Market Tour and Authentic Mexican Cooking Class in Merida with Transfers: $126
  • Wonders of the Mayab: Chichen Itza, Yokdzonot Cenote & Cooking Class: $237

Typical Food Prices in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch for Two
    $13
  • Coffee and Snacks
    $4.67
  • Dinner for 2
    $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Veracruz and Boca del Rio Food Tour with Mangroves Boat Trip: $50
  • Virtual Mexican Cooking Class (private and personalized): $50
  • Local Markets & Food Tour in Mexico City: $50
  • Tortilla Crawl: Food Tour in Mexico City: $55
  • Uruapan Food Tour: $61
  • Muchos moles: Multi-variety mole cooking class and feast: $72
  • Mexico City Vegan & Veggie Market Explorer plus Cooking Lesson: $73
  • MEXICO CITY FOOD TOUR: flavors on two wheels: $78
  • La Roma Authentic Downtown Food Tour: Tacos and Local Flavors: $78
  • Food Tour with Ride an Electric Bike in Mexico: $80
  • Flamenco Live Show and Dinner in Mexico City: $83
  • Flamenco Tablao Live Show & dinner: $83

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Merida $16
    Mexico City $15
Typical Entertainment Prices in Merida

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Merida's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Train at the Zoo
    $0.12
  • Uxmal Entrance (for 2)
    $20
  • Mayan Village Entrance (for 2)
    $5.99

Tours and Activities in Merida

For Merida, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Adventure in Coloradas and Ría Lagartos and Cancunito: $120
  • 2-hour Temazcal experience in the Mayan world: $184
  • 3 Hour Tour in The Sotuta de Peón Live Museum: $61
  • 3 Hours Private Tour in Merida, you choose!: $125
  • 4 Cenotes Full Day Tour from Merida: $110
  • 4x1 Tour Chichen Itza Magic Towns Valladolid & Izamal from Merida: $95
  • 6-hour Guided Tour to Uxmal and Kabah Express: $62
  • Adventure to the Homun Cenotes from Merida: $105
  • Amazing Full-Day Tour to Celestun with Boat Ride - from Mérida: $122
  • Ancestral Mayan Private Culinary Experience in Merida: $141
  • Beach Tour in Yucalpetén from Mérida: $97
  • Boat tour to Celestun from Merida: $137

Tours and Activities in Mexico City

For Mexico City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Mexico City Tour and Visit Chapultepec Castle. Private service: $119
  • Mixology, Food, Wine and Beer Experience in Xochimilco: $99
  • Monarch Butterfly Tour from Mexico City: $220
  • Private Tour GROUPS and FAMILIES through Museo Soumaya: $246
  • Private Tour Teotihuacan Essentials: $129
  • Romantic Walking tour in Mexico City: $150
  • Romantic tour in San Andrés Mixquic: $150
  • Teotihuacan Half-Day Tour with Tequila tasting: $42
  • VIP - FULL DAY - Mexico City Private Tour : $209
  • 2 Day tour Teotihuacan pyramids +City tour & Xochimilco : $132
  • 2 Days Private Tour with Hiking in Malinche from Puebla: $213
  • 2-Hour Private Tour of Teotihuacan City of the Gods: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Merida $16
    Mexico City $21

Sample the Local Flavors in Mexico City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mexico City:

  • CDMX Pub Crawl: Mexico City Bar Crawl: $29
  • Mexico City Pub Crawl: $31
  • Mexico City Bar Crawl: $40
  • Best Bar Crawl at Downtown: $49
  • Nightly Historic Center From Above© Rooftop Bar Crawl +Taco Snack: $129
  • 2 Hours Private Mexican Wine Tasting in Polanco: $155
  • Third Largest Monolith in the World:Bernal with wine tasting: $235
  • Cavas Freixenet Wine Tour from Mexico City: $255


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Merida and Mexico City, we can see that Mexico City is more expensive. And not only is Merida much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Merida would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Merida and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Mexico City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Mexico City than you might in Merida.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Merida Expensive? and Is Mexico City Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Merida or Mexico City?

Mexico City has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Merida. When comparing the sizes of Merida and Mexico City, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.