A weekend in Merida, Spain
If you’re passionate about ancient history and Romans, Merida is your place to visit. This city has everything one would want: theater, circus, aqueduct, forum and an awesome museum. ¿Haven’t visited it yet? You will after you read this post!
Merida is a quite small city, all its monuments are reachable by feet and that makes it perfect for a weekend plan. I assume you don’t want to waste your time and see everything in these two days, so my advice is: go to the Tourist Office, get a map and buy the Conjunto Arqueológico de Mérida ticket. And what’s that? Well, it is a ticket that allows you to go in every monument in Merida in one or some days. The general ticket is 15€, but if you are a student, it will only cost 7.5€! (Don’t forget your student card!).
Here you will find the ultimate route to enjoy Merida to its fullest
One you’ve got your map and your ticket, you’re ready to go. In my opinion, the first thing you need to see is the roman theatre.
It’s an amazing theatre, one of the best preserved in the world and they keep using it as a theatre with classic plays and concerts. If you have the chance to go when there’s a play or concert, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn everything about the romans’ ancient culture.
It is a big place; you can go up and down throughout the whole place, so probably you will spend a lot of time here. The archeological museum is right there when you come out.
I liked it very much, because it’s modern building, but it has some of the oldest pieces of sculpture, painting and objects from the Romans that lived there hundreds of years ago. Don’t miss the massive mosaics that are almost complete.
In this same place, you can find the Amphitheater Houses. It a complex of old Roman houses, where you can still see the columns, the size and the shape of the houses.
If you are as slow as me when I am visiting a place, it’s way beyond the lunch time and your stomach must be roaring. You will see some restaurants when you come out of the theater and the waiters will ask you to come inside, but if you search a little, you will find a lot of cheaper restaurants.
After lunch, it’s time to go on, looking for new thing to visit in this beautiful town. If you walk up through the Sagasta Street, you will see the Forum Door and the Diana Temple.
This temple is quite impressive, because it has very big columns and it on a platform that makes it looks even bigger. It is worth it to see it at night, with the lights on.
The last thing to do the first day is visiting the Arabic fortress (Alcazaba). From there, you will have amazing views of the Roman bridge and the river. Inside the fortress, you can read all the sign about the place, which will explain to you all its history.
The second day, you can start in the circus. Inside the building, they play a video talking about the different phases of the circus. You can see the place from above and also walking. I hope that when you go there it’s not raining and, unlike me, you don’t have to walk under the rain.
On your way out, you just need to follow Avenida de Extremadura, until you see the Santa Eulalia Church. Before it was a temple to the god Mars, but it was taken by Christians later on. It is a small building, but it has a façade very original and different from other churches.
If you keep going (you’re basically walking around the old town), you will find the Aqueduct, iconic monument in Merida. It is perfectly preserved; it’s huge and will leave you astonished. If the weather is nice and you are on your budget, it’s the perfect place to sit and eat.
Next stop: archaeological rests of an Arabic quarter. Actually, inside you will find all kind of archeological rests: Romans, Arabic, Visigoths and Christians. You can see roads, houses, wall… It closes early, keep it in mind!
If you feel like it and you’re not out of time, there are other places to visit, like Mitreo House and the Columbarios, next to each other in the Avenida de la Princesa Sofía.
Have you ever visit Merida? Do you recommend any other place in the city?
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