Have you ever wondered about parking availability in Centro in Mérida? It can be daunting when you’re in a new city! This article was inspired by a good friend who recently bought a car for the first time in Mérida. After a few days of adjusting to driving around the north of the city and around the neighborhood where we live, she turned to me and said “do you have any advice for parking in Mérida Centro?”
And while we believe Mérida to be relatively easy to navigate around (thank you numbered streets), it is a little bit different in Merida. So, without further ado, here are some top tips for parking in Merida Centro.
Street Parking in Mérida Centro
The good news is that you can park on the street in Centro for free. There are no parking meters or parking wardens here. However, the hard and fast rule is: yellow lines along the curbs mean no parking. Local police officers will shout at you to move your vehicle and force you to move on if you dare to park here.
Previously, it was very easy to park along the main avenue, Paseo de Montejo. However, this has changed a lot since the start of the pandemic in 2020. While the avenue is blooming with flowers and there are better crossings available for pedestrians, it is now much harder to park here. Of course, there are still allocated parking spaces but you’ll be lucky to get one. We don’t know about you, but parking along Paseo de Montejo can be quite stressful as cars drive by fast while you’re trying to carefully parallel park.
We suggest heading onto a little side street somewhere off Paseo de Montejo or Calle 60. You’re bound to find a space, though shade is not guaranteed. We do recommend setting off a bit early in order to find a space to park as you don’t know what you’ll find. You might end up 2 or 3 blocks away from where you originally wanted to be. You’re also more likely to find space along streets the further away from Paseo de Montejo you go.
Are there parking lots in Mérida Centro?
Yes! Though they might not be what you’re used to…
If you’d like an easy parking solution in Merida Centro, then head to one of the manned car parks, of which there are many. They might be slightly hidden, you just have to know where to look. These are a great option as they are generally very cheap. Additionally, there is often shade to cover your car. Also, someone is there all day which means less chance of any tomfoolery. Many locals reserve a spot if they are traveling in and out of Centro regularly.
There is also a kind of multi-story car park on Calle 62 about 2 blocks from Plaza Grande, the centralized city square. This is a bit more like something you’d find in a mall. Of course, this option offers shade throughout the day.
Another parking lot we use regularly is the one almost directly next to Bonsai Sushi and Mayan Pub on Calle 62. While not completely shaded, if you’re popping into Centro for a short time, it’s extremely convenient. This one is also slightly more formal (we use this word lightly) as you get a printed ticket which you hand in on your return.
Another popular place to park are the spaces next to Parque de Santa Ana on Calle 60. These are located on the opposite side of the square to the small church. Close to some of the restaurants, is a parking area with maybe 2 dozen parking spots and a guide to help you park. These are conveniently located for wandering around both Centro and Paseo Montejo. But a word of caution – they are usually full. There’s also little to no shade here. Similarly, there are parking spots surrounding the square at Parque de Santiago.
Private Parking Options
Our final tips concern private parking in Mérida Centro. This only really applies to places that you are specifically visiting such as restaurants or hotels. Many establishments do have parking but it might not be directly next to it. Call in advance to find out where the available parking is.
If you’re visiting Mérida with a car, we strongly suggest finding out if your hotel has parking before you book. If you don’t, you might find your hotel on a busy street but you’re unable to stop. You really don’t want the police to yell at you from their overbearing vehicles so we suggest checking in advance. There are some beautiful boutique hotels and airbnbs in Mérida Centro so don’t let the parking stress ruin your stay.
Final Thoughts on Parking Lots in Mérida Centro
- Make sure you always have change with you to be able to pay the “viene vienes”. These are the guys who guide you in and out of your parking spot. $3 to $5 pesos is a suitable tip for these guys. Notably, a bit more if they’ve looked after your car or helped you with your shopping (applicable to car parks at supermarkets).
- Make a note of where you park. We know this sounds obvious but if you’re new to a block system then make a note. Don’t forget to check which streets you park between e.g. calle 47 x 62 y 64.
- If you’re nervous about parking or you’re waiting for a space then use your hazard lights. This is extremely common here. So, don’t be afraid to pop your hazards on so that other cars know to go around you.
- Be careful not to block entrances to houses or park too close to the corners of streets. It’s actually illegal to park too close to the corner of a block. Buses manoeuvre around here and you don’t want to cause one of them to clip you. Buses are kings in Mérida and they will push your car out of the way if they have to.
- Parking lots tend to close before 11pm in Mérida Centro.
- And finally, just because someone else is parked somewhere, doesn’t mean you can. Do take note of the yellow lines and watch out for “entrada” signs at people’s gates and entrances and of course the “no estacionamiento” meaning no parking.
Happy parking in Mérida Centro! And if you’re venturing to other areas of the city or further afield, check out our article before you begin driving in Mérida.
By the way, if you need a rental car while you’re here, check out Mayan Drive Rental Car. WHY?
- Excellent rates
- Includes insurance
- Low deposit
- Exceptional customer service
- Fluent English
- Car delivered & picked up at your location
- Many customer perks including beach chairs, umbrella, bikes & more with qualifying rental