The Mercado Lucas de Galvez (Calle 67 between Calles 56 and 58, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily)—better known as the Mercado Municipal—is a block-wide, two-story building bustling with vendors of all sorts. It’s an experience all its own, and one worth taking a camera to.
The 1st floor—with its myriad colors and layers of scents—is where the main action is: rows of neatly stacked fruits and vegetables, flowers of all sorts, beef and pork parts (you’re sure to see heads, hooves, and stomachs), mounds of herbs and spices, incense and religious icons, children’s toys, rows of women’s shoes, stand upon stand of gold jewelry—just about anything you’re looking for (and aren’t) is here.
The 2nd floor is quieter and focused on artesanía: guayaberas, hand-woven hammocks, sandals, and huipiles from the Yucatán plus folk art from other parts of the country. And if you get hungry and aren’t a stickler about hygiene (it’s on the edge, to say the least), there are dozens of restaurants serving cheap local fare on both floors.
In early 2005, the city opened the huge new market building Mercado San Benito (Calle 54 between Calles 67 and 69, 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) behind the Mercado Municipal. The plan was to move all the vendors from the old building to the new one, and create a park where the old market stood. To date, however, there appears to be little movement by vendors or the city. For the foreseeable future, both buildings are open and functioning as market areas.
Near the Mercado Municipal, the Artesanías Bazar García Rejón (Calle 60 at Calle 65, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. daily) is a market devoted entirely to local arts and crafts. There’s a good selection of sandals, clothing, hammocks, and other regional items. Remember to bargain—most items have been marked up in anticipation of the custom.
A boho open-air market (Calle 60 between Calles 57 and 59, sunset–11 p.m. daily) is often set up in the evenings alongside Parque Maternidad. Handmade jewelry, batik, feather art, and clothing from Chiapas are the top sellers.
Each Sunday, an Antique and Artesanía Bazaar is held at Parque Santa Lucía as part of the weekly city-sponsored Domingo en Mérida . Booths wind through the park and are packed with all sorts of tchotchkes, local crafts, and tempting antojitos. Live Yucatecan music also is played throughout the day and chairs are set up so that you can take it all in.