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The best guided tours in Mérida (Spain) in 2023

Immerse yourself in ‘little Rome’.

Guided tours to fall in love with Mérida

Complete tour of Merida with entrance fees included

The most complete guided tour of all (and also the one that lasts the longest). A tour to leave Mérida with the tranquility of having known its heritage in depth. Of having fully immersed yourself in its history, its culture and everything that makes it unique.

  • The route starts at José Ramón Mélida street.
  • The first point of interest we will visit is the Co-cathedral of Santa Maria, which dates back to the 13th century, when Alfonso IX reconquered Merida.
  • Next comes the archaeological area of Morerías, where we will visit an imposing Roman manor house from the 3rd century: the Casa de los Mármoles.
  • We will then follow the banks of the Guadiana River to contemplate the famous Roman Bridge.
  • Then we will enter the Arab Alcazaba of Merida to transport us to the time of the Umayyads.
  • Back to the city center, we will visit the Temple of Diana and the Portico of the Forum, remains of the ancient Emerita Augusta.
  • Next we will visit the Amphitheater House, where we will see an authentic Roman necropolis, remains of the wall and Roman mosaics.
  • And finally, we will visit the two major symbols of the city: the Amphitheater and the Roman Theater of Merida.
  • The guided tour ends in the area of the Theater.

Guided tour of the amphitheater and Roman theater of Mérida

A journey 2000 years into the past to relive the Augusta Emerita of the Roman Empire. This tour of the Roman amphitheater and theater is ideal to soak up the Roman culture of Merida by visiting the essentials in just one hour. For a moment, you will be in the same arena where gladiators gave their lives in bloody fights to entertain an euphoric audience in the stands.

  • The meeting point will be in front of the entrance ticket office of the theater and the amphitheater of the city.
  • The tour begins with a guided visit of the Roman theater, whose grandiose facade of the scenic front makes it the best known image of Merida. Here we will be able to know all the spaces of the theater, such as the cavea, the proscaenium, the orchestra, etc…. We will also learn curiosities such as: how the audience was placed depending on their social hierarchy; the origin of the current Classical Theater Festival of Mérida…
  • The visit continues to the Roman amphitheater of Augusta Emerita, whose most famous and recognized ceremonies were the gladiatorial fights.
  • The final point of the tour will take place in the amphitheater arena, where we will be able to understand how the fighters lived the battles against other gladiators and even against beasts.

Mysteries and Legends of Merida Tour

A guided night tour to enjoy the magic of Mérida illuminated. You will discover what the history books do not tell you: mysteries, legends and enchanted areas of the city. Roman, Arab and Christian stories that still live on in its streets, squares and buildings.

  • This tour starts in the park of the Meridas of the World and ends in the center of the city. In the tour of the most unknown Merida, we will tell you the most interesting and curious legends and enigmas, starting with those of the unlikely Queen Marida.
  • Then you will learn about the Arab legends that live in the archaeological remains of Las Morerías, while it gets dark and we walk along the banks of the Guadiana.
  • Next, we will talk about the spirits that inhabit the 18th century convent and the San Juan de Dios hospital.
  • Finally, in an unbeatable location, the illuminated Temple of Diana, you will learn about the stories of ancient witches and sorceresses of Mérida and the hidden history of the Moon Goddess.

Free guided tour of Mérida : Free tour

A free tour of Merida to discover the historic center of the city for an hour and a half, guided by a specialized local guide. Remember that it does not include entrance fees to the monuments. Although its name indicates that it is free, you are actually expected to make a financial contribution to the guide based on your satisfaction after the tour.

  • This free tour starts at the Puerta de la Villa.
  • We will arrive at the Calatrava Market of the 19th century walking along Decumanus Maximus, the main road of the Roman Merida.
  • Then, we will enter the Parador Nacional de Turismo Vía de La Plata, getting to know the history through Roman, Arab, Christian pieces…
  • We will continue the tour passing by the Arch of Trajan, the Convent of Santa Clara and the Co-cathedral of Santa María la Mayor.
  • Then we will enjoy the mixture of styles that characterizes the capital of Extremadura with the Renaissance of the Casa de los Pacheco and the eclectic style of the Palacio de la China.
  • We finish the visit with the Temple of Diana and its fluted columns and Corinthian capitals.

La Casa del Mitreo: Free tour

A small site with a great history. In this guided tour through the Casa del Mitreo and the Funerary Area of Columbarium you will discover its most interesting historical data: what were these places, what was their function, how were the funerary customs of the time… Ancient Rome in its purest form.

  • The visit begins in front of the main gate of the Plaza de Toros, an emblematic image of Merida.
  • We will visit the Casa del Mitreo, a luxurious house now recognized as an archaeological site dating from the first century BC.
  • We will discover from the hand of our guide stories surrounding the House, what was its utility, who were its owners and many other singularities.
  • In addition, we will be able to enjoy a cosmological mosaic.
  • The route will continue to the Columbarium Funerary Area.
  • The guide will reveal the history behind this Roman burial area, its rituals and funerary customs.
  • The tour ends after an hour and a half from the beginning of the tour, in the area outside these spaces visited.

The origins of Merida | Free tour

An hour and a half of history of Augusta Emerita. Freetour to learn how the capital of ancient Lusitania was founded and how it was influenced by different cultures over time. All this giving a review of the most important historical heritage of Merida.

  • In this free tour we will relive the origins of Augusta Emerita teleporting us to more than 2000 years ago and guided by an expert in the history of the capital.
  • The starting point of the tour will be at the Park of the Meridas of the World at 12:00 noon.
  • First we will discover the mythology surrounding the founding of Rome and its relationship with Merida as we encounter the replica of the Capitoline She-Wolf.
  • We will continue along the Roman Bridge, the Via de la Plata and the Puerta del Puente.
  • Walking along the banks of the Guadiana River we will find the first defensive fort of the Andalusian period in the Iberian Peninsula, the Alcazaba.
  • Then we will arrive at the Archaeological Zone of Morerías.
  • We will continue through the Arch of Trajan, gateway to the Forum of the Province and walk in front of the Assembly of Extremadura and Santa Eulalia Street.
  • To end the tour with a good taste, the tour ends in front of the most representative images of the capital of Extremadura: the Roman Theater and the Museum of Roman Art.
  • This free tour ends at 1:30 p.m. at José Ramón Mélida street.

National Museum of Roman Art | Guided Tour

If you are passionate about Roman art and culture, the National Museum of Roman Art is the ideal place to continue contemplating, learning and, ultimately, enjoying the legacy they left us. There is nothing better than doing it with a specialized guide who will structure the visit and reveal the most interesting information.

  • The meeting point for this visit will be at the entrance of the National Museum of Roman Art in Merida.
  • First, we will visit the crypt. Here we will find ancient burials and other decorative remains.
  • Then, we will see archaeological discoveries of Emerita Augusta and the building planned by Rafael Moneo.
  • Next, we will tour the exhibitions located in the spaces on the upper floors, where we will enjoy statues, the bust of Emperor Augustus, a collection of mosaics and other Roman remains.
  • The tour will end an hour and a half after having started the guided tour of the museum in the outside area of the museum.

Guided tour of Mérida for groups | Private Tour

Are you coming to visit Merida in a group? This private tour is ideal to know the city and all its historical heritage in full, with a specialized guide just for you. The price includes the entrance tickets to all the monuments so you don’t have to worry about anything else but enjoying the tour.

  • This tour will take you through the historic center of the capital of Extremadura, Merida, a city declared a World Heritage Site.
  • We start the tour following the course of the Guadiana River. We will meet the Roman Bridge and the Alcazaba. We will enter the Alcazaba to review the Muslim period that Merida lived.
  • Then we will know the heritage that the Roman period left in Merida with the Arch of Trajan, the Portico of the Forum and the Temple of Diana.
  • To learn more about the Roman period and how they lived in Emerita Augusta, we will visit the National Museum of Roman Art.
  • This tour ends with a visit to two authentic emblems of Merida: the Roman Theater and the Roman Amphitheater.

Free tour of Christian Merida

What is best known about Merida is its Roman and Arab past, but the city is also home to many Christian treasures to discover. In this guided tour of Christian Merida we will focus on sites, monuments, temples and pieces of Christian origin.

  • The free tour starts at the Puerta de la Villa.
  • From the meeting point we will start the route to the Joan Miró square.
  • In this square, we will learn about the Monument of Santa Eulalia and the 17th century Obelisk of Santa Eulalia, created with Roman pieces.
  • Afterwards, we will visit the Basilica of Santa Eulalia, of baroque and gothic style. As a curious fact, this was the first Christian temple erected in Hispania once the Emperor Constantine brought peace, becoming a place of pilgrimage during the V and VI centuries.
  • Next, we will access the crypt. We will discover archaeological remains of different civilizations such as the Visigoths, the Romans, Arab norias and Christians.
  • Finally, we will see the small temple identified as Hornito de Santa Eulalia and the remains of an ancient temple dedicated to the God Mars.
  • It will be in front of this monument where the free tour ends after an hour and a half from the beginning.

Tour of the Roman ghosts of Merida

Do you remember the previous tour of the Casa del Mitreo and the funerary area of Los Columbarios? This tour returns to the same site, but this time to discover the mysteries of ghosts, gods of the underworld, curses and funerary rites that were practiced at the time.

  • The tour begins at the door of the Casa del Mitreo and the funerary area of Los Columbarios.
  • First, we will enter the sumptuous Casa del Mitreo, a Roman-era dwelling in the capital of Extremadura dating back to the 1st century BC.
  • We will know all the spaces of the house while the guide will tell us about stories of haunted houses and rituals to ward off evil spirits.
  • We will analyze other curious facts such as ancient curses, how they provoked apparitions of ghosts and how they defended themselves from them, gods of the underworld and much more.
  • Next, we will enter the burial area of the Roman cemetery of Los Columbarios.
  • Here, we will discover supernatural suppositions of the ancient Romans and ancestor rituals.
  • After the visit to the two enclosures, the guided tour ends an hour and a half after having started at the meeting point.

Stargazing in Merida

Night falls in Merida and the sky is a blanket of stars. It is the perfect moment to discover the Greek and Roman mythology of the stars contemplating the constellations in the open air. The activity consists of a tour along the banks of the Guadiana River with an expert guide in astronomy. Stops will be made to contemplate the starry sky and learn what the Greeks and Romans saw in it.

  • The starting point of this night experience will be the Paseo de Roma, right next to the Roman bridge of Merida.
  • First, we will walk along the banks of the Guadiana River. At the same time, we will learn about the relationship between the legends of the Roman and Greek gods and the stars.
  • We will arrive at the Guadiana viewpoint. From here we will learn about Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Andromeda, Perseus and their relationship with mythology.
  • We will be accompanied by an expert astronomy guide with whom we will discover myths and epic legends under the starry mantle of the sky of Merida.
  • The tour will end after an hour and a half from the beginning.

What to see in Merida?

teatro romano de merida

Roman Theater of Merida

anfiteatro romano de merida

Mérida Roman Amphitheater

circo romano de merida

Roman Circus of Merida

alcazaba arabe merida

Moorish Alcazaba of Merida

acueducto de los milagros merida

Los Milagros de Merida Aqueduct

templo romano diana merida

Roman Temple of Diana in Mérida

casa mitreo merida

Casa del Mitreo House in Mérida

plaza de españa merida

Plaza de España in Mérida

Acueducto de San Lázaro en Mérida

San Lázaro Aqueduct in Mérida

Merida Amphitheater House

arco de trajano merida

Trajan’s Arch of Mérida

Xenodoquio Merida

Mérida’s Xenodoquium

Puente Romano Albarregas Merida

Roman Bridge over the Albarregas

Círculo Emeritense in Mérida

Mérida City Hall

Plaza de toros de Mérida

Bullring of Mérida

A little history of Merida

historia merida

Mérida, the capital of Extremadura was established in 25 B.C. by Octavian Augustus with the name of Augusta Emerita, being the purpose of the city to welcome the veterans of the legions V Alaudae and X Gemina.

It was a walled town in which attention was paid to public buildings such as the Theater, the Amphitheater, the Circus, the baths, the temples, the reservoirs and the forums.

The construction of one of the longest Roman bridges of the Roman Empire over the Guadiana River was also remarkable. This served to establish important communications according to the level of the city.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths settled in Merida in the second half of the 5th century, preserving the importance that Augusta Emerita had obtained. So much so that it became the capital of the kingdom before Toledo.

It was during the occupation of the Muslims in 713 when the city began to decline, as soon after the Mozarabs began to rebel against the Caliphate authorities in the ninth century.

In 1230 Merida was reconquered by the Christian troops of Alfonso IX of Leon and became a province associated with the Order of Santiago. At that time it was an obligatory passage to Portugal for kings and nobles, and suffered the consequences of wars with Portugal or Napoleonic France.

It would be the locomotive, the new invention of the 19th century, which would give it a new prominence in Spanish history.

In 1983 it was established as the seat of the Capital of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, and since 1993 Mérida has begun to recover its splendor, as in December of this year it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

This was a clear boost to tourism, one of its current economic pillars.

Currently Merida is a growing city with about 60,000 inhabitants, and is becoming again the economic and political, administrative and cultural center. The tourist will be able to enjoy the historical legacy and at the same time discover its customs, gastronomy, nature and cultural offer.

Today there are remains of the ancient Augusta Emerita and of its excellent urban planning: streets and roads, sewers, dykes, bridges, aqueducts, dams, dwellings, necropolis, forums with their temples, theaters and circuses.

In addition, the National Museum of Roman Art allows us to learn more about what was that great city of antiquity.

There are also vestiges of the Paleochristian and Visigothic periods, such as numerous pieces dedicated to God and his Patron Saint, Eulalia, ruins of the old basilica of “la Mártir”, the hospital of Archbishop Mausona, among others.

In addition, you can contemplate the Muslim presence thanks to the military complex of the Alcazaba.

This is how the capital of Extremadura presents itself, without complexes and giving a singular architecture to the new heritage of the Merida of the 20th century.

If you want to learn more about Mérida, its history and heritage, don’t miss the documentary Mérida oculta, patrimonio vivo, on Canal Extremadura.

Tourist map of Merida

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