In México, Tianguis (street markets) have been around since pre-Hispanic times; the word itself comes from the Náhuatl tiyānquiztli, which means…market. Even though bartering is mostly a thing of the past, two main characteristics of the original Tianguis remain to this day: their location in public and crowded places, and the huge variety of products you’ll find there: clothing, street food, appliances, and anything you can imagine.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you don’t need a reason to visit a Tianguis; all you need is the desire to go out for a stroll. It’s really easy to find yourself mesmerized by this experience among new and second-hand products. Many times you won’t want to leave. Sometimes you may bring along a list with everything you need (or want). Other times, and this happens often, you’ll find many things you didn’t know you needed, and everything is good, pretty, and cheap.
In Mérida, street markets can be found in many Colonias (in their parks to be exact), so you can easily find one close to where you live or are staying. There is also your choice of options to visit early in the morning or in the evenings, so take it easy and prepare for this adventure!
Stuff you can find!
No two Tianguis are alike, but some things never change. You’ll never have to worry about finding Marquesitas and Esquites, for example. They’re usually found at the front line. Well, most of the food stalls are located in that area. An endless number of decorative plants and aromatic herbs also await. You can pair them with pots of different sizes, shapes, and colors, (usually) sold in the same area.
Are you a Lego fan? Are books or collectible toys your thing? If so, say no more! Now you know where to go treasure-hunting. And your pets will be happy too! Tianguis usually include at least one special boutique for them (besides, naturally, Tianguis are very pet-friendly).
If you’re feeling hungry, you won’t be disappointed: local food (Vaporcitos, Panuchos, Salbutes, Sandwichón by the slice) is always available, along with dishes from other corners of México. Whether you’re in the mood for Michoacán-style Carnitas or Antojitos Chilangos (from México City), they have it all…even desserts!
Other traditional musts at the Tianguis are seasonal fruits, second-hand clothing, shoes, cleaning products, and garage sales (more second-hand items).
What you should not forget!
If you’re planning a visit in the morning, we remind you that Mérida’s sunny and hot days are here and won’t go away. But don’t let that stop you! The first – and 100% indispensable – thing to do is bathe in SPF and wear a hat or cap. At any time of the day, comfortable clothes and shoes to walk freely are the best options.
Bring enough cash for everything you want to buy (cards are not accepted). And last but not least, ecological bags will make your life easier; don’t forget them!
Some Tianguis to visit in Mérida
- Tianguis Parque de San Roque, Sun. 7 am – 1 pm (one of the biggest)
- Tianguis Parque de la Maria Luisa, Tue. 7 am – 1 pm
- Tianguis Francisco de Montejo La Capilla, Thu. 6 – 10 pm
- Tianguis Fraccionamiento del Parque, Sat. 5 – 10 pm
By Fernanda Tuz Pacheco
Yucatecan tourismologist, starting in the fascinating world of writers and content creation. Ready to show the world Yucatán’s purity.
Photography by Fernanda Tuz Pacheco for use in Yucatán Today.
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