Merida is an instantly likable city and easily reached from Madrid on a day trip. Life is slower in Extremadura; upon our stepping out of the car, palm trees were gently swaying in the breeze, and the pace of life on the streets felt just right—perhaps because the people live in a rich city with deep roots.
Holding the oldest Roman ruins in Spain, Merida has the privilege of being a UNESCO World Heritage site, with an Aqueduct, Roman Bridge, Amphitheater, and a host of other locations.
For 12 euros, you can buy a ticket that allows you to visit all the monument sites over a span of 3 days.
Each year in summer, the Roman Theater is brought back to life with concerts, plays, and other galas; these events typically sell out, but are still relatively unknown to tourists. Discover Merida for yourself!
Photo by Angel Felicisimo/Flickr.