Portray of the Destination
A Spanish city that is situated in the province of Badajoz, it is the capital of the autonomous region of Extremadura, in the south-west of Spain. Geographically it is near the middle of the region. Mérida has been declared WORLD HERITAGE SITE. By Decree, the 8th February 1973, the day before commemorating its bi-millenary, it was declared "Historical-Archaeological Site”, the only one that boasts this denomination in Spain.
Mérida is located close to two rivers: Guadiana and Albarregas. This favoured the settlement of different groups of people since remote ages. It stretches along some hills at the right bank of the Guadiana river. Its average altitude is 220 metres (722 feet) over sea level.
There are two big spaces in Mérida constituted by the upper and lower fertile plains (more than 200,000 hectares) in the province of Badajoz, which is the vastest in Spain and limits with the province of Cáceres. Both provinces constitute the historic kingdom of Extremadura, a natural region located in the southern area of the Meseta (the Castilian Plateau). The north of the province is limited by the Montes de Toledo mountains and the south by Sierra Morena mountain range.
The province of Badajoz enjoys a milder climate than the rest of the Meseta as it receives the Atlantic influence.
The climate of Mérida can be considered Mediterranean, although it has a continental touch due to its distance from the sea. There are many days of summer that can reach 40ºC (104 ºF) and cold winter, sometimes reaching -8 ºC (17.6 ºF), such as in February 2005. Average annual precipitations range between 450 and 500 mm. As in the rest of the south of Spain, there are very dry periods that can have a duration between 2 and every 5 years.
When to go
Its temperature varies from cold winters to scorching summers. There are two pleasant seasons: autumn and winter. Nevertheless, during the entire year there is a great number of tourists.
The city origin is really immemorial, Celtiberian in fact. Located in a strategic location, it was the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania and was founded in the year 25 BC by Emperor Octavius Augustus to shelter the retired legion V and X Roman soldiers. Since then, a period of spledour began of which many constructions witness: the theatre, the amphitheatre, the circus, temples, bridges and aqueducts. For many centuries and until the fall of the Roman Empire, Mérida was a very important economic, administrative, military and cultural city.
Subsequently, Mérida underwent Barbarian invasions until the settlement of the Visigoths who established it as capital of their kingdom during the 6th and 7th centuries. During the 6th century, bishop Mausona was a key personage for the Christianity spreading. The popular fervour is reflected on the city patron, the martyr St. Eulalia. In the year 713 the Arab leader Muza conquered the city.
At the beginning of the 13th century, in 1230, the Christian troops led by King Alfonso IX conquered Mérida and turned it into the see of the “Priorato de San Marcos de León” of the St. James Order. It was during the Catholic Monarchs’ period when the city recovered certain political power thanks to the upheld of the Grand Master of Santiago, Don Alfonso de Cárdenas, supporter of Queen Isabella the Catholic. The French invasion brought about, as in all Extremadura, a lost of great part of its historical heritage.
Then, its location as a railway junction, has turned the city into an industrial and commercial centre. Due to its great archaeological richness it has been declared World Heritage Site by Unesco in December 1993. Hence, every historic period has provided the city with an important monument richness to be enjoyed by the today and future visitors.
The Classical Theatre Festival takes place every summer (July and August) in the Roman Theatre and is worldwide known for its quality and spectacular stages.
The Holy Week celebration is really charming due to the beauty of the images and the brotherhoods that cover the city, especially in places like the Arch of Trajan, etc.
The Fair of September welcomes thousands of visitors willing to enjoy the interesting performances, and some leisure time.
Carnival in Mérida is becoming better year after year.
The “Feria Chica” of Mérida (9th - 12th October) takes place since four hundred years ago. In past times it used to take place in order to buy and sell mules and donkeys. Also gipsy weddings used to be celebrated as well as meeting relatives from all Spain and Europe.
St. Eulalia festivity (10th December) commemorates the day of the city patron.
Mérida cuisine is essentially devoted to the regional cooking of Extremadura. It is believed that this region only offers cold meats and Iberian hams, but there are much more. Extremadura is the greatest producer of prime Iberian ham but it is also an agricultural and cattle raising region where there are abundant big and small game, freshwater fish and exquisite wine and cheese.
Some of the local specialities are the gazpacho (chilled tomato, pepper and cucumber soup), ajoblanco (chilled garlic and almond soup), mutton stew, wild asparagus and truffle scrambled eggs, tench (freshwater fish), frog’s legs or local veal entrecote seasoned with pepper. Delicious deserts are: fruit from the Guadiana river fertile land, pastries and pies from the convents.
YES: si. NO: no. HELLO: hola. GOOD BYE: adios. GOOD MORNING: buenos días. GOOD AFTERNOON: buenas tardes. GOOD NIGHT: buenas noches. PLEASE: por favor. SORRY: lo siento. THANK YOU: gracias. DOCTOR: médico. PHARMACY: farmacia. NUMBERS: 1: un. 2: dos. 3: tres. 4: cuatro. 5: cinco. 6: seis. 7: siete. 8: ocho. 9: nueve. 10: diez. 11: once. 12: doce. 13: trece. 14: catorce. 15: quince. 16: dieciséis. 17: diecisiete. 18: dieciocho. 19: diecinueve. 20: veinte. 21: veintiuno. 22: veintidós. 30: treinta. 40: cuarenta. 50: cincuenta. 60: sesenta. 70: setenta. 80: ochenta. 90: noventa. 100: cien. 1000: mil. DAYS OF THE WEEK: MONDAY: lunes. TUESDAY: martes. WEDNESDAY: miércoles. THURSDAY: jueves. FRIDAY: viernes. SATURDAY: sábado. SUNDAY: domingo. COMMON WORDS: BIG/SMALL: grande/pequeño. HOT/COLD: caliente/frío. OPEN/CLOSED: abierto/cerrado. GOOD/BAD: bueno/malo. NEW/OLD: nuevo/viejo. PUSH/PULL: empujar/tirar. ENTRANCE/EXIT: entrada/salida. LADIES/GENTLEMEN: señoras/señores. FAR/NEAR: lejos/cerca. LEFT/RIGHT: izquierda/derecha. TAXI: taxi. BUS: autobús. MEALS: BREAKFAST: desayuno. LUNCH: comida. DINNER: cena. MENU: menú. WINES: vinos. DESSERT: postre. THE BILL: la cuenta. COMMON SENTENCES: DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?: ¿Habla inglés?. I DON'T UNDERSTAND: no entiendo. WHERE IS IT?: ¿donde está? HOW MUCH IS IT: ¿Cuánto es? WHAT TIME IS IT: ¿Qué hora es? COULD YOU HELP ME: ¿Puede ayudarme?
The official currency is the Euro. There are banknotes of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Euros. Also coins of 2, 1 Euros. 50, 20 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
1 EUR (Euro) = 1.20 U$D (United States Dollar), 1 EUR (Euro) = 0.66 GBP (British Pound sterling)
In comparison with other European Union countries and, probably, due to its tourist vocation, Spain is one of the cheapest countries for travelling. Obviously, prices depends on the season. The peak season is summer and the low one winter and Mérida is not an exception.
+1 GMTOfficial Language
11,300 km2 (4362 sq. mi)Population
55,713 habitantsPolitical Regime
Constitutional MonarchyPublic holidays
1st January: New Year Day; 6th January: Epithany; 19th March: St. Joseph; 1st May: Labour day; 15th August: Assumption of the Virgin day; 12th October: National Festivity of Spain; 1st November: All Saints' Day; 6th December: Spanish Constitution Day, 8th December: Day of the Immaculate Conception; 9th December: St. Leocadia, 25th December: Christmas day.
Like the rest of Spain, Mérida is mainly a Catholic city and this can be seen in the festivity calendar.Religion
90% CatholicArrival / Departure
Mérida, capital of the autonomous region of Extremadura, is in the N-V and N-630 roads. It is easily accesible by car, bus and train through an excellent service that is offered by the Renfe railway company. Besides de province of Badajoz has its own airport in Talavera la Real and a few km away is the beautiful city of Mérida.
Taking into account the importance that tourism has in Spain, the security of the tourists is a true priority for the country. However, some general recommendations are given to visitors like carrying the required money when going out and not the total amount taken for the holidays, also precautions need to be taken in busy places to prevent possible thefts.
European Union tourists do not need visa to enter Spain. Neither those citizens of the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the rest of the Latin American countries, though a return ticket must be bought. Travelers from Australia, Anguilla, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, South Korea, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Saint Helena, Singapore and Turk & Caicos do not either need visa provided that they do not stay more than 90 days in Spain.
Clothing does not have certain rules, it depends on the weather, the place and the circumstances. Spaniards tend not to dress formal at work or with friends during their spare time, in general comfortable and informal clothing is used, without forgeting that during the month of January it is recommended to wear warm clothes.Electricity
220 volts, 50 mhz. the plug sockets have two circular plugs.
Radio and Television
National telivision channels: TVE1, TVE2, Antena 3, Tele 5 and Cuatro.
Provincial TV channels: TELEFRONTERA ,- Badajoz ; TELEREX – LOCALIA, La Serena-Vegas Altas, www.telerextv.com, Don Benito.
Radio stations: RNE, Cadena SER, Cadena 100, Radio Clásica, Cadena COPE, Onda Cero, 40 Principales.Telephone
The Spanish phone code is 34 and the Mérida code is 924. To make a phone call to another country you must first dial 00 and then the international code of the country you would like to call to and finally dial the subscriber's phone number. For phone calls within Spain a special code is not required.
The most important phone operators are Amena – www.amena.com-, Movistar/Telefónica Móviles -www.movistar.tsm.es- and Vodafone-www.vodafone.es-.
Telephone booths are very common along the streets and they work with coins or phone cards. There are also the called locutorios, they are establishments with many phone booths, where coins or cards are not needed, just pay in cash the phone call after the conversation. In many of this kind of places it is also possible to send and receive faxes and there are computers with internet connection as well.
924 380 138Ambulance
924 330 353/ 924 381 000Fire Brigade
924 372 861Tourist health care services
112Newspapers and Magazines
National papers: Abc, El Mundo, El País, Estrella Digital, La Razón, La Vanguardia.
Local papers: "HOY".
Magazines: “Época”, “Semana”, “Interviú”, “Primera Línea” and “Tiempo de Hoy”.
The Spanish Postal service is efficient. Letters within Europe takes three to five days. A registered post costs around 2.50 Euros.
Opening hours: 8.30 - 20.30h, saturdays 8.30 to 13.00h.
The main post office is in: PZ Constitucion 2 Tel (0034) 924312478.
For more information: www.correos.es
Also there are international services to choose from such as Fedex and UPS.
Health Care Services
The health care centres, as well as in all Spain, offer a permanent health assistance to all the population in their corresponding zone. These services give a direct and comfortable care to the user. Spain has signed a reciprocal health assistance agreement with the rest of the countries of the European Union in order to provide health care to all the EU tourists just showing an E-111 document. This document must be done before travelling.
The city of Mérida counts on the following health care centres:
HOSPITAL PSIQUIÁTRICO ADOLFO DÍAZ AMBRONA, Carretera Valverde-Mérida, km. 2
HOSPITAL DE MÉRIDA, Polígono Nueva Ciudad, s/n.Airport
Badajoz Airport has undergone a boom in the last few years, it has even quadrupled its traffic-flow of passengers during the last five years. It is situated only 14 km (8.7 mi) from the city and 45 km (28 mi) from Mérida, the capital of Extremadura. Now, the airport has scheduled flights to Madrid and Barcelona throughout the year and during the summer with Palma de Mallorca. The entrance to the airport is through the N-V road.
Address: Carretera Nacional V, s/n Town: Talavera la Real, Tel: (0034) 924210400.
The bus services company is Transportes Urbanos de Mérida, S.L. that covers all city. Two other options are by car or taxi:
Radio Taxi: tel. 924 371 111
Tele Taxi: tel. 924 315 756
Mérida is conected with the rest of Spain with the Renfe railway company, with train departures every 15 minutes for the regional trains to Madrid - Cáceres - Badajoz, Seville - Mérida or Madrid - C. Real - C. of Buey - Badajoz, and every forty minutes for the suburban services.
The city train station is situated in Calle Cardero, s/n 06800, Tel: (0034) 902240202 and (0034) 902243402.
The city is connected with the rest of Spain and with the rest of Europe by a really efficient bus service.
Mérida bus station is situated in: Avenida La Libertad, s/n 06800, Tel: (0034) 924371404.
Madrid: 342 km (212 mi)
Lisbon: 288 km (179 mi)
Seville: 197 km (122 mi)Car Rentals
AVIS CAR RENTAL
Av. Libertad, s/n 06800 MERIDA (BADAJOZ), Tel: (0034) 924373311.
EUROPCAR, Avd. Juan Sebastian Elcano, nº 66 – Local, 06010 - Badajoz Tel.: (0034) 924 243187 Fax: (0034) 924 247322.Ship
Due to the inland location of Mérida it is not possible to get there by ship.
Destination Tourism Office in Spain Spanish embassy in the destination Taking pictures See climate
www.worldweather.orgCurrency converterwww.xe.com/uccA dinner
12 to 25 Euros approx.A coffee
1 EuroThe taxi
Initial fare: 1.10 Euros (standard); 1.44 (night); 1.65 (public holidays).