Merida is a must-see destination for anybody planning a trip to Extremadura. The region’s capital city is home to a beautiful archaeological ensemble which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and has lots to see and do.
Reaching Merida from abroad isn’t easy but that shouldn’t put you off travelling to Extremadura. In this article, I’m sharing all the options available, useful links, personal thoughts and itinerary ideas to help you organise your trip.
Merida on a map
The three cities you can fly into from abroad are Seville (192km from Merida), Lisbon (287km from Merida) and Madrid (343km from Merida).
If you’re visiting only Merida or plan to use it as a base to explore the surroundings on day trips, the easiest option is probably a round trip from and to your chosen city from the three mentioned above.
Below you can read how to get to Merida from Seville, Lisbon and Madrid.
From Seville to Merida
If you fly into Seville, check the different car rental companies operating at Seville airport to choose the one that better suits your needs and budget.
The car journey from Seville to Merida takes approximately 1 h 50 min.
Buses to Merida depart from Seville’s Plaza de Armas station, located in Avda. Cristo de la Expiración 2, 41001.
The bus journey from Seville to Merida takes between 2h 10min and 2h 50min, depending on the specific bus route.
Prices for a return bus ticket vary from €18.76 with Leda (longest journey) to €29.71 with Alsa (fastest journey).
Compare timetables and prices with GoEuro.
From Lisbon to Merida
There are six car rental companies operating at Lisbon airport. Check the link to see their contact information.
The car journey from Lisbon to Merida takes approximately 2h 40min.
Buses to Merida depart from Lisbon airport and the bus station (Estação do Oriente) with Avanza.
The bus journey from Lisbon to Merida takes approximately 4 h. Expect to pay €58-€62 for a return ticket, although you may be lucky to find a promotion on their website for specific dates.
There is no train service between Lisbon and Merida.
From Madrid to Merida
There are car rental desks at terminals 1 and 4 at Madrid-Barajas airport. Check the list of car rental companies and choose the one that better suits your needs.
The car journey from Madrid airport to Merida takes approximately 3h 25min.
Buses to Merida leave from Estación Sur de Autobuses with Avanzabus.
There are two types of service – standard and express. A standard return ticket costs approximately €57 and a one-way journey takes 5 h. An express return ticket costs approximately €83 and a one-way journey takes 4h. There are frequent promotions for certain dates and bank holidays.
Trains to Merida depart from Madrid-Atocha station. The journey takes 4h 30min – 5h and you should expect to pay approximately €50 for a return ticket.
Check timetables and exact prices with Renfe.
About Badajoz airport
Extremadura’s only airport is located outside Badajoz city and approximately 48km from Merida. Don’t get too excited, though. Its location may sound ideal but for anyone flying from abroad, it isn’t. You can only fly into Badajoz from Madrid and Barcelona (Air Nostrum flies to Badajoz every day of the week except Saturday).
Unless you find flights to Barcelona for next to nothing, it’s not worth considering flying to Badajoz, either from Madrid or Barcelona. Flights aren’t cheap (you will rarely find return flights for less than €115-120), you waste time with the connecting flight and you need a car anyway to reach Merida from Badajoz airport.
If you still want to consider this option, visit Iberia to check flight prices.
Some thoughts to help you decide
- No matter which city you fly into, your best (cheapest and fastest) option to reach Merida is always hiring a car.
- Train or bus? If you have the option to choose, choose the bus. Always. Trains are slower, less frequent and less reliable.
- The quickest way to reach Merida is hiring a car and driving up from Seville (1h 50min).
- While Seville seems the obvious destination to fly to, it may not always be the best option. Bear in mind there may not be daily flights to Seville from your city, or they may be more expensive than flights to Lisbon or Madrid. Make sure you compare flight prices to the three different destinations.
Road trips and combined airports
If Merida is simply one of many stops on a road trip, a very good option is flying in from one airport and flying out from a different one. This will help you cover a wider area and save you time and money in bus and train journeys.
Bearing in mind you can fly into Seville, Lisbon and Madrid, there are 6 different routes to choose from:
Below, you can find some suggestions of places you can include in your route:
Seville-Merida or Merida-Seville
Now that you know how get to Merida, read the articles below to know what to see and do there: