Ahhhh, Mercado Central (or Mercat Central) is so much more than a market. Located in the old town (ciutat vella) of Valencia, Spain, the mercado itself was built in the 20th century. The architecture is incredibly beautiful and the market itself continues to allure tourists and locals alike. It is hands down one of my favorite places in the city of Valencia.
This central market is not only a great stop to stock up on local fruits, vegetable, spices, and meat, but touring the mercado is an “experience”. Read below to see how we like to spend a Saturday morning experiencing the Mercado Central of Valencia, Spain!
First stop: Walk to the very center of the mercado and admire the architecture.
Before shopping, walk from any of the mercado’s many entrances toward the center of the market. Stand in the middle of the hustle and bustle, look up, down, and all around admiring the beautiful 20th century architecture. Take a photo (or five) of the mercado’s intricate colors, ceramics, and mosaics.
Second stop: A granel.
A granel is a cute market stall, which sells organic wines, chocolates, olive oil and more. Best part? You can get yourself a cup of wine to-go for only 1 euro! Take your cup with you as you tour the rest of the mercado. Traveler’s Tip* this is a great stop to buy some local souvenirs for your loved ones at home!
Third stop: Shop, shop, shop.
Roam through the market, vino in hand, while stocking up on your favorite fruits and vegetables. Be sure to buy some local olives and spices on the way too!
Fourth stop: Central Bar.
All that shopping and you’ve probably worked up an appetite! Head to Central Bar where world renowned chef, Ricard Camarena has created an attractive, busy bar right in the middle of mercado central. Enjoy a glass of wine, creative tapas recipes, fresh seafood and… THE BEST PATATAS BRAVAS IN VALENCIA.
Fifth stop: Forn Desemparats
After you’ve filled up on wine and savory tapas, head over to Forn Desemparats for some delicious, homemade pastries. This bakery has been making mouths water since 1904! Buy a chocolate-filled napolitana or my favorite, a honey-filled lazo, and enjoy it with a cup of coffee (next stop) outside the mercado.
Sixth stop: Retrogusto Coffeemates
In my opinion, sweet pastries are meant to be enjoyed with coffee. With that in mind, walk over to Restrogusto Coffeemates and order up a coffee to enjoy right there at the bar or take it with you to-go. I always opt for an “Americano para llevar” in order to enjoy my coffee and sweets with beautiful views outside of the mercado.
Seventh stop: La Lonja
Most tourists sit right on the steps of the mercado to enjoy their Central Mercado purchases. Traveler’s Tip* walk right across the street to the steps of La Lonja, a 16th century, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax among the locals, enjoy people-watching, and gorgeous views from here.
Looking for craft beer in Valencia? Stock up on cervezas artesanas from all over the world from, “Las Cervezas del Mercado”.
Hungry for lunch? Shop for meat or fish inside the mercado and bring it to one of the adorable restaurants right outside the mercado’s doors. The restaurant will prepare and serve your freshly bought lunch for you!