Mercado Central (Central Market), San Jose

Mercado Central (Central Market), San Jose (must see)

The Central Market is one of the busiest places in the center of San José. The market encompasses one entire block and is a fixture of the area since it was established in 1880. You will find stall after stall of almost anything you can think of purchasing.

The isles are narrow and can become very crowded at times, but the atmosphere is still delightful. There are fresh fish, fresh flowers, and delicious freshly ground coffee to purchase along with local bread, fruits and vegetables. Add a nice beer, and you can prepare an incredible meal from local products.

If you need a great souvenir to take home, how about some coffee beans? The best advice is to buy whole beans and grind them yourself as the local grind is too fine for most coffee pots. There are also freshly prepared meals here for those who come here to taste the local dishes.

The market is open from dawn to dusk daily. Make sure to have a map of the surrounding area with you in the market, as it is very congested and it is easy to get lost while wandering and exit from a totally different spot from where you entered the marketplace.

Tip:
Give the traditional ice cream flavor a try! Otherwise, eat where you see the most locals, as they know where the best foods are.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 6:30am - 5:45pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Jose. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Mercado Central (Central Market) on Map

Sight Name: Mercado Central (Central Market)
Sight Location: San Jose, Costa Rica (See walking tours in San Jose)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Jose, Costa Rica

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Create Your Own Walk in San Jose

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Jose is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave San Jose without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Jose, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Historical Architecture Tour

Historical Architecture Tour

What's known today as San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, came into being as a small settlement during the Spanish invasion, circa the mid-16th century. From a town of little importance, San Jose eventually evolved into a densely-populated cosmopolitan city, built mostly with proceeds from coffee trade.

The historic architecture of San Jose is a mix of European and Latin American styles...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Shopping and Food Walking Tour

Shopping and Food Walking Tour

Walking the pedestrian-friendly promenades of Costa Rica's capital – San Jose – is a great way to experience the local culture. Despite an occasional rainstorm, the country's tropical weather makes outdoor shopping an undeniably fun experience. The downtown part of San Jose has no shortage of department stores, traditional marketplaces and souvenir shops selling handcrafts.

The...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
San Jose Introduction Walking Tour

San Jose Introduction Walking Tour

San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, was founded in 1736 by an edict from the Catholic Church of Spain. The Cabildo de Leon, as it was called, wanted to create a central area for all inhabitants of the valley. The first construction in San Jose was a small chapel that was dedicated to St. Joseph of Nazareth. This is how the city was given the name San Jose.

The city officially became the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

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