Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Mercado Central, San Jose

Mercado Central, San Jose (must see)

The Mercado Central is a fun market spot in the center of San José. The market encompasses one entire block and is a long time fixture of the area having been started 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. If you are staying in San José and have cooking facilities, a trip here is a must. 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 have prepared an incredible meal from local products. If you need a great souvenir to take home, how about some coffee beans? Be sure to take some of the coffee home for yourself as well as any coffee aficionados on your list. 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 would rather sightsee and shop than cook.

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. Remember to keep track of your valuables, too.

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

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

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of San Jose, Costa Rica within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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 on Map

Sight Name: Mercado Central
Sight Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
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.
San Jose Introduction Walk

San Jose Introduction Walk

San Jose enjoys secluded location in the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its skyline dominated by the majestic Talamanca Mountains, hugging the city to the south, and a volcano ridge to the north. Local architecture reflects strong Spanish colonial influence manifested in places like Catedral Metropolitana in Calle Central, and the ornate, neoclassical National Theater presiding over...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Paseo Colon Tour

Paseo Colon Tour

The Paseo Colon is a modern area in San Jose where you will find most of the business centers and foreign embassies, as well as other architectural highlights and tourist attractions. At the end of Paseo Colon is Sabana Park, which stands out among the local metropolitan communities because of its proximity to the business district and its large area dedicated to recreation. Take this tour to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
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: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Museums Tour

Museums Tour

Although San José is one of the youngest capital cities in Latin America, its museums display a huge collection of traditional and pre-Columbian art. This walking tour should give you the perfect opportunity to explore the museums in the city and to familiarize yourself with its culture.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.5 Km or 5.3 Miles
Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose

Barrio Amon Tour in San Jose

The Bario Amon represents one the oldest neighborhoods in San Jose. Designed by a Frenchman, Amon Fasileau, it grew to be a beautiful area with a rich architectural history. Take this walking tour to appreciate the splendor of this neighborhood.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
San Jose's Historical Churches

San Jose's Historical Churches

San Jose's churches are vivid examples of historical and architectural value. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in places of spirituality from either architectural or historical standpoints, this tour will take you to the most important religious sites of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

17 Uniquely Costa Rican Things to Buy in San Jose

Not to be confused with San Jose, the sunny California, San Jose, Costa Rica is the capital city of a wet (250 centimeters of rainfall per year) and colorful Latin American country renowned for its diverse craftsmanship (courtesy of the numerous indigenous tribes), splendid coffee and rich cultural...