Old Town Market, San Diego

Old Town Market, San Diego

Old Town Market is a mix of over 40 unique shops with live entertainment, plus a number of distinguished historic landmarks. Among them is Casa De Aguirre, one of the first houses in Old Town San Diego, built in 1853 by Don Jose Antonio Aguirre, a wealthy merchant and successful rancher. After his death, the Aguirre family donated the property to the Catholic Church, which had then used it first as a rectory and then as Saint Anthony’s Industrial School for Indians. After years of disrepair, the original structure was torn down in 1914. In 2002, Historic Tours of America reconstructed the building as it's seen today.

In 1994, amid preparations for the reconstruction, the need to find the building's original foundations prompted an archaeological dig during which they had unearthed thousands of artifacts which had literally opened the door to the past, revealing the story of the people who had lived, worked and played here many years before. The items recovered on the site formed basis for a museum recounting the history of San Diego and southern California from 1840 to 1870.

Another historic property, The Convent building, was originally built as the Saint Joseph’s rectory at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Beech Street in downtown, and was moved to Old Town in 1940. Once at Old Town Market, it served a seminary, convent, community center, and, during World War II, hosted a United Services Organization. The building was restored in 2003 and is currently registered as San Diego Historical Site.

With several eateries and shops for souvenirs, jewelry and apparel available, this unique market is not to be missed. It does tend to get very busy during holidays such as Day of the Dead. Within a short walking distance, you'll be able to enjoy live Mariachi bands, watch local artisan demonstrations, and catch the smell of good food wafting through the air.

It's like taking a mini-trip to Mexico!

Why You Should Visit:
Perfect place to enjoy Mexican cuisine, with also plenty of gifts/handicrafts to buy for the whole family.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am–9pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Diego. 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.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Old Town Market on Map

Sight Name: Old Town Market
Sight Location: San Diego, USA (See walking tours in San Diego)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Diego, California

Create Your Own Walk in San Diego

Create Your Own Walk in San Diego

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Diego 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.
Balboa Park Walking Tour

Balboa Park Walking Tour

Named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Balboa Park is one of the largest cultural parks in USA. The park features 15 famous museums, wonderful gardens, renowned cultural venues and the San Diego Zoo. It is a must see attraction in San Diego and plays host to a constant stream of plays, musicals, museum exhibitions and live concerts. Take this self guided walking tour to discover...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town is the oldest settled area in San Diego which claims to be the first site visited by Europeans on the West Coast of modern United States.

The Native American culture in the area, however, goes back thousands of years. Historically, this land had been a home to the Kumeyaay people who settled on the banks of the San Diego river since around 1000 AD. The first European explorer to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Embarcadero Marina Walking Tour

Embarcadero Marina Walking Tour

Adjacent to downtown San Diego and the Big Bay, Embarcadero Marina is a testament to the region's colorful maritime heritage, offering several outstanding ship museums, vibrant waterfront shopping and dining, and pristine views of the city skyline. Its numerous amenities make it the perfect place for a self-guided walk on your San Diego itinerary.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historic Gaslamp District Walking Tour

Historic Gaslamp District Walking Tour

The Gaslamp Quarter is a lively 16½-block neighborhood in downtown San Diego, known for its nightlife, diverse entertainment and, just as importantly, historical appeal.

Back in the 1860s, the area was known as New Town, in contrast to Old Town, the original Spanish colonial settlement. After a period of decay, the neighborhood underwent redevelopment during the 1980s and 1990s, and was...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Souvenir Shopping Guide: 14 Gifts That Say San Diego

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 14 Gifts That Say San Diego

San Diego is known for its beautiful, temperate climate, but you can’t take the weather home with you. If you want a piece of San Diego as a souvenir, it’s best to shop with the natives. Whether it is made locally or just made famous locally, following are 14 perfect gifts that capture the...