When you are visiting Valencia you can’t miss Mercado Central. Not only because the building in Valencian Art Nouveau style is hard to look over. Also because this market hall is one of the biggest ones in Europe. It hosts more than 900 stalls, all with delicious products. The Mercado Central is situated in the old city centre of Valencia and is therefore a must-visit when you are out and about in Valencia!
Visit the market and taste real Valencian food
When you want to visit the market – and let us make sure: you won’t regret it! – be aware that the market closes around 15:00. On Sundays it’s closed the whole day. You are welcome to enjoy the Art Nouveau building and taste some delicious Valencian products from Monday until Saturday from 07:00 (early bird alert!) until 15:00. Some stalls already start packing their products around 14:00/14:30.
Locals mingling with travelers
Oranges, olives, prawns, clams, the best hams and cheeses (have you already heard about the delicious Jamon Iberico de Bellota?), wines from the Valencian region Utiel-Requena, Cava Brut Nature, turron (a heavenly sort of nougat that Valencians usually eat at Christmas time), horchata with farton, the real Valor chocolate…do we need to sum up more of these tasty and tempting delicacies? You won’t believe your eyes when you enter the market hall! With all these specialties under one roof it is not strange that besides travelers you will encounter a lot of locals. Everything is fresh and Valencians love their fresh food!
Join the “Mercado Central tasting”
So, the Mercado Central can be a little bit overwhelming. There are so many stalls and so many delicious products to try and buy. By the way, at most stalls you can pay with cash and credit card. Would you like to taste the difference between some Spanish and Valencian delicacies and get some more background information about the market hall and local life in Valencia? Then the “Mercado Central tasting” with an English speaking guide is definitely a recommending activity to join.
Mercado Central in Valencian Art Nouveau style
‘Modernismo’, the Spanish name for Art Nouveau architecture: you can find it all around Valencia. Especially in L’Eixample and the old city centre, for example around Plaza Ayuntamiento. Mercado Central definitely is an Art Nouveau building, but also has a little bit of Gothic elements. Which is not weird. Take a look around the Mercado Central and you see a lot of Gothic style constructions, like La Lonja de la Seda.
Typical ceramic tiles
The Mercado Central is L-A-R-G-E. With around 8,160 m2 the hall is divided in two parts. One being the fish market and the other part being used for all other kinds of fresh products, like bread, vegetables, fruits, hams, cheeses and much more. There is a car park beneath the hall. This used to be a fish auction back in the day. Ceramics, iron and glass are the most used building components. Walk around the market hall and you can’t miss the blue and yellow ceramic tiles. On top of the building – the highest point is thirty metres high – you will see a green parrot.
Once a market place, always a market place
Already before the existence of the Mercado Central the area was known for their street market and the Mercado Nuevo. But at the end of the 19th century Valencia had grown and the market hall was too small. New plans were made and different architects could make a bid. Alejandro Soler Marc and Francisco Guardia Vial were the lucky ones to win the bid. They started with the construction of the Mercado Central as we know it today. They finished in 1928 with a little help of architects Enrique Viedma and Angel Romani.
Run your own Mercado Central stall
Are you thinking about changing jobs, are you looking for a new opportunity in Valencia? Well, Mercado Central is waiting for you! There are always market stalls in transfer and maybe they are waiting for you to buy it!
Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges
Monday until Saturday: 07:00-15:00