Amidst the busting bars and cafés of Valencia's old town lies the Mercat Central de Valencia, one of Europe's oldest running markets. Designed in 1914 and opened in 1928, this impressive Modernist structure covers more than 8,000 square meters and is home to about 400 vendors. Here you can find a colorful labyrinth of stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, seafood, spices, olives, nuts and other treats to hungry locals.
Though Valencia's Central Market is one of the city's main tourist attractions, the quality of the market's goods has not been sacrificed. The Mercat Central de Valencia is not swarming with tourists compared to Barcelona's La Boqueria or Madrid's Mercado de San Miguel, so you can still spot locals picking out the freshest produce or asking their favorite butcher for the finest cuts of the day.
Bathed in natural light, the market's eye-catching structure is embellished with colorful stained glass windows, ceramics and mosaics. The striking interior almost distracts you from the parade of edible eye-candy inside the market. Kaleidoscopes of fruit adorn every aisle, while succulent vegetables and pungent cheeses invite you to feast upon the market's every delight.
The Mercat Central abounds with some of Spain's finest delicacies, such as jamón ibérico, chorizo, salchichón, olive oil, and regional vegetable varieties. Valencia is also home to the country's best paella (it's where the famous dish originated!), so it's no surprise that this market is one of the freshest spots to pick up some paella fixings.
One of the most revered local delicacies is horchata, a typical beverage that's especially popular in the warmer summer months. Not to be confused with Latin American horchata that is made from rice, Valencian orxata is a sweet, milky drink made from water, sugar and tiger nuts.
Tiger nuts, or chufa, are nutrient-packed tubers that were originally brought to Valencia when the Arabs occupied Spain. Because horchata is made of tiger nuts, it's naturally nut, dairy and gluten free - perfect for the hungry traveller with food allergies!
Roasted pumpkin - another typical Valencian delight
Valencia's Mercat Central is mecca of fresh food, local delicacies and sublime architecture. Whether you visit to pick up a handful of local treats, shop for your weekly groceries, admire the stunning interior or simply take in the lively ambiance, the Mercat Central de Valencia is sure to thrill your senses.
Plaza Ciudad de Brujas, Valencia 46001
Open Monday - Saturday | 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
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