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Facade of the Mercado Central, Valencia

Valencia’s Central Market (Mercado Central)

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With its sumptuous architecture and its appetizing food stalls, the Central Market of Valencia is definitely one of the city’s top attractions!


Accommodation, flights, activities, transport…
You’ll find all the Captain’s suggestions
at the end of the article!

The Central Market of Valencia in a nutshell

Brief history of the Central Market

According to some historians, a market has been held on the current location of Valencia’s Central Market since the 14th century century. Legend or reality? One thing is certain: an open-air market, the Mercat Nou, was indeed held here from 1839.

The construction of the Central Market began in 1914 under the aegis of two Catalan architects, Alexandre Soler i March and Francesc Guàrdia i Vial. Why them? In 1910, the city of Valencia launched a contest to choose who would design the market and Alexandre Soler i March and Francesc Guàrdia i Vial’s project won the competition.

The construction of the Central Market of Valencia was completed in 1928 under the direction of the Valencian architect Enric Viedma i Vidal.

It was completely renovated between 2004 and 2010.

👍 The Captain’s tip 👍
To discover Valence with a passionate tour guide, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends going on this free tour of the city.
You’re free to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide at the end of the tour!

Central Market of Valencia - charcuterie

A flagship of the Spanish Art Nouveau

Spread over 8000 m2, the Central Market of Valencia is one of the largest covered markets in Europe. The market counts a total of 400 food stalls. It is one of the most emblematic buildings in Valencia.

With its monumental metal frame, its domes, its azulejos, its glazed ceramics and its stained glass windows, the Central Market of Valencia is a sumptuous example of Valencian Art Nouveau. The decoration incorporates clever references to the products sold in the market. Look up: the roof is adorned with two weathervanes, one in the shape of a fish, the other in the shape of a parakeet.

Attention, sailors!
Want to find out more about Valencia’s top landmarks, activities & museums? Why don’t you check out the Captain’s detailed article on the best things to do in Valencia?

Visiting the Central Market of Valencia

Exploring the Central Market

With its appetizing smells, its colorful stalls and the happy hubbub of conversations, the Central Market stimulates all the senses.

The Captain recommends simply getting lost in its alleys lined with delicious stalls. If you’re staying in an appartment/Airbnb in Valencia, now is also a food time for some food shopping! Cheese, charcuterie, fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, pastries, spices, local products…: you’ll find everything you need and more!

After visiting the market, take some time to explore its surroundings. The streets around the Mercado Central are brimming with stalls of all kinds as well as cafes and restaurants.

Lunch at the Central Market of Valencia

Feeling a little peckish? You’re in the right place! Valencia’s Central Market is perfect to have lunch on the go.

If you want to immerse in the market’s atomsphere, the Captain recommends siting down at the Central Bar. The menu includes tapas, plates to share and sandwiches. But you’ll have to be patient: between noon and 2 a.m., it can get very crowded.

You can also make your own picnic buying cheese, charcuterie, fruit and vegetables at the market’s many stalls. Some stalls also sell bocadillos, small Iberian ham sandwiches. As for dessert, nothings beats a nice glass of fresh juice?

Access

Getting to the Mercado Central de Valencia

To get to the Central Market of Valencia, head for the Ciutat Vella, the old town. The market is located a 5-minute walk from Plaça de la Reina and a stone’s throw from the Lonja de la Seda.

The closest metro stations are:

  • Colon, 900 meters to the southeast of the market
  • Xàtiva, 750 meters to the south
  • Angel Guimera, 650 meters to the southwest

To get around Valencia, you can also opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour or rent bikes.

If you are driving, you’ll find a covered parking lot at the Central Market.

Opening hours of the Central Market

While many markets are only held on one or two days a week, the Mercado Central de Valencia is open much more often than that.

The market is open from Monday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you’d rather avoid the crowd, Captain Ulysses recommends visiting the market early in the morning. The market is very popular with tourists and locals alike, and tends to be crowded all day, especially in summer.

Valencia Central Market - hams

Guided tours and food tours at the Central Market of Valencia

Afraid of missing out? The Captain recommends opting for a guided tour or a food tour. A guide will take you around the market and reveal all its secrets!

The Captain recommends 2 activities in particular:

  • Food tour of Valencia : this 3-hour themed tour is perfect for foodies eager to discover Valencian gastronomy. Participants will get to taste chocolate, turron and tapas! Enjoy!
  • Paella cooking class and food tour of the Central Market: You will go shopping at the Central Market of Valencia, before getting behind the stove to learn how to cook authentic Valencian paella with the help of an experienced chef. You’ll taste your paella with a glass of wine or a local beer. You’ll then have access to a hop-on hop-off bus to continue your exploration of the city.

👉 Looking for tips & recommendations? Here are all the Captain’s suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation : to book your accommodation in Valence, Captain Ulysses warmly recommends Booking.com. From budget youth hostels to luxury boutique hotels, there’s plenty to choose from. The Captain recommends:
– affordable options: Quart Youth Hostel or Hôme Youth Hostel Valencia
– mid-range options: Esplai Valencia Bed and Breakfast , 7 Moons or Casa del Patriarca
– luxurious option: Vincci Mercat , Caro Hotel or Westin Valencia

🎟️ Activities: guided tours, bike rental, skip-the-line tickets, flamenco shows… Check out GetYourGuide and Civitatis to book the best things to do in Valencia.

🎫 Citypass: if you’re planning on staying in Valencia for several days, yoy should definitely consider investing in the Valencia Tourist Card. This citypass includes access to public transport (including to get to the airport), free admission to public museums, as well as many discounts or a selection of museums, attractions, shops and restaurants in the city.

🚐 Transfers: if you want to avoid taking public transport or queuing for a taxi at the airport, you can book a car transfer to your hotel or accommodation in advance.

🚌 Local transport: local public transport is relatively convenient and easy to navigate. If you decide to invest in the Valencia Tourist Card, access to public transport is included. You can also opt for a hop-on hop-off bus tour which stops at all the top tourist attractions in Valencia. If you’d rather be active, why notrent a bike?
If you’re just stopping off in Valencia and planning to explore other parts of Spain, Captain Ulysses recommends renting a car. To find the best offer, the Captain warmly recommends Rentalcars.

📍Tours: if you don’t want to organize your holidays in Spain yourself, Captain Ulysses recommends Evaneos and Terres d’Aventure. The first specializes in organizing tailor-made trips in partnership with local specialists, the second is perfect for sports and hiking enthusiasts.

✈️ Flights: to book your flights to Valence, Captain Ulysse warmly recommends Skyscanner. You’ll be able to compare countless offers to find the best deal. If your dates are flexible, you can also compare prices over several months to find the cheapest flights possible.


👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!



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Valencia Central Market - a foodie's paradise

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