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About Central Market & History
The Central Market of Valencia, also known as Mercado Central, is an historic public market located in the old town area in the city of Valencia, Spain. It was built between 1914 and 1928 and is one of the largest public markets in Europe. it covers more than 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft)
The central market was designed by the architects Alexandre Soler March and Francesc Guàrdia Vidal, and is considered an important example of Valencian Modernist Architecture. The market is housed in a large, rectangular building with a central dome and four corner towers. It is constructed of brick and has a colourful ceramic tile facade. The colourful tilework is beautiful and impressive. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering a unique and authentic experience of Valencia's food culture.
The Central Market has a long history dating back to the middle ages, when it was an open air market, and popular place for merchants to sell their goods. In the 19th century the market was relocated to its current location and the building that stands today was built.
What can you buy at Central Market Valencia?
The market is organized into different sections, each dedicated to a specific type of product.
The variety of what is offered in this market is incredibly varied. It is home to hundreds of stalls. Of course there is tons of meats, cheeses and seafood if that is your thing. This is a vegan food blog so I am not going to expand on that part any further. While there aren't any vegan cheese products or things like that, there are an incredible amount of whole foods stalls. Fresh vegetables, fruits, freshly pressed juices, dried fruit, preserves, pickles, condiments, roasted vegetables, dry goods, breads, wines, beers, & sweets. I didn't investigate too much about whether any sweets were vegan friendly other than I was able to buy vegan chocolate and turron, which is an authentic almond based nougat, the vegan option I love is one with just the almond and sugar like a peanut brittle in Canada but SO much better.
Central Market Valencia Hours of operation
The market is open 6 days a week from 7 am until 3pm. They are closed only on Sundays and public holidays. It is an extremely busy place (I was there in December). In addition to the market stalls I noticed there was a restaurant or cafe place where you could sit along a bar and order food and a drink.
I also found the vendors to be really friendly. They are happy to talk a bit about their products and traditions. One woman was helping me pronounce words in Spanish when I was trying to order. (I'm studying spanish), and I chatted for awhile with another woman selling turron, tasting some samples before I made a purchase.
How to locate the Central Market
I used GPS on my phone to navigate my way to the market. It's pretty easy to get turned around in old town Valencia in my experience. Even with GPS I took a few wrong turns because the streets aren't just on a simple square grid. They twist and turn. That is all part of the fun though. I spent a lot of time in this area in the span of a couple of weeks and I discovered new places all of the time. (With GPS in hand to navigate my way out again!!!) Pro tip because I screwed it up and got really lost my first day, make sure your GPS is set to pedestrian mode, not car mode. (You can't really drive in this area unless you are a local business or person living there from what I can tell).
If you are staying in an apartment in Valencia and are able to cook, you could definitely shop here and get a ton of variety of whole foods to prepare. If this isn't an option you can definitely find some things to take home with you where ever you are traveling from. I am bringing back turron and chocolate when I head back to Canada. Even if you don't buy anything, the Central Market in Valencia shouldn't be missed!
Shop Turron Below. My favourite are the caramel sugar & almond varieties!
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