Tempting slivers of Serrano ham, cool glasses of Valencian orange juice and a taste of tapas. Once you enter Central Market, you won’t want to leave.
Gastro tourists seek it out almost immediately but it is one venue everyone should head to at least once during their stay. This food market is frequented by Valencia’s best chefs and local families alike. The range of produce, from fresh fish to fruit, nuts and horchata mix, has something for everyone.
Don’t forget to look up and around. The architecture of this magnificent building makes it one of the most visited places in Valencia. Mercado Central is one of the oldest food markets in Europe and it covers exactly 8,160 square metres divided into two areas or zones. The first one, according to the market website, is an irregular shape with a surface area of 6,760 square metres and the other is octagonal and covers 1,400 square metres. The latter houses the fish market.
Architects Alejandro Soler March and Francisco Guardia Vial presented their ideas for the current market after from the council to design a market fit for Valencia – the previous market had become too small. Architects Enrique Viedma and Ángel Romaní completed its construction in 1928. The new market was opened on 23rd January, 1928. The design compliments La Lonja de la Seda (the silk exchange) and the Church of Los Santos Juanes.
Inside or out, the iron, glass and ceramic domes are eye-catching but strike a balance, blending in with the domes and churches in Valencia’s skyline.
To plan your shopping, read the stall directory here. The market is open from 7am to 3pm Monday to Saturday, so is perfect for the early riser or to pick up some fresh food before dinner. There is a small selection of non-food stalls, too, and the lively cafes around the outside of the market will give you an insight into local life.