Why you should visit Valencia’s Central Market
Not only is Valencia’s Central Market one of Europe’s best food markets, it’s one of the largest. Here you’ll find more than 900 stalls in a space covering 8000 square meters. Add to that the variety and color: fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese, spices, nuts, and a large fish and seafood section selling things like octopus, eel, and langoustines. You’ll find tapas restaurants, cafés, bakeries…if you’re a foodie you’ll find almost everything possible.
The building was built in art nouveau style and features huge stained-glass windows, high vaulted beams and patterned tiles of all colors. Completed in 1928, it is one of the oldest markets still in use in Europe and has been declared a ”Heritage of Cultural Interest” site by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
Highlights for us? It’s impressive seeing the Spanish love for ham. You’ll see pig legs, with their black hoofs, hanging on hooks. The variety in the fish/seafood section – all caught in the Mediterranean – is incredible. Finally, although it’s a local market where people do their shopping, it is also a good place to have a meal. We bought a couple of sandwiches and some fresh juice and just enjoyed watching the activity in the market.
Note: the Central Market is located in the heart of the Old Town and close to many of Valencia’s highlights. Right across the street is La Lonja de la Seda, the old silk exchange (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Also right next door is a beautiful church, the Església de Sant Joan del Mercat. Less than 10 minutes away is Valencia Cathedral.
Related: Valencia (and its highlights) in Photos
Central Market – Practical Information
Hours: The Mercado Central of Valencia is open from Monday till Saturday from 7:00 to 15:00.
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