Central Market Valencia – Mercat Central

Inside the Central Market in Valencia you will notice many vendors mainly selling food items, mainly fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. You can also find souvenir shops and tapas bars inside the market, each serving an authentic fresh taste of true Spanish food. 

Originally opened as an open air market in 1839, Central Market Valencia ( or Mercat Central in Spanish ) was named Mercat Nou ( New Market ). Now a roof covers the market with an area spreading over 8,000 square metres, making it one of the largest in Europe. Inside the market you will notice many vendors mainly selling food items, mainly fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. You can also find souvenir shops and tapas bars inside the market, each serving an authentic fresh taste of true Spanish food. Above all, it is an excellent place to spend a few hours in a true local Valencian manner.

Whats On Valencia - Central Market Valencia - Mercat Central Valencia Central Dome

Organisation and Architectural Design

Organisation of the market is through a type of street system where each isle or area is indicated by a sign, each bearing its own unique name as follows

  • Inner round.
  • Arquitecto Enrique Viedma corridor .
  • Benlliure corridor.
  • Blasco Ibáñez corridor.
  • Central corridor.
  • Sorolla corridor.
  • Luis Vives corridor.
  • Conde de Trenor corridor.
  • Músico Magenti corridor.
  • García Berlanga corridor.

The design of the roof is by Alejandro Soler and Francisco Vidal who won a contest held by the Valencian community. As a result, construction began in 1914 with collaboration with Luis Doemnech Montaner. Due to non completion for various reasons, it was eventually complete in 1928 by the Valencian architect Enrique Viedma Vidal. The roof itself, mainly colored window panelled glass, contains domes and several sections at different heights. Styled in a Valencian Art Nouveau style it bears an unusual roof. Materials such as wood, iron and ceramic splendour the area. The official history of the market can be found on its website at the following link https://www.mercadocentralvalencia.es/Mercado/HistoriaAsociacion.

Whats On Valencia - Central Market Valencia - Mercat Central Valencia Center Isle

Opening Times

The market opens from Monday – Saturdays between 7:00 and 15:00. It s closed on Sundays and on most local public holidays. It receives an average unload of 48,000 kg of fruit a day with around 15,000 kg of other foods.   Although there may be more, I can see 4 main entrances to the Central Market. One stands on either side of the building, the main front entrance and the back entrance. To really embrace the splendour of this building I suggest you experience entering it from the front main entrance.

A Step Inside

As soon as you step inside, you will notice the vast amount of tourists and locals alike who either come to experience the beauty of the place or purchase their dose of daily fresh products. You may also comes across some camera crews and bloggers as i did during my last visit. The vast amount of locals indicate that prices are fair and vendors do not take advantage of tourists. The products are mainly fresh and from what most seem organic as sizes and shapes are not as perfect as what you can find in a supermarket. There is a fish area. Butchers are in the perimeter area, next to the market walls.

Whats On Valencia - Central Market Valencia - Mercat Central Valencia Entrance

Most of the vendors selling fruit and vegetables offer fresh orange juice using the oranges on display at their stand. You will also find fresh fruit cocktails readily available to consume. The other stands selling meat offer samples of their products for one to try.  The choice of Spanish meat products on display could be a joy for meat lovers or a sore sight for vegans and veterinarians. Valencians, like all Spanish, are very proud of their meat products and are not afraid to display it.  Expect only the best and freshest quality on display in an extraordinary manner.

List Of Stalls

Here’s a list of the main things one can find at the Central Market Valencia:

  • All types of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Fresh poultry products such as chicken, turkey and of course eggs.
  • Fresh meat, all types such as beef, lamb and pork.
  • Fish and seafood.
  • Cheese of all types.
  • Cured meats, such as salami, ham as well as other specialities.
  • Various herbs and spices.
  • Nuts and dried fruits.
  • Pickles.
  • Tapas bars and restaurants.

According to the latest information on the official website there are 261 stalls. Of these, 185 are fresh food stalls, as follow:

  • 73 butchers and deli stalls.
  • 61 fruit and vegetable stalls.
  • 42 fish and seafood stalls.
  • 9 bakery stalls.

There is another 12 stalls offering prepared food and hospitality. Apart from those, 64 more stalls offer other type of supplies like a shoe mender and key cutter and souvenir stands amongst them. In other words, it is a most popular source for locals to see to their daily, weekly and monthly regular needs, for instance.

Services and Facilities

The market offers many facilities and services to ease and make safe the clients’ shopping experience. Such facilities include shopping trolleys, baby changing rooms and credit card payments possible at most of the vendors. As well as the facilities, services include security surveillance, customer care counter as well as a home delivery service.

Throughout the year, the market also organises various activities for one to enjoy. a list of latest activities can be found at this link here. From time to time you may find submission to our list of events including activities in relation to the Central Market on our calendar. Therefore be sure to submit to our notifications. You can also view a map of the market on the official website. In addition to familiarise you with the layout, it will help to facilitate and organise the time you intend to spend there. Follow this link to see and the interactive map here.

The official website offers much more information and latest news. Therefore, be sure to visit it before visiting the building as it will provide any latest update.

WhatsOnValencia.com - Central Market Valencia - Mercat Central Valencia - Daily Fresh Produce

In conclusion, make sure to visit the Central Market Valencia at some point or the other. Do this even if its just to experience the architecture of this unique building. However if you do go, it is not a bad idea to sample some of the finest local veg and meat products in Valencia.

 

 

 

 

Las Fallas Festival – Valencia

Las Fallas, an annual event placed in Valencia between 15th to 19th March. It attracts foreign and Spanish visitors and is the most crazy festival in Spain.

Las Fallas, the craziest festival in Spain?

Las Fallas feast, is an annual event taking place in Valencia between the 15th to 19th of March. The festival bases its celebrations towards Saint Joseph, or in Spanish, San Jose. San Jose is the patron saint of carpenters and the origins of Las Fallas go back to the Middle Ages. You can read more about its origins here. It is by far one of the main events that attracts many visitors, both foreign tourists as well as Spaniards from all over Spain.

The focus of the festival is the creation and destruction of ninots, which are huge Paper-Mache statues. These often take several months to construct and costs run into the thousands. The ninots usually depict satirical scenes making fun of Spanish and foreign politicians and current events. Should you ever go to experience it, this is one of the most crazy festivals you will ever witness.

Las Fallas Valencia photo by Brian Maudsley
Photo Copyright Brian Maudsley

Daytime

Las Fallas festival commences early each day beginning with what they call  ‘La Desperta’. This is a mind blowing experience at any time of the day, let alone at 8:00am in the morning. La Desperta consists of brass bands and what seems to be an endless stream of fire crackers, loud enough to set off car and burglar alarms. The alarms alone should drive you mad let alone the bands and explosions that follow.  Throughout the day expect continuous loud explosive bangs together with processions and other unusual activities just until around 2:00pm. Then La Mascieta commences. Although spread across the city, La Macieta mainly takes center stage in Valencia’s main square, Plaza Ayuntamieno. This is a succession of choreographed pyrotechnics, that make you think the earth is going to crumble below you.

Las Fallas Valencia Photo Copyright Gábor Kovács
Photo Copyright Gábor Kovács




Night Time

Along the old river bed, firework displays provide a string of spectacles in the night. On the 18th of March you will get to experience the night of fire or La Nit de Foc. The following night all the ‘ninots’ are burnt during la Crema. Ninots are carnival floats, build by the neighborhoods that take months of preparation and dedication to build. Children get to have their own version of the fiesta with Falla Infantile until around 10:00pm on that night. Later on at around 12:00am the main ‘Fallas’ will commence.

Huge crowds gather at Plaza Ayuntamiento to witness the greatest burning fire of all the event, where a series of around 25ft model ninots will have been stuffed with fireworks. The public vote to save one of the ninots from the burning. Then as the street lights are switched off, the remaining gigantic models are set on fire, burning to ashes in the most spectacular manner.

Las Fallas Photo Copyright Karol Kozlowski
Photo Copyright Karol Kozlowski

Is it for you?

Las Fallas is not a festival for the faint at heart or for those wanting to visit Valencia for some peace. Every year several people faint or suffer injuries therefore pregnant women are forbidden from attending. The huge amount of noise and earth shattering explosions the fireworks create make your head spin sending an uncontrollable adrenaline rush throughout your body. Forget about resting at anytime of the day as from 8:00am until 2:00am Valencia turns into a city of loud parties and other noisy activates.

Las Fallas Valencia Spain
Photo Copyright Gábor Kov

When to book

If you intend to visit the Fallas festival be sure to book your Valencia trip well in advance. Bear in mind that you will need at least 2 days after the festival to recover from the overwhelming experience Las Fallas provides. Hotel bookings increase during this period therefore it is wise to prepare and plan everything well ahead of your visit. Check out our calendar of events here.

There is absolutely no way understanding this festival until you go and experience it first hand. The crazy atmosphere, the sounds, smells and earth shattering bombardments will touch each and every sense and expect anything to happen at anytime. It is not suggestable to go to Valencia during this period if you suffer from claustrophobia, hate noise and crowds or if you are pregnant.

Bike Ride Along Turia Gardens Valencia

Turia Gardens Valencia

One thing to do when visiting Valencia is to rent a bike and take a ride down the Turia Gardens Valencia. My name is Consuela and I enjoy visiting places and riding bikes. I want to take you on a ride I took myself hoping you will enjoy it. I made it a point to do this during my visit, it is a pleasant ride. The ride offers an opportunity to experience various communities and other things along the way.

Frequently stopping on the way to experience the various parts of the stretch of the ride, it took me 4 hrs – 5 hrs. See the route on the map below.

Turia Gardens Valencia

Your bike ride across Turia Gardens Valencia.

We start the ride from the ‘Cabecera Park’ at the upper part of the Turia Gardens Valencia. This is close to the Bio Parc.  The  (a) ‘Cabecera Park’ boasts a lake, with swans and ducks. Following the ‘Cabecera Park’ continue down until you will encounter a strip of city (b) offering weekend leisure for families. Kids have playgrounds to spend time in and the sportive have the sport grounds to exercise their sport. This makes it a great spot to exercise or spend time with your children. Further down you will encounter a huge public athletics stadium (c). Clubs, individuals and entities use it for their sporting events. The stadium is usually surrounded by onlookers, because it is a public stadium. Onlookers will be watching the competitions, practice sessions and/or sporting displays currently running.

Turia Gardens Valencia

The less popular part.

The next bridge further along our line is known to shelter the homeless of Valencia (d) . Although not so dangerous, it does provide an unpleasant surprise to those who are not familiar with Valencia. It is not advisable to visit this area at night times even though it is quite safe. However this advice does apply anywhere worldwide in similar areas. The following area (e) is most probably the best part of the garden to relax and enjoy the sun. Here you will come across many people laying on the grass whilst experiencing a tranquil time. Shadowy tree alleys with an atmospheric old bridge in the middle (f) is the next area to discover. This is another good spot to take a break from the ride and shelter from the sun. Great advice, especially if taking this trip during the hot summer days.

Approaching Some Of the Interesting Parts of the Turia Gardens Valencia

Further down, by the Torres de Serranos area, you will encounter a part of the gardens that is frequented by the Valencia Latino community. The community is existent all year round in this area, especially during weekends (g). Peruvians, Bolivians, Colombians and other South American communities, congregate here. As one big family they play football, drink, eat and listen to music, particularly of a Latino origin. The next part (h) is not so exciting for non football fans, since it is taken up by football pitches. However for those in love with the sport, it is one of the most active areas of the gardens.

History surround the Turia Gardens Valencia

Proceeding the previous area you will enter the boundaries of  the atmospheric Old Town Valencia. This part (i)  offers an historic landscape with buildings like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gothic Temple on its banks. Statutes line Puente del Real (The Royal Bridge), one of the most outstanding and spectacular old bridges in Valencia (j). Following this you will find a wilder, shadowy public promenade (k).

An encounter with Santiago Calatrava Valls

(l) The incredible Calatrava bridge is owns the same style as its other counterparts. The bridge is named after its designer, Santiago Calatrava Valls. Santiago Calatrava Valls, a Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter, is particularly known for his bridges supported by single leaning pylons. Moving further down you will come across a pure bare space (m). Fairs, visiting circuses and festivals usually utilise this space.  The next part (n) contains the Puente de las Flores (Flower Bridge). This bridge, which joins the street with the Citadel to the Paseo de la Alameda, was opened in 2002. It owes its name to the rows of flowers that are on both sides of the bridge. Its decoration includes around 27,000 beautiful flowers of all colours, that vary throughout the seasons.




The following is interesting if riding with children

In this part (o) you will find a charming pond and an array of interesting flora by the river bed. Enhancing the aread you will see a spectacular bridge going across it. The section of Palau de la Musica (p) is a gorgeous space with alleys and fountains. The area gets very lively with public visiting at all times. The Gulliver, (q) is a curious giant playground for kids. A spread out Gulliver giant design, transforms kids into Lilliputians crawling all over him. This is not just a great attraction for kids, but also a spectacular architecture design for adults. Entrance to the Gulliver Parc is free and is a must go to, especially if you have children.

The area around the City of Arts and Sciences (r) is one of the the most spectacular parts of the gardens. It is very popular all year long, especially on weekends. Large green spaces, elegant garden designs ponds and alleys surround the place. Random artworks regularly decorate this place, providing something for everyone. The huge ponds surrounding the Science and Arts center, offer attractions such as rowing boats and other exciting activities. You will regularly find performers, concerts and exhibitions during different times of the year.

End of My Ride

This is where my ride along the Turia Gardens Valencia ends. In all, it is a great experience and I encourage anyone going to Valencia City to try it out. You will enjoy the sights and atmosphere along the way. Those who live in the city are lucky to have such a great stretch of experiences in one place. Owning your own bike is not a wasted investment if you live in Valencia. Those of us who are just visiting can rent a bike. There are many companies offering this service. You can rent a bike online from Rent Bike Valencia.

Download a map of Valencia from Rent A Bike Valencia Map .

Top 5 Things To Do In Valencia – Spain

According to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is used by travelers worldwide because it provides a platform to check out places before visiting. Users place personal reviews about the places they visit, the food they try and hotels they stay in. Although some reviews may be unreliable, most of them are accurate and false reviews are usually easy to point out. We have taken the liberty to scan TripAdvisor in order to check out the top 5 things to do in Valencia. It is good to note that the 3rd top thing to do in Valencia seems to be something you can find worldwide.

The top 5 things to do in Valencia City

According to TripAdvisor, the top 5 things to do in Valencia range from sightseeing tours to a day at the Bioparc. Of course there is so much more to see and do and we urge you to seek out some of the more original stuff. Because of the vast array of things to see and do, you are sure to enjoy a memorable visit to this city. Be sure to experience at least one of these top things to do if you have not done it before. We highly recommend the Bioparc because it is quite a unique experience and a must if you love animals. If you are not into animals why not experience more of the city? Sightseeing tours are also in the top 5 things to do.

Be sure to check out our event calendar on a regular basis as new events are added on a frequent basis. If you have an event that you would like to list please click here.

The top 5 things to do in Valencia as of the 10th of July 2017 are as follows:

Number 1: the Central Market (Mercado Central). Plaza del Mercado, 6, 46001 Valencia.

Mercado Central is famous for the quality, variety and freshness of the products on trade there. Not only is it an important place for the sales of fresh products but also a major cultural and tourist attraction.
The market is split into two zones that cover 8,160 square meters in the center of Valencia. The fish market area is octagonal shaped and covers 1,400 square meters. The other housing the fresh vegetables is 6,760 square meters. The basement, now a car park covering 7,690 square meters, was previously a fish auction.

Almost 300 traders and 1,500 people run the market’s daily activity. This makes it the largest center of its kind in Europe. It is the first market to rise to the challenge of computerising sales and offering home delivery services.

The market is an important economic focal point of Valencia because of the work of its traders, the large number of visits it receives and events it organises.

Number 2: The Turia Gardens ( Antiguo cauce del Turia).   Parque del Gulliver, Valencia.

Running through the city along a nine kilometer stretch, Turia Gardens is one of the largest urban parks in Spain. It extends itself from Cabecera Park to the City of Arts and Sciences. The gardens boasts green space which includes quiet spots to unwind as well as leisure and sports areas. Since its inauguration in 1986, it is providing the perfect place for runners, cyclists, families and nature enthusiasts.

Various urban planners and landscapists designed different sections of the park, recreating the former river scenery. The gardens offer a unique array of trees, plants, rose beds, ponds, fountains among other things. 

Along the way. one will find many bars and cafés with extensive terraces, where you can take a break for refreshment. 

Number 3: Room Escape Games in Valencia

According to TripAdvisor, the third popular thing to do in Valencia seems to be ‘Room Escape’ games. At the time of publishing, TripAdvisor lists 18 different ‘Escape Room Games’ across the Valencian community. These sort of games are the kind that you can play in teams which makes it good if you are travelling in a group. If this is your kind of thing, then you may wish to check out the various options on offer here.




Number 4: Bioparc Valencia. Avenida Pio Baroja Escriptor 3 | Yes, 46015 Valencia, Spain

Bioparc Valencia is spread across a large area and displays animals as per their respective continent. It is a zoo that employs a concept in which recreations of the natural habitats on show surround the visitor. It is a very enjoyable experience if you have never went to this kind of zoo before.

Different species appear to coexist in the same habitats. Predatory species are separate from the other species by barriers invisible to the eye. This ensures the safety of both the animals as well as the people visiting. The animals, vegetation and landscape provide the opportunity to discover the complexity of natural ecosystems.

Number 5: Sightseeing Tours in Valencia 

Again, according to TripAdvisor, the fifth popular thing to do in Valencia seems to be Sightseeing Tours’. There are various tours to choose from. If you are a fan of tours, then you may wish to check out the various tours on rated on TripAdvisor here.

Have you read our two day guide to Valencia? If not then read it because it gives you a good idea on what to experience and why. You may wish not to do anything at all and just relax and let the world go by. In Valencia you will find whatever it is you are looking for.

Plaza De Toros Valencia

 

 

 

Valencia – Unique and full of intriguing contrasts

“Valencia, a fusion between history, tradition and the modern!”

Valencia is a dynamic destination with attractive sights and activities suitable for any age. Furthermore, the city offers a vast array of traditional culture and history combined with modern, original and intriguing contrasts. Its architecture dates from the first century B.C. to the most futuristic, 21st century design.

Just 15 minutes off the city center, you will encounter a fantastic beach running across it coast. This is close by the Marina Real Juan Carlos I, an up-and-coming sport and tourist area. The Marina is close to becoming the most attractive of its kind in the Mediterranean.

Valencia and Tourism

Valencia is also a major destination for incentive trips and is quickly becoming the focus for conference tourism. It attracts several international companies since it is quite easy to reach and offers great possibilities. Its proximity to the Albufuera nature reserve, located in the old Turia river-bed, serves the city and its visitors with a wide-ranging environmental ambient.

Due to its vast experience, the city is capable of hosting all kind of events. In turn, it enjoys a reputation as one of the most complete and versatile destinations on the continent.

Languages

There are two official languages in Valencia. The first is “Valenciano”, used mainly in the Valencian Community and of course Spanish, Spain’s official language. English is also widely used and many locals do in fact speak English well. Therefore communicating in Valencia is very easy for English speakers as well as for many other nationalities.

Climate

As in most of Spain, Valencia enjoys a mild climate. With warm summers and very mild winters, rarely below 10ºC , the average annual temperature in Valencia is 17ºC . There is only light rainfall, mainly in autumn and at the beginning of spring. It is delightful and especially relevant for those seeking to retreat to a warmer destination during the colder months. This makes it an ideal place to visit all year around

Getting Around

Using public transport to travel in Valencia is easy. There are metro stations in all parts of the city and most places are within walking distance from the metro station. The bus system is efficient and easy, with various routes and well timed trips on a regular schedule. One may also opt to take a taxi which is also a good alternative and relatively cheap to get around in a timely fashion.

Hiring and driving a car in Valencia is relatively easy and cars are left hand drive. The roads are well structured, signs are good and the road surface is of good quality. Traffic is quite orderly and drivers seem to be quite educated and disciplined when driving. As in most major cities, Parking may be a problem however there are several car parks and designated parking in various parts of the city.

Besides air and sea, travelling to other countries by coach or train is possible.




Eating

The cuisine is tasty and food is fresh and mainly locally produced. Traditional dishes consist of hearty family dishes. It boasts a diverse gastronomy  incorporating a choice of seafood, vegetables, olive oil and fruits. Oranges and other fruits along with a variety of rice dishes are the most popular in Valencia.

People in Spain eat later than in other European countries, consequently restaurants serve lunch between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Dinner is usually served around 8:30 pm until 10:30 pm.

Although tipping is not obligatory in bars and restaurants, if the service is satisfactory, a tip is often desirable and good to leave. If in doubt on how much to tip, a tip of about 10% to 20% of the bill is normal. Of course feel free to tip as much as you want to, as you would expect, tipping more is never rejected.

Shopping

Valencia offers a great array of shopping experiences, making it a great place to spend hours on shopping sprees any day of the year. Most shops open between 10:00 am to 8.30 pm therefore there is ample time for shopping enthusiasts. Around tourist areas, malls and shops are open almost every day, including Sundays and public holidays, hence this makes Valencia a shopper’s haven all year, especially during weekend breaks.

The most famous brand in Valencia and all parts of Spain is the El Corte Inglés. El Corte Inglés have several stores spread around all major cities in Spain including Valencia. One can shop for clothes, electronics, white goods, shoes, sport equipment, fragrances and just about anything else at these stores. Expect to find several of its stores across various parts of Valencia. If you are looking for shopping malls, then visit Neuvo Centro. This three story shopping mall, contains several outlets and brands in one building, including a branch of  El Corte Inglés.

Supermarkets

Supermarkets are available around the city and purchasing daily needs is easy indeed. The Spanish chain of supermarkets, Mercadona, is the most popular supermarket chain in Spain and rightly so. Its products are genuine and inexpensive yet of superior quality. You will also find the Carrefour Supermarket chain offering a vast array of cheap yet excellent products.

Paying In Valencia

Most hotels, restaurants and shops in Valencia accept major credit cards such as, American Express, VISA, Mastercard and similar. In addition, banks open from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am – 2:30 pm 24 hour whereas automatic teller machines across the city are also available. Alternatively you can pay in cash. The currency is the Euro.

Events in Valencia

Expect to discover events year round, from sporting events to concerts most of them open to the public whereas others are more private. To find out some of the current events, check out our event calendar.

Public Holidays.

Most shops open during the public holidays, with the exception of a few days, most noteworthy New Year’s Day.

  • 01st January – New Year Day, most shops close.
  • 22nd January – San Vicente Mártir.
  • 19th March – San José.
  • 05th April – San Vicente Ferrer.
  • Good Friday and Easter Monday. Dates change every year, most shops close.
  • 01st May – Labour Day.
  • 09th October – Sant Dionís the Valencian community national day, most shops close.
  • 01st November – All Saints day.
  • 06th December – The Day of the Constitution, most shops close.
  • 08th December – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.


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