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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.