Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 | 70 comments

Valencia: Mercat Central

I was hungry when I arrived to Valencia from Madrid.

It was not easy to walk from the train station to the hotel passing by dozens of restaurants buzzing with patrons.  Then, it seems like everybody likes to advertise their offerings with a bigger than life poster. Again, it was not simple to walk by all those delicious offerings with a grumbling stomach.

Once we were arriving to the hotel, we passed by a big Modernist building.  I recognize it in three seconds.  It was the Mercat Central (or Central Market).

It is easy to deduct what happened next in this story.  Luggage was dropped into a storage room (it was still early) and we proceeded to walk back to the market.

We were absorbed by natural light, poignant smells and a burst of color once we were inside.

The market’s building is a masterpiece of Modernist architecture.  It was designed in 1914 by Francisco Gardia and Alejandro Soler, both trained at the School of Architecture of Barcelona.  The place was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1928.

It is one of the oldest markets in Europe still running.

The Mercat Central de Valencia covers exactly 8,160 square meters divided into two areas or zones. The first one is an irregular shape with a surface area of 6,760 square meters and the other, which is octagonal and covers 1,400 square meters, houses the fish market. The basement, which has 7,690 square meters, was previously a fish auction and is now used as a car park.

The Mercat Central brings together almost 400 small traders and 1,500 people are involved in its daily activity. It is the largest centre of its kind in Europe specializing in fresh products and the first market in the world to rise to the challenge of computerizing sales and offering home delivery, services which have been available since October 1996.

I would not like to use cliché wording but, honestly, this is a must visit in Valencia.  It is located almost directly across the Silk Exchange (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and can be combined with a walk around the Ciutat Vella (Old Town).

But, do not take my word about how interesting this place is.  I’ll let you be the judge.

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

 

Roasted pumpkin is a regional delicatessen.

IMG_7413

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

 

These are chufas or tiger nuts.  They are use to prepare Valencia’s famous oxchata (or horchata, which, by the way, is delicious).

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

 

Never seen potatoes so colorful.

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

 

I like the look of these candied oranges.

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Mercat Central or Central Market, Valencia, Spain

Details

  • The market is open Monday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Would you like to visit this market?

Pin it for later?

The Central Market in Valencia, Spain is a must see in this coastal city.  With over 400 stalls, this one of Europe's oldest markets.

___

 

70 Comments

  1. That market looks amazing. Lovely pics. x

    • Thanks! It is always a pleasure to stroll around markets.

  2. I love wandering round markets and this sounds even more impressive than most, love the history behind it too. Thanks for joining up with #citytripping
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted..City Tripping #9My Profile

    • This is proof that Spain takes its markets seriously. I visited at least one at every city I visited there. They were all great.

  3. OMG, so envious. If there is one place I’d seek out in a city, it’s the marketplace. I know that it’s where you can sample not only the local delicacies but the best of what the city can offer as well.

    Happy New Year!
    Photo Cache recently posted..Marseille: People on the StreetMy Profile

    • I agree with you. I am sure you have noticed the amount of market related posts I have in this blog. I can be talking entire days about the experiences I have has in markets.

  4. What an amazing market! It’s so big…it made me think of the market in Barcelona, but I think this one is even bigger. And I’ve never seen potatoes that colour, either.
    Kay
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travels

    • Yes, you are referring to La Boqueria. I think Valencia’s market is bigger (and less crowded). The think with this market is that you can find a lot of regional goods. I saw things I have never seen before.

  5. wow what a fabulous market. I love visiting markets when we travel – they really take you to the essence of the country.
    Happy travels.

  6. This looks like an awesome market!

    • I know. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. The Market looks fascinating and all that food is simply delicious. I should get a snack before I read your posts Ruth! 🙂

  8. The market building is gorgeous. I’d definitely shop there. We usually self-cater when we travel so I would have been looking to buy the gorgeous looking tomatoes and the spotty potatoes (I love different types of both of those things) and the creamy cheese (dips?). I’m always budget conscious so I would then select some meat that was a good price. Shopping at markets in another Country is such fun.
    budget jan recently posted..Five ways to beat the heat in Townsville North QueenslandMy Profile

    • We tried several things in here. We even brought back some food related items from a specialty supplier. In addition, we sat down to have pastries and coffee. my husband tried something called Cola Cao (a chocolate drink).

  9. That is a gorgeous, CLEAN market! 😀 When I get to Valencia one of these days, thanks to you, I’ll stop here, especially since it’s a stone’s throw from the Silk Exchange.

    Thanks for bringing me here, and I’m looking forward to my next trip with you! 😀
    Trekking with Becky recently posted..Hikone Castle – An Overlooked National TreasureMy Profile

    • Becky, thanks for your words. Isn’t the world amazing? It is great that we can learn about different parts of the planet from one another. Blogging allows us to do that. I am looking forward to discovering new places from the perspective of other bloggers.

  10. Id love to visit this market some day! Everything looked so delicious and those are definitely the most colorful potatoes I’ve ever seen. Pinning this for later!

    • Thanks Shanna! At first, I wasn’t sure if those were potatoes. I thought they were a fruit. After closer inspection, I realized they were potatoes.

  11. I always love checking out local markets whenever I travel! Those minion cookies are cute!

    • Me too! It is something that you can do for free and it never gets boring. I am into food halls too.

    • Those two things are specialties of the area. That pumpkin tasted delicious.

  12. I always love markets, and visiting this one would be at the top of my list! I enjoy seeing what local booths have to offer and I was intrigued to learn that it is one of the first places that provide home delivery service!
    Brooke of Passport Couture recently posted..City or a Country Girl?My Profile

  13. Nothing like a stroll through a food market in another country and Mercat Central certainly offers a lot of variety. I love the spotty potatoes!
    Kathy Marris recently posted..Tassie Trip: Part 5 Bay of FiresMy Profile

    • I wish I could have tasted those potatoes. I have tried purple ones and they are very sweet (taste almost like yams). I guess for potato variety, I have to go to Peru.

    • We can do that in our town’s fish market. We usually get two fish and baby squids. They fry or grill them and serve them with lemons and other sides.

    • I had the same thought! When I went to Italy, I din’t visit any of the markets. What can I say? I was in my early 20s and I realize how I messed up on that. I need to go back and fix my mistake.

  14. What an amazing place! I love places like that – I think I’d be overwhelmed with all the choices! We really have nothing like that around here. The French Market in the New Orleans might be the closest but it’s nothing like that.

    Thank you for sharing with us at Photo Friday!
    Jen recently posted..Photo Friday – Brown PelicansMy Profile

    • We do no have something like this close to where I like neither. What we have are farmers markets but it is not the same feeling. Markets are one of the features I adore form Europe.

  15. Wow – I love a good market and an indoor one as good as this looks would be on my itinerary. I want to find out what variety those potatoes were now and grow them. I grew some called Apache 2 years ago but they had more red on them.
    Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault recently posted..Coming out of hibernationMy Profile

  16. Mouthwatering pictures. I love a good food market and the Spanish do them so well! Thank you for linking to #citytripping

    • You are right! The Spanish master their markets pretty well. I had a blast visiting them.

  17. Love the look of the markets, and the architecture there – beautiful! I love those close-up shots of the fruits too. You always take lovely photos Ruth. – Tasha
    Natasha recently posted..Rain Patterns & Sunshine SkiesMy Profile

    • Thanks Tasha. I love to take a close look at the offerings.

  18. What I would really like is to move in next door to Mercat Central! Admittedly, I will fall in love with almost any great market, but…ooh, I want to try everything you pictured. Especially Oxchata and pumpkin. Now I just have to find a short cut to get to Spain! 🙂 #WeekendWanderlust
    RobRob@TravelLatte(.net) recently posted..Beauty, History & Mystery in the White MountainsMy Profile

    • That is a great idea. I would be happy to stroll around before work. They have tons of cafes surrounding the area.

    • I had my eyes on a stall selling Greek food. Sadly, we arrived too late the day we wanted to try it.

  19. This makes me miss the wet markets in Malaysia where I used to shop, although my local one cannot compare in size. I like the variety of goods at the Mercat Central. Are those candied WHOLE oranges? That’s what it looked like. I would have to load up on lunch before shopping or else I’d end up buying way too much.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..Cattle Drive at the Fort Worth StockyardsMy Profile

    • I believe they are whole candied oranges. At first, I was hesitant to believe they were candied like that but they truly were.

    • The beautiful building seemed to influence the vendors attitude. Everybody was really nice.

  20. You never know what you’re going to discover when you read a post online. I had never heard of tiger nuts until today so of course I had to google it.

    Turns out that tiger nuts are actually NOT nuts, they are a tuber that grows below the ground’s surface, just like potatoes and peanuts. They come from the sedge family. They have all of the nutrients and energy benefits of nuts, are low carb, and are safe for people with gluten and tree nut allergies. I think I am gonna have to get some of those.
    Linda Bibb recently posted..Clifden, County Galway – I Found My Family RootsMy Profile

    • There is no doubt that you are going to learn a lot reading other blogs. The tiger but itself does not have a lot of flavor (they give you samples). However, when it is super delicious when used to prepare the horchata.

    • Thanks Elaine! Hope you make it to Valencia one day.

  21. I must visit this one of the oldest markets in Europe! See the architecture, find tiger nuts and the colorful potatoes! I think i will spend a great morning there and lug back bags to try cooking the local food;).

    Surprising it was not crowded at all!
    pc recently posted..We Learnt the Hard WayMy Profile

    • The crowds in Valencia are nothing compared to the hordes of people in Madrid and Barcelona. Therefore, it feels like the city is yours to enjoy.

  22. I love the architecture of old market halls with their exposed steel structure. So many have fallen in disrepair or are used as inner city warehousing (if they are still standing at all) – good to see one which is still the vibrant food market of a city the size of Valencia!
    Juergen | dare2go recently posted..23 Photos of the Shops & Market in Colourful San TelmoMy Profile

    • I think Valencia would not be the same without its market.

    • Thanks Johanna. Valencia is tons of fun. Especially, the food ;0)

    • The mercado is great. Looking at the photos I feel transported too. It would be great to be able to visit a market daily (or at least a couple of days a week).

  23. I love Valencia’s central market! It’s so colorful and bright, so much fun to walk around and admire all of the fresh food! Your pictures capture it beautifully 😀
    Lauren recently posted..2015 Highlight ReelMy Profile

    • Thanks Lauren! I always knew the market was a must see. However, it exceeded my expectations. What a beautiful place!

  24. Definitely not something to see while I’m waiting for my food delivery, haha. I had such a lovely time in Valencia, I’ve been thinking a lot about going back soon.
    Vlad recently posted..Traveling Romania On A BudgetMy Profile

    • Yes, I know. Not a post to see while hungry or waiting for food. I would like to go back to Valencia too. Well, in reality, I would like to move to Spain ;0)

  25. I love going to a market when I am in a new city – it really helps you get a feel for the place! I would definitely have to try that roasted pumpkin, I bet it is delicious!
    Holly recently posted..Yarn Along | Knitted SocksMy Profile

    • Oh yeah! The pumpkin was delicious!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Visit Singapore Botanic Gardens UNESCO Site - […] Linking to Travel Photo Thursday at Tanama Tales […]

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge