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Central Market (Mercado Central)

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Address: Bordered by Avdas. Central and 1 and Cs. 6 and 8 | Barrio La Merced, San Jose, Costa Rica
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Description:

This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice...

This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.

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Book In Advance
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Poor
  • 8
    Terrible
Either come on a tour or speak some Spanish

I like the Central Market, it's where all the locals go for all their shopping needs, there's everything from meat, seafood, fruit & veg to handbags, dresses, pets and coffee... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 23 August 2016
R0wi3
,
Denver, Colorado
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374 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 258: English reviews
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2016

This area is certainly bigger than one avenue. The entire area is full of local vendors and cultural exhibits. The market that houses the fondas and a little bit of everything. Definitely worth a stop.

Helpful?
1 Thank klw00
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2016 via mobile

We went there hoping to find nice souvenirs from Costa Rica but honestly didn't find anything to bring back. There are shoes if you like to buy this, otherwise some shops selling small bags or purses, but the quality is quite poor. It is though a good place to buy fresh vegetables, meat or fish.

Helpful?
2 Thank Mylene A
Level Contributor
78 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2016

El Mercado central is a place you should go, specially if turist. In my opinion in this markets you are able to see the real local culture. You will find from animal/pet stores, to souvenirs, fresh food,and good but simple meals. They also have the first ice cream shop in town with a good but peculiar flavor.

Helpful?
1 Thank Gilberto V
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2016

My husband and I walked every aisle of the maze this market is. The atmosphere is fun and energetic, but the prices were higher than other places. The food looked like it was prepared in not the most sanitary of conditons. The pet store was deplorable. The animals were very overcrowded in small cages! We were looking at chair hammocks.... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank Renee H
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
434 reviews
147 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2016

I like the Central Market, it's where all the locals go for all their shopping needs, there's everything from meat, seafood, fruit & veg to handbags, dresses, pets and coffee! It's a bit of a maze, lots of different corridors to take but it's easy enough to work out. The first time we came here was on a tour and... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank R0wi3
Melbourne, FL
Level Contributor
95 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2016

Once you enter into the market there are walkways and alley ways where you will find everything Costa Rican. There are many shops, tiendas in Costa Rica, filled with so many different sights and smells. There were restaurants, meat markets, fish markets, and clothing, shoes, and shops with beautiful flowers. My wife and I spent a couple of hours exploring... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank flsurfer
Killeen, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2016 via mobile

It is a market where you can buy meats, fruits, and places to eat. It was just very dirty, did not smell pleasant, and there weren't much of anything I'd buy in there. It's been the only place we've visited so far that I didn't like.

Helpful?
1 Thank chicana18
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2016

The Mercado Central is a local market in the center of downtown San Jose. It has been in operation since 1880! There are tons of local vendors selling meats, produce, spices, and all sorts of goods. You must find a soda (local dining spot) to visit. Look for the one with the most locals!

Helpful?
1 Thank Christi K
Jenison
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2016

Great place to learn about the local food. Had a tour guide show us around. Had coffee at Cafe Central, best I have ever had.

Helpful?
Thank M5272MTelizabeths
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2016

We went on a Saturday afternoon! Lots of people on the pedestrian walking street just outside as well as very neat things to see inside the market! This is where residents buy their food; different stalls for seafood, chicken, meat,fruits, vegetables etc!

Helpful?
Thank Sandra T

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Central Market (Mercado Central) and other visitors
13 questions
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Columbia, Maryland
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
over a year ago
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?