Valencia’s Central Market: A Foodie Paradise (From a Local!)

front of the Central Market of Valencia
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If you’re a food lover who values quality and variety in the kitchen, then the Central Market in Valencia is a paradise you cannot miss out on. 

Located in the heart of Valencia, the Central Market (called “Mercado Centra” in Spanish and “Mercat Central” in Valencian) is Europe’s largest fresh produce market. It boasts an impressive collection of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and spices that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, the Central Market is an experience that you won’t forget. From the colorful displays of fresh produce to every type of cheese and olive you’ve ever heard of and then some, it’s truly a feast for the senses. 

front of the Central Market of Valencia


If you’re looking for a taste of the rich history and culture of the Old Town of Valencia, there’s no better place to start than the Central Market. The market’s origins can be traced back to the era of Muslim rule in the peninsula, where the conditions and agricultural legacy out of which the Market was born flourished. 

By the 19th century, the city’s authorities were looking to build an indoor market space, and sponsored a contest for the construction of a new roofed market.

Construction of the new market began in 1914 and was not fully completed until 1928 by the Valencian architect Enrique Viedma Vidal. The result is a stunning example of Valencian Art Nouveau style, with its colorful tiles and stained glass windows. 

In fact, as touched upon at the start, the Central Market of Valencia is the largest fresh produce market in Europe, covering more than 8,000 square meters. Safe to say, you’re not going to be short of food here.

Architecture and Design

The Central Market of Valencia is housed in a Modernist Building, which is one of the most emblematic buildings in the city. Its structure is formed by iron columns that remind us of the Eiffel Tower. 

The roof of the market, in turn, is made up of original domes and sloping sections at different heights. The building has been described as having a predominantly eclectic pre-Modernist style with Valencian Art Nouveau elements. 

roof of Central Market in Valencia
Source: Till Krech (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Further to this, the interior of the market is lined with a range of materials such as iron, wood, ceramics, and polychromed tiles. This leads to the real beauty of the market, which ties in its decorative references to the orchard and gardens in Valencia – just look at the roof once you get inside, which is really spectacular

Where is Valencia’s Central Market?

Located in the heart of the city, Valencia’s Central Market is a must-visit attraction for foodies and market lovers. Situated in Plaza del Mercado, it is easily accessible by public transport, including buses and trains, and there are plenty of parking options nearby if you’re driving.

As you wander through the market’s bustling aisles, you’ll be surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. The unique architecture of the building is a sight to behold, with its Art Nouveau style and colorful ceramic tiles.

How to Get to Central Market Valencia

If you’re in Valencia, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the Central Market. The market is located in the heart of the city, making it a convenient destination for locals and tourists alike. 

Here are a few ways you can get there:

  • By Bus: Take the local number 7 bus which stops next to the market. Alternatively, take a bus to City Hall and walk (2-minute walk).
  • By Metro: You can take the red or green line (3 or 5) to Xativa. From there, it’s only a short walk to the market. You can also take the metro to Colon, which is 900 meters to the southeast of the market.
  • By Taxi: A taxi is a convenient option if you’re short on time or don’t want to navigate public transportation. Taxis are readily available throughout the city, and every driver will know how to get to the Central Market.
  • On foot: Honestly, if you’re already in the center, it’s almost certainly going to be easier to just walk if you’re able to do so. Even some of the “further away” sights aren’t that far, with Valencia’s Plaza de la Virgen being less than 10 minutes away on foot.

Opening Hours

The Central Market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm, giving you plenty of time to explore the market and sample some of the amazing food on offer. However, it’s closed on Sundays and public holidays, so plan your visit accordingly.

Getting there early is the perfect time to beat the crowds and get a head start on your shopping. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to see the market come to life as the vendors set up their stalls and start selling their wares.

That said, later in the day is when the market really comes alive with both locals and tourists, especially on a Saturday. It’s a great vibe for starting the weekend.

stalls in Central Market Valencia
Source: Oliver Mallich (CC BY-ND 2.0)

What do they sell in the Central Market of Valencia?


As you enter the Central Market of Valencia, you’ll be greeted by the colorful display of fresh fruits. You’ll find a wide variety of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, cherries, peaches, and grapes, plus more exotic ones like dragon fruit and passion fruit.

In particular – and perhaps unsurprisingly, this is Valencia after all – the market is known for its oranges, which are grown in the surrounding orchards. You can buy freshly squeezed orange juice or whole oranges to take home.


The Central Market of Valencia is a paradise for vegetable lovers. You’ll find a wide range of vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, onions, and garlic. 

In particular, the array of tomatoes will blow your mind, as there are varieties sold here that, personally, I’d never seen before. But even if tomatoes aren’t your thing, the vendors take pride in all their produce, and you can be sure that everything is fresh and of high quality.

You’ll also find seasonal vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, and pumpkins. The prices are generally reasonable, and you can buy them in small quantities or in bulk.


The meat section of the Central Market of Valencia is a carnivore’s dream come true. You’ll find a wide range of meats, including beef, pork, lamb, and chicken…not to mention others like rabbit, quail, and venison. 

You’ll also find dozens of stands selling Spanish meat varieties, like chorizo, jamon, morcilla and much more. Ask the vendors if you don’t know what anything is as they’ll be happy to help.

Jamon for sale in Centra Market Valencia
Source: amanderson2 (CC BY 2.0)


The fish section of the Central Market of Valencia is a seafood lover’s paradise. You’ll find a wide range of fresh fish, with more standard offerings like sardines, anchovies, sea bass, and octopus side by side with more exotic seafood like live eels, sea urchins, and lobsters. 

The quality is excellent and the vendors are more than happy to give you tips on how to cook and prepare the seafood.


As a huge cheese fan, this might be my number one reason to come to the Central Market (well, along with the tomatoes I mentioned earlier). Here, you’ll find a wide range of cheeses, including Manchego, Cabrales, and Mahón. 

Plus you can find some pretty epic combinations, like goat cheese with herbs, blue cheese with nuts, and sheep cheese with truffles. If you’re not sure what to get, you can always ask to taste some – just to be sure!


Whichever spice you’re looking for, the spice section of the Central Market of Valencia is almost guaranteed to have it. It’s a spice lover’s paradise and gives you access to spices you won’t find in every Spanish supermarket, which can be great if you come from somewhere that’s used to having more spices in their food. 

The Front View of The Central Market of Valencia.


Just in case you’re looking for something to snack on, don’t worry, the nut section has you covered. With anything from almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews…and everything in between, you’ll definitely find what you need here.  


No Spanish market is complete without some olives and woah, does the Central Market deliver. From classic green olives to the more exotic and flavorful ones like the Kalamata olives – and all stuffed with almost anything you can think of – you’re sure to find something new here, even if you’re a longtime olive fan. 

The best part is that you can try before you buy, so you can really find the perfect ones for your taste buds.

Central Bar

If you want to experience the heart of the Central Market of Valencia, Central Bar is the place to be. This bar is a must-visit for anyone who loves fresh fruit, impressive sandwiches, and delicious snacks. The atmosphere is lively and bustling, and the food is always top-notch.

In particular, they have:

  • Sandwiches: Central Bar is famous for its sandwiches, and for good reason. They offer a wide variety of sandwiches, all made with fresh ingredients. Whether you want something classic like ham and cheese or something more unique like octopus, you’ll find it here. 
  • Snacks: If you’re looking for a quick snack, Central Bar has you covered. They offer a variety of small plates, including olives, cheese, and cured meats.
  • Juices: Central Bar has an impressive selection of fresh juices. They use only the freshest fruits and vegetables to create their juices, so you know you’re getting the best of the best. They’re also the perfect way to refresh yourself after a long morning of exploring the market.
Fruit juices available in Central Market Valencia
Source: Boris Kasimov (CC BY 2.0)

Is it worth visiting the Central Market of Valencia?

If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Valencia, the Central Market is an absolute must-visit. It’s a foodie’s paradise, with an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood on offer. You’ll also find a wide selection of local cheeses, wines, and olive oils. 

This bustling market is the largest in Europe with fresh produce and is housed in a stunning modernist building. As soon as you enter, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant colors, smells, and sounds of the market.

Aside from the food, the Central Market is also a great place to soak up the local culture. You’ll find friendly vendors who are happy to share their knowledge about the products they’re selling. 

It’s a bustling hub of activity, with locals and tourists alike browsing the stalls and enjoying the atmosphere. Whether you’re a food lover or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, the Central Market is definitely worth a visit.

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