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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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San Jose Walking and Bus City Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Terrible
Souvenirs

Very busy. A lot of little shops to choose from. They have many souvenirs shops with very cheap prices. I suggest not taking bulky purses or backpacks. Great location, walking... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 21 September 2016
gurlale
,
Santa Ana, California
via mobile
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386 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 263: English reviews
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2016 via mobile

Avenida central is really Americanized - for example - shops selling expensive shoes like I find at Nike or footlocker at home. The market itself was cool because it was basically a big square and it was somewhat easy to get mixed up as to where you are. The shops were jammed with touristy things but most were small and... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank skittlezzz
Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
550 reviews
290 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 588 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2016

Our tour bus dropped us at this location and we were shocked that it was inside an area that just goes on and on. Very narrow passageway and overly crowded. Vendors were not aggressive and provided a sampling of everything from fresh food, pets, clothes and souvenirs. The shops are more for the locals than for tourists searching for cheap... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank kythoro
Santa Ana, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2016 via mobile

Very busy. A lot of little shops to choose from. They have many souvenirs shops with very cheap prices. I suggest not taking bulky purses or backpacks. Great location, walking distance to Teatro Nacional and major shops. During the weekend particularly on Sunday there is live music.

Helpful?
1 Thank gurlale
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016

Lots of same stuff in this. If your looking for local food, you will find it here. Can get crowded. A lot of vendors are selling the same stuff.

Helpful?
Thank PattyFox61
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2016 via mobile

Mercado Centro and the entire Centro of San Jose, Costa Rica is an excellent place to shop and eat expensively. We did a lot of souvenir shopping here on our vacation. I am going to dedicate more time to shopping here on our next visit. It is a very busy, vibrant, active, crowded, enjoyable place to shop and eat. The... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Stewart F
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 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
83 reviews
18 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 25 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
436 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 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

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Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Central Market (Mercado Central) and other visitors
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Columbia, Maryland
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
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?