Valencia – Visiting the Central Market (March 2014)

Valencia Mercat Central

Before we arrived in Valencia, I had already made some plans about the most important things to do and see in the city. Thanks to one documentary I’d seen few years before, I placed on top of the list two ‘must see’ places – Mercado central (Central open market) and the Oceanographic Museum

During a four month voyage on HS Bruckner, we arrived in Valencia eight times and we had the opportunity to visit the market (many times), but not the Oceanographic Museum, which still occupies an important place on my ‘must see’ list.

Mercado Central of Valencia is considered to be the biggest and most beautiful open market in Europe and a very important tourist attraction for millions of tourists who are visiting the city every year. The first time I saw the building where the market was sheltered, I was really amazed – first by the size and beautiful architecture and second by the very colorful, clean and joyful interior.

Mercat Central Valencia (4)

Mercat Central Valencia (5)

Mercat Central Valencia (6)

Mercat Central Valencia (1)

Opened from early morning up to 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the Central Market in Valencia is offering a very wide display of fruits, vegetables, diary products, wines, traditional products (sweets, oil, ham -jamon, sausages, souvenirs) fresh meat, fish, sea food.

Mercat Central Valencia (14)

Mercat Central Valencia - Fruits

Mercat Central Valencia - Jamon

Mercat Central Valencia (2)

Mercat Central Valencia (3)

Mercat Central Valencia (13)

Mercat Central Valencia (15)

We visited the market many times, spending at least one hour wandering around the colorful rows, admiring and taking photos, changing smiles with the local vendors or customers, sometimes buying small things which were not needed, but crying for attention.

We spent the most part of our visit in the fish area – admiring the various types of fish of different sizes, colours and shapes, some of which we had known from previous diving or snorkeling parties.

I like to visit open markets everywhere in the world and I really love the ‘fish zone’, especially if there are lots of seafood and fresh fish on display. Whole or just steaks, different types of big fish are waiting on the vendor’s table ready to be sold and transformed in a delicious meal for a fair price, of course. Compared with some Asian markets I had visited before, the fish area from Mercado Central of Valencia was a lot more colorful, clean and expensive and most of the products were coming from the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, but also from South Atlantic. Most of the prices were displayed for half kilos or even quarters as most of the customers prefer to do their shopping every day and buy only what they need for one meal.

In this market I saw for the first time some interesting ‘sea creatures’ which were put on sale for quite big prices. I don’t know if I will ever eat this kind of seafood – as I like to keep things a little more simple and stick to the most common shrimp, squid and octopus – but these funny creatures really made my day and proved to be very photogenic on my camera.

Mercat Central (2)

Mercat Central Valencia (7)

Mercat Central Valencia (8)

Mercat Central Valencia (9)

Mercat Central Valencia (10)

Mercat Central Valencia (11)

Mercat Central Valencia (12)

Mercat Central Valencia

Mercat Central

We enjoyed our visits in Mercado Central and really tried to buy some fruits and few kilos of shrimps every time we arrived in town. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do this as often as we liked it because sometimes we were entering the port late in the afternoon or in some fiesta (Feria) day when the market was always closed.

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