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“A huge handcraft market” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Almacenes San Jose

Almacenes San Jose
Ave. del Puerto, Havana, Cuba
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Ranked #1 of 6 Shopping in Havana
Type: Shops, Shopping
Attraction details
Santiago, Chile
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A huge handcraft market”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

It was a very big building with hundreds of mini stores which have the same products but with different prices. You should always ask for some discounts.
Beware of the kids asking money, they are not violent but persistent.

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52 reviews from our community

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Mildenhall, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Great for bargain hunters”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

This is a must for serious shoppers (we spent two hours here) but is sadly not included in some of the Havana tours. A good place to shelter from the sun with rows of stalls, good toilets, and refreshing fresh coconut water for $1 in the middle and try the great churro's for $1 at the far end.
Wide variety of art around the ends and far side, with a great deal more than the usual cars and rum pictures, and plenty of stalls to browse, compare prices and bargain with. Look out for the 'loss leaders' used to get you to buy as these can be real bargains.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Pick up artwork here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

It is full of local art work which will blow your mind. Expect to bargain especially if you are buying more than one. Walk around the entire warehouse before buying even if they all call you into each section to check out their paintings. The further you go the more you see.Take a picture of the artist when you buy one as these are frequently originals being sold by the artist themselves and engage them in conversation. They want to know more about the outside world as some have never left Cuba. They also have other souvenirs like straw hats, macrame hammocks, terracotta jewellery and the usual magnets etc.

They do have a lot of the typical paintings of Havana including the cars and building but look for something more original. These are oil paintings and the abstract art with almost 3D effects is unusual.

Drink coconut water, its really good for you and eat the flesh. Especially in the heat.

A word of warning, get the artist to give you a 'certificate' if they can. Apparently if I had got these I would not have had to pay again at the airport for taking 'cultural pieces' out of Cuba. It isnt expensive (3 Cuban pesos per piece which you have to pay in Cuban money only) but no one told us. If you take antiques out you especially need this certificate. Artwork bought from a gallery will come with a certificate. Worth it as I have 2 beautiful large paintings for my home for a total of £80.

Good to know:
Location locally is the Centro Antiguos Almacenes de Depósito San José. Referred to as the Craft Market so very well known. Its in an old warehouse on the Malecon. You can get taxis outside back to your hotel. Bring cash only, don't think they accept cards. Buy one of the tubes to carry them as its a lot easier to take home. Don't seal completely as they will make you open it after you clear Customs in the airport.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Really good !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

This is a very good place to shop ... lots of cuban artesania !! , good prices also... I will go back for sure... If you want to give a souvenir to someone or just a nice gift from Cuba this is the place to go. Enjoy !!

Visited May 2013
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London
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Great for souvenirs and paintings - amazing Cuban art!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We actually went here twice, once at the beginning and back after two weeks to buy what we wanted before going home. The souvenirs are pretty similar, but the art varies and the paintings are beautiful. We also enjoyed chilling out with a Mojito at the bar, the locals shop here too so it feels less touristy....

Visited July 2013
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