Mercado Sonora

Mercado Sonora, Mexico City: Address, Mercado Sonora Reviews: 3.5/5

Mercado Sonora
3.5
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This indoor market offers a number of interesting items, including voodoo dolls.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3.5
67 reviews
Excellent
10
Very good
25
Average
15
Poor
8
Terrible
9

Navigate6608
Claremont, CA1 contribution
Although Sonora Market has a lot of the typical odds and ends of a big Mexican market, the real attraction is the section of "brujería". In addition to a few trinket-type amulets and a special flower to bring good health, for 20 pesos I bought a candle that had been specially anointed to bring love to me. Let's just say within two weeks of my return from Mexico I had a new boyfriend. Coincidence? I think not. You should go.
Written May 6, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

A A
Houston31 contributions
Jul 2015 • Solo
Arriving here is a chore. You leave the Merced Metro and turn right though the shoes and kitchen stuff outside the Merced. Finding the street is an issue at first. The vendors have taken over the entire sidewalk area and it is a maze. Head south at any rate. Two streets down you will find the Mercado de Sonora. Basically there are three categories of goods sold here. In the front there is every kind of knick knack you could possibly want to throw a party for a baptism or a birthday. The crowds are crushing. In the back, there are animals stacked on top of each other. Everything from goats to canaries and "toads for witches spells." (That's what the sign said.) In the middle is the most interesting part. Narrow aisles full of vendors, some with stalls no larger than portable toilets, hawking all kinds of black and white magic. The black magic stuff like voodoo dolls and shrunken heads and devil stuff is creepy and tends to be together. The healers selling natural remedies and offering spiritual cleanings and tarot card readings are grouped together also. It is wall to wall people with narrow shelves packed full of candles and lotions and creams and plants and seeds and rocks and God knows what else. I went to get something for a recurring stomache ache, something I had never suffered from before in my life. An old woman never even asked my symptoms. She charged me $7 (100 pesos) and lightly beat me all over with an arrangement of herbs, smoked a special cigar all around me and put cream on eggshell on my arms. I have no idea what that was about but the stomache ache disappeared instantly and I haven't had a hot flash since then either.

It's an effort to get this market. If you want a non-tourist experience or are looking for a particular plant or seed for a natural cure to an ailment, this might be the place for you. On the back side of the market is a very unassuming seafood restaurant right on the street called El Puerto de Don Roque selling cheap but superb seafood. Lots of youtube videos showing spots on TV and many famous people go there. You can also check them out on Facebook.
Written August 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

prcs841
Albuquerque, NM24 contributions
May 2016 • Solo
Single young female traveling alone. Found it very entertaining and authentic. The witchcraft section is neat, but I especially loved seeing all the animals. Exercise normal precautions, be polite and considerate, and I wouldn't anticipate any problems. Loved it!
Written May 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jill A
1 contribution
Feb 2020 • Friends
I should have read some of these reviews before going in. Please be warned, this is a horrible place for anyone who believes in treating animals with decency and even a minimal level of respect. Seeing how these animals were treated broke my heart. I would not recommend this market. Most items being sold are purely junk...toys, tshirts, voodoo dolls, insence, trinkets. I was horrified when I stumbled into the area where the animals (very young, some just born) were being horrifically caged without food or water. The smell was horrible. Most were suffering and/or sick and malnourished. I wish I could report this. I do not even know where to begin.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dominic S
34 contributions
Mar 2018 • Solo
I visited this market last week. This market is just a few minutes away from the la Merced market. I have to point out that these markets are not in a touristy neighborhood. If you chose to walk to the market you will find yourself in a pretty tough environment. The Sonora market is considerably smaller than la Merced. For some reasons this market is labeled a which market but I don't think that this is quite accurate. There are many vendors who sell candles, statues,skulls and Santa muerte stuff but the majority of the vendors are selling normal merchandise such as clothes, stationery goods, party supplies....there is a segment where you can buy puppies and all sorts of other animals. Unfortunately many of the puppies look malnourished and unhealthy. To me it was heartbreaking to walk through here.

If someone offers you exotic animals for purchase and invite you to go with them to see the animals ( tiger, giraffe,etc) don't go. Its a scam. If you go ...most likely you will be lured into some dark alley and robbed...

You can't take pictures of the animals. The vendors get super pissed if you try.

When I went to the back of the market I saw a guy sitting on the ground with a pile of dead birds. He was injecting the dead birds with some kinda liquid using a hypodermic needle. It was pretty weird.
Written March 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Martymad0001
Fresno, CA70 contributions
Mar 2014 • Solo
I was really looking forward to visiting this market because it seemed rather unique. It isn't. It is basically an assortment of five hundred vendors selling the same twenty products in stall after stall. By the way, the products are crap. The witchcraft market portion was really just a group of stalls selling herbs, while other stalls sold powders, incense, crystals, and candles. Don't waste your time, and if you do go, don't go alone. It's a pickpocket's paradise, so wallets in the front pocket, folks. You're crammed into the aisles like sardines. Do not go if you are in any way cognizant of the suffering of animals. You will see chickens, pigeons, skunks, even goats literally crammed into cages so they can't move, and all indoors.

My advice is don't waste your time, but if you do decide to go be watchful. Take a cab, traffic's bad right there.
Written March 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jo R
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia15 contributions
Nov 2018 • Family
I wish I had read these reviews before we made the mammoth effort to walk there through some pretty dodgy streets. This place was recommended in Lonely Planet as an esoteric market and quirky place to go. We did not feel safe staying long and only saw cheap plastic junk for sale. We jumped in a taxi and got the hell out of there! Which was another experience in itself... my advice is avoid like the plague.
Written November 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emerald-City N
Seattle, WA118 contributions
Feb 2017 • Couples
As far as I can tell, there is no good reason for a tourist to visit Mercado Sonora, or the adjoining Mercado Merced. The warren of narrow aisles and the constant pedestrian rush discourage browsing or lingering. But there's not much to see anyway. There's really nothing interesting about mass-produced figurines. And the animals in the back were plain depressing...
Written May 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John C
Chicago, IL24 contributions
Apr 2016
It is everything you have already read about. But here are some tips:
1. If you take the metro and get off at Merced, you will be in the extended Mercado Merced. To get to Sonora, turn left out of the metro and keep the building on your left. Keep going across a few small streets/alleys and you will come out at a huge intersection. Cross the street and Sonora is to the left.
2. The animals are in the back. You will smell this section before you see it. Hold your breath.
3. If you are interested in religious goods the center halls are best. This would include Catholicism, Buddhism, Santa Muerte, 21 Divisions, etc.
4. If you want fewer crowds go early on a weekday. I went 9am on a Monday and while not all the stalls were open, enough were. Fluent Spanish would be ideal to get the most out of the experience, but you can get by with the basics.
Written April 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jenni
5 contributions
Nov 2019 • Friends
I would not recommend going to this market unless you want to see inhumane animal treatment. The front of the market is clay and trinkets, the back is tiny cages crammed with newborn animals covered in glad wrap.
Written November 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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