Tonala Craft Market
Tonala Craft Market
4.5
Thursday
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Pachacútec M
    Guadalajara, Mexico
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of artisanal goods
    Can find some interesting things here. I recommend coming on Sundays, when the most street vendors are out selling their wares. The street food is also good here. Can find artisan handmade goods here, also lots of woodworking shops with Parota (raintree wood), that is very unique.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 28, 2023
  • defento
    Seattle, Washington
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Thursday is Market Day
    Thursdays are a cacophony of Mexican music genres, birds and hawkers. 8 tacos for M$20, plated joyleria (doesn’t jewelry bring you joy?), designer (knock offs?) apparel, pork rinds (the entire back of the pig), car accessories … you name it!! It was all there! Galleries are there to stumble across, as well!
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written January 4, 2024
  • Gary S
    Toronto, Canada
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great day at the Tonala market...
    We visited this authentic market on a Sunday, one of two market says in this suburb of Guadalajara. Uber ride was about 170 pesos each way. Hundreds of booths lined the sidewalks. There were also stores on both sides of the street. There was a wide assortment of goods including ceramics, textiles, some glassware, other handicrafts, sweets, restaurants, etc. We were able to compromise (bargain) on the final price for a number of item although don't expect Mexican prices. We bought a pillow cover, two table runners and s couple of tacky aprons as well as a good lunch and some coconut candy. We didn't notice any other tourists there.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 23, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles204 reviews
Excellent
121
Very good
62
Average
15
Poor
1
Terrible
5

3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Having been told this market was full of handmade crafts, I had high expectations for high quality items. I was not prepared for the many (most) booths of mass produced things that can be found, in smaller numbers, in most any Mexican market. I wasn't really looking for brightly painted plaster pigs, or factory made cups. Not to say there were no high quality items. There a few booths that contained hand made items, some nice furniture, one booth of blown glass, and a few with hand painted items. Across the street there was a street market that went for many blocks where I found much more interesting things.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
Good place to shop if you are looking to decorate your home and live in the area. Great for browsing row-upon-row of relatively lower priced knick-knacks.
However, would recommend skipping if you are not into "window" shopping.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pachacútec M
Guadalajara, Mexico
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Friends
Can find some interesting things here. I recommend coming on Sundays, when the most street vendors are out selling their wares.

The street food is also good here.

Can find artisan handmade goods here, also lots of woodworking shops with Parota (raintree wood), that is very unique.
Written August 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gwen
San Francisco, CA
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
It will blow your mind! If you love to shop you'll be in heaven. It's shopping on steroids. I don't particularly like shopping, but I was entertained by all the stuff. Lot of stuff!! My friend and I went in July so it was pretty hot, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to stop off at. I got the impression most of the items were not high quality, but I can't say for sure. If you want high, high quality go to Tlaquepaque instead.
Written February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kembriel
Seattle, WA
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
I feel odd complaining when many are raving about this place, but hopefully my review might save at least one other person from subjecting themselves to this mess. I was worried I might be acting like a spoiled gringa, but if you look on Google reviews almost all the 1 star reviews are from Mexican locals saying the same things I will, so I must not be completely crazy.

The market (on Sunday) is disorganized, filthy with trash, swarms of people and worst of all: dangerous pollution. From car exhaust to the very apparent smell of lead paint. It's impossible to say which groups are using it, but needless to say, this is extremely unhealthy for the vendors and anyone buying potentially toxic items. I felt very nauseous afterwards.

As a few others have noted, the stalls are primarily filled with complete junk, not lovingly crafted artisanal goods. Thousands upon thousands of ugly knickknacks that are likely either factory made or shamelessly copied by competitors at equally low levels of quality. You end up seeing the same crap time and again. Yes, it's cheap, but you can get most things for very low prices in Mexico, so why buy plastic toys and misshapen wooden tchotchkes when you can get real art for the same cost or slightly higher?

Sadly, some people were also selling birds and even dogs in very tiny cages. They were obviously unhealthy and stressed. It was just depressing to see.

I want to emphasize I am not dismissing Tonala as a whole. There were a few permanent stores in the area that had truly beautiful work, like intricate pottery, elegant furniture or larger statues. But it's almost impossible to see and find them in the midst of all the other chaos. In the end, I'm totally fine with paying a markup in galleries or other stores which have taken the time to find talented craftsmen and sort through this sort of insanity for easier and safer browsing.

At the least, if you really want to visit, I recommend not visiting on Sunday when all the rabble has made it near impossible to find the quality vendors.
Written November 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

324neilc
Steamboat Springs, CO
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Couples
The label for this attraction is a bit of a misnomer. Tonala is well known as cultural hotspot for the production of pottery, glass products, metal fabrication and numerous other products which fall into the Arts & Crafts categories. In addition to the numerous production facilities, there are lierally thousands of permanent shops and galleries selling all types of products.

As for the "Craft Market" aspect, there are numerous temporary stands or booths which open on a daily basis. On Thursdays and Sundays, their twice weekly "Market Days" bring thousands into the area and the town becomes total chaos! Attending on market day isn't for the weak of heart or the mobility challenged. Shopping Tonala on any day requires comfortable footwear and good stamina.

We have been shopping this goldmine since the late 90's and even though we feel we know the town well, it takes two to three days each trip to feel like we have done an adequate job of seeing all of the new shops and new products.

While I have included 15 photos with this review, it takes many more photos to really project the flavor of the town. Since TripAdvisor objects to posting links to photo albums, please feel free to send me a member message and I can provide a photo album with close to 500 photos we have taken through the years.
Written March 4, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Merlyn7768
Forest Lake, MN
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Friends
My family and I have spent over 30 years traveling all over Mexico. My parents decided to take my husband and I to Tonala on a shopping adventure. They had been there multiple times before and had hoped we would fall in love with the area as they once did.

Well. The city of Tonala is not nearly as large as neighboring Guadalajara. The entire span of the markets is however about a 4 mile diameter surrounding the central part of town. The first feeling is overwhelmed. Friday was calm, none of the markets opened until after 11am. We wasted a lot of energy trying to find things before the city actually opened. However if you like one thing and think you'll remember where it is located, try again. Use a paper map located at your hotel or Google maps and drop pins with explanations of what that shop had and how much. On Saturday the shops all opened around 10am and Holy Hannah was that a lot to take in. The once quiet streets were covered now with rows of vendors on both sides. As far as the eye could see. It takes hours just to walk one block and see everything in every store. Please don't have the expectation that everything is $1-$2 dollars. It is still very cheap and most everything we "fell in love with" was under $10 dollars. First round through the markets took about 5 hours. We broke for lunch and a little rest and then went back out. Due to the fact the city is so small you can easily drop off your bags and packages at your hotel OR they have people on tricycles that will deliver your goods to your hotel for a few pesos. Totally worth it. OK... Day one down and over 20k steps in. Sunday will be better. Nope. Sure not. The good news is they close at 3pm and you have a really good idea of what is where and what you "need" to have. We were after a metal light up sun. My parents have one that is about 5' in diameter in their home. These are much smaller and no matter what they tell you they do have ones where the rays are removable. However by the time we spent 2.5 days looking for the perfect one, the store we wanted to buy from sold a truck load of them to Cancun. We ended up finding two at the very end of town that would fit in our suitcase. We took a rest day on Monday and flew out Tuesday. We had two 55 pound suitcases and 4 carry ons full of treasures. This is where finding the perfect flight with cheap or free luggage fees. We flew from Cancun to Guadalajara via Magni Charter and back home in Volaris. Looks like you can fly from Chicago to Guadalajara on Volaris cheap. So if you want a wonderful shopping trip I'd try that. The over all experience is this. There is still a lot of artisans items there but that has been cut in half from what they were 10 years ago. There is a lot and I mean a lot of cheap China crap there. We talked to a lot of business owners and they are all saying how bad the China supplies are there and how they are pushing out the locals with real handmade items. Don't forget to have some Mexican coffee that tastes like cinnamon and some food along your route.
Written March 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YYC_traveler_10
Calgary, Canada
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
We've visited Tonala previously but only focused on things we needed (light fixtures from the forge and some glass). This time we decided to go for the full experience and visited on Thursday market day and stayed for an additional two days.

Positives - there is a huge varierty of different types of items from souvenirs to metal work to glass items to plant pots..... The vendors themselves aren't pushy in getting you to buy things. There are some gems, here and there, but you really need to look closely. What you can buy at the Thursday market, you can buy in the shops on other days. The items in the market may be cheaper, but typically, the quality of items is higher in the stores.

Negatives - There is so much repetition from vendor to vendor. You see the exact same thing hundreds of times. Many of the items are of poor quality - you need to really check what you are buying. It is VERY busy on market day.

Some tips to making it a good experience: 1. Wear comfortable walking shoes - you will be walking alot on oftentimes uneven terrain. 2. Bring a sweater or coat as the mornings and late afternoons can be cool in the fall and winter. 3. Get a map and locate on the map where you saw things if you don't buy them immediately. 4. Ditch the car - park it somewhere safe and walk. It is a nightmare trying to navigate the back streets and very frustrating to see yet another one way street going the wrong way! There are lots of parking lots for a reasonable price - typically 10p per hour or 30p per day. 5. Look carefully at the quality of the items. Many items look the same, but the quality is different. 6. Stay in a good hotel, probaby outside of Tonala, as you will need a good night's sleep. 7. Start early in the morning - 9 am is good. We were told 8 am, but the Thursday market is just setting up then. 8. If you speak Spanish, it is a real advantage as most of the vendors don't speak English.
Written January 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jorge_Rdz
Monterrey, Mexico
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018
This is a big market near Guadalajara, Jalisco
You can find almost everything here, handcrafted souvenirs (artesanias), typical food, even furniture
Like any market you can find good prices and stuff you can't find so easily
If you're in Guadalajara this place it's a must to have a real taste of México
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane R
Calgary, Canada
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017
I visited the Tonala market on a Thursday (market days are Thursday and Sunday) and it was great but as the day went on it got busier and busier.

I was looking for furnishings and decor for a Mexican casa and this place doesn't disappoint. That said, if you're looking for trinkets and souvenirs it's a hot, crazy place just to maybe save a few pesos.

This market is where many of the tourist town souvenirs vendors purchase their wares. It's also a spot where the decor and furnitures stores come for their stock.

I'm going back but it won't be on a Thursday or Sunday because most of what interested me (furniture and decor) could be found in shops that are open the other 5 days of the week.

If you absolutely have to see the market go early and try to be finished by noon. After that there's so many shoppers you can barely walk down the sidewalk between the stalls.

Oh, and don't forget to eat. There's no shortage of food (of course, it's Mexico!) and the fresh fruit stands serve fruit at it's perfect ripeness.
Written March 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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