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“A huge handcraft market”
Review of Almacenes San Jose

Almacenes San Jose
Ranked #2 of 50 Shopping in Havana
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

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.

5  Thank Roberto G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"flea market"
in 12 reviews
"huge market"
in 5 reviews
"key chains"
in 5 reviews
"one stop shop"
in 4 reviews
"great place to shop"
in 4 reviews
"leather goods"
in 4 reviews
"buy souvenirs"
in 6 reviews
"shopping experience"
in 3 reviews
"straw hats"
in 3 reviews
"wood carvings"
in 3 reviews
"great shopping"
in 3 reviews
"original art"
in 5 reviews
"vendor booths"
in 2 reviews
"sell similar"
in 2 reviews
"similar items"
in 2 reviews
"converted warehouse"
in 2 reviews
"stalls selling"
in 4 reviews
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145 - 149 of 356 reviews

Reviewed December 6, 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.

Date of experience: December 2013
5  Thank Simon W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Date of experience: September 2013
15  Thank Binkyatavern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 !!

Date of experience: May 2013
1  Thank Reina299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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....

Date of experience: July 2013
2  Thank SVTLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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