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“A taste of city life:vibrant,busy a cornucopia of smells”

Central Market (Mercado Central)
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$34.00*
and up
San Jose Walking Tour: Food, History and...
Ranked #25 of 131 things to do in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

A must see for those staying in the city for a day.A chance to see how many of the "chepes"a local from San Jose,go thru their day.I love to buy coffee from Trebol or Volio both offer great coffee by the kilo.The cost is a little less than 5USD per pound as of Sep.2013,ground=molido or in the bean =grano.Not for the faint of heart to wander thru the stalls:bargains can be found as well fresh fruit,meat ,herbs etcc.I go solo but for the new traveller it is better with a group.I am 10 feet tall or at least I project that illusion.Give them your best business face a no nonsense walk and you will see a place filled with sights, sounds and smells that will long be remembered.A great and cheap place to eat as well.

1  Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"pet store"
in 8 reviews
"locals shop"
in 7 reviews
"flea market"
in 11 reviews
"meat and fish"
in 6 reviews
"local shopping"
in 5 reviews
"local life"
in 9 reviews
"poultry"
in 4 reviews
"great market"
in 9 reviews
"indoor market"
in 4 reviews
"several blocks"
in 4 reviews
"for sale"
in 10 reviews
"stalls selling"
in 5 reviews
"costa rica"
in 38 reviews
"leather goods"
in 4 reviews
"tamales"
in 5 reviews
"walk around"
in 7 reviews
"great coffee"
in 4 reviews
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286 - 290 of 503 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

We only had one full day in San Jose. We chose to pay a visit to the Mercado Central,.see the sites, and see the galleries in the area. After reading many of the reviews I feel some things should be noted. 1- The Mercado Central was an interesting cultural Tico experience and good place to visit. 2- I did not find it to be as odiferous as some of the reviews led me to believe. Fish always smells a little fishy. 3- I didn't feel any increased amount of danger or subjection to pick pocketing compared to anywhere else in the city. The quarters are tight in there though, so keep your wits about you and aware of your surroundings; just like you would in any crowded unfamiliar place. 4- Sorbeteria Lolo (I think- the place over 100 years old), the traditional helado is delicious and highly recommended. 5- I did not find any must haves here or anything original other than coffee. But it was still a genuine Costa Rican experience. 6- I avoided the pet store so I cannot comment on that.

2  Thank LovinMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

As we always do when travelling in Latin America, we headed for the central market for grub. Excellent choice: besides its original atmosphere, this maze of alleys pleasantly filled with people / food / clothes / items / paraphernalia was well worth the 30min we spent browsing and lunching.

Thank sconti555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Definitely interesting to see from a cultural/anthropological perspective, but was finished exploring the market in about 10 minutes. Don't regret having taken the time to go, however, as it was a good experience for my kids to witness the hustle, bustle, cultural flavour and cramped surroundings. Did not find anything interesting to buy aside from a tortilla pan from one of the many kitchen shops (cheap) that my daughter is excited to try.

We parked in a nearby lot. 800 colones per hour.

Thank justkaijack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 24, 2013

Took my wife and 2 boys, ages 9 and 13, to Mercado Central mostly for the cultural experience. It didn't disappoint, but we didn't want to stay long. They had everything: locally made goods, flowers, spices, restaurants, fruits & vegetables, livestock and raw meats. All of these seemed to be divided into sections and it was like walking through a maze of narrow, dark aisleways. Being our first day in Costa Rica, we didn't entirely feel safe or comfortable here. I am sure it is safe, it was just something very different for us. Definitely an experience I don't regret and won't forget.

3  Thank landfalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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