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“hagglers welcome!”

Central Market (Mercado Central)
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Ranked #11 of 121 things to do in San Jose
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Owner description: This collection of stalls and restaurants contains the country's first ice cream vendor.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
676 reviews
345 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
“hagglers welcome!”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was a great experience. The people of Costa Rica are warm and engaging. Most will accept U.S. dollars here. Lots of variety - you may see a side of beef next to a booth filled with handmade cutting boards, next to tee shirts, next to jewelry.

Visited March 2013
Thank heyjudithz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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425 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
378 reviews
232 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
“Peek into local life”
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

We have been to such markets in various countries and i must say that amongst these this was one was the most pleasant experience. you dont feel threatened or hassled at all in here!

This place has a bit of everything, from produce, spices and meats for the locals through to nik-naks for the tourists. I think it is this variety in shops which brings a lot of different people to the market, thus giving a nicer atmosphere.

It is quite confusing though with very tight corridors many of which look much the same. It is surrounded by roads though so if you come out of the wrong exit just keep walking around the building you will find your way back to where you came in.

Worth a visit while you are in san jose

Visited November 2013
Thank G3ck0-Trav3ll3r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2013

People were.. Experience was worth it. Close to airport like 15 minute... I love these Costa Rican people ...watching the local was awesome....the public bathroom was not standard. Had to pay for bathroom amenities so bring your own...

Visited November 2013
Thank Paradisetraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zarcero, Costa Rica
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Over 200 Shops, Stalls and Sodas”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Wonderful place! Sodas, tourist items, herbs and traditional medicine, pets, flowers, fruits and vegetables, household necessities, butcher shops, fish mongers, coffee stands, etc. A must when you visit San Jose! I'm including a link to my blog, since I couldn't find a website for them. They are on Facebook as, "Mercado Central de San Jose, Costa Rica." Their email (according to Facebook): cargarro@hotmail.com
Many bargains here, which in surprising, considering it's such a popular tourist destination. Great place to eat inexpensively. One of the traditional medicine shops had most of the herbs labeled (in Spanish) with instructions on how to use them. On Avenida Central, in front of the market, are sculptures dedicated to street dogs by Costa Rican artist, Munguia.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Dolores P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A taste of city life:vibrant,busy a cornucopia of smells”
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.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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