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“Peek into local life”

Central Market (Mercado Central)
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and up
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Ranked #11 of 123 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.
Reviewed 12 November 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

Thank G3ck0-Trav3ll3r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (453)
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254 - 258 of 453 reviews

Reviewed 6 November 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...

Thank Paradisetraveller1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 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.

1  Thank Dolores P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 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
Reviewed 4 September 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

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