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“Once a great place for arts and crafts - now a flea / farmers market!”

Central Market (Mercado Central)
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and up
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Ranked #11 of 122 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 10 December 2013

I have been here many times over a 10 year period. This was once a great stop for purchasing bowls, masks and pottery but has changed significantly over the years. Definitely would not consider it a #2 rating on my shopping list! Now more of a farmers market / flea market with lots of food items, produce, meat, flowers, some cafes and a few stores with small tourist trinkets. As other reviewers have indicated, the people are friendly and a good place for people watching and getting a feel for local life. My last 2 visits to the Central Market have been for the purpose of purchasing an inexpensive duffle bag for packing items to take home. Great prices on large duffle bags $10-$15. For items like pottery, art, exotic wood crafts and textiles I now go to the Artists Market which is located several blocks down Central Avenue, past the bus stop and next to the National Museum. There is a huge selection of items focused on arts and crafts at the Mercado Artesanias and good prices.

6  Thank pattib22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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245 - 249 of 441 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 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.

Thank heyjudithz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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

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