Valencia Plaza del Mercado
Valencia’s huge modernist-style central market is one of the highlights of any trip to the city. Foodie visitors should make a beeline for the Plaza del Mercado (Plaça del Mercat in Valencian) to explore the market and marvel at the many unusual items available here, from enormous ostrich eggs to canned lamprey fish and alien-like goose finger barnacles. When you need a break from all the tempting (and extraordinary) sights on offer, you can head to a café in the square for the traditional Valencian snack of horchata (a cold, sweet milk-like drink made from tiger nuts) and fartons (sweet bread fingers covered in icing).
Also on the square is the 15th-century former Lonja de la Seda, or silk market. With unique twisted columns in the huge trading hall, a shaded orange tree courtyard, and opulent rooms on the first floor, the silk market offers a fascinating look into Valencia as a thriving commercial hub 500 years ago. The top floor was once used as a prison for residents of the city who could not pay their debts. You can learn more about Valencia’s fascinating historic center by joining a guided walking or bike tour.
Things to know before you go
*Entry to the central market is free. *The central market is wheelchair-accessible, with a ramp. *Keep your eye out for the opulently decorated domed ceiling in the central market. *The silk market has a small entry fee. *The main hall of the silk market is wheelchair accessible – although there are two steps up to access the entrance.
How to get there
The Plaza del Mercado is in the center of Valencia’s Old Town. It’s best to get here on public transport, on foot or by bike–driving access is limited. Guided walking and bike tours often stop at the market. The number 7 bus stops at the market square, and the nearest metro station is Xativa, on lines 3 and 5.
When to get there
The plaza is open to the public 24 hours a day year round. Most restaurants and cafés in the area are open daily. The central market is open 7am-3pm Monday to Saturday, and the silk market site is open every day, with shorter opening hours on Sundays.
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- Silk Exchange (La Lonja de la Seda)
- Valencia Central Market (Mercado Central de Valencia)
- Plaza de la Reina
- Valencia Cathedral (Seu)
- Valencia Old Town
- Valencia Cruise Port
- Admiral’s Baths (Baños Arabes del Almirante)
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento
- Quart Towers (Torres de Quart)
- Serranos Towers (Torres de Serranos)
- Barrio del Carmen
- Valencia City of the Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias)
- House of San Vicente Ferrer
- Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM)
- Valencia Bullring (Plaza de Toros)