Covered markets: discovering the most characteristic of Spain

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Alejandra Rangel

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La busy life of markets thus becomes a way to immerse yourself completely in local customs and traditions, a real experience.

Another very interesting aspect of the covered markets in Spain is that in most of them it is possible to eat, fresh products are cooked on the spot right under your eyes.

The best covered markets in Spain

During my many travels in Spain, I was lucky enough to visit several of these markets and I wanted to recommend some of them, making a sort of ranking among the most particular ones, always according to my personal taste.

Barcelona: the covered market of the Boqueria

How not to start with the Boqueria market, the market of the European city that has most “exploded” in tourism in recent years: Barcelona. A city with the ideal mix between culture and entertainment, the perfect destination for a spring or autumn weekend; you can still enjoy the favorable climate that will allow you to take a ride on the beach.

In addition to the cultural aspects and therefore all the works of Gaudì, first of all the unfinished Sagrada Familìa (of which you can find an extensive study in the magazine of Expedia Discover Among the many things that must be done in this Spanish city there is absolutely to visit its covered market.

In the middle of the main Rambla, proceeding towards the sea, it is possible to discover this absolutely particular place. Colors, smells and flavors, la Boqueria is like a magnet. You pass by and you can not help but let yourself be attracted, a bit like bees with honey. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner time, it doesn't matter, at the Boqueria market you can find and eat everything.

La Boqueria, the covered market in Barcelona.

On my trip to Barcelona several years ago, La Boqueria was the fixed stop every morning. After those two / three smoothies of every taste it was a must to have me cut some "curl ”by Jamón Serrano to keep in your backpack and eat mid-morning.

I think I can say that La Boqueria is my favorite Spanish indoor market.

I give you two other tips related to this market:

  • Drink as many fruit smoothies as you can.
  • Stock up on Jamon and go eat it at Castell de Montjuïc complete with sea views.

La Boqueria is open from Monday to Saturday from 8.00 to 20.30

Santiago de Compostela: the Mercato de Abastos

Santiago de Compostela is famous for the religious / spiritual paths that bring hundreds of pilgrims to the city every day. Another excellence of Santiago is its market.

Il Mercado de Abastos it is the last Spanish market I had the pleasure of visiting but it has already entered with flying colors in second place in this personal ranking.

Mercado de Abastos

It is said that it is the market with the best quality of the raw material, especially as regards the seafood products and that these are also "exported" to the markets of neighboring cities.

Santiago's proximity to the ocean makes this market become the reference point for shellfish and seafood of extreme quality. Indeed, 3 lanes for seafood, the Abastos market is definitely a must if you visit Santiago de Compostela and it is also wonderful simply for its architecture.

The mercado de Abastos

Also in this case a little advice: stop and eat some fish cooked at the moment, in fact, in Abastos 2.0 mini restaurant and in the other rooms of the market the "kitchen without fridge". What does it mean? It means that special menus are created every day using only the freshest market products.

The Mercado de Abastos is open from Monday to Saturday from 7.00 to 15.00 and the best days to visit and shop for top quality are Thursdays and Saturdays.

Santander: the Market de la Esperanza

In the less known but no less beautiful Santander, the capital of Cantabria, there is a small but very characteristic covered market, the Mercado de la Esperanza. In this market the subdivision by products is less noticeable but the thing that struck me is how much it is frizzante e lived.

The Mercado de la Esperanza

Knives that wriggle in the air, scales that continually weigh fish and vegetables, local people who, bags in hand, chat with the various merchants.

Maybe because this covered market is the smallest among those in this ranking, it may be that Santander is not as touristy as Barcelona, ​​it may be that I visited it on a day when it was very active, in any case I was particularly impressed.

The market is open from Monday to Saturday from 8.00 to 14.00 and from 17.00 to 19.30.

For more information on what to see in Santander read my post: Santander: 10 things to see in the capital of Cantabria in Spain

Cordoba: the Victoria Market

I have to be honest, the covered market of Cordoba it does not reflect the extreme beauty of the city. Of all the markets I've had the pleasure of seeing, this is the one that impressed me least. It is still a market where you can buy fresh products but it is the one that seemed less authentic to me.

Inside there are real bars and it lacks that something that is perceived in other markets. It lacks authenticity but this does not mean it should be discarded.

In addition, there is a substantial difference in opening hours, the covered market in Cordoba is open every day from 10.00 to 1.00 at night, with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays as it extends the closing time by one hour.

Other Spanish covered markets

As I told you, covered markets are widespread in Spain. Among the most beautiful we must mention the mercado of San Miguel in Madrid and the Central Market of Valencia. Both very large and lived in. I wanted to tell you about the most characteristic ones but obviously, if you are near Madrid or Valencia, make a visit to the city market as a fixed stop.

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