A fruits and vegetables stand at the Central Market of San Jose.

Central Market of San Jose, Costa Rica

Authentic Costa Rican Shopping since 1880

The main gate into the Central Market of San Jose Costa Rica.
Central Market’s main entrance on the corner of Central Ave and 6th Street.

The Central Market is a must-see sightseeing attraction for those looking for the authentic side of San Jose, Costa Rica. This indoor market opened its doors for the first time back in 1880 and it feels it hasn’t changed that much since. Its numerous shops align a maze of narrow corridors where shoppers can purchase all sorts of products, like herbs, flowers, meats, authentic meals, apparel, souvenirs, coffee, tobacco, poultry birds, tropical fruits, jewelry, and so much more.

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The Central Market City Block

Shopping authentic at the Central Market of San Jose Costa Rica.
Authentic shopping at San Jose’s Central Market.

The indoor Central Market of San Jose fills up a full city block along the northern side of the Central Avenue pedestrian boulevard. Once inside it’s like a separate world where endless authentic Costa Rican products are in display.

Vast authentic options to purchase at the Central Market.
Luffas and piggy banks for sale at the Central Market.

Each item for sale is also a token of history and culture allowing us to know more about the of this unique country.

By far this market is the most authentic and fun place in the capital city. It is a joy and a treat for the senses. It is big and so easy to lose yourself in there. No surprise many visitors end up coming back.

Flies have gone extinct at the Central Market. It is incredible how clean it is.

One thing is for sure, it would be a sin to visit the market and not have the authentic and original sorbet. You’ll find it at Lolo Mora’s Helados de Sorbetera. This one flavor shop has been using its original recipe since 1902 and it’s delicious. The flower area is another must-see section in the market. The authentic food court is also a great place to try a fresh guanabana drink.

Unfortunately the Central Market is closed on Sundays.