The main food markets in Spanish cities offer an incomparable way to experience local street life, and Almería’s is no exception. A loud, pungent and chaotic cluster of stalls selling everything from fresh fish and meat to spices and wine, the city’s Mercado Central is a must-visit. Its ambience is further enlivened by the clattering rhythms of Andalusian Spanish, as the locals exchange gossip whilst shopping.
The clue is in the name: this general street market is held every Tuesday, from 8am to about 4pm, and is home to over 300 stalls. These offer a wide range of goods, from cheap clothing and accessories to fresh flowers. Shoppers to the Tuesday Market can also enjoy the unique experience of browsing for bargains in a major sports stadium.
If you’re visiting Almería and miss the city’s bustling weekly Tuesday mercadillo, fear not: another is held on Friday mornings. The aptly named Mercadillo de los Viernes (Friday Market) comprises around 260 stalls and runs until about 2pm, when the vendors head off for a cold beer and tapas. Even better, the market’s location in the city centre means its ideally located for a stop-off while you’re sightseeing.
Almería’s ‘Blue Ball’ flea market is held on Monday mornings in a residential part of the city, surrounded by modern apartment blocks. Its offers 200 stalls selling the eclectic mishmash of goods that you’d expect from a good Spanish rastro: sartorial bargains, aromatic flowers, bargain household items and much more. A great place to practise your haggling skills.
On Saturday mornings, Almería’s bargain hunters gravitate towards the city’s spacious fairground – the recinto ferial – to see what’s on offer. The Mercadillo de los Sábados (Almería’s markets, it has to be said, are not the most imaginatively named) consists of about 230 stands selling a wide range of goods, including fruit, vegetables and clothing.