All over Colombia you can find unique and culture-filled markets that are bursting with fresh foods, souvenirs, clothes, traditional products and a whole range of random and unique items. Markets take place all around the country; from the big cities to the small towns, you can find daily or weekly markets. Here are 10 of the best around in Colombia.
Mercado de Bazurto
Mercado de Bazurto is a rowdy, big and bustling market 15 minutes east of Cartagena’s Old City. Away from the tourists, this locals’ market is filled with everything imaginable and seems endless. It’s filled with stalls as far as the eye can see with everything from fake branded clothes to fresh fruits and locally caught fish. Visiting this market is for the adventurous: you won’t find any tourists, and haggling with locals can be interesting, but it’s definitely a cultural experience.
Las Bóvedas is a quaint and well-organised market located in an old vault attached to part of Cartagena’s wall. This market is famous in Cartagena’s Old City and has a large number of individual stores that sell souvenirs, art, artisan products, clothes, coffee, jewelry and traditional Colombian sculptures. This old vault was used in the past as a weapons store, prison and dungeon, but the building has kept most of its architectural beauty.
Portal de Los Dulces
Portal de Los Dulces is a candy-filled market area under the arches in the Plaza de Los Coches, opposite the famous clock tower in Cartagena. This market contains every type of candy imaginable, from traditional Colombian candy to traditional candy from around the world. For between $2-$5, you can buy a box of handmade artisanal candy. This market has been in this location for over 100 years and people continue to enjoy the handmade traditional candy today.
Minorista is a huge and seemingly endless market in Medellín that’s complete with more fruits than you can imagine, a large variety of vegetables (many of which are not available in stores) and an array of fruit juices. This market contains a number of restaurants and food outlets as well as hundreds of market stalls.
San Alejo Market
San Alejo is a monthly market that takes place on the first Saturday of each month in Bolívar Park. This market is an artisan-lover’s paradise: it’s filled with creative and innovative products that are made by local craftsmen and women from the surrounding area. This market is unique due to its live music, cultural experiences, and items made from weird and spectacular products.
Calle de la Gobernación
Calle de la Gobernación is a bustling street, filled with vendors selling a variety of products including typical street food, drinks, paintings, souvenirs, jewelry and clothes. This pop-up market has been set up in the street for a number of years and each day different vendors arrive. Located close to the Plaza Bolívar, this busy street can be an ideal place to buy typical Colombian products, just be wary of prices.
Paloquemao Market is a food lover’s paradise located in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá. This authentic market was established in 1946 and moved to its current location in 1967. Tourists and locals from all over the city flock to the market to purchase groceries as it’s home to every type of food you can imagine and more, including fruits not available in stores, succulent cuts of meat, juices, and vegetables. The market’s smells are overwhelming as there are hundreds of types of flowers available to purchase as well as food.
Mercado de las Pulgas de Usaquen
Mercado de las Pulgas is a weekly Sunday market located in Bogotá’s colonial, cobbled-street neighborhood of Usaquen. This 20-year-old market is full of artisanal products, street sellers and a variety of stalls. It is an icon of Usaquen’s heritage, with locals and tourists coming from far and wide to purchase unique and quirky products or souvenirs. Going to the market and visiting Usaquen’s delicious and individual restaurants and cafés makes for a popular Sunday activity in the city.
Pasaje Rivas Craft Market
Pasaje Rivas Craft Market is a cheap and non-touristy market located in Bogotá’s historic center. This quiet and quaint market has a thriving arts scene and offers cheap artisan products and souvenirs. Relatively unknown to tourists, the market has a unique and cultural feel.
San Victorino market is an endless market in Bogotá that has hidden stalls and stands. The market stretches for four blocks in both directions, with stalls on the streets, in malls, in underground car parks and everywhere in between. San Victorino is an incredible cultural experience: there are stalls everywhere selling every product imaginable including party decorations, toys, plastic products, medications, clothes, home products, food and alcohol, as well as many other products. Many of these products can be found in the market for very good prices and are good quality.