The Best Markets In Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena street art
Cartagena street art | © Milan Cater
Milan Cater

Cartagena de Indias is the capital of the Bolivar region of Colombia, situated along the Caribbean coastline. This place is scattered with plazas and markets; here is our guide to the best markets.

1. Mercado de Bazurto

Market

Mercado de Bazurto | © Sergio Fajardo Valderrama/Flickr
© Sergio Fajardo Valderrama/Flickr

Mercado de Bazurto

This market takes you out of the charming old city and into the depths of local life in Cartagena. The Mercado de Bazurto is dirty, rowdy and huge. It is filled with intriguing items ranging from knock-off brand name sports gear to some of the most fresh and exotic Colombian ingredients not found in the supermarkets. Being wary of thieves and locals, tourists don’t tend to venture into this market often or alone. But if you are an adventure-seeking traveller, this market is worth a visit for the cultural experience alone.
Chino, Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Mercado de Bazurto | © Sergio Fajardo Valderrama/Flickr

2. Las Bóvedas

Market, Shop

Perhaps the most famous of the markets in Cartagena, Las Bóvedas (Spanish for ‘the vaults’) is an arcade underneath the wall of the Old Town right by the sea. It contains different shops selling souvenirs, traditional Colombian clothing, jewelry, paintings – you name it. Originally built as dungeons in the 18th century by Antonio de Arevalo, Las Bóvedas was used as storage units and later, as prison cells. Now, it is home to some of Cartagena’s most sought-after antiques and handicrafts. This bustling marketplace is never short of something interesting to look at and is a cultural gem of the beautiful Old Town of Cartagena.

3. Calle de la Gobernación

Market

Calle de la Gobernación

Unlike Cartagena’s official central market, the market on Calle de la Gobernación is made up of an assortment of street vendors selling everything from arepas (flatbreads) to beautiful impressionist renditions of Cartagena’s colorful streets. Here you will find handmade Colombian jewelry, clothing and knick-knacks. Located just beside the Plaza Santo Domingo and the beautiful Palace of the Inquisition, this pop-up market might just disappear in seconds when authorities try to clear away the vendors. If you’re lucky, you may find incredibly beautiful and original art pieces of Cartagena de Indias to take home with you.
Calle de la Gobernación, Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena street art | © Milan Cater

5. Plaza San Diego

Plaza San Diego

Plaza San Diego is a small square located around the corner from the house of Colombia’s national treasure, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the famous Las Bóvedas marketplace. During the daytime this picturesque plaza is a quiet and restful place to relax. As the sun goes down local vendors come out to showcase local art, jewelry, and souvenirs. Performers and impersonators entertain the crowds while food stalls and restaurants surround the square – Plaza San Diego is suddenly buzzing with life and excitement. This is the perfect place to find little gifts to remember Cartagena de Indias. Spend an enchanting evening wandering the colorful streets of the Old Town and embracing the local craftsmanship.
San Diego, Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

Old Town of Cartagena de Indias | © Milan Cater

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article