RANKED: The ten best markets in Spain

dried peppers market spain
Have you been to any of the ten best markets in Spain? Photo: Vitalijs Barilo/Unsplash
Spain’s ‘mercados’ are lively and authentically Spanish places for you to do your grocery shopping, with many of them also offering great prices. Here are the best markets across the country in terms of quality and price, according to shoppers.

Only around 4 percent of people in Spain do their daily grocery shopping at local markets, with most Spaniards (64 percent) opting for supermarkets instead.

According to a 2020 consumer habits survey by Spain’s Association of Consumers, people above the age of 65 in Spain still tend to prefer doing their daily shop at small grocery stores or markets.

This reflects how local markets, or mercados municipales, offer a glimpse into what grocery shopping was like in Spain fifty years ago, where interacting with your local butcher or fishmonger was a must.

Spaniards’ food shopping habits may be changing (around 31 percent now order their groceries online) but many still enjoy a weekend visit to their local market, where they can buy fresh food from a different source and enjoy the traditional hustle and bustle of el mercado.

In fact, many of them have been renovated and turned into trendy places to eat and shop at.

So what are the best markets in Spain in terms of quality and price?

Spanish vacation rental search engine Holidu has prepared a study to determine a ranking, analysing the data for a total of 351 municipal markets across the country.

They’ve based their ranking on four variables: the number of comments for each on Google, the average score given by these Google users, the number of monthly internet searches and the approximate average cost to fill up your shopping trolley.

This trolley, for you to reference when looking at the expense of each market, includes 1 litre of whole milk, 1 loaf of fresh white bread, 1 kg of white rice, 12 eggs, 1 kg of local cheese, 1 kg of chicken fillets, 1 kg of beef, 1 kg of apples, 1 kg of bananas, 1 kg of oranges, 1 kg of tomatoes, 1 kg of potatoes, 1 kg of onions, 1 lettuce, 1 1.5-litre bottle of water, 1 bottle of mid-range wine and a 0.5 l bottle of beer.

Here are the ten best mercados in Spain, in no particular order:

1.Mercado de la Magdalena, Ferrol: If you find yourself in this small Galician city, their local market is one of the liveliest places to visit, where you can buy some local produce and also sit down for some tapas.

Shopping trolley price: €41.93
Stalls: 30
Google user score: 4.4 / 5

best markets in spainPhoto: Zarateman/Wikipedia

2. Mercado Central de Salamanca: The historic university city in western Spain houses this century-old market next to the famed Plaza Mayor. It’s popular among locals for its fresh produce and good prices.

Shopping trolley price: € 42.14
Stalls: 53
Google user scor:: 4.4 / 5

best markets in spainPhoto: Villalonga/Pixabay

3. Mercado del Centro de Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona: La Boquería market on Las Ramblas may steal the limelight in the Catalan capital but the quality and variety of food products (especially fish and seafood) have earned this market to the south of the city a good reputation.

Shopping trolley price: €42.15
Stalls: 78
Google user score: 4.5 / 5

Photo: Cornelia Bohl Smolders/Wikipedia

4. Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África, Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Considered one of the ten baskets in the world by The Guardian, this colourful market in Tenerife’s capital has hundreds of stores with local delicacies and trendy seafood bars to enjoy.

Shopping trolley price: € 50.43
Stalls: 206
Google user score: 4.5 / 5

best markets in spainPhoto: Matt Kieffer/Flickr

5. Mercado de Abastos de Santiago de Compostela: Pilgrims and locals alike enjoy the fresh produce on offer at this 150-year-old market, where quality grocery shopping and tapas bar-hopping are both possible.

Shopping trolley price: € 51.50
Stalls: 70
Google user score: 4.6 / 5

best markets spain

6. Mercado Central de Valencia: The beautifully designed market in the centre of the eastern city is full of life, aromas and colour.

Shopping trolley price: € 51.68
Stalls: 300
Google user score: 4.7 / 5

best markets in spainPhoto: Antonio Tajuelo/Flickr

7. A Batea do Mercado, Pontevedra: Another Galician market in the top-ten ranking, a must for octopus lovers.

Shopping trolley price: €52.05
Stalls selling available: 214
Google user score: 4.8 / 5

Photo: Zarateman/Wikipedia

8. Mercado Central de Atarazanas, Málaga: This 19th century wonder with beautiful stained glass windows is one of the most emblematic buildings in the Costa del Sol city, and one of the ultimate foodie spots for tourists and locals.

Shopping trolley price: 52.11 €
Stalls: 265
Google user score: 4.5 / 5

best markets in spainPhoto: NACLE2/Wikimedia

9. Mercado de Maravillas, Madrid: If you’re in the Spanish capital you may be drawn to visit the popular San Miguel market in the centre, but this huge market in the working-class neighbourhood of Tetuán is the stuff of wonders, as its name suggests.

Shopping trolley price: € 56.03
Stalls: 200
Google user score: 4.5 / 5

10. Mercado de San Antón, Madrid: A market in the neighbourhood of Chueca in central Madrid which offers history, a modern revamp, art exhibitions, rooftop views, cool bars and, of course, top quality food.

Shopping trolley price: € 58.83

Stalls: 20

Google user score: 4.3 / 5

best markets in spainPhoto: Jorge Franganillo/Flickr


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