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5 Markets in Santiago de Chile for Fresh Food Lovers
Santiago is one of those places you don’t hear much about; often people who travel to Chile spend just a couple of days in the capital before heading to other destinations around the country. However, there are many things to do in this metropoli; and one that you shouldn’t miss is visiting the Markets in Santiago de Chile.
Now, some travelers may think that markets can be noisy, too crowded and maybe a bit unsafe; but among the mix of colors, aromas and the seller’s calls to action, you are sure to find some great cultural experiences. During my time in Santiago and the surrounding area, I wandered through the busy streets and found a few real gems that I’d like to share with you; I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
1. La Vega
Located in the Recoleta commune, La Vega is one of the best known markets in the country. Everyday (it’s open 7 days a week, 365 days a year) thousands of people come to walk among its stalls to buy the freshest produce from Chile’s Central Valley. La Vega is a true foodie paradise where you’ll marvel at the many exotic and colorful goods on display; you could just spend hours wandering around its halls, this was definitely my favorite!
2. Mercado Central
Housed in an art nouveau building that dates from 1872 and which has been declared a National Heritage site, this fish market features an amazing variety of sea food; some of which can only be found in Chile. It’s no wonder then that it was listed by National Geographic as one of the world’s top ten food markets. If you get hungry while looking around, there are a few restaurants inside where you can sample all the delicious seafood.
3. Tirso de Molina Market
Although less impressive than the first two markets on our list, there’s a very good reason to visit this place: the fresh fruit juices that are sold in a few of the market’s stalls. You can choose among dozens of fruits and make your own combination, so it makes for a good refreshing break after all the walking around town; plus, it’s located just across the street from La Vega market.
4. Pueblito Los Dominicos
There are no fresh fruits or veggies in this market; but you will find plenty of beautiful handmade crafts. If you are looking for special souvenirs and gifts to bring back home this is a good place to explore. There are many small shops that sell jewelry made out of lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone of intense blue color; handwoven colorful wool scarfs; pieces carved in local woods, among many other things. Also, some artisans have their workshops there so you can see them working on their creations.
5. Feria Avenida Argentina in Valparaíso
When visiting Santiago, a trip to Valparaíso is a definite must; and since the coastal city is just about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away it’s pretty easy to get there. If you happen to be there on a Wednesday or Saturday, you should not miss visiting the open air food market that takes place all along Avenida Argentina. This is a good place to get a taste of local life in Valparaíso.
Hopefully, after reading this list and looking at the photos you’ll feel compelled to visit this beautiful markets during your trip to Chile. If you have any questions or feedback, just leave us a comment below!
Do you like to visit markets when you travel? Why? What is your favorite market in South America? Let us know in the comments below!