One of the great things about walking down the Mediterranean coast of Spain last year, was that I got to see places which were not obviously on the tourist trail.
And after Barcelona, which most definitely is swamped by tourists, the next major city that I came to was Valencia.
And it was like a breath of fresh air. Everything that a Spanish city should be.
So it came as no surprise really to find that the Central Market (Mercat Central) is the Number 1 visitor attraction in Valencia.
It’s not nearly as crowded here, as it is in La Boqueria in Barcelona, but it still makes a lot of sense to get here early in the morning (it starts at 07:30, finishes at 14:00, but I would recommend that you get here no later than 10:00 – before the buses loaded with gawping tourists arrive, and change the whole atmosphere of the market).
If you are combining a visit to the Mercat Central with a visit to the nearby Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari and Saint Peter the Martyr (and you definitely should), then visit the market first, leaving around 10:15 so that you arrive at the church when it first opens (the church opens to visitors at 10:30 in the off-season).
This is why it pays to arrive early. No packs of camera-snapping visitors to avoid.
The pavements are reasonably flat, so there is little problem in getting around. And every entrance to the market has a ramp.
Once inside the market building, the floor is tiled and level.
However, what will definitely impede your access to the market, and to your enjoyment of it, are the crowds. Most people will see you coming, and make space for you. But, for whatever reason, put people in a pack – and all common-sense seems to leave the building. So busloads of visitors present both a physical obstacle to overcome, and a barrier to any enjoyment.
And this place really should be enjoyed. As the locals seem to do. They take great enjoyment in selecting the freshest produce, and enjoying it in the very busy Central Cafe in the market.
Accessible toilets are found on the lower floor. Just take the lift down as if you were going to the parking garage. There are regular toilets too, but you will need to ask the attendant for the key to the accessible toilet.
This article was only possible thanks to the very kind support of Ilunion Hotels in Valencia.
I can’t recommend these guys highly enough (over 40% of staff have some form of disability – tourism for all): https://www.ilunionhotels.co.uk/
I particularly recommend their Aqua 4 and Aqua 3 hotels near the City of Arts and Sciences complex (any closer, and they would be inside the complex!).
Have you visited Mercat Central in Valencia? Please use the “Leave a Reply” feature below, to share any practical information that you have (it doesn’t need to be accessibility-related). Thank you. Iain.