Landmark n° 2: Mercado Central (Central Market)

Posted in Hito 2. Mercado Central, and Tour III. La Chimba

Landmark n° 2. Mercado Central (Central Market)

Landmark n° 2. Mercado Central (Central Market)
Landmark n° 2. Mercado Central (Central Market)

This market used to be located at the Plaza de Armas, but for health issues it was moved to what was called the “concourse of supplies” in the late 1800s. The place was burned to the ground in 1864 which led to the construction of what is now known as “Mercado Central” (Central Market). This building of neoclassical inspiration was inaugurated in 1872 and is the work of Fermín Vivaceta. It consists of two rings made in masonry, one on the outside where you can find wide variety of shops and one on the inside defined by its restaurants and fish and seafood stalls. This structure is known for its beauty and functionality as it is designed to generate cross ventilation, mainly because of the lack of air conditioners in the late 1800s, which made this kind of systems necessary. Just like the “flashlight” that crowns the roof, which allows natural light to enter.

In 2012 National Geographic magazine ranked it as the fifth best market in the world, which made it a must for those who want to know and enjoy an unforgettable seafood culinary experience… and if you look for it, you can even find reasonable prices.


For many years the head of security of the zone of the market was called Francisco (Paco) and for this reason his collaborators were known as Pacos. Whether this is true or false, legend has it that this where the popular name for the Carabineros de Chile (police officers) comes from.


San Pablo 967




Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm

Fridays, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm

Saturdays, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm


Access for people with reduced mobility and adapted toilets.

Photography allowed.

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