Oaxaca's markets are exciting places to explore where the true essence of the city comes in to its own - the sights, smells and sounds as the indigenous populations go about their daily business makes for a truly rich cultural experience. Artisans can be seen working on their crafts, adding the final touches of colour to rugs, pots and paintings as cooks prepare mouthwatering dishes to serve up to hungry locals.
Oaxaca Markets are the best places to catch a bit of Oaxaqueñan life in its purest form as well as for purchasing arts and crafts and sampling a bit of traditional cuisine.
If you fancy escaping the city then it's worth exploring the surrounding towns in the Valles Centrales like Ocotlán (Fridays), Mitla (Saturdays) and Tlacolula (Sundays) which are also famous for their thriving market days. Head to our Trips from Oaxaca section for more details.
Markets in Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City has a good handful of markets that operate throughout the week, most of which can be found in the area several blocks south of the Oaxaca Zócalo. See the outside Oaxaca city centre section for more details on the area. We've listed below the city's most vibrant and popular markets:
Central de Abastos
What? An all time favourite with locals and visitors, Central de Abastos is an excellent place to pick up fresh produce, and is frequented by some of Oaxaca's finest chefs. For food it is open every day, however, on Saturdays arts and crafts are also sold here. It is an especially good spot to pick up textiles like rugs as the weavers can be seen working on the items ensuring the authenticity of the products.
Mercado 20 de Noviembre
What? Another thriving hub of activity, the 20 de Noviembre market is a crazy laberynth of tempting tasty treats. The market itself mainly sells food and is a good choice for cheap lunches or buying fresh produce if you plan on cooking. However, the plethora of shops which surround the stalls are rammed full of arts, crafts and little keepsakes. After you've perused the shops don't miss a stop at Mayordomo for some to-die-for hot chocolate.
Where? C/20 de Noviembre and C/Cabrera
Mercado Benito Juárez
A pretty tourist filled spot, but nontheless, Benito Juárez market has a good selection of handicrafts that are priced very reasonably.
Where? C/20 de Noviembre and Flores Magón
Mercado de Artesanías
An excellent selection of Oaxaqueñan arts and crafts for you to peruse over in this attractive and friendly little market.
Where? JP García and Zaragoza
Other Shopping Hotspots
Once you've done Oaxaca's markets you may want to continue your shopping elsewhere. The pedestrianised Alcalá Street in the Santo Domingo area is one of the best places to enjoy a plethora of craft shops.