4.5 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

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  • Address: Mercado Central de Santiago, Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile

Santiago ATTRACTIONS See all

Mercado Central (Central Market) Tours

The interior, wrought-iron construction of the Mercado Central looks like it could contain a greenhouse, but with the masonry outside, this building houses local eateries, a few fruit and vegetable stands, the occasional roaming musician, and just a sampling of souvenir stands, though in total there are more than 200 locales. The building dates back to 1872, and is consistently named as a must-see in Santiago. In fact, in 2012, National Geographic named it as the 5th best market in the world.

Due to its central location, and the fact that it is often visited by tourists, it has also become a hub for pickup and drop off for a number of different tour services. 

Inside the market, there are several restaurants serving local specialties, which mainly revolve around fish. There is the larger-than-life centolla or king crab, which the waiter cracks for you as you wait, or flavorful (raw) sea urchins served with plenty of onion, cilantro, lemon juice and olive oil. Or if you want something hearty, try anything called a budín or chupe, which will be thick, creamy soups and casseroles served in the typical greda (terra cotta) dish. If you’re feeling more austere, try grilled fish with a salad, but don’t pass up on what is probably Chile’s favorite appetizer, machas a la parmesana, which are razor clams served au gratin.

Practical Info

Most activity in the Mercado Central is focused around lunch, from about noon and on. But if you want a traditional Chilean experience, come here in the wee hours of the morning (best done in a group and on weekends) for a steamy paila marina (brothy fish and seafood soup), when people are just coming out of clubs, and vendors are just starting their long work days.

Tours & Tickets

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City Tour and Wine Tour Concha y Toro or Santa Rita, Santiago, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

City Tour and Wine Tour Concha y Toro or Santa Rita

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

On this tour you will learn how is the daily life of the vibrant capital of Chile, with all the attractions that no one should miss even those most typical ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.00
Santiago Stopover City Tour, Santiago, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Santiago Stopover City Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

There is so much to discover in Santiago, so take advantage of your time instead of sitting around and waiting! On this sightseeing tour we will take you to ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: Flexible

From USD $100.00
Santiago Walking Tour: Food Tastings and Markets Including Lunch, Santiago, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Santiago Walking Tour: Food Tastings and Markets Including Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 37 Reviews

Watch vendors holler and shoppers bargain in the bustling markets of Mercado Central and La Vega during this 4-hour food-and-market walking tour of Santiago. ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $77.00
Private Santiago City Half Day Tour, Santiago, Food Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Santiago City Half Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Enjoy this 4-hour tour of Chile's capital. Santiago is a dynamic, modern city where colonial mansions sit among soaring skyscrapers, where folk art becomes ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $24.50
Half-Day Small-Group Panoramic Santiago Tour, Santiago, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Half-Day Small-Group Panoramic Santiago Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

Chile's capital is a dynamic, modern city where colonial mansions sit among soaring skyscrapers, where folk art becomes fashion and Latin and European cultures ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $22.00
City Tour of Santiago de Chile, Santiago, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

City Tour of Santiago de Chile

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Get to know the Chilean capital on this 4-hour tour of Santiago by luxury coach. In a small group of no more than 15, visit such landmarks as La Moneda, Cerro ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $50.00
Santiago Center Cultural Bike Tour, Santiago, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Santiago Center Cultural Bike Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

This tour of Santiago will take you to see the cultural highlights of Santiago Center, like historical monuments, palaces, museums, churches, as well as ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $59.00
Private Layover: Full-Day Santiago City Tour with Airport Transfer, Santiago, Bike & Mountain Bike ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Layover: Full-Day Santiago City Tour with Airport Transfer

Explore the city of Santiago´s main points of interest on this full-day private layover tour, led by a personal guide. You'll learn about the local culture and ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $295.00
Experience Santiago: Private Food Markets Tour with Cooking Demo and Homemade Lunch, Santiago, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Experience Santiago: Private Food Markets Tour with Cooking Demo and Homemade Lunch

Get a taste of Chile’s culinary culture and cuisine on this private tour of Santiago’s food markets, plus a hands-on cooking demonstration and seasonal meal in ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $170.00
Santiago City Highlights Walking Tour, Santiago, Market Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Santiago City Highlights Walking Tour

Take a walk through the most popular and traditional spots of Santiago on this 5-hour tour. In a small group of no more than 15, hear stories and anecdotes ...  Read more

Location: Santiago, Chile
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $155.00

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