Atarazanas Market (also known as Mercado Central) is a Málaga landmark that served as a shipyard, warehouse, and barracks before becoming the city’s leading food market. The Moorish-influenced building has been refurbished, and it’s once more a warren of stalls set amid delicate wrought ironwork below a domed stained-glass window.
The market interior is organized into three areas of neat lines—fish, meat, and fresh produce—and is awash with color, bustle, and the fragrance of spices and herbs. Tempting buys include Iberian pork, piles of ocean-fresh shellfish, and scented almonds farmed on Andalusian hillsides, as well as sweet Moroccan pastillas and local cheeses.
Atarazanas Market is lined with tasty tapas bars offering fried prawns, octopus, and boquerones (anchovies) fresh from the port. They’re all served up accompanied by glasses of local Alhambra beer, dry sherry, or rough local red wines. As one of the best places in Málaga to sample regional produce, Atarazanas market is a popular stop on many gourmet-oriented walking tours of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Atarazanas Market is a must-visit for foodies to try regional produce, prepared tapas, beers, and wines.
- Bring small denominations of euros if you plan to shop in the market.
- Some vendors don’t speak English, so it’s a good idea to pick up a few useful Spanish phrases before your visit.
How to Get There
The Atarazanas Market sits in the heart of the city of Málaga, making it easily accessible on foot from many other points of interest. Public buses traveling along Alameda Principal stop near the market.
When to Get There
The market is open Monday to Saturday throughout the year from morning to mid-afternoon. There’s not really a bad time to visit. Many seasonal ingredients pass through the market, like loquats in May, sweet figs in June, San Juan pears and custard apples in autumn, and purple carrots in December. The fish market tends to be quiet on Mondays.
Architecture of the Market
The horseshoe archway that serves as the main entrance into the market is the only remaining part of a 14th-century Moorish shipyard. In 1868, the government ordered the building to be torn down to clear space for a modern market. Joaquin Rucoba, lead architect on the project, helped to save this last horseshoe arch and incorporated it into his Arabic-style plans.