In Mexico City, La Merced Market serves as the go-to spot for Mexican food items, while neighboring Sonora Market (Mercado de Sonora) is home to pretty much everything else. Vendors sell handmade and specialty goods, including pottery, religious items, and even animals. Known as the Witchcraft Market, the shopping center is filled with medicinal plants and occult items.
Located south of La Merced Market, the Sonora Market was one of the first public markets established in Mexico City in the 1950s. Over the years, the marketplace became famous for the sale of herbal medicines and items related to magic and the occult (brujeria), but you’ll also find aisles of traditional pottery and handicrafts, plus party supplies like pinatas and kids’ toys. This is also where locals stock up on sugar skulls and decorative paper (papel picado) for the Day of the Dead. The maze of stalls can be confusing—even to Spanish speakers—so it’s best to visit the market on a guided tour. Consider booking a combination walking tour of La Merced and Sonora markets, both of which can be difficult to navigate independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Day of the Dead memorabilia, including alebrijes (locally made figurines), is popular at the market.
- Sonora Market is open daily, from 7am to 9pm, and is free to enter.
How to Get There
Bordering the central historic district, just south of Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, Sonora Market is about a 15-minute drive from Mexico City International Airport and is within walking distance of many of the city’s downtown hotels. You’ll find both a subway and bus stop at nearby La Merced Market, which is roughly a block north of Sonora Market.
When to Get There
Just as at La Merced and other public markets, midweek mornings are the best time to shop in order to avoid crowds. Also, while the market is open daily, its vendors observe national and religious holidays, such as Good Friday, so be mindful of that before planning your visit.
What to See Near Sonora Market
Since the market is located just on the outskirts of Mexico City’s historic district, you’ll be able to explore several landmarks and cultural sites after a short stroll or quick cab ride. About 15 minutes north, you’ll find Juan Jose Baz Square (Plaza La Aguilita), where it’s believed the Aztecs discovered an eagle eating a snake, which became the Mexican national symbol. And next door, visit Casa Talavera, a museum that houses Aztec artifacts.