Discover the delights of Oaxaca’s markets
The markets in Oaxaca provide a unique shopping experience for visitors to Oaxaca State. Most of the markets are open 7 days a week 365 days of the year in at least to some extent. Others are only open on specific days of the week, for example the market at Zimatlán only opens on Zimatlán. In the past some of the markets like Tlacolula only opened on their market day “Día de Plaza”, in reality Tlacolula market is now open daily, though undoubtedly Sunday is still the main market day, and the market has significantly more stalls on this day.
In the Oaxacan markets you will find everything you expect and more, you can enjoy the colours of the fresh fruit and vegetables, the craftsmanship of the local artisans and of course the smell and taste of the food; the Oaxacan markets are a great place for breakfast and the barbacoa from Tlacolula market is famously delicious.
The main market days are: Sunday – Tlacolula and Nochixtlán, Monday – Ixtlán , Miahuatlán and Teotitlán, Tuesday – Atzompa and Sta. Ana de Valle, Wednesday – Etla and Zimatlán, Thursday – Zaachila and Ejutla, Friday – Ocotlán, and Saturday – Oaxaca (Central de Abastos).
Also of note is the tianguis which are the traditional markets of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs; these are open air markets with no fixed installations that move around from day to day. The practice of holding a tianguis is common throughout Oaxaca state, and there are several tianguis days in Oaxaca City. The market days listed above are all essentially examples of large tianguises; Tlacolula market for example has brick and mortar installations but on Sunday it triples in size and overspills to occupy many of the surrounding streets.
The Benito Júarez market in Oaxaca is a small, busy market in the very centre of Oaxaca just one block from the Zócalo, and in front of the 20th November market. The Benito Júarez market is an eclectic mix of stalls that include everything from fishmongers to artisans and clothes. The Benito Juarez market is a little mix of everything.
Find out more about Benito Júarez Market
The artisan market in Oaxaca (mercado de artesanias), has popular Oaxacan art from all sixteen of Oaxaca’s ethnic groups. This colourful market is brimmed full of textiles, jewellery, baskets, bags, and musch more. It is also possible to see live demonstrations of how the artisans make their crafts. If you don’t have time to visit all of the villages where Oaxacan popular art is produced then the artisan market is the place for you.
Find out more about the Artisan Market
Tlacolula market has its market day (día de plaza) on Sundays; the brick and mortar installations of the market are open all week though. On Sundays however the market explodes to triple the size and sprawls outwards from the market building in to the surrounding streets to form an enormous tianguis that is an ocean of colour, sound and smells. Tlacolula market on a Sunday is an unmissable experience.
Find out more about Tlacolula Market
The 20th November market in Oaxaca City centre is famous for its food which is prepared there and then. As at Tlacolula market it’s possible to buy your meat from the butchers and they will grill it for you along with chilies, and onions should you wish. There is also a plethora of other food available as well as other products typical to Oaxacan markets.
Find out more about 20th November market
The Central de Abastos is Oaxaca’s largest market it is part fixed market with brick and mortar installations, part tianguis (open air markets dating from pre-Hispanic times), here it is possible to pretty much anything, if you can’t find it in the Abastos you probably won’t find it in Oaxaca state. This huge market is very impressive and deserves a wander around.
Find out more about Central de Abastos Market
Zaachila market is located in the once Zapotec capital of Zaachila village. The market prides itself on being essentially unchanged since the villager’s predecessors founded it, and the market at Zaachila was the principal point of commerce in the Oaxacan central valley (Valles Centrales). Indeed today little has changed the market is still an open air tianguis style market aside for some barns for the livestock. This delightful market takes place on Thursdays and is about an hour drive from Oaxaca.
Find out more about Zaachila Market
Etla market is a relatively small market in the middle of the town. La Villa de Etla is of course most famous for ‘quesillo’ cheese and dairy products in general and indeed, there are plenty of these at the market. In every other respect Etla market is similar to most other markets in Oaxaca. Etla has its market day (Día de plaza) on Wednesdays, when the streets become full of vendors in true tianguis style.
Find out more about La Villa de Etla Market
Ocotlán market takes place every Friday in Ocotlán de Morelos about a 40 minute drive from Oaxaca. The market at Ocotlán is probably one of the most traditionally indigenous markets with vendors and consumers coming from wide and far but principally, Ejutla, Zimatlán and Miahuatlán as these are the closest. Ocotlán market is well known for its nieves (traditional Oaxacan ice cream), its bread, and its artisanal knives.
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The market at Miahuatlán is held every Monday and sees the congregation of thousands of merchants in the town. Miahuatlán is located at the base of the foothills of the Sierra Sur mountain range, a position which makes it important for trade. This lovely market receives customers and vendors from all over the Sierra Sur, Ejutla, Ocotlán and of course Miahuatlán itself.
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The village of Teotitlán del Valle is famous for its rug production and this is reflected in its market which is in fact two independent markets. One of the markets is dedicated to rugs and the other half is the village market selling food produce and other household goods.
Find out more about Teotitlán market
A map of the Oaxaca’s markets
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