Among the many pleasures of shopping in Mexico City are its local markets. Far from the luxury boutiques and shopping malls, these humble, rustic and often boisterous destinations offer much more than retail therapy; they’re also a slice of local life and a taste of history.
On any given weekend, the city is alive with tianguis, which is a Nahuatl word for open-air market. The Alameda Central in the historic city center was once the site of a large tianguis,
when the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán was in its heyday. Merchants gathered here to sell an incredible variety of goods, livestock, food, jewelry and more… a practice still common today. While many of these markets are wandering gatherings of merchants that pop up at different spots throughout the city, the ones listed below are permanent weekly fixtures. Mexico City’s mercados, or markets, are equally diverse. Unlike tianguis, they are open daily. CDMX boasts some truly impressive urban marketplaces where you can buy anything from pineapples to piñatas.
Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, these are fun experiences to enjoy in the city, they all promise one additional incentive: delicious and cheap food. Of course, if you do visit a tianguis or a mercado, bring cash and prepare to haggle!