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Expat Exchange - Best Markets in Guatemala City 2024
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Guatemala City, Guatemala


Best Markets in Guatemala City

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: What are the best markets in Guatemala City? In this article we highlight the best markets in Guatemala City.

Guatemala City, a vibrant hub for expats and digital nomads, offers a rich tapestry of markets that are as diverse as they are colorful. From bustling open-air bazaars to quaint indoor spaces, these markets are not just places to shop but are also cultural experiences that provide a glimpse into the local way of life. Whether you're looking for fresh produce, traditional textiles, or unique handicrafts, Guatemala City's markets have something for everyone. Here are some of the best markets in the city that you should not miss.

Mercado Central

Location: 8 Calle and 8 Avenida, Zone 1, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Traditional Market
Open: Daily, 8 AM - 6 PM

Located in the heart of the city, Mercado Central is an underground market known for its labyrinthine layout and wide variety of goods. From fresh produce and meats to artisanal crafts and textiles, this market has it all. It's a great place to experience the hustle and bustle of local life and to find some unique souvenirs.

We Recommend: Trying the local cuisine at one of the many food stalls, especially the traditional Guatemalan breakfast dishes.

La Terminal

Location: 4a Calle and 11 Avenida, Zone 4, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Wholesale Market
Open: Daily, 4 AM - 6 PM

La Terminal is one of the largest and busiest markets in Guatemala City. It's a wholesale market where you can find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to clothing and electronics at very affordable prices. The market is always bustling with activity, making it an exciting place to explore.

We Recommend: Sampling some exotic fruits that you might not find elsewhere, like the mamey or the guanabana.

Paseo Cayala

Location: Boulevard Rafael Landivar, Zone 16, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Upscale Shopping and Dining
Open: Daily, 10 AM - 8 PM

Paseo Cayala is a modern, open-air lifestyle center that offers a more upscale shopping experience. It features a range of international and local stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. The architecture and design of the area are also noteworthy, providing a pleasant atmosphere for a day out.

We Recommend: Visiting the local boutiques for unique Guatemalan fashion and accessories.

Mercado de Artesanias La Aurora

Location: Avenida La Reforma, Zone 13, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Artisan Market
Open: Daily, 9 AM - 5 PM

This artisan market is located near the La Aurora Zoo and is the perfect place to find handcrafted goods made by local artisans. You'll find a wide array of textiles, jewelry, pottery, and more. It's a quieter, more relaxed market experience compared to the bustling Mercado Central.

We Recommend: Picking up a hand-woven huipil, a traditional Mayan blouse that is both beautiful and rich in cultural significance.

Plaza El Amate

Location: 12 Avenida, Zone 1, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Craft and Textile Market
Open: Daily, 9 AM - 5 PM

Plaza El Amate is a smaller market known for its selection of traditional textiles and crafts. It's a great place to find gifts and souvenirs that are handcrafted and authentic. The market is also known for its friendly vendors who are often willing to share stories about their crafts.

We Recommend: The colorful and intricately patterned table runners that can add a touch of Guatemala to any home decor.

Zona Viva

Location: Zone 10, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Modern Shopping and Dining District
Open: Varies by establishment, generally 10 AM - 10 PM

Zona Viva is the modern face of Guatemala City, with a plethora of high-end shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels. While not a traditional market, this area is a hub for those looking to experience the city's contemporary shopping and dining scene.

We Recommend: Enjoying a gourmet meal at one of the district's top-rated restaurants, followed by a stroll through the lively streets.

Mercado de Flores

Location: Avenida La Reforma, Zone 9, Guatemala City
Type of Market: Flower Market
Open: Daily, 7 AM - 5 PM

The Mercado de Flores is a fragrant and colorful market dedicated to flowers and plants. Whether you're looking to brighten up your living space or find a gift, the variety and freshness of the flora here are unmatched. The market is also a great place to practice your Spanish with the friendly vendors.

We Recommend: The stunning orchids, which are native to Guatemala and come in a variety of species and colors.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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