Fortaleza Central Market (Mercado Central de Fortaleza)
The market got its start as a meat, fruit, and vegetable market housed in a small wooden building in 1809. In 1931 the government prohibited the sale of meat and produce within the market, so the industry was forced to shift to crafts. The market as it stands today was built in 1998 to include better facilities and more space for vendors. Most city sightseeing tours include a stop at the market with time for shopping, along with visits to other notable attractions, like Avenida Beira Mar, Ponte dos Ingleses, Fort Schonemborch, and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza.
Things to know before you go
- The Mercado Central is a must-visit for anyone looking for unique gifts and souvenirs.
- Remember to bring local currency in small denominations; haggling is expected.
- Plan to spend two to three hours exploring the market.
- You’ll find an ATM on the top floor of the market.
How to get there
The market is in Fortaleza’s Centro district just a couple blocks from the beach. The best way to get there is by taking a taxi or rideshare.
When to get there
Mercado Central is open daily throughout the year, with shorter hours on Sundays. Come on a weekday morning to shop when the market is least crowded.
A Taste of Brazil
While the market is primarily known for its crafts, it still sells a few food products that many travelers find worth taking home. If you’d like to bring some flavors of Brazil back with you, keep an eye out for local cashews or bottles of cachaça, the traditional Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane juice.
- Nossa Senhora de Assuncao Fort
- Metropolitan Cathedral
- Museum of Ceara (Museu do Ceará)
- Ceará Tourism Center (Emcetur)
- José de Alencar Theater (Theatro José de Alencar)
- Meireles Beach (Praia do Meireles)
- Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro)
- Fortaleza Beach Park
- Cumbuco Beach
- Morro Branco
- Trails Park (Parque das Trilhas)
- Lagoinha Beach (Praia de Lagoinha)
- Canoa Quebrada