This market specializes in artisan gifts and, as they put it in the name, curiosities. Extensively renovated beginning in 2019, it’s a whole new experience. Having languished, in part for its relative nearness to the much bigger Ciudadela Market, the San Juan version is back. Vendors have had to be more creative. The results is a more focused, and often higher quality of artisan goods. The market has also gone through a major remodeling to update the interior and exterior. This work is to finish in 2020.
Keep in mind that the Basilica, on the opposite side of Ayuntamiento street, is among the oldest buildings in the neighborhood. It was built as a parish church for the indigenous residents of the neighborhood. The atrium, today the Plaza de San Juan, had been a traditional market and tianguis going back centuries. All of the San Juan Markets are part of that legacy.
The site of this market, like that of the Mercado de San Juan, was part of the enormous Buen Tono tobacco works which closed only in the 1930s.
The San Juan Crafts and Curiosities Market predates the Ciudadela Market by some 30 years. It’s historically been a site for the purchase of goods imported from the countryside – and places further afield. These can include items of glass and pottery, textiles and embroidery, and popular handcrafts. Watch especially for wood sculptures which travel easily and aren’t breakable.
Hours: Monday through Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.