Mercado Atarazanas is a striking 19th-century iron building.
It used to be a naval workshop for Málaga’s old port and its large marble and iron gate used to be the connector of the port to the city. The name ‘Atarazana’, meaning ‘shidyard’ derives from it’s historic Moorish background. The only remnant of this era is a marble arch engraved in Arabic calligraphy at the main entrance to the building. With the Reconquista, the warehouse was used as a convent, barracks, hospital, garrison and medical school
It’s main attraction are the beautiful stained-glass windows of neo-Arabic origin, considered Nasrid Emirate and Caliphate Art. It’s is the light that floods into the market through this big window that gives it the feel of an art museum. The market is structured into three naves. It consists of a metallic skeleton, mainly made of iron. Málaga used to manufacture lots of iron and was a successful for it’s steel industry.
The reformed building was designed by Joaquín de Rucoba and built between 1876 and 1879 to become Málaga’s daily market. It’s the place to find anything from sausages and meats to cheese and fish, olives to fresh fruits and veg. You will find everything that is in season, fresh as can be.
Prices in this market are cheap compared to supermarkets and almost everything from fish, seafood, red and lean meats to fruit and veg. You can buy strawberries for 1 €/kg, Málaga olives (they are delicious) for 1,50 €/kg, local Spanish clams for 12 €/kg, local cured cheese for 3,95 €/kg… your get the idea. It’s cheap, or as the Spanish would say “bueno, bonito, barato”…
“Bueno bonito barato!” translates to “good pretty cheap”, a saying that describes the good quality of fresh produce sold in this daily market. You may hear vendors shouting “bonito”, but they may also be talking about Bonito the tuna fish, what is used to make dried Mojama (dried tuna), a local delicacy.
This market is authentic, local, and non-touristy, full colorful stalls in a noisy but animated venue that is open and working all year round. This refreshing architectural site is a sight to see.
Mercado Atarazanas is open from 08.00 hrs to 14.00 hrs (note: some stalls start to close at 13.00 hrs). If you are coming by car, Málaga may be a tricky place to park. However, there are multiple options for underground parking.
In the map below, the big red pin is Mercado Atarazanas. Around it are marked the closest parking spots. If you are coming by train, and from Fuengirola direction, the golden star is where you would take the train to and from. The train station is located right by CAC museum of Contemporary Art, you can’t miss it.
If you click the map, it will take you to Google Maps and you can get directions to Mercado Atarazanas from exactly where you are.
Very close to this market is Calle Larios, the main avenue in Málaga – full of shops, restaurants and cafés and museums.