It’s good to take a little bit of Cancun back home to remember a vacation well spent. But with so many shopping options, it can be difficult to know where is best to find souvenirs, and buying within the resorts or chain stores can mean higher prices and a pretty unimpressive selection.
Thankfully, Cancun is full of fantastic markets that are jam-packed with beautifully made handicrafts and other keepsakes, as well as much better prices and the opportunity for travelers to test out their haggling skills.
The following are the 5 best markets in Cancun for souvenirs:
First up is Mercado 28, which also happens to be the biggest market in all of Cancun! This market has been recently renovated, which has improved it massively, making the whole shopping experience cleaner and more enjoyable.
Past souvenir hunters love this authentic Mexican market. There is a great mix of both locals and tourists here which really helps the atmosphere. Right at the center is a fantastic food court with delicious local cuisine and often live music that really adds to the vibe.
Haggling is totally acceptable in Mercado 28, and reviewers say not to be discouraged if you’re quoted a high price at first. It’s all part of the fun. Whatever the vendor quotes, feel free to cut it in half and work up from there. There are some serious bargains to be found here!
The market is just a 20-minute cab ride from the main hotel zone, but past travelers report the taxis as being less than competitive on price, it’s definitely worth shopping around between the taxis, Uber and Didi for the best price. More confident tourists should take the local public transport, which is super cheap!
Opening hours: Daily 9 am – 7 pm
@dannarea08 Buying souvenirs at market 28, cancun mexico #mexico #souvenir #cancunmexico ♬ original sound – Danna B.
Plaza la Fiesta
This market began life as a simple shopping district with small local vendors, but it has grown with the hotel zone into a great spot to find more up-market souvenirs. Prices here can be a bit steeper than in other markets, but when buying just a couple of things, the saving on cab fare can mean this shopping experience is much cheaper overall.
Past tourists who visited the Plaza la Fiesta loved its location, and one reviewer mentioned that having such a great market on the doorstep of the hotel zone with such a varied selection of goods was a welcome addition to their vacation.
Furthermore, the Plaza la Fiestas location comes with the extra security that the hotel zone brings, this area of Cancun is one of the safest places in the whole of Mexico, and the market itself has professional security on-site at all times, which deters most petty crime. For families concerned about the more unpredictable situation outside the hotel zone, this is a great option!
Opening hours: Daily 9 am – 11 pm
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@mezcaltajante #mezcaltajante #tajantemezcal #cancun #rivieramaya #cancunzonahotelera ♬ original sound – Slamuri
Mercado Ki Huic
This is the oldest open-air crafts market in the whole city, and the goods on sale here tend to be of high quality, as well as being more authentic, with fewer ‘I Love Cancun’ hats and more traditional indigenous handicrafts.
Something that really stands out to past visitors here is the vibrant colors of the fabrics on sale and the feeling that they truly stepped into a different culture, something that can be difficult to experience when staying in the hotel zone resorts.
Moreover, this is another market where the vendors are more than happy to haggle on price. Many of these vendors hand-make the products themselves or source them locally, meaning they have more room to move on price!
For the safety conscious, this is yet another super safe market for tourists to visit. As well as being safe, Mercado Ki Huic is only a 15-20 minute stroll from Mercado 28. Unsurprisingly organizing a full-day shopping trip between the two is a popular choice for bargain hunters.
Opening hours: Daily 9 am – 8 pm
@bybpayne It’s the weekend! #comewithme to the local #mercado in #cancun #mexicoliving #dayinmylife #digitalnomad #solofemaletraveler #mexico #lavida #explore ♬ original sound – djlex
Tianguis de la 94
This is the perfect spot to find second-hand goods and is a favorite amongst those staying in vacation rentals. That’s because you can find any missing homeware items needed while on vacation at a fraction of the price found in chain stores.
This is a cultural experience as much as a shopping trip. Tianguis are found all over Mexico and are super popular amongst locals. The bargains to be found here are fantastic. It escapes the pricing influence of the hotel zone. Think U.S. flea market but with amazing food and prices not seen in America since before ‘Saved By The Bell’ aired! Travelers love this traditional market and liken it to the old county fairs of days past.
Tianguis de la 94 is further out than the previously listed markets, but it’s still only a 30-40 minute cab ride depending on traffic. Like the journey to Mercado 28, a lot of money can be saved by taking public transport. Reliable information on bus routes and times can be found on the ‘Moovit’ app, which is the best way of navigating Mexico’s public transport systems.
Opening hours: Saturdays 2 pm – 9:30 pm
@thetysonfamily No need for an Uber! #cancun #cancunmexico #busride ♬ So Fresh, So Clean – Outkast
Mercado Coral Negro
This is possibly the most famous market for tourists in all of Cancun, and it’s a great place to find souvenirs such as themed shot glasses, sombreros, and jewelry, as well as a nearly endless choice of arts & crafts.
One look at the reviews for Mercado Coral Negro (English: Black Coral Market) is enough to convince anyone to give this market a chance. The vendors here have a reputation for humor and seem to enjoy haggling with potential customers. Trying to navigate Mercado Coral Negro can feel like you’re in a maze at times, but it’s all a part of the fun of getting lost among the local vendors and suddenly spotting that perfect souvenir!
Location is king for many travelers, and like Plaza la Fiesta, the Mercado Coral Negro is fantastically situated right in the hotel zone close to many of the main resorts of Cancun.
Opening hours: Daily 8 am – 11:55 pm
Los esperamos en el mejor mercado de artesanías de Cancún. 👌♬ Let’s Do It Again – J Boog
How To Haggle In Cancun
Haggling can be a little daunting for travelers who are new to it, but in the informal markets of Cancun, it’s super important to haggle and avoid paying inflated prices. Many vendors’ first price is deliberately outrageous because they expect the customer to cut it in half and then work to a middle ground.
@hannaclaira I’m so bad at haggling lol idk if any of that was a good price or not #localmarkets #haggling #mexico #mexicotravel #livingabroad #lifeinmexico ♬ Me Gustas Tu – Manu Chao
Many vendors sell similar or the same goods, never buy at the first vendor, haggle a little and find their best price and make a note of it, then move along and use that as a “beat this price, and I’ll buy” tool on the next vendor. This will ensure that the best price is always found.
Remember, at the informal markets, haggling for a better price is expected, and it isn’t seen as rude or cheap. It’s just all part of the experience!
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