Stores, Malls or Markets in Mexico

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
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    Good quality craft shops and weaving co-operatives: Woven treasures

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated May 11, 2006

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    What to buy: Traditionally in Mexico, women weave on a backstrap loom whilst men work on a foot-operated treadle loom. The backstrap loom was in use long before the arrival of the Spanish and whilst the weaver can produce wonderfully complex work on it to any length, the piece can only be as wide as the weaver's arm - though narrow pieces can be joined together to create a wider finished item.

    The villages of the Central Valles are particularly noted for the fine weaving done there by men and women and you will find a huge variety of work available for sale - from eye-catching (if not down right gaudy) tourist-oriented pieces to rugs and other pieces that will cost you far more but are really masterly works of art. The town of Teotitlan near Oaxaca is particularly noted for the weaving done there, and Oaxaca itself has some very good shops selling woven goods. Particularly worth looking out for is the MARO co-operative on 5 de Mayo which sells all sorts of work done by local craftswomen, including their weaving. There was another small weaving co-operative outlet selling village Indian women's work at the far end of Plazuela Labastida, up the hill near the Iglesia de Santo Domingo.

    If you are a purist about these things, you will want to buy something made with traditional natural dyes , such as cochineal (deep red), indigo (deep blue), onion skins ( yellows and greeny-golds), wild walnut shells (dark brown) and alder bark (orangey tones). Bright colours are usually synthetic chemical dyes - the difference is quite easily apparent once you really start to look.

    leyle

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    Toluca city center

    by ant1606 Updated May 27, 2005

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    What to buy: Among stores and businesses selling any sort of goods, there's a good selection of restaurants and "taquerias".
    And stores selling drinks and food.
    Toluca is not a touristic place, don't expect to find door-to-door food places. Walk around and look for something that fits your taste and mood.
    Prices are always reasonable and food is great.
    Try "orchata", a local ice cold and alcohol-free drink.
    Careful with sauce, especially green sauce. It may kill your tastebuds if not used to spicy hot stuff.

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    Toluca Market

    by ant1606 Written May 27, 2005

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    What to buy: If you look for local crafts go to downtown Toluca. Ask for directions to the Market, which is a permanent covered area where all sorts of goods can be found.
    Plenty of hats and leather or hide goods to choose from at a reasonable price. Bargaining and dealing is common practice.

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  • Vikingvicki's Profile Photo

    Bring an extra bag to take home your souvenirs

    by Vikingvicki Written Mar 21, 2005

    Mexico is a shoppers heaven !

    There is everything & it's cheap.

    Choose from local arts and crafts, silver jewellry, pirate cd's & dvds ( if you do decide to indulge in the cd's make sure you ask them to play a few tracks of the CD's or they may turn out to be blank), bags, jeans, trainers etc. from street stall and markets.

    Oaxaca has soe particularly lovely crafts. Check out MARO on 5 de Mayo in Oaxaca, it has all you could ask for under one roof and without all the "hard sell" of the markets if you find that a little intimidating or annoying or if you are short on time.

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    How to buy from the street vendors: Negociate, negociate, negociate

    by Bradut Updated Feb 16, 2005

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    There are lots of street vendors in Yucatan. They all sell more or less the same stuff: hammocks, maya carpets, statues and masks, silver jewelry.

    What to buy: It's up to you.

    What to pay: There are no fixed displayed prices. The vendors make up the price on the spot, based on how you look, what car are you driving or what cashflow needs they have :-)
    YOU MUST NEGOCIATE.
    We wanted to buy a big hammock. The first price that lady gave us was about 120 USD. We said it's too much and got to leave. She started praying us to say another price. We left. The next vendor was selling the same stuff for about 45 USD! We negociated it down to 25!!!
    Don't get fooled. They are asking for HUGE starting prices, but they are also pretty hungry, so they will lower the prices dramatically.

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    Daily market or special market day: Bargaining and markets

    by melosh Written Dec 26, 2004

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    Bargaining for your price is expected in market places in Mexico. Every town has a market or market day. Bargaining is also common in shops especially when they are owner operated. Even established stores with "fixed prices" may give you a discount if you just ask. This is not convenient if you just want to decide and buy, but it can be fun.

    What to buy: Make sure the item is made in Mexico if this is important to you. People are importing goods made in Peru and Guatemala to sell to tourists in Mexico.
    The price ultimately reflects the sellers desire or need to sell and the buyers desire to purchase. These are often influenced by the quality, the demand, the uniqueness of the item (availability), and lastly by the knowledge and persistance of the buyer and seller.
    Buy what you like, but try to determine the market value before you close the deal.

    What to pay: Rich crazy tourist -- pays a wildly excessive asking price.
    Tourist who has checked the store prices and knows how to say no will generally get a slight savings to the store price which might partly reflect lower quality.
    Foreigner fluent in Spanish with lots of time for bargaining can pay about what a rich Mexican will pay.
    The buyer who knows the quality, knows the going lowest price, can walk away, is persistant, is friendly, and who finds a motivated seller with a need for cash, will get the best price.

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  • biljah's Profile Photo

    Your best bet buy mexican if you can...: Anything American is expensive!!!

    by biljah Updated Jun 25, 2004

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    The food is really good and inexpensive... but anything imported is more than what you pay in the sates at least 30% more for products shiped over the border! When you enter in to a tiny store always greet the people there as it i custom to do this. If you do not do this you could be viewed as rude. Simply say hola como estas... ( hi how are you) or buenas dias ( good day).

    What to buy: The Coca Cola in Mexico tastes entirely different. I like the taste better. I think it has more sugar and more fizz.

    What to pay: Cokes can be as cheap as 4 pesos which is just under 40 cents. The drinks and snacks are generally a bargain in Mexico. The resteraunts are very inexpensive as well.

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  • rmdw's Profile Photo

    Mexican Street Vendors: Shopping on the Street

    by rmdw Written May 15, 2004

    Mexico has an overabundance of street vendors. They offer an array of goods, often similar to their more established brick & mortar cousins.

    The two general rules to remember when contemplating a purchase from a street vendor are:

    1. Make sure you carefully examine the quality.

    2. The price they'll initially quote to a non-Mexican will be much higher than they're expecting. You can always bargain them down lower!

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  • lamentforicarus's Profile Photo

    An Appetite for Sugarcane?

    by lamentforicarus Written Apr 29, 2004

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    In many parts of Mexico, sugar cane is harvested and sold at vendor stands like these. Men use machetes to hack the cane into managable pieces. While I saw numerous children enjoying these "treats," a woman told me that chewing on sugarcane was relatable to chewing on a piece of old rope.

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    Tequila

    by micas_pt Written Nov 13, 2003

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    Tequila is Mexico's famous drink. Like some other drinks you can find several types of tequila that range from cheap to expensive, depending mainly on who's producing it.

    If you visit some shop that sells tequila (not souvenir shops!) you will notice that, like whisky, you can also buy old tequila, and "semi-old", being that price increases with tequila's age.

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    The original one or the cheapest

    by micas_pt Written Nov 13, 2003

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    Beware that when travelling in organized tours they will stop in some factories that manufacture stone replicas and other works or some souvenir shops. They might say that these works are unique or cheaper than anywhere else - this might not exactly true, as i've seen some cases like this.

    What to pay: Talk to other travellers and try to find out if they've seen same pieces and prices somewhere else.

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Local Craft and Silver

    by micas_pt Updated Nov 13, 2003

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    There are inumerous places where to buy. Watch out since some of them are a lot more expensive than others. I noticed that prices were so much higher in touristy places and on those "by the road" houses that guides stopped into, ... and they all have pretty much the same things, ... Sometimes you should try to barter, most times you will get a discount or offer.

    What to buy: If you enjoy arts craft you do have a huge variety of choice in Mexico. They have several objects carved in wood or stone. Most stone and wooden objects imitate ancient gods and rituals, ... but there are also animals, and much more.
    Colourful blankets, Mexican hats and nests for hanging in balconies and gardens are also commonly found in all those shops selling souvenirs.

    Another good choice for shopping in Mexico is silver objects. Apparently it's not expensive there and you can find lots of rings, necklaces, earrings, ... ladies stuff! And some of those silver things for smart houses. ;-) And other objects, such as baby toys, …

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  • Tomtom-Paris's Profile Photo

    Pancho, Typical hat, ...: Buy your souvenirs in San Cristobal de las casas

    by Tomtom-Paris Updated Aug 8, 2003

    San Cristobal de las casas is a nice city in the Chiapas with lot of arts and crafts. It's the cheapest place to buy your souvenirs except the hammock.

    What to buy: Arts and crafts, Mezcal, Tequila ...
    To buy an hammock, it's better to go in Merida (Yucatan)

    What to pay: Some pesos ... for a pancho 40-50 pesos

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  • TERRYANDERSON's Profile Photo

    Any store or shop: Clothes and gift shops

    by TERRYANDERSON Updated Jun 13, 2003

    When you walk in any store, look around and don't be so anxious about buying something you really like. Actually, show little interest about what you really like and then barter with the person that is selling you the item. If it is not going good for you, then walk away. I am sure they will stop you and you and the person will come to a reasonable price for the item.
    I have done this too many times. I have even gone back 2 to 3 times and only to look at other items and not intersted anymore about what I wanted when I came in the first time. I bought something little that I did not barter for and the store person asked if I wanted what I bartered for the first time. He offered me a very nice reduced price and I finally got my statue of an Eagle !

    What to buy: Just anything you that you heart desires !

    What to pay: A T-shirt will cost on the street maybe 5 dollars (USD), but they are name brands. The brand names are usely put on them there. No one in the USA could tell the difference ! But, you can get the T-shirt for about $ 3.00, if you barter.
    Mostly everythig is cheap. It is competative buiness with the venders and stores. They would reduce their price in order for you to buy from them, rather with someone eles. Remember, DON'T FLASH YOUR MONEY AROUND. TOO MANY EYES !!

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    Plaza Caracol Shopping Mall: Shop till you drop

    by spartan Written Dec 4, 2002

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    Located in Puerto Vallarta, it's a shopping center close to the main hotels (actually located across the street from the Los Tules Resort). If you are in need of clothes like I was (because the airlines lost my luggage) then this is the place to do your shopping. Some of the stores located here include Gigante (kind of a Mexican version of K-Mart), a Cyber-cafe for those folks who need to use the internet, Pizza Hut and Domino's. There are of course other stores there, just too many to remember...lol...so have a go at it!!!

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