Shopping in Mexico

by Cristina on February 29, 2008

by Cristina | February 29th, 2008  

Market in MexicoAsk any American why they travel to Mexico and I bet one of the reasons is “shopping for bargains”. Let’s see what Mexico has to offer that’s so appealing for the travelers.

Mexico is really cosmopolite when it comes to shopping: there are street vendors, open air markets, boutiques, supermarkets and malls.

Opening hours

In the large cities and in the beach resorts, shops are open daily from 10 (or 11) AM to 10 PM (even 12 AM). In the rest of the country, shops generally close at about 2 PM or 4 PM. Make sure to ask locally though.

Cash vs Cards

If you are used to paying with your credit card, forget about it. They are not as widely accepted as in other countries. MasterCard and Visa are accepted but not everywhere. Also, when you try to use the ATM make sure to check if it accepts your debit/credit card because not all debit/credit cards are accepted.

Open Air Markets

Obviously if you prefer to look for designer labels at a smaller price, you’d head to the first mall and to the boutiques. But if you want a true Mexican shopping experience, you should check out the open air markets.

In Mexico City, there are plenty to choose from, such as La Ciudedala, La Lagunilla and Plaza del Buen Tono. You can buy pretty much anything: fruits, veggies, traditional clothes and many more.

Skip the mall in Cancun and head to Ki Huic Open Air Market. The market is generally stocked with hammocks, rugs, stuff made of wood and leather, but the prices are a bit exaggerated in this region.

In Guadalajara, Mercado Libertad is one of the biggest markets in the country where you can buy pretty much anything you want.

Word of advice: leave your jewelry and pricy watches at the hotel before heading to the markets. You don’t want to look that you have too much money when you try to bargain. Also, markets aren’t exactly for everyone: if you don’t like crowds and a bit of chaos, you‘d better go to the mall.

The malls, where are the malls?

Malls are very popular in beach resorts and in the big cities.

If your vacation takes you to Cancun, go to Plaza Caracol, while if you spend your free time in Acapulco, you can spend some money at Marbella Mall. You will find both local shops and international chain stores.

Mexico City has at least a mall in each section of the city. The largest are: Liverpool and Palacio de Hierro. They offer anything you might expect to find in a US mall.

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