Finally time to reveal one of the projects I was talking about in this post!
When I’m out traveling I love finding these adorable + authentic little places and hangouts where I can be part of the local culture. I thought, as I myself am discovering my neighborhood, I might as well make a travel series about it and share the different spots I think are worth checking out!
So, since I currently live in Río Piedras, a barrio in San Juan, PR, that is where this series will start, mainly around the Santa Rita area. Río Piedras is where you will find the University of Puerto Rico and it is definitely not your typical tourist area. Although this neighborhood is full of students and people in general, it’s one of the areas that some of the locals would call “caliente” due to the high crime rate and isn’t the safest area you will find here in San Juan. However, despite that, I have come to like this area a lot.
So, first out in the #PRtravelgems series is Plaza del Mercado Río Piedras!
If you love marketplaces and bazaars, the smell of food, fruits and herbs and the bustle of people and want a real Puerto Rican local market experience, this is the place to be. At Plaza del Mercado Río Piedras you can find dozens of shops and you will be able to buy cheap Puerto Rican food, fruits, coffee, clothing and a whole bunch of totally random stuff.
I have a total love-hate relationship with this place. The fact that I can satisfy my mofongo cravings (really cheap) is probably the best thing ever, but going there as a single female with a behind that is incredibly hard to hide I would say it's a bit uncomfortable because there's usually a couple of crazy old men catcalling and giving dirty looks. I also never bring my DSLR here. But hey, it's all really worth it though. Looooove me some mofongo.
A good thing to know is that if you're not local, especially if you speak English only, remember to bargain or at least be aware of the prices! Sometimes people can be a bit sneaky and charge you extra when they think you are clueless;)
Opening hours are Monday - Saturday from 9am to 6pm, and Sunday mornings.
Since Plaza del Mercado Río Piedras is located on Paseo De Diego it leaves you with the option to leave the marketplace and walk along blocks of outdoor sidewalk shopping. The whole lining of Paseo De Diego is pretty much an outdoor mall and is also totally worth checking out.
Well, that's the end of the first post of this series and I can't wait to share the next one! I will be posting #PRtravelgems as I keep on exploring the neighbourhood, so keep your eyes open!
I hope you enjoyed this + feeling like you totally wanna go here, and if you happen to know about any cool spots worth visiting in Río Piedras, please tell me all about it and I'll check it out!