Updated February 2023
Hoi An Central Market is the granddaddy of the town’s markets, in terms of scale and the sheer quantity of local and foreign visitors it receives. It’s an assault on the senses – and often your wallet, too – but it’s never dull!
So, whether you’re looking to stock up on supplies or simply browsing for souvenirs, Hoi An Central Market is worth a visit.
In this guide, we’ll show you everything the market has to offer, from the best stalls to haggle at to where to find the best food. Keep reading for a complete guide to Hoi An Central Market.
What Can You Buy at Hoi An Central Market?
You can buy almost anything in Hoi An Central Market! From souvenirs for your loved ones back home and bamboo kitchen utensils for yourself, to kids toys, handmade leather shoes, clothes, bags, jewelry, luggage, fabric, local dishes and tailors, there is a wealth of options for shoppers.
Before you visit, however, it is a good idea to know where the various sections are:
The Ground Floor consists of multiple vendors who operate within their own particular section. First up, as you walk in, is the famous Cloth Market and its many tailors.
If you manage to resist buying a suit (or two), some shirts, a couple of skirts, some more shirts maybe a dress and a ballgown or – go on, another suit, then you’ll come to the souvenir section.
Here you’ll find the usual souvenir trinkets such as Vietnamese conical hats, T-shirts, chopsticks, silk lanterns, fans and lacquered homewares.
Moving further inside, is the luggage and bag section (pick up a couple for all the extra outfits you’re taking home).
A few steps more, and you’re amongst all the leather bag and shoemakers. For anyone with a shoe fetish, prepare to walk in to leather and shoe heaven.
Close by is the tool section selling padlocks, screwdrivers and small building materials (you never know what you’ll come across in this section).
But wait, there’s more! Jimmy Jewelry, supermarket items, sweets and biscuits (worth a stop), buckets, brooms and mops. Yep, you’ll find it all here but wait – there’s still the other level.
Up the stairs unveils the Hoi An Clothes Market, selling cheap clothing for men, women and children. Further along is a seemingly endless shoe area with all manner of footwear: boots, sandals, shoes, fake brand sneakers – you name it, they will have it.
If you need some cosmetics, you’ll find what you’re looking for on this level. In addition to items such as underwear and swimming costumes among others—caps and hats abound!
However, one of the most fascinating aspects is observing tailors diligently working away on their sewing machines in the tailoring section.
Location of Hoi An Central Market
On the corner of Hoang Dieu and Tran Phu Streets is the grand yellow ‘Cho Hoi An’ building whose signage is hard to miss. This is the home of Central Market Hoi An, a bustling bazaar of stalls and Vietnamese commerce.
There’s also a backdoor entrance from Bach Dang Street where the fresh fruit and vegetable market is.
Central Market Opening Times
Whilst some vendors open and close later, the official opening hours of Hoi An Central Market are 9am – 6pm.
The Central Food Hall is open from 7am – 8.30pm and the Fruit & Vegetable Street Market from 6am – 8pm.
How Many Central Market Locations Are There?
‘Cho Hoi An’ may be the star attraction of Hoi An’s bustling market scene, but don’t miss out on all it has to offer!
Out the back, parallel with the Thu Bon River, in Bach Dang Street is the Fruit and Vegetable part of Hoi An Central Market. A little further up, you’ll encounter Hoi An Central Food Court entrance. Located near the corner of Tran Quy Cap and Tran Phu Street (see map) Hoi An’s Central Market Food Hall – serving up tasty Vietnamese cuisine and Hoi An Specialities – is not to be missed.
Tip: If you visit Hoi An Central Market on motorbike, the Tran Phu entrance just outside the market is a great place to park. Pay 5000 VND to the local attendant.
Tips for Visiting Hoi An Central Market
Before heading to the Central Market in Hoi An, put on a smile and brace yourself. Here is a short guide on how to properly visit the bustling market and have the best experience.
Explore your options
The Central Market will stimulate all your senses but make sure to visit a few vendors, before deciding to buy something. Take your time and wander around the market for a few minutes and then go back to the stalls you liked the most.
Learn how to bargain
At the Central Market in Hoi An, every item is negotiable – from big-ticket items like motorbikes to smaller things such as medication. Every price tag is moveable, so try to keep smiling and enjoy the experience! Plus, if you are in town for a while and the market ladies get to know you a little, then the prices will soon begin to tumble.
Do not Get Overwhelmed
As soon as you enter, a swarm of grinning vendors will descend : ‘What you want?’ ‘Who you looking for?’ ‘I show you, come with me.’ Some may even grab your arm. Keep cool. Smile. These sellers are actually really nice people. Haggling for trade is just what they do.
Avoid the Throng
Go in the morning or evening, when it’s not as crowded
What’s Around Hoi An Market?
Around Hoi An Central market are hordes of souvenir shops, selling everything from fake North Face jackets and bags to souvenirs and clothes. There’s also some very eye-catching lantern stalls, food stalls, coffee shops even the odd horologist (watchmaker) – if you need your watch fixed. If you’re looking for the historical sights of this gorgeous Old Town, then nearby Quan Kong Temple is worth a visit.
At the back, along the Thu Bon river near the Cam Nam Bridge, is a huge fruit and vegetable street market. Vibrant at any time of the day the street market is at its most active during the early morning when groups of tourists come shopping for their food tours and local Vietnamese descend in droves, shopping for their daily meal.
Tip: If you’re an Instagrammer looking for that ‘perfect’ shot, join the early morning throng. Apart from unbelievable lighting, you’ll also catch a glimpse of”real’ Vietnamese life.
Close by is the Central Food Hall, with its many food stalls serving up traditional dishes, coffee beverages and fruit juices.
Central Market Food Court
Hoi An Central Market Food Hall is the perfect place for street food lovers who want to sample Vietnam’s local dishes. It has some of the tastiest and best-value meals you’ll get in all of Hoi An, if not Vietnam.
Here, visitors can find a variety of traditional street snacks and street food from all over the country, including classics such as Pho (beef with noodles and herbs in broth). Banh Mi (a bread roll filled with mouth-watering ingredients of your choice), and regional specialties like Bun Bo Hue (a Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (Bun) and beef (Bo) in a tangy, spicy and sweet and sour, lemon grass flavoured soup. And then there Hoi An’s famous Cao Lau (rice noodles with pork, in an unforgettable tasty broth topped off with herbs, bean sprouts and greens).
Prices at Hoi An Central Food Court
With dishes costing anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 VND (0.80 USD to 2 USD), Hoi An’s food market is a fantastic place to get an affordable meal and a taste of local flavors.
What About Vegetarian Options?
Apart from many dishes being meat free, there are specific stalls selling vegetarian food.
Drinks at the Food Court.
There are a handful of juice stalls that specifically specialise in selling drinks at the Food Court.
You can find smoothies, juices and Ca Phe Su Da, which is a delicious type of Vietnamese iced coffee. Smoothies are a popular drink at the Central Food Court with flavors like avocado, dragon fruit, mango and kiwi fruit.
Prices start as low as 15,000 VND (0.65 USD) so don’t hesitate to quench your thirst here!
Tip: With its shared benches, the Food Hall is a great place to meet other tourists, expats and locals stopping by to fill their bellies.
Best time to visit Hoi An Central Market
Hoi An Central Market is busy from before sun-up till mid-afternoon and the Food Hall from midday to well after sundown. You can really go whenever you like and still be guaranteed to find some form of action. That said, if your goal is to take photos or just mix with locals get down early. From 8.30am onwards the food tour groups arrive so space becomes more limited.
History of Central Market
During the 15th century, Hoi An Ancient Town was a commercial center for the empire of the Cham, a Malayo-Polynesian people who controlled much of the lower and central coastlines of Vietnam. Later on, in the 16th and 17th centuries, it became an international trade port and was considered to be the best place for trading in South-East Asia. Nowadays, the commercial spirit is still intact and the Central Market along with the Cloth Market are considered to be well-preserved examples of those times.
Other Markets in Hoi An
Hoi An is home to some of the most vibrant and fascinating markets in Vietnam.
Most popular for tourists are Hoi An’s Central Market, Ba Le Market, Tiger Market and Hoi An Night Market (a light-filled fantasy show and a must for any tourist who wants to experience one of the most picturesque markets in the world).
For a comprehensive overview on the various markets, including the fish market and meat markets, see Hoi An Markets.
Best Hoi An Markets Near Me
Each of the markets have a distinct flavour but they are all worth visiting, not just for the incredible insight you get into Vietnamese culture but for the fresh fruits and vegetables and array of weird and wonderful things they all sell. See Hoi An Markets for information on all markets in Hoi An.
Following is a location overview of the market nearest the area you are staying:
Near Hoi An Old Town? Central Market is closest – but it can be expensive and tiring, especially if you can’t be bothered to use your bargaining skills (or get deeply depressed when you realize you’ve been ripped off).
Just outside the Old Town, near the thriving backpacker area of Tran Cao Van or Tran Hung Dao Streets? Tiger Market is closest local market (and one of our favorite traditional markets).
Decided to be evenly between the beach and the Old Town and your hotel is near Cua Dai Road? You have close proximity to Ba Le Market (Hoi An’s market for many of the expats who live around the area).
Taking your vacation at An Bang Beach (great place to be!) and like morning markets that are budget-friendly and less touristy? An Bang Market. Located down a lane off Nguyen Phan Vinh Street (see Map), this great Hoi An market is open from 5am until 10pm daily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hoi An Central Market is arguably the best market in Hoi An for a few reasons. First, it has an amazing variety of items, ranging from fresh seafood to traditional souvenirs and locally-made clothing. Secondly, the market is centrally located in town which makes it easy to access. Lastly, the prices are very reasonable (if your bargaining skills are good). Should you be looking for the prettiest market in Hoi An (Central Vietnam – or indeed, the world), then Hoi An’s Night Market is the best.
Selling traditional Vietnamese dishes, the Central Market Food Court is one of the cheapest places in town. The food is delicious, the prices are fair and there are plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. However, if you want to buy fresh vegetables and fruit, you may find the prices to be higher than the likes of Tiger Market or Ba Le Market. Regular visits and friendly bartering can make all the difference though!
The Central Market is located very close to Thu Bon River, where you can enjoy a boat ride or simply have a coffee at one of the many cafes by the river. If you are up for more action, head to the Cloth Market, to practice your bargaining skills even more. A host of Old Town restaurants and cafes are within reach of the Central Market and you can get to the famous Japanese Bridge in less than 10 minutes on foot.
Whilst it is cheap by Western standards, it is not the cheapest market in town. The market sellers here know how to barter and they know tourists often have (by Vietnamese standards) huge amounts of cash to throw around. But if you keep your cool and barter well, you can come away with some great deals.
Hoi An’s Central Market is on Bach Dang street on the corner of the Old Town. It’s hard to say exactly where the sprawl begins and ends but roughly speaking the market starts at the Cam Nam Bridge and stretches along the Thu Bon waterfront until almost the Museum of Folk Culture. Within that area are two main blocks containing the Food Hall and the Cloth Market.