It does look unusual for a market, but at first sight you probably won’t imagine this colonial building was created as the city’s public jail, nonetheless. Today Fortaleza’s Emcetur – Centro do Turismo, in Rua Senador Pompeu 350, hosts the Museum of Art and Culture of Ceara and a handicraft market mainly devoted to textiles. Along with Mercado Central, Ceart and the evening fair along Beira Mar beach, this is one of the best places where to buy local craft.
Actually, from here to Mercado Central is a not-so-long walk that I highly recommend if you are not in a rush. In fact, all the streets in between, like Rua Major Facundo, are dotted with fantastic little shops and stalls where you can find probably even more souvenirs than in the main markets themselves. Plus, there are street vendors selling for only 1 Real glasses of fresh coconut water, obtained with a lovely, seemingly homemade device that allows them to change the coconut as soon as it’s finished. The best hydrating, vitamin/minerals-packed, refreshing drink one can dream of when walking under Fortaleza scorching sun in northeastern Brazil.