If you want to toss out the guidebook and really see what locals are eating, buying, or wearing, hit the local bazaars. We got you the best street markets around the globe to tempt you into your next vacation.
Marketplaces or bazaars are a vibrant mixture of textures, intoxicating tastes and aromas, local culture and tradition.
No matter what’s on sale – fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, antiques or apparel – local markets often reveal a more authentic side of a destination.
If you’re in the mood to splurge while soaking in a country’s culture, visit these vibrant places.
La Boqueria, Barcelona
A foodie’s paradise, La Boqueria is arguably the city’s most exciting attraction. The place bustles with vendors selling everything edible, from fruits, to vegetables, cured and fresh meats, breads, cheese, seafood, juices and even candies.
If you wish to do more than eat your way around the market, Boqueria has an on-site culinary school to help you learn some great kitchen skills of the Spanish land.
Rialto Market, Venice
This is the world’s oldest known market. Rialto Market is located on the bank of the Grand Canal, spanned by the stunning Venetian masterpiece – Rialto Bridge. The quality and quantity of fresh produce and seafood on show here is incredible. There are some food specimens you have would have never imagined existed. There are also floating vendors, which is quintessentially Venetian.
The area around the market is bustling with numerous interesting scenes to be captured. For the best pictures, station yourself there early morning, and witness the drama unfold.
This market has been in trade for over two centuries! You will find food vendors to art vendors, all at this sprawling market. If you are an art lover, visit the numerous art exhibitions conducted here, to understand local art.
The Saturday Farmers Market, adjacent to the St. Lawrence is a foodie’s paradise, while Sunday’s antiques show draws bargain hunters and collectors.
Khan Al-Khalili, Egypt
This market, dating back to 1382, offers a plethora of glassware, brassware, perfume and jewelry in its 900 odd stalls. Many artisans also practice their craft in front of eager shoppers to populate their stall. The market is perfect to shop for knick-knacks to take back home. But do not forget to bargain. Also, do not miss the Street of Tentmakers for a completely different experience.
This one of a kind street market has tentmakers craft beautifully ornate tents! If you are the camping type, pick one for yourself to show off your to your mates.
Grand Bazaar, Turkey
This sprawling covered market is probably the largest covered market in Turkey. Spread over 60 streets, with over 4000 vendors selling goods ranging from jewelry, to carpets, brassware, leather goods, hookahs, ceramics and pottery to name a few. This local bazaar attracts maddening crowd and is always bustling with people. The bazaar also has a mosque, innumerable hotels and inns, many mini bazaars and 18 gates!
You get the picture – this bustling market, in the midst of the city, is just not worth missing. Take in the local culture and bask in its anarchy.
Chandni Chowk, India
Chandni Chowk is the busiest market in India’s capital city Delhi. It has been a trade center for the northern region for ages. Located in the old part of Delhi, bang opposite the historic Red Fort, is this crammed and bustling market, where you will find everything under the sun, from made-to-order wedding dresses to exotic fruits to refurbished secondhand shoes. This buzzing retail area offers the quintessential experience for anyone visiting the subcontinent.
Walk through the narrow alleys of Chandni Chowk, gorge on finger licking food, shop for knick-knacks, and don’t forget to carry your camera to take back something that is either unforgettable or simply unbelievable.
Do not forget to bargain your way to a great deal at these international markets and bazaars. You just might stumble upon that perfect souvenir!