One of the best ways to see, hear, smell, touch, taste, and experience local culture is through their marketplaces. Recently, we’ve made it more of a practice to visit markets whenever we travel. They’re great places to find local goods, yummy foods, and people watch.
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Last Updated: June 30, 2020
25 Best Markets in the World to put on Your Bucket List
Get up really early if you want to catch the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. You’ll see huge fish laid out on ice and the hustle and bustle of locals trying to get the freshest catch. Although you probably won’t be buying anything, there are places where you can get the best and freshest sushi in the city. Unfortunately taking photos here is frowned upon. Many people fake taking photos of themselves just to get photos of fish.
Pro Tip: Wondering where to go to eat the best seafood in Tsukiji market? Let locals help you navigate through their favorites stalls and restaurants in the market on the MagicalTrip’s Tsukiji Fish Market tour.
Location: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey, map | Hours: Mon to Sat 9am–7pm
This is another market that is worth the visit just for the architecture alone. In addition to the roughly 4000 shops selling anything you can think of, there are also two mosques, four fountains, and two hammams within the bazaar.
5. Chandni Chowk Market
Location:2573, Nai Sarak, Raghu Ganj, Roshanpura, Delhi 110006, India, map | Hours: 10AM-7PM Mon-Sat
Delhi is home to many well-known markets, but the most popular street market is Chandni Chowk. It has been around for centuries, and you can buy anything here, from custom clothes to exotic food.
Pike Place Market is a staple in Seattle. Fresh produce, beautiful flowers, fresh fish, and art can be found in the stalls here. You can even pull up a seat and have some of the best seafood around.
Location: Taiwan, Taipei City, 111, No. 65, Section 5, Zhongshan North Road, map | Hours: 7PM-12AM Daily
This is Taipei’s largest night market and is best known as a large food court! Get some fried buns, sip on bubble tea, and in case you’re not hungry, there are still plenty of non-food related shops.
Over 200,000 people visit the Chatuchak Weekend Market on any given day and an estimated 15,000 stalls. They have live animals, antiques, clothes, food, and more.
Set amidst the Rialto Bridge, shoppers can find tons of fresh produce and seafood at this market. The highlight of this market is that you’ll even find produce available on gondolas, giving it a floating market feel!
This may not sound like an exotic marketplace, but it still holds its own. You can find just about anything fresh at this market, including fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood. In case you’re looking for other things to do in PDX, here’s our bucket list of 101 things to do.
Location: 93 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada, map | Hours: Tues-Thurs 8AM-6PM, Fri 8AM-7PM, Sat 5AM-5PM
You can find produce, handcrafts, antiques, and more at this market. They even have art and cultural exhibitions in case you’re not in the shopping mood.
Location: Plaça de la Ciutat de Bruges, s/n, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain, map | Hours: 7AM-3PM Mon-Sat
This is a beautiful market with seasonal products and roughly 1,000 stalls. While you’re perusing all the stalls, be sure to take some time to take in all the stained glass and mosaics.
Find fresh fish, local produce, and stall after stall of meats at this iron-and-glass market. If you’re looking for non-food items, the Monastriki Flea Market is closeby and is home to books, pirated videos, and antiques.
I was intrigued and taking tons of photos of hanging meat and cow heads (never seen that before), and this butcher wanted a photo with me. Maybe one day he’ll see his photo up on here! :)
15. Queen Victoria Market
This is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. Shop, grab a coffee, or just chat with the locals and tourists.
The Yashow Market is home to multiple floors of clothes, electronics, tailors, toys, and more! Be sure you know how to haggle before shopping here otherwise you’ll be grossly overpaying. You can also check out Beijing’s Silk Market which is similar but more modernized.
Go furniture shopping, pick up some clothes, or just hang out at this major tourist attraction. In addition to being a marketplace, they host special events like concerts and art shows. Even one of our favorite bands, Foo Fighters, has performed here. For the foodies, check out Borough Market.
Location: Plaza de San Miguel, S/N, 28005 Madrid, Spain, map | Hours: 10AM-12AM Tues-Thurs, 10AM-2AM Fri-Sun
This food market is the perfect place for tapas and a glass of wine. You can pick up Spanish gourmets and mingle with the locals.
Location: Stanley Municipal Services Building, 6號 Stanley Market Rd, Stanley, Hong Kong, map | Hours: 10AM-6PM Daily
Shop for clothes, art, local gifts, and more at one of the most popular markets in Hong Kong. If you’re not looking for anything in particular, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal and people watch. While you’re in Hong Kong, be sure to check out the Temple Street night market as well!
20. Testaccio Market
This market combines the availability of fresh produce, seafood, and meat with an outlet. You can get last season’s shoes at discounted prices, vintage clothes, and even designer household items.
21. Souqs in Dubai
Location: DeiraAl Ras – Dubai – United Arab Emirates, map | Hours: Sat-Thurs 10AM-10PM (many close between 1-4PM), Friday 4PM-10PM
Dubai has many different souks / markets, but the most popular are the Gold Souq and the Spice Souq. You can haggle for cheap gold, and the government keeps tight control over the quality so you know that everything is genuine.
Location: Complexo do ver o peso – Av. Blvd. Castilhos França – Comércio, Belém – PA, 66013-030, Brazil, map | Hours: 5AM-6PM Daily
Visit the Ver-o-Peso docks to see this chaotic market. If you want to watch the fisherman unload their catches, visit early in the morning. Otherwise, swing by the market building to find fresh produce and seafood coming straight from the Amazon.
This is a massive market that is broken up into two sections: one for livestock and the other for everything else. You can buy horses, furniture, clothes, bicycles, and more, and makes for an amazing place to people watch.
25. Khan El-Khalili
Location: El-Gamaleya, El Gamaliya, Cairo Governorate, Egypt, map | Hours:Varies (early morning til sundown), Closed Fri Morn and Sun
Over 900 shops offer perfume, jewelry, glassware, and more at this market. You can even watch some of the artists create their beautiful pieces right in front of you. I actually went shopping here a few days before the bombings in 2009.
Map of the Best Markets in the World
- Be sure to check hours before visiting.
- Since markets are a blend of locals and tourists, it’s a common place for pickpockets to target unsuspecting visitors. Just use common sense.
- Every market will be different, but it’s always good to have cash. Every market we’ve visited, there were always at least a few vendors who were cash only.
- Learn to bargain! Again, this won’t be true at every market, but for the most part, you should be able to bargain to some extent.
How many of these have you been to? When you travel, do you try to visit a market? Are there any other (non-seasonal) markets we need to check out?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.