Get Lost In The Bargains At The World’s Biggest And Best Markets
Everyone is searching for the perfect souvenir to bring home. And you know where you’ll find the best one? The local market. But some markets around the world put even the best craftsperson fair to shame.
These markets are worth a visit — and not a quick pop-in, move-on type of visit. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to wander, get lost and find the best bargains at each enchanting spot.
Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen — Paris, France
There are more than 1,700 merchants in the Parisian antique market, which are separated into 14 individual markets. Dating back to 1885, the market lets visitors take home a little piece of the city’s history in the form of vintage books, furniture, decor and clothes. Saint Ouen is located near the 18th Arrondissement and is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Tsukiji Fish Market — Tokyo, Japan
We all know one of the reasons to see Tokyo is to dine on the best sushi around. But to get the freshest, try the fish market. If you can get up with the sun, catch the live tuna auction at 5 a.m. Not a morning person? Still try to go before 3 p.m. Most fishmongers close up shop in the afternoon.
Grand Bazaar — Istanbul, Turkey
The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered markets in the world, and the salespeople there sure know how to do their jobs. You will definitely want to buy a $1,000 Turkish rug that you have no place for in your apartment, but that’s part of the fun of exploring the site’s 4,000 shops.
Marrakesh Souks — Marrakesh, Morocco
The souks, or markets, of Marrakesh are like a maze that you will never want to leave. But bring your haggling skills here or risk being the American who paid five times more than you should have for your souvenir. The market is organized by wares, so head to the spice section for saffron and the leather artisans for a new purse.
La Boqueria — Barcelona, Spain
One step into the Boqueria and you know you’re in food land. The smell of fish mixes with fruit and spices and meat. It would be overwhelming even if the rest of your senses didn’t have to keep up. But don’t take your eyes off of the selection of snacks or you’ll risk missing tasting some.
Mercado de Otavalo — Otavalo, Ecuador
Forget cheesy magnets and shot glasses. At Otavalo, you’ll find the real deal. Whether you want woven bags, carpets or handstitched embroidery, you can find it in the small town’s market. Weekends are the time to go, which is when the market takes over a large majority of the town.
Portobello Road Market — London, England, United Kingdom
More than 1,000 vendors sell antiques in Portobello Road. Want vintage china? Check. Records? Check. Out of print books? Check. Saturday’s the main day; the road is full of visitors searching for treasures.