The World's Best Markets
Collected by Lindsey Tramuta , AFAR Contributor
Whether for comestibles or antiques, markets are a wellspring of treasures and one of the fastest ways to understand a culture and its values. At these spots, you'll walk away with far more than the run-of-the-mill tourist trophies.
610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Think of the Oxbow like a high-end shopping mall for food and wine. On the east side of the Napa River, the market brings together a number of epicurean purveyors under one roof (well, technically, it’s three different roofs). The result:...
Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd, Khwaeng Lat Yao, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
Pub Street Area , Mondol 1 Village 284, 2 Thnou St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
While cute souvenir shops and even haute couture boutiques exemplify the changing face of the retail scene in Siem Reap, the city’s famous Old Market remains a heady hub of traditional trade and commerce. Located right in the heart of town, Psar...
Azad Nagar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400005, India
Every morning, the Sassoon docks in the Colaba district of Mumbai fill with locals, young and old, who load baskets, bowls, and crates with all manner of Arabian sea life. I stood mesmerized watching women in beautiful bright saris balance heavy...
Av. Petit Thouars 5245, Lima 15074, Peru
A must-stop on the traditional handicraft circuit, this massive market—stretching four city blocks in Miraflores!—is home to stall after stall of kitschy bric-a-brac, pre-Columbian–style pottery, alpaca everything and an endless...
Raja Katra, Jorasanko, Kolkata, West Bengal 700007, India
While traveling around India I learned to expect the unexpected. Every turn delivered a surprise. When I was in Calcutta, a traffic jam forced my guide and I to abandon our tax ride to the Marble Palace. As we stumbled out the cab door we found...
Plaza San Jacinto 11, San Ángel TNT, San Ángel, Álvaro Obregón, 01000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Once a separate municipality, San Ángel—in the city’s south, nestled into its western foothills—is a leafy, genteel enclave whose relative isolation adds a soigné feel (for better or worse) you won’t find in...
825 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
A primo sourcing grounds for picnic provisions or a casual cafe meal, Publican Quality Meats is the latest food enterprise by the never-miss restaurant team behind Avec, Publican, and Big Star. Billed as a contemporary American butcher shop, its...
00130 Helsinki, Finland
In Paris, we're spoiled with bakeries on every corner, reeling us in with the sweet perfume of butter and sugar that wafts onto the street as we pass. In Helsinki, locals should feel fortunate to have Kauppatori, the city's market square where a...
Portobello Rd, London, UK
Portobello Road is a colorful stretch of shops and stalls selling bric-a-brac and antiques. Part trendy neighborhood, part flea market. On Saturdays, thousands of people flock there for bargains. I recommend going on a weekday. You can have the...
Prague 6, Czechia
While farmers’ markets have sprung up all over Prague, the Dejvice Farmers Marketthat sprawls out near the Dejvická metro station is the most popular because of its location and size, plus its fun fair atmosphere. On Saturday mornings, local...
Olei Zion St, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
The ever-colorful Jaffa Flea Market, in operation for more than 100 years, inhabits a portside neighborhood of alleyways, covered walkways, and outdoor verandas. Wander the endless market streets to find restored antiques and handicrafts, Judaica...
85 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Walk, cycle or people-watch along the shores of Elliott Bay, a downtown stretch known for its circusy flair and spectacular vistas. You can ride the Great Wheel or visit the beloved Seattle Aquarium, home to wolf eels, sea otters, and the world's...
7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada
Public Market, 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
This former industrial site is a one-stop shopping spot for last-minute souvenirs. Weave in and out of the countless alleys and stalls; among the art galleries, toy shops, crafts stores, farmers market and waterfront restaurants, you’re...
1200-161 Lisbon, Portugal
Across the street from the Cais do Sodre train station, the “river market” is Lisbon’s preeminent food bazaar. Beneath the building’s 1930s dome, vendors sell fresh seafood, meat, fruit, piri-piri peppers, and flowers. The second floor houses a...
51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
This historic market has been in operation since 1892, and is beloved by locals as a destination for lunch, grocery shopping, or buying regional gifts at the Pennsylvania General Store. More than 70 businesses sell fresh wares here, including ice...
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