While Lonely Planet and Conde Naste Traveler are staples in our on-road libraries sometimes the time is ripe to stray from the beaten track and lose yourself in local culture. And what better way to immerse yourself than by getting lost in the energy and dynamism of a bustling marketplace?
To get you on track we’ve put together a list of our favorite bright and bustling bazaar from across the globe. Lose all sense of direction in a labyrinth of stalls, sample the tantalizing tastes of local produce, breathe in the scents of exotic spices, marvel at beautiful antiques, fill your suitcase with colorful keepsakes and more! So close the guidebook, slip away your smartphone and dive head first into these must visit markets from around the world.
Grand Bazaar – Istanbul, Turkey
Nothing captures the evocative spirit of Turkey quite like Istanbul’s sprawling Grand Bazaar. Alleys of kaleidoscopic spices captivate the senses, hand woven rugs create walls of color while hammered silver trinkets are begging to be bartered for. When you’ve had your fill of shopping re-energize with a glass of Turkish apple tea and a slab of syrupy baklava.
Image via: Booms Beat
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Bangkok, Thailand
Brimming with color, charisma and insatiable crowds, Chatuchak Weekend Market is not one for the faint hearted. The infamous maze like marketplace is made up of over 8000 stalls selling everything from glittering jewels, silk lanterns, boutique clothing, hand crafted jewelry, Asian street food, carved wood furniture, local artwork, traditional medicine, exotic pets and of course, an abundance of refreshing coconuts! Recreate the enticing aroma of Thailand with a luxury Coco Noir soy blend scented candle from The Sitota Collection.
Image via: Where Thailand
Jemaa El Fnaa – Marrakech, Morocco
As the sun sets on the shores of North Africa Jemaa El Fnaa market comes to life in the sultry Moroccan humidity. Be enchanted by brilliant street artists, tempting food stalls, mysterious snake charmers and intriguing curios merchants. Soak up the sounds of pipes, sink your teeth into a heavenly fig and be swept away by throngs of local market goers on the search for everyday essentials.
Image via: BBC
Camden Lock – London, UK
Home to London’s hippest set, the Camden Lock canals are a must visit destination for travelers seeking out a taste of the ‘real’ London. A myriad of international food stalls pay tribute to the capital’s multiculturalism, vintage pop-up boutiques are a mecca for fashionistas, local craft stalls retail one-of-a-kind gifts while live music creates a festive and upbeat atmosphere.
Image via: Visit London
Marche Aux Puces De Clignancourt – Paris, France
Decadent, chic and utterly inspiring, this magnificent flea market is the heart and soul of Porte de Cligancourt. Kick off the day with a buttery pastry and café au lait before trawling through the plethora of Parisian treasures. From vintage tea sets and enchanting antiques to boudoir style silk sheets and second hand designer clothing, there’s something for every bargain savvy shopper.
Image via: Marjorie R Williams
So there you have our must visit haunts! What’s your favorite marketplace?