Best marketplaces to shop in the world
Any travel itinerary includes visiting marketplaces not only for the sole purpose of visiting but for some more practical reasons: to try local foods and to shop for things we need during our vacation and some souvenirs to take home. A marketplace also reflects culture, customs and the way of living in a certain place. To experience a city or a town fully, go out and take a trip to its market where people, locals and tourists gather everyday to be inspired by the myriad of things to see and buy.
Here are some of the best market places in the world, where you can have your shopping spree and enjoy it!
Probably one of the best markets in America nestles at the center of downtown Seattle on Puget Sound. Pike Place Market is a busy place full of bustling shoppers and numbers of vendors. You can find anything here, from freshly-caught fish to jewelry, from organic vegetables to unique handicrafts.
First and Pike News’ racks of local and international newspapers and magazines welcome shoppers at the market’s main entrance. Across the famous newsstand is Pike Place Nuts that sells freshly-roasted nuts of different kinds and bizarre but delicious flavors like caramel cashews and banana walnuts.
What’s really special about this awesome market is its Meet the Producer policy. Here, the farmers who grew their products get to sell their own produce. And for more than 100 years, the market follows this rule.
There are also vendors from different parts of the world, such as Uli’s Famous Sausage owned by a German butcher and the Italian DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine where they offer wide variety of cheeses, wines and other Italian foods. They even have cheese and wine tasting for the customers to enjoy. At the heart of Pike Place is the fish market where you can purchase any kind of fish and seafood such as oyster and sea urchin. If you don’t want to buy fish, you can stay and have a look at fishmongers throwing fish. It’s always fun to watch. There are also loads of great places to grab a meal. Market Grill is famous for its salmon sandwiches, Market Galbee for its delicious Korean BBQ. Vendors of flowers, artworks and handmade crafts such as the Hands of the World, where you can buy handmade items from around the globe, are also available. So, you see, spending a day at Pike Place will prove to be worthy. And after you’re done shopping, enjoy the spectacular view of Puget Sound.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Chatuchak Weekend Market, Thailand
One of Thailand’s major attractions is its floating market. Tourists come and visit the country to experience this one of a kind market. Although Damnoen Saduak is an hour outside Bangkok, Thailand’s capital and most populous city, it is the most popular floating market in the country. Small rowing boats full of different merchandise flock the narrow channel between the rivers of Maklong and Taachin. Fruits like Malacca grape, orange, banana and Chinese grapefruit are among the great finds. Floating markets can also be found in Indonesia and Vietnam.
Bangkok, on the other hand, is home to the legendary Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest market in Thailand. The 35-acre area of stalls offers almost everything, from exotic crafts to antiques, from socks to live animals. Shoppers will enjoy wandering along the vast expanse of colorful and assorted goods. No need to worry should you get hungry or thirsty: A wide array of food vendors awaits, and they are more than able to cater to your every need.
If you love antiquity, Paris is the place to be. Home to the renowned Saint-Ouen Flea Market, the largest antique market in the world and the most famous in Paris, Porte de Clignancourt should be included on your list when you happen to visit the City of Light. The seven-hectare market receives a hundred thousand and more visitors, shoppers and non-shoppers, every weekend. You can find the best and most unique souvenir by sorting through the pile of antique books, jewelry, some old scientific instruments, ancient finds from archeological digs and many more. You might also find something interesting for your home since there are lots of shops that sell antique furniture, paintings, toys and even silverware. Feast your eyes on vintage clothing and jewelry stores, and indulge the fashionable in you.
The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
One of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets, the Grand Bazaar is situated in the district of Fatih in Istanbul. It covers 61 streets and includes more than 3,000 shops. It is said to welcome and cater to almost 300,000, and sometimes more, visitors every day, making it one of the most famous around the world and one of Istanbul’s main attractions. Tourists come here for its jewelry, embroideries, carpets, hand-painted ceramics and spices. This 550+ year old covered market is an architectural and historical gem, from its labyrinth vaults to the mosques inside the complex. You can experience old Istanbul while exploring numbers of kiosks and bargaining for your purchase. What a great way to do your shopping!