Steaming pots, stinking fish, loud barkers inside, mountains of spices, vegetables and fruits of all kinds and colors, and dense crowds that push their way through narrow passages are all familiar parts of the market landscape. I have said it many times: For me, a visit to the local market inevitably counts as an exploration of a strange city. Here, I can go grocery shopping when I want to cook for myself, meet the most exciting people, and make the most abstruse discoveries. This applies to the picturesque vegetable market in southern France as well as the chaotic market somewhere in Asia. But where in particular are markets that are worth visiting?
The best street markets in the world
I have done a little bit of research, rummaged through my old memories, and asked my fellow travelers.
- The Lau Pa Sat Street Market in Singapore: The cover picture emerged at the edge of this Street Food Market – and I would let this handsome man with his open fire cook for me again any time. The Lau Pa Sat Market is one of the most famous markets in Singapore and you can get everything your heart desires here; from Indian to Thai.
- The Boqueria Market in Barcelona:: A real classic in Europe! Situated just off the tourist-flooded Las Ramblas, this market is always a point of reference for me whenever I want to breathe again and refuel. The many fresh juices are absolutely outrageous and since this is a large market hall, it is reasonably cool in the streets, even in summer.
- The Meaklong Railway Market in Thailand: Mia’s Big Picture emerged here a year and a half ago. The Meaklong Railway Market is simply worth seeing! Mia said that the train runs through the middle of the market several times a day and the vendors are accustomed to the daily game of setting their goods aside, folding-in their roofs and making way for the heavy and massive train driving through, just millimeters (no kidding!) over fresh tomatoes, fish and mangoes. Madness!”.
- The spice markets of Calcutta: Indian markets are somehow the ultimate for me. The amount of colorful spices is simply not to be outdone. There’s a tastier curry on every corner between colorful garlands being sold. The market in Calcutta is particularly colorful in this regard. It’s on my list!
- The Russian market in Ashgabat: Granted, Turkmenistan is certainly not a very tourist destination, but one of the coolest markets I’ve had the privilege of seeing is indeed here. The people in the Russian Market in Ashgabat Russian market in Ashgabat brave the winter cold and summer heat. We tourists are skeptical and plentiful. When in doubt, you should taste some of the homemade vodka.
- The flower market in Amsterdam: A true classic, of course! On the canals we pack-up dozens of bouquets of tulips and after the fact, we ask ourselves how will we transport them home. Better: buy tulip bulbs, which can last quite wonderfully at home – and a little training certainly doesn’t hurt our green thumb, right?
- The Floating Markets of Bangkok: Up high on my list, Mia and Thies were already there. The Floating Corner shop on the water? Sounds exciting! Certainly, it should now be very touristy, but I have to find the naive notion that it’s still fairly traditional and make some time for it whenever I’m in Thailand..: The Floating Markets of Bangkok.
- The carpet markets in Marrakech: I associate Morocco with a lot, and funnily enough, carpets make the list! I am not so fond of the typical Berber carpets, but I absolutely love the classic Beni Ourain carpets and you should be able to get them at a good price in Marakesh. Hm, is that worth the visit?! I was actually never there yet…
- The Saigon Flower Market in Vietnam: Another market on the water, definitely not non-touristy, but nevertheless insanely beautiful to see. Have you been there? Tell me if it is worth it. I definitely want to travel to Vietnam in the future…
- The Pike Place Market in Seattle: Yes, America also has great markets! The Pike Place Market is a fish, craft, and flower market all in one. It is located directly on the waterfront in Seattle. By the way, the oldest Starbucks store in the world is just around the corner! In the connected coffee shops, you can have a great breakfast with the best Harbour View!
We have summarized most Street Markets of the world for you one more time on Pinterest:
And now you: In your opinion, what are the best street markets in the world?