Nine of the World’s Most Exotic Bazaars
From pearls in Beijing and spices in Istanbul to tulips in Amsterdam, the world is full of historic markets with myriad offerings. Check out the nine markets we're dying to visit.
Le Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris
Since 1885, “Le Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen,” also known as the Paris Flea Market, attracts thousands of people from around the world every week. Go ahead, live out your Parisian bohemian fantasies on the banks of the Seine.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok
Thai merchants row their goods—mostly flowers, desserts, and fruits—to the Damnoen Saduak Market, southwest of Bangkok, every day. Boats can be rented for tours through the market.
Portobello Road, London
Portobello Road is home to a slew of famous fictional characters: Paddington Bear, Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, and Angela Lansbury in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Though you may not run into Hugh Grant, you will undoubtedly find random knicknacks to take home.
Hongqiao Pearl Market, Beijing
Visitors can discover and bargain for a treasure trove of aquatic jewels at the enormous Hongqiao Pearl Market in Beijing. I’ve gotten lost in its 35,000-square-foot building—and found some spectacular pearls along the way.
Bloemenmarkt Tulip Market, Amsterdam
Did you know tulips are indigenous not to Holland, but to Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey? The beautiful bulb was also responsible for the world’s first economic bubble, when prices reached more than 10 times the annual salary of a Dutch carpenter, then suddenly collapsed.
Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo
Ever wonder where your sushi comes from? Well, probably not all the way from Japan, but Tsukiji Fish Market is world famous for the exquisite quality of its fish. Some of the tuna can reach 600 pounds!
Grand Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
What’s more magical than a sea of Turkish carpets and the smell of spices in the air? Formed in 1461, the Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest markets in the world and is a must-see destination in Istanbul.
Pike Place Market, Seattle
Watch your head! At Pike Place Market, you’d better pay attention or you might get a face full of wet, slimy fish!
Rathaus Christmas Market, Vienna
Nothing says “Christmas” like an ancient cathedral bathed in lights, antique toys from a simpler time, and of course, warm gingerbread! While there are plenty of seasonal Christmas markets around Europe, Vienna has an especially heartwarming one.