An authentic travel experience is incomplete without exploring the true local culture of a place. From what the locals wear to what they eat, from how they cook to how they live, knowing the customs and traditions of your destination is an enriching experience. One place where you would find the best of local culture is at the city or country’s popular bazaar.
Here’s a look at the 7 exceptional local markets around the world that you must visit for an authentic travel experience:
Chatuchak Market – Bangkok, Thailand
With 8000+ stalls, 27 sections spread across 35 acres of land, it is Bangkok’s most famous local market. Chatuchak Weekend Market is an explosion of colours, sounds, smells, and sights. Pets, handicrafts, ceramics, and furniture are just few of the many things you can buy from here. There’s also a separate section for ‘cock fights’! Bargain hunters and antique lovers won’t leave disappointed from Chatuchak as long as you can spot the difference between a real bargain and a fake vintage.
GoFro Tip: Get a foot or shoulder massage after a tiring day of shopping.
Chandni Chowk – Delhi, India
It is one of the oldest markets in Delhi, the capital of India. In Chandni Chowk you would find old buildings stacked with contemporary clothes and fashion accessories, next to street food stalls filled with mouth-watering snacks. Be it the latest in fashion to traditional Indian textile fabrics, Delhi’s iconic bazaar stocks everything. Fatehpuri Market within Chandni Chowk is a cloth market. Similarly, there is Dariba Kalan & Kinari Bazaar for jewellery, Ballimaran for shoes, and Moti Bazaar for shawls.
GoFro Tip: Try out some delicious, fried paranthas at the Paranthe Waali Gali.
Djemaa el Fna – Marrakech, Morocco
From musical performances to acrobatics and comedy acts, the Djemaa el Fna market in Marrakech is as unique as it gets. Some of the experiences that you can’t miss on your trip here are Arabic storytellers, performance by Berber musicians, potions made by traditional herbalists, snake charmers, and local Moroccan delicacies.
GoFro Tip: Get a tattoo! Not a real one, but rather a traditional Moroccan one with Henna.
Grand Bazaar – Istanbul, Turkey
The world’s oldest covered market, Grand Bazaar is an intricate maze of 56 sections that display the best of Istanbul and Turkey. Various travellers’ accounts reveal that people end up spending from few hours to few days in this market. Things worth buying from Grand Bazaar are Turkish delights, coffee, dates and other dried fruits, spices, fragrant teas, and Turkish ceramic crockery and lamps.
GoFro Tip: Make your own jewellery at the Jewellery Workshop here.
Muara Kuin Floating Market – Banjarmasin, Indonesia
Experience the Indonesian culture floating on a boat! This is a one-of-a-kind market in Banjarmasin. The local merchants still follow the age-old barter system for their own transactions. Get your stash of the traditional Sasirangan fabric, Soto Banjar, shrimp, and exotic fruits and vegetables during your trip to Indonesia’s floating bazaar.
GoFro Tip: Make sure to reach the market early in the morning for the best picks.
Portobello Road Market, London
If you love everything vintage, then you ought to visit London’s Portobello Market. Famous for its antique stores and second-hand shops, this shopping street with over 1000 outlets has been around since the 1800s. To shop for vintage clothing, fashion accessories and collectible items, walk straight to the North Portobello section. Antique stores are on the southern section of the road.
GoFro Tip: Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days as the best vintage finds are displayed on these two days.
Queen Victoria Market – Melbourne, Australia
Bali is a wedding destination that travellers swear by. The island is home to magnificent temples, offering you picturesque backdrops for your big day. One such temple is Tanah Lot, a fine example of Balinese architecture. Located by the sea, the location is a perfect blend of grandeur and natural beauty.