Oct 20, 2017
It is at a market that you truly get a taste of the place you’re visiting. This is where locals gather to buy their food and locally produced goods, and it is just a great place to mingle. Here are 14 epic markets around the world you should add to your travel list.
Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan
Almost every guidebook about Tokyo has the Tsukiji Fish Market on its list. And there’s a good reason. It’s the largest wholesale fish market in the world, with several blocks dedicated to the selling of seafood. There’s a famous tuna auction that happens every morning, but you need to get there as early as 1am to book your spot for the first tour, which starts at 5:25am. It can get really cold in the market and we suggest bringing a jacket. Also, no flip-flops or heels are allowed, so a pair of sneakers is probably the best option. There are plans to move the market, but these have been postponed until autumn 2018 at the earliest. So, make sure you visit the iconic venue before it changes location.
Opening hours: 5am-2pm (outer market, varies by shop); 5.25am-6.15am (tuna auction, limited to 120 visitors a day); 10am onwards (wholesale area)
Kashgar Bazaar, China
Kashgar attracts more than 100,000 people daily. There are at least 20 large-scale bazaars in Kashgar, the largest of which is located at the East Gate of the city. Hawkers from around the globe gather to sell their goods, which include such a vast variety, you’ll be more than spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking for tea, spices, pottery, rugs or even a horse, the bazaars will no doubt give you a variety of options. The busiest day is a Sunday as this is when all the bazaars are open and many of the auctions happen. Most tourists come here on a Sunday just to people watch. Grabbing some dried fruit from Saudi Arabia and a cup of Turkish coffee while watching the bartering is an unforgettable experience. Make sure you bring cash, but be watchful of your belongings.
Opening hours: 10am till late daily; livestock market is open only on Sundays
Khan el-Khalili, Egypt
In the heart of Islamic Cairo, this market is famous for its colourful lanterns, bright jewellery and exotic perfumes on sale. Many of the stall owners will happily make customised goods for you while you wait. The Street of the Tentmakers, a market within a market, is a must-see. It’s Cairo’s last medieval covered market, where craftsmen still make intricate tents. Remember that you should dress appropriately. There is generally no photography allowed as locals find this disrespectful.
Opening hours: 11am till late daily, but opening hours of vendors vary