Wonderful street markets?
April 27, 2007 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend the most amazing street markets?

I love outdoor or indoor markets in urban areas where you can wander and get lost for hours. I'm thinking Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam, Khan el-Khalili in Cairo, that sort of thing. Holiday markets, too. Any ideas?
posted by Morrigan to Travel & Transportation (26 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
El Rastro en Madrid. Maxwell Street in Chicago.
posted by JJ86 at 9:20 AM on April 27, 2007

Just a couple random places here;

Pike Place Market in Seattle

The Chatuchak District in Bangkok, Thailand.

There's lots of districts in Bangkok that have markets though, and its been a decade or more since I was there. It's a pretty crazy place.

There was a great, colorful market I visited in Hong Kong once, too, but I cant recall the name or the district. Like Bangkok, however, big street markets are pretty common.
posted by elendil71 at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2007

Talaat Dala in Luang Prabang & Talaat Sao in Vientiane. Note, however, that I haven't been there for a couple years, however, so they may have changed.
posted by aramaic at 9:29 AM on April 27, 2007

Hmph. Cut & paste editing strikes again. However however. Feh.
posted by aramaic at 9:30 AM on April 27, 2007

i like Mercat de la Boqueria on Las Ramblas in Barcelona a lot. Its mostly food as i recall and may not be as extensive as what you're talking about.
But its damn good.
posted by alkupe at 9:32 AM on April 27, 2007

There was a great, colorful market I visited in Hong Kong once, too, but I cant recall the name or the district.

Temple Street Night Market, I bet.
posted by vacapinta at 9:54 AM on April 27, 2007

The Marche aux Puces in Paris is always incredible. The Tunis medina was super interesting, too.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:54 AM on April 27, 2007

We really liked the
Kapali Carsi
in Istanbul. Covered, the locals have proudly proclaimed it the worlds first shopping mall.

The Al-Ataba outdoor street market in Cairo was particularly interesting solely because of the incredible range of stuff sold.

I couldn't take photos, but the street markets in Lagos were very diverse and energetic.

Closer to home, Camden Town Market is always good for an entire day.

I'm another market lover; there is no better experience on earth than a bustling market.
posted by Mutant at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2007

Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia. Largest (covered?) market in the Southern Hemisphere, IIRC.
posted by yggdrasil at 10:36 AM on April 27, 2007

I loved the flea markets in Kyoto, which are held in the grounds of some of the main temples.

The Saturday market on Portobello Road is great if you're feeling rich or are happy to browse without buying.
posted by boosh at 10:47 AM on April 27, 2007

Panjiayuan in Beijing is like nothing else I've seen; you won't have time to traverse the whole thing, but a few hours will suffice to give you the general idea. Seconding Las Ramblas and Marche aux Puces.
posted by escabeche at 10:56 AM on April 27, 2007

Marrakesh and Fez (Morocco).
Nice (France).
posted by bru at 11:09 AM on April 27, 2007

The first planned event of my recent trip to Hawaii was a visit to the Hilo Farmer's Market. Amazing food at ridiculously low prices, tons of arts and crafts, and friendly folks.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:22 AM on April 27, 2007

Walthamstow Market. A proper east London street market, which has changed over the years to reflect the changing demographic of the population from predominantly white working-class to a much wider ethnic mix.
posted by essexjan at 11:24 AM on April 27, 2007

The old medina in Casablanca I liked. Also Myungdong in Seoul, although it's less crafts and more manufactured goods- still massive though.
posted by thethirdman at 11:36 AM on April 27, 2007

Kejetia market in Kumasi, Ghana
posted by boots at 1:01 PM on April 27, 2007

Kashgar used to be pretty impressive, but i hear the Chinese moved it into a new covered space now.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 1:05 PM on April 27, 2007

Its not big or chaotic, but many handmade/local goods:
Nelson Market (South Island of New Zealand).
posted by hazel at 1:45 PM on April 27, 2007

Old City in Jerusalem is pretty amazing. And you're sure to get lost. Machane Yehudah is a vegetable / grocery / baked goods market in Jerusalem, that is not in the same neighborhood (it's in new Jerusalem). If you've gone all that way, probably worth checking out the Port of Yaffo market as well. Though I don't like it as much as the old city.
posted by zpousman at 2:17 PM on April 27, 2007

El Mercado Central in pretty much any larger Central American city would be cool. I'm thinking in particular of the one in San José, Costa Rica. I liked the one on Las Ramblas in Barcelona better (mentioned above), though.
posted by Araucaria at 2:34 PM on April 27, 2007

The Project for Public Spaces website is a great resource for all sorts of information on great public spaces and what makes them so wonderful. They have a section on public markets.
posted by amanda at 7:13 PM on April 27, 2007

I'm a huge street market enthusiast, this is right down my alley (no pun intended).
  • Night Market in Kaifeng, China
  • Palermo has several excellent fruit and vegetable street markets that stretch for blocks in many directions. You haven't lived until you've eaten an Italian artichoke, raw, straight from the market (Remove the outer leaves, then rub with a little lemon juice or salt and olive oil. Munch munch munc).
  • Khan al Khalili in Cairo is an interesting market, but you can see even better stuff if you head west towards Ataba. The Imbaba neighborhood also feels like a market as you're walking through it, and part of it is an extensive, winding vegetable/fruit/bits of a sheep market as well.
  • Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy is technically covered but really, really cool. I haven't been in 10 years, though
  • The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is both Grand and Bizarre. But, again, 10 years.
  • There are really amazing street markets throughout London. My favorites are Chapel Market and Dalston Market.

posted by Deathalicious at 6:46 AM on April 28, 2007

Chenghuang Temple (also called Yi Temple) in Shanghai.
posted by of strange foe at 2:44 PM on April 30, 2007

I loved the Turkish Market in Berlin. It's on Maybachufer in the Kreuzberg neighborhood, Tuesdays and Fridays, though Fridays tend to be much more crowded.
posted by j3s at 3:43 PM on April 30, 2007

If fortune brings you to China, Xi'an muslim quarters (area around the Grand Mosque) is the closest thing I've experienced to Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. While not covered, it looks, feels and smells the same. Many hours of entertainment guaranteed. Plus, as long as you are in Xi'an, you can visit the terracotta warriors nearby.

This thread appears to suggest that Turks are best at outdoor markets, and in my limited experience I must concur...
posted by blindcarboncopy at 7:05 AM on May 14, 2007

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