Many of the most accessible tourist-friendly locations in the world have open-air markets. Tourists love these bazaars as they are a great way to try new food, buy goods not regularly available to them, and get a general sense of the place they’re visiting.
Below are some of the greatest open-air markets in the world, including one spot with a coffee shop that was established in 1773 and another spot that received more than 10 million visitors every year!
Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech, Morocco
The Djemaa el-Fna market in the city of Marrakech is unlike any other in the world. The massive center offers shoppers pretty much anything they can imagine.
The dynamic of the market also changes over the course of the day. In the morning, visitors can buy orange juice or water and check out snake charmers. As it gets darker, the entertainment changes with magicians and storytellers joining the fray, along with dozens of food options.
Temple Street Night Market, Hong Kong
Night markets in Hong Kong first began to give people something to do after work. They’ve grown into popular attractions, though, that draw both tourists and locals. One of the best-known occurs on Temple Street.
The Temple Street Market features all the food that one could ever hope to eat. There are also fortune-telling parrots and jade jewelry that can ward off evil. Lucky tourists may even be treated to a performance by the Cantonese Opera House.
Pike Place Market, Seattle
Seattle is one of the great cities in America and the Pike Place Market is a good example of why. The market, of course, is most famous for the giant fish being tossed around. But there is so much more to the spot than just that.
The market also features a vibrant food scene with various cuisines represented. There are also booksellers, candlemakers, clothiers, and cheesemakers within the market’s sprawling 10-acre space. More than 10 million people visit Pike Place on an annual basis.
Khan el-Khalili, Cairo, Egypt
The Khan el-Khalili is certainly the oldest space on this list. The open market has existed since the 14th century and offers up all kinds of wares.
Shoppers to the Egyptian spot can purchase clothing, perfume, jewelry, and fine-crafted glassware. Despite its age, the market has adapted to the times. Visitors can take advantage of the number of fine coffee shops or cutting-edge food trucks. One of the oldest coffeehouses that can be visited is El Fishawi’s, which was first established all the way back in 1773.
Camden Lock Market, London
Camden Lock Market, which first opened in the early 19th Century, has only grown in size and popularity. Visitors can pick up items ranging from clothing to furniture or handmade wares.
There is also a thriving food scene at the Borough Market. Music is also an important component to Camden Lock and major bands like the Foo Fighters have performed there.
Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid
The market in San Miguel has been in operation since 1916. The space, however, was renovated and overhauled in 2009. It is located within walking distance of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor.
Mercado de San Miguel doesn’t offer the traditional wares that most world markets have. Instead, the area is more focused on selling, beer wine, and tapas. Visitors around the world love coming to Mercado de San Miguel to try local ham, baked goods, and olives.
Rialto Market, Venice, Italy
Rialto Market is already going to provide incredible scenery as it is located in the picturesque town of Venice. The center is famous for its seafood with shoppers able to purchase giant tiger prawns, fresh lobsters, and octopuses.
There is also one feature of the site particular to Venice. At the market, fresh produce is sold from gondolas which makes Rialto seem like a floating shopping center.
Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia
The Queen Victoria Market was first established in 1876. Back then, the center was mostly focused on the sales of fruits and vegetables. Today, the now largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere offers so much more.
In the 2010s, the market was expanded to include more gourmet food stalls. Today, Queen Victoria draws more than 10 million visitors each year.