Local markets around the world

Posted on: 02 March 2015 by Jennie Carr

Local markets are like a magnet for tourists but aside from the cheap souveniers you'll also find quality goods and the authentic taste of the region, as Jennie Carr discovers.

Every city has a market and most often these are the real way to discover what makes the city tick, what its true character is. Markets are a great place to try authentic, local food and pick up handmade crafts or antiques as well as enjoy the bustle and noise around you. Every market has its special characters, who are often fascinating. You can have a go at bargaining, walking away when necessary, and hopefully achieving a great price for your purchases.   

Amphawa floating fish market, Thailand

Amphawa Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand

This is an absolute delight for visiting foodies and locals alike. It’s just an hour from Bangkok and is a prime example of a floating market, where the long tail boats line the water’s edge to cook fish straight from the sea, along with tasty, if unfamiliar fruit and vegetables. It’s open at the weekends and has to be visited when you’re hungry, in order to sample all the regional delicacies and snacks on offer. For a great ambiance and taste bud teasers, this is the place.   

Palazzo della Ragione, Padua

Padua Market, Italy

Who could visit a supermarket in Italy when the flavours and smells of the market in Padua are waiting? There is simply everything to choose from, bursting with freshness and local to the area. Italians are devoted to food and their infectious enthusiasm for each speciality is marvellous. Meat, cheese and fresh pasta can be found in the stylish Palazzo della Ragione, whilst the Piazza delle Erbe is the place for fruit and vegetables. Prepare for a veritable feast. 

T-Nagar Marke

T-Nagar Market, Chennai, India

This is the place for bridal shopping but unlike anything else you may have experienced! Here the best saris and gold jewellery, the mainstay of an Indian bride’s trousseau, have to be seen to be believed. And the quality is exceptional, with unique, richly embroidered silk saris in fabulous hues costing up to £10,000. The jewellery can be custom made or off the shelf, all you have to do is decide! The choice may be overwhelming.  

Mercato, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mercato, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Whatever you are looking and perhaps that you hadn’t even thought of, is on offer in Africa’s biggest open-air market.  Ingenuity abounds and nothing is wasted: old tyres become sandals, used cans are transformed into desirable objects. The little lanes and alleys are full of craftsmen, welders and machinists plying their trades before your very eyes. This market represents the very best of Africa, with buying and selling at its heart.  And of course, in Ethiopia the coffee is superb, it just must be tried!

lobster on market stall

Adelaide Central Market, Australia

This is the showcase for Australia’s most prolific food and wine region, with local tasty treats aplenty.  How about Kangaroo Island Brie or Pheasant Farm pate to start with? A great morning can be spent sampling the wares before you buy. And a most informative guided tour is on offer from chef Mark Gleeson, who has worked and cooked around the market for over two decades.

Surquillo Market, Lima, Peru

Surquillo Market, Lima, Peru

The UK has finally caught onto delicious Peruvian food and here in Lima is where all the ingredients can be bought for the real thing!  In this city centre market, you’ll find Peruvians shopping for their daily needs, benefitting from the diversity of foodstuffs from across this geographically varied country. The Andes produce quinoa, the so called super food, the coastline provides fish and the wide, remarkable range of fruits from the Amazon give colour and interest to the market stalls. You can listen to Martin Morales talking about Peruvian food here.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Cox & Kings for trips to all the places above.

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