Markets are very important to people living in certain parts of the world. They use them like we do supermarkets, they’ll purchase their favourite foods, spices and pieces of clothing. Why not wander around some local marketplaces when visiting an area and see what goods you can find.
We have recommended five different markets from all over the world, you should pay a visit to when passing by.
Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia
Queen Victoria Market opened in 1878 and is still used to this day. It’s filled with hundreds of traders and small businesses, selling freshly grown fruits and vegetables, handmade clothing and souvenirs. You’ll be bombarded with bright colours and strong scents, you won’t know where to start.
The market is open from Tuesday through to Sunday but is open late on Wednesdays when you can indulge in traditional street food and enjoy live music from local bands. However, if you’d rather visit during the day, why not get a tour guide to show you around the area? Throughout this tour, your local market guide will explain the history of the area, as well as show you the widespread of Tasmanian seafood and Italian sausages, the best produce on offer.
This marketplace has many events during the year, the most popular being the Queen Street Plaza. This event occurs every other Sunday in June and involves multicoloured umbrellas, music and street food from the likes of Drums Café, who make delicious Sri Lankan dishes, that’ll be sure to make your mouth water.
Souks of Marrakech, Marrakesh, Morocco
The Souks in Marrakesh are located in and around the Jemaa el Fna Square and are overflowing with silk kaftans, colourful carpets and pungent spices. When walking through you will notice the stalls are sectioned into groups determined by what they sell. The stalls selling valuable goods such as gold will be positioned in the centre and the more affordable pieces will be found around the edge.
Souk Semmarine is a section in the complex where tourists and locals can purchase jewellery, pottery and high-quality fabrics in the form of kaftans, carpets and pashminas. Spice Square is nearby and holds plenty of stalls selling herbs and spices like coriander and turmeric, you’ll smell it before you see it.
If you fancy browsing an abundance of copper and brass, lamps and lanterns, then take a look at Souk El Attarine. You’ll also discover many beautiful mirrors and unique teapots with very intricate designs, painted onto them. However, if you’re more of a shoe lover, then you must visit Souk Smata, where you can purchase some traditional Moroccan slippers, which make the perfect souvenir.
St. Lawrence, Toronto, Canada
The St. Lawrence Market in Toronto has more than one type of market each day. From Tuesday through to Friday is the South market, on Saturdays the North market is open and on Sundays, you can visit the antique market and see 80 individual sellers fill the plaza and display their amazing collections.
The South Market consists of 120 different stalls, providing a wide selection of fresh goods, from meat, fish and dairy to fruit and vegetables. One stand that may catch your eye is A Bisket a Basket, where you can find homemade chutneys, jams, pestos, sauces and dressings, the perfect condiments for lunch in the sun.
The North Market - also known as the Farmers market – is the place where farmers from Southern Ontario bring in their produce from that season. This is a tradition that started in 1803 and has carried on to this day. Why not treat yourself to a luxury bottle of olive oil from the Acropolis Organics stall or, a freshly baked cinnamon bun? You won’t regret it.
La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain
In Barcelona, just off the famous La Rambla is La Boqueria, an indoor market that started in 1217 as a meat market, but now is a colourful marketplace that sells plenty of fresh produce including fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, that draws in 40,000 visitors per day.
When you first enter the premises you’ll be hit with a strong smell of spices but, as you start to wander around, the smells will start to change, whether you walk down the aged cheese aisle or fresh seafood section, the scent will still be divine. Your eyes may be drawn to the bright colours from the exotic fruits scattered around the area, but it’s the freshly blended smoothies that’ll tingle your taste buds.
If you fancy stopping for a meal, there’s plenty of tapas bars situated within the complex serving traditional Catalan delicacies. Don’t be fooled by the small portions as you’ll soon be full from the strong flavours and tangy spices. However, if you’d rather create your own meal, then why not purchase some of the many hams, cheeses, breads and olives, to create your own, perfect lunch.
Chatuchak Market, Bangkok, Thailand
The Chatuchak Market is 35 acres wide and holds thousands of stalls selling goods from food and fashion to antiques and art. It’s the world’s largest weekend market as it attracts around 200,000 people each weekend. You can visit this marketplace via the Skytrain or MRT, but if you wish to immerse yourself in the local culture, then hop in a taxi, tuk-tuk or bus.
The wide variety of stalls means it can be very overwhelming when walking around, however, there are several stalls you must keep an eye out for, one being the Coco JJ stall. Here you can try some tasty coconut ice cream, in a coconut shell with plenty of choices for toppings, including peanuts and jelly. What more could you want?
However, if coconut ice cream isn’t for you then don’t panic, as there’s plenty more to do, like have a massage. There’s plenty of stalls providing different types of massages, whether it be an hour long full body massage or, a quick 20-minute foot massage, you shouldn’t pass up on this opportunity, as you won’t be disappointed, especially after a long day of shopping.
If you wish to visit one of these beautifully unique marketplaces then contact us via our website, call us on 0800 021 3237 or pop into our Woodbridge or Ipswich branch and speak to a member of our friendly team.