8 World Markets Perfect For Ultimate Holiday Shopping
We know it’s the middle of summer, but it’s never too early to start working on your holiday shopping list. If you’re planning on visiting some of the world’s most fascinating cities this year, make a trip to the local markets. Not only will you find yourself immersed in the local culture, you’ll also get a head start on buying your gifts.
El Rastro Flea Market, Madrid
Every Sunday morning in the historic El Rastro district of Madrid, hundreds of vendors line the streets to sell their goods at the largest flea market in Spain. Like most of the markets you'll shop in Europe, this one closely resembles an authentic flea market, with a variety of items being sold at bottom line prices with sellers ready to haggle. This is your chance to score some genuine leather goods at a great price. Your loved ones will cherish the wallets, boots, or leather jacket you brought back for them from Spain.
Grand Bazar, Istanbul
For over 500 years, Istanbul's Grand Bazar draws patrons to its labyrinth of streets with an exciting sensory repertoire of aromatic scents, vibrant colors, and boisterous noise. Visit Monday through Saturday to bargain for rugs, jewelry, and lanterns. This market is also excellent for picking up some spices for the foodies in your life.
Floating Markets of Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok’s floating markets give visitors the extraordinary opportunity to shop on the water — and we aren’t talking about store-lined harbor fronts. Hop in a boat to cruise through narrow canals, stopping at floating vendors and waterside shops along the way. While you’ll undoubtedly be savoring some of Thailand’s best boat food, don’t forget to buy few traditional Thai hats, handmade candles, statues, incense, and spices to stuff your friends’ stockings with at home.
Jade Market, Hong Kong
The streets of densely populated, mega metropolis Hong Kong are no stranger to copious amounts of selling, buying, and bargaining. As a major port city, Hong Kong contains hundreds of markets, selling everything from flowers and electronics to clothes and goldfish. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list here, but you’ll check a lot off at the Jade Market in the Kowloon district. This misty green stone symbolizes good fortune in the Chinese culture, and you can bring a little New Year’s luck to your friends with gifts of jade jewelry, statues, and even chopsticks.
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Paris
They say that the City of Lights is where the concept of flea markets was born. There are so many markets in Paris that you could easily spend days, weeks, or even months happily getting lost amid stalls of Parisian treasures. They even created an app to be your helpful guide to all of Paris' flea markets. It’s hard to pick just one, but the massive Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is perfect for holiday shopping. Technically, this is over a dozen eclectic markets spanning over seven acres rolled into one. You’ll find over 3,000 vendors selling everything your friends and family could want; antiques, collectible books, artwork, and knickknacks that will satisfy even cousin Teddy, the hardest person in your family to shop for.
Souks of Marrakesh, Morocco
Morocco's souks have been on every shopaholic and travelers' wanderlist since they first laid eyes on the photos gracing the pages of travel guides and magazines alike. The rows of stalls winding through narrow alleyways seem like a dream come true. As you shop for gifts of vibrant textiles, kaftans, leather sandals, and carpets, be sure to treat yourself to some of Morocco's famous mint tea.
Portobello Road Market, London
As a lovingly upheld Saturday morning tradition for local Londoners and travelers alike, Portobello Road is the world’s largest and most renowned antiques market. You’ll be crowned the gift giving king or queen when you bring your friends London’s most unique fare. Snag some vintage collectibles like vinyl records, cameras, and china. To truly impress your fashionista friends, gift them a piece or two of London’s famous fashion.
Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne
If you find yourself in the Land Down Under, be sure to spend a few days in the cool, stylish city of Melbourne. While you’re there, head to Queen Victoria Market, otherwise affectionately known as “Queen Vic.” Squeezed alongside the fresh produce, cheese, and delicacies, you’ll discover unique “sheds” selling clothing, shoes, leatherwear, and jewelry from aspiring artists and designers.
International gifts are irreplaceable treasures from around the world and truly make for unique and special holiday presents. Contact your Liberty Travel consultant to start planning your shopping trip to these global destinations now.