5 Must-Visit Street Markets Around the World

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Bucket List Worthy  

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There’s no better way to dive head first into a city’s culture than to visit its street markets. And while street markets have been the most popular local shopping areas in some countries for centuries, they’re popping up as exciting new places to eat, drink and shop in others. From live animals in Bangkok’s JJ Market to traditional medicines in Istanbul, these five street markets are known for being some of the best in the world.

#1. Chatuchak Market (JJ Market), Bangkok, Thailand

With more than 8,000 vendor stalls and over 200,000 daily visitors, the Chatuchak Weekend Market — also known as the JJ Market — is the largest weekend market in the world. If you see something you like in JJ Market, it’s a good idea to buy it immediately, because it’s very unlikely you’ll find you’ll way back to the same stall in this 35-acre sea of food, drinks, crafts, clothing, animals, jewelry and just about anything you can imagine.

Photo credit: istolethetv
Photo credit: istolethetv

 #2. St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada

While North America isn’t as well known for its street markets as other parts of the world, the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto rivals — and even surpasses — nearly every other market in the world. Because of it’s massive vegetable and meat markets, unbeatable restaurants and countless food stalls, National Geographic rated St. Lawrence the No. 1 market in the world for food. And while you may head to the St. Lawrence Market for its food, there’s no doubt you’ll get distracted by the slew of arts, crafts, antiques and retail vendors.

Photo credit: ian muttoo
Photo credit: ian muttoo

 #3. Shilin Night Market, Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is known for its vibrant night markets, and the Shilin Night Market is the largest and most popular of them all. Similar to the St. Lawrence Market, visitors flock to the Shilin Night Market in search of what is known as some of the best food in Taiwan. Individual vendors cook up local specialties and compete for the massive crowd of hungry shoppers.

Photo credit: LWYang
Photo credit: LWYang

#4. Camden Lock Market, London, England

As one of London’s top five tourist attractions, the Camden Lock Market hosts nearly 100,000 shoppers every day. And while those shoppers are often visiting in search of clothing, crafts, books, furniture, food, art and tons of other goods, they also visit for Camden Lock’s live entertainment and special events.

Photo credit: Chloe Blanchfield
Photo credit: Chloe Blanchfield

#5. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

Any visit to Istanbul warrants a trip to one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world — the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is so massive its 3,000 vendors cover 61 streets and brings in well over 250,000 visitors every day. Whether you’re searching for clothing, food, handicrafts, jewelry, pottery, handmade soap, toys, luggage or just about anything under the sun, they have it for sale at the Grand Bazaar.

Photo credit: BMclvr
Photo credit: BMclvr

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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