Wherever you travel, you are likely to find a public market where you can meet local people, sample local foods and beverages, and admire or buy local handicrafts.
I asked eight fellow travel bloggers about their favorite markets and they graciously agreed to share these beautiful pictures along with some of their impressions.
We hope that this post will pique your interest in visiting a market next time you travel. (You might also want to visit some of the excellent travel blogs that are hyperlinked under their names.)
1- Michele Peterson
It’s a smorgasbord of the senses at Benito Juárez Market in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico. Serving as the town’s cultural and economic heart, this sprawling market stretches an entire city block, spilling out onto the streets when indigenous Zapotec and Mixteco farmers from the Oaxacan highlands arrive with their wares. My favorite culinary finds include chapulines (grasshoppers toasted on a clay griddle and sprinkled with salt and lime juice), chiles and chocolate but you can also pick up authentic cooking gear such as a molcajete, the stone mortar and pestle used for making guacamole or salsa.
2- Jan Ross
3- Billie Frank
One of the many things that make living in Santa Fe, New Mexico special is the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Held on Saturdays year round and Tuesdays in season, it’s a great place to buy locally produced foods and meet the farmers who produce them. The market has its own space, including a LEED certified building, which opened in the Railyard District in 2008. In winter, vendors are in the building but once the weather warms up, most of the action is outside along the tracks. The market only allows locally produced products from a 15-county region. While there, visit the Farmers Market Shops, open when the market is, in the north end of the building.
4- Carole Terwilliger Meyers
One of my favorite markets is the large open-air Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, Israel. It is filled with brilliantly colored aromatic spices and fruits–as well as yarmulkes and souvenir tchotchkes–and provides the opportunity to sample new flavors and to interact with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian vendors. Friday afternoon is super busy with shoppers stocking up for the Sabbath. One of my favorite stalls here is the tiny Basher—The King of Cheese, which stocks 1,200+ varieties of cheese from all over Europe–Manchego from Spain, Cheddar from England, sweet brown gudbrandsdalen from Norway.
5- Michelle da Silva Richmond
Mexico is a Mecca for shoppers and whether you’re inclined to embark on a shopping spree or not, you may find yourself caught up in a frenzy of buying. Mexico City’s, La Ciudadela is a pleasant open-air market bursting with colorful bargains with some of the best prices in town (be sure to bargain). Located on Balderas – four blocks south of Parque Alameda and Ave. de la Reforma – it houses some 200 rustic shops tucked into a 19th century complex. You can find anything here from hand-painted Talavera ceramics, mirrors, silver, leather goods and typical clothing. The restaurant on the premises dishes up excellent local cuisine.
6- Suzanne Fluhr
Where can you satisfy your craving for a Philly cheese steak washed down by a beer from a gastro beer pub at the same time you pick up some fresh flounder for dinner or perhaps some organic beef and produce from a real life Amish farmer, some French pastry, and what about a tiny Liberty Bell for Aunt Martha? You can find all that (and a lot more) by one stop shopping at the longest operating farmers’ market in the United States, the Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stop in at lunch time and you’ll rub shoulders with locals taking a mid-day break from their nearby office building cubicles, tourists from all over the world seeking sustenance to fuel their exploration of Philadelphia’s historic district, and conference attendees from the nearby Philadelphia Convention Center. This is one Philly landmark that won’t leave you hungry or thirsty.
7- Donna Janke
Most famous for its antiques section, Portobello Market in London’s Notting Hill district is actually several markets in one, with sections for fruits and vegetables, fashion, new goods, used goods, flowers, and street food, as well as antiques and street entertainment. Once a country lane, Portobello Road became home to shops and stalls in the Victorian era and is now a lively market stretching for two miles. Although the rest of the market is open Monday through Saturday, the antiques and bric-a-brac section is only open on Saturdays. Come early. It gets busy.
8- Elizabeth R. Rose
The Santa Fe New Mexico International Folk Art Market, a non-profit organization, has a history of helping artisans from around the world, especially those from third-world countries and those who have experienced tragedy and oppression. All in one festive place you’ll find 170 artists representing more than 50 countries. Santa Fe’s Museum Hill is transformed into a colorful world market like you have never seen before. The market takes place annually in July. Read more about the Santa Fe Art Trifecta scheduled for July 2014.
Have you visited a very special market during the course of your travels?
Also on MoreTimeToTravel.com
- Public markets offer a taste of a city and its culture
- Tips for visiting public markets
- Market visit – Coquimbo Fish Market in Chile
- Market visit – Mercado 23 in Cancun, Mexico