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Deli counter at Boqueria, a street market in Barcelona, Spain

7 Glorious Street Markets from Around the World

Article by Raegan Johnson 05.03.2016

To step into a great street market is to experience a city’s cultural and commercial heart. One of the first lessons that any world traveler learns is that life is experienced on the streets of a city. Let all five of your senses feast at a local street market — like the legendary ones below — for an authentic cultural experience.

Istanbul: The Grand Bazaar

Entering the Grand Bazaar in the heart of Istanbul's Old City — one of the largest covered street markets in the world — is like embarking on an eye-popping, sprawling labyrinth filled with colorful textiles, sparkling jewelry, fragrant food, leather goods and antiques.

Beyazıt Mh., Istanbul;

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Washington, D.C.: Eastern Market

Located in the vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood, Eastern Market is well-known for its open-air farmers market and a famous flea that sells handmade arts, jewelry and crafts. Rich with history, the original Eastern Market was established by founding father Thomas Jefferson in 1805; it opened in its current location in 1873.

225 7th Street SE, Washington, DC;

Eastern Market in Washington D.C.

Hong Kong: Temple Street Night Market

What do the stars hold for you? Visit the Chinese fortunetellers of Temple Street Night Market to find out. After you’ve received a glimpse into your future, browse the wide variety of items up for purchase, ranging from fashion to tea ware to jade. Be prepared to bargain, as is the custom here.

Temple Street, Hong Kong

Entrance to Hong Kong street market

Barcelona: Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

If you find yourself hungry in Barcelona, treat yourself to delicious tapas of olives, seafood, fruit, meats, cheeses and more. This sensational market, which dates back to 1217, is the perfect place to try Catalonia's gastronomic specialties.

Les Rambles, 91, 08001 Barcelona;

Street Market in Barcelona, Spain

Tokyo: Tsukiji Market

Don’t miss out on the world-class fresh seafood at Tsukiji Market, one of the busiest fish markets on the planet. It more than pays to be an early bird here; the action starts at 4:30 am. Fun fact: This market was featured in the popular 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”

5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo

Tokyo fish market

Muscat: Mutrah Souq

Head to the coastline of Oman to reach Muscat’s legendary Mutrah Souq, a traditional Arab market that houses small shops selling frankincense, perfumes, gold and other special wares in a entrancingly chaotic maze. You may get lost in this vast market, but you probably won’t mind.

Street Market in Oman

Toronto: St. Lawrence Market

More than 120 specialty merchants and vendors await at this landmarkinstitution, housed in three separate buildings at the center of the city’shistoric Old Town. Gastronomes will revel in the breadth and quality of foodon display — National Geographic ranked St. Lawrence the world’s No. 1 foodmarket — from fresh meats, cheeses and produce to gourmet items andprepared dishes. Be sure to stop at Carousel Bakery for the market’s de factosignature dish, the peameal bacon sandwich.
92-95 Front Street East, Toronto;

St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Canada