Six of the best internationl local markets

Whether selling food, jewellery, antiques or handicrafts, the irrepressible heart of a city beats in its local market. As well as soaking up the sights and sounds, and sampling local food, it’s a great chance to haggle with local vendors and satisfying to feel you’ve walked away with a bargain (even if you later discover you haven’t).

Here, Cox & Kings, shares their favourite local markets from around the world.


Amphawa floating market, Bangkok, Thailand Amphawa Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand

Drive an hour outside Bangkok to find a floating market genuinely used by locals. This bustling weekend market has a fantastic atmosphere and is a great place for foodies. Go with an empty stomach and try some of the different regional foods and snacks on sale. Food stalls selling local specialities and quirky shops are squeezed along the boardwalks and colourful long tail boats moor along the canal with barbecues on board brimming with fresh seafood, exotic vegetables and fruits.

Padova market, Italy Padova Market, Italy

For fresh and local seasonal produce there’s nowhere better than the market in Padova, open every day except Sunday. Palazzo della Ragione, a grand arcaded building, is the best place to start. The open passages house butchers, cheese stalls and fresh pasta shops, while the Piazza delle Erbe is mainly fruit and vegetables. The stall holders are passionate about their wares and give tips on how to prepare their ingredients. It certainly beats the supermarket.

T-Nagar market, Chennai, India T-Nagar Market, Chennai, India

No Chennai bride would consider her wedding preparations complete without visiting this market to buy her gold jewellery and saris. A Kanchipuram silk sari can cost anything from £500 to £10,000 with gold and silver threads interwoven with the finest silk. The colours are magnificent. For tourists, this is the best place to buy jewellery, either something custom made or chosen from one of the thousands on offer.

Mercato, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mercato, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

As the largest open-air market in all of Africa, the Mercato in Addis Ababa is the best definition of ‘a feast for all the senses’. You can buy anything and everything. The best of the market is found by wandering the alleyways: past ironmongers welding by your feet; the recycling area where old tyres are turned into sandals and tin cans are made into trinkets; and sections for all sorts of electrical goods. Don’t leave without sampling some freshly brewed coffee.

Adelaide Central Market, Australia Adelaide Central Market, Australia

South Australia is possibly Australia’s finest food and wine producing state, and Adelaide’s Central Market is a great place to stock up on local goodies. Kangaroo Island brie and Pheasant Farm pate by Maggie Beer from nearby Barossa Valley are two popular choices. The stalls offer plenty of tastings, but the best way to discover the market is to go on a guided tour with Mark Gleeson who has been a trader and chef there for more than 20 years.

Surquillo Market, Lima, Peru Surquillo Market, Lima, Peru

Peruvian food is definitely flavour of the month, and there’s nowhere better to experience it than in this central Lima market where Peruvians do their daily shop. Produce from all over the country is sold – fish from the coast, tropical fruits from the Amazon, meat from the Andes, and hundreds of different vegetables – so you can see the enormous variety that exists in the country. You’ll be amazed by how many different types of potato exist in Peru.

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Cox & Kings

96 people found this helpful

Share Article:

Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

With over 7,000 years of history, Malta is the ultimate holiday destination for any history buff!…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.