Local markets are not just where you can find goods, but the very essence of a place, its people, and what they hold near and dear.
In Thailand, the largest flower emporium in Bangkok is open 24/7 so locals can purchase flowers for daily worship in the land of 40,000 temples. At the centuries old bazaars of Turkey and Spain, spectacular architecture beckons as you browse through unique handicrafts, memorabilia, and delightful cuisine.
Traditional jewelry, costumes, and spices take center stage in Dubai, Egypt, and India. Oral history comes to life in performances in North Africa during festive night fairs. There is also no shortage of the unusual from goods solds on rivers and next to an active railway, to mysterious fairs toting talismans for good luck, herbal remedies, tarot readings, and even those dedicated to gypsy brides and recycled goods.
Here are 15 eccentric and famous markets, where you can dive deep into various cultures (and crowds) by land and sea to sate your hunger for exotic cuisine, all things material, and even the supernatural. Just be sure to leave space in your luggage, bring an open mind and your best haggling game.