I obsess over local markets. There’s something so thrilling about going to a new city and learning about their culture through eating and shopping. I also can’t resist any opportunity to put my haggling skills to good use. Here are five of my favorite markets.
For Urban Decor: La Candelaria, Bogotá
I have a love/hate relationship with Bogotá’s most historic neighborhood, La Candelaria. During the month living here, I spent most of my time up north near the apartment where I was staying but I did venture downtown once in awhile to check out the colorful street art. Besides housing the city’s most popular museums, La Candelaria is also where you can find the type of urban art you might want to hang in your home. I may be bias though because I have a strange appreciation for anything airbrush. You can also buy typical souvenirs like bags, hats and other small items.
For Vintage Heirlooms: Grünerløkka, Oslo
I’ve written about the Birkelunden Park flea market before and for good reason. Up until visiting Oslo, I had never been to a market that looked more like the runways of New York Fashion Week than a leisurely walk in the park. These “regulars” as I’ll call them dress head-to-toe in the latest trends as they browse through the various stalls. During the week the neighborhood is buzzing with culture. From vintage shops to cozy cafes, Grünerløkka is easily my favorite area in Oslo. The Sunday flea starts at noon and shuts down around 8pm. Items range from antique jewelry and furniture to vinyl records.
For Local Art: Carmel Market, Tel Aviv
In reality, you can find local art in any city but there is something truly special about Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market. In my opinion, Tel Aviv is a mix between Berlin and Miami with a splash of New York and that’s a pretty artistic combination. Carmet Market is located along Carmel Street, bordered by Allenby Street and Magen David Square and food and flowers in addition to home items, jewelry and art. To purchase work from independent artists, Tuesday and Fridays are the two best days to go. If nothing else, it’s a good showcase of different art forms.
For Random Sh*t: Mauerpark Flea, Berlin
There’s really no other way to describe the randomness that is Mauerpark. I mean this is the best way possible. Open Sundays from 8am to 6pm in Berlin’s Prenzlauerberg neighborhood, the market really does sell anything you could possibly be looking for including second-hand clothing, plants, souvenirs and food. I’d recommend heading over on the early side because the flea is hugely popular among Berliners and after awhile it can get tricky navigating through the stalls. Stick around for the outdoor karaoke party in the afternoons if you feel like singing.
For Fresh Food: Graz Farmer’s Market
Graz is one of Austria’s larger cities but next to Salzburg and Vienna, it’s a city that often gets overlooked by the average tourist. Graz is as avant-garde as it is beautiful and the food scene here is really taking off. Located behind the Neoclassicist Opera House, the farmers’s market vendors sell fresh, local produce and homemade sausages and cheese spreads. The areas surrounding Graz is mainly farmland so it makes sense that the local farmers sell their products here. Stop by Monday-Saturday from 6am-1pm and try the pumpkin seed oil if your visit in the fall.