13 Best Flea Markets Around The World That Should Be On Every Budget Traveller’s List

If you’re planning a backpacking trip sometime soon, here are some of the best flea markets around the world that should serve as the perfect pitstop.

Nominal rates, a constant buzz, and the vibrancy of the assemblage aside, what makes a flea market alluring? Perhaps it’s the hubbub of a hundred experienced hagglers trying to out-bargain each other for a mere trinket, or perhaps it’s the irresistible whiff of nosh available on roadside carts that you find oh-so-delectable. Whatever be your reason, there’s no denying that flea markets are loved by people around the globe solely because they have a little in it for everyone. With a hoard of countries and even more cultures to choose from, picking the best ones out was certainly a task — but we got there eventually. If you’re planning a backpacking trip sometime soon, here are some of the best flea markets around the world that should serve as the perfect pitstop.

1. Marche Aux Puces, Paris

The name literally translates to — you guessed it — the Paris Flea Market. Established circa 1870, it has grown into one of the largest flea markets in the world today, boasting over 2500 stalls daily and over 11 million visitors a year. A great place to get your hands on some knickknacks, antiques, and souvenirs, it should definitely be on the budget traveller’s itinerary.

2. Flohmarkt am Mauerpark, Berlin

Built in 2004, the Flohmarkt am Mauerpark is located exactly where the Berlin Wall once stood, dividing West and East Germany. Apart from a fascinating history lesson, the market offers gorgeous trinkets, vintage vinyls and decor items, and of course, food carts and beer gardens!

3. El Rastro, Madrid

Open only on Sundays and public holidays in sunny Spain, El Rastro translates to ‘the trail’. So leave the trail in your wake as you soak in the stunning atmosphere and weave your way through the market’s many specialised lanes, including one for birds, one for stamps, one for traditional art supplies, and of course, one for collectables and accessories.

4. Portobello Road Market, London

If you’ve ever seen the movie Notting Hill, then you’ve already been acquainted with this magnificent marketplace. For those of you who haven’t, Portobello Road Market is one of the most notable marketplaces in England, known for its cosmopolitan and lively atmosphere, its stunning architecture, and of course, for being home to over 1000 dealers selling all kinds of whatnots in one lane itself.

5. Ferikoy Flea Market, Istanbul

If you’re in Istanbul and are looking to ward off your Sunday blues, a trip to the famous Ferikoy Flea Market is in order. Known to be home to some of the warmest and kindest people selling nostalgic artifacts and traditional turkish food, it’s a delightful experience you surely don’t wanna miss.

6. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand

As we turn our attention to Asia, few flea markets can rival the uniqueness of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand. Jump into a boat and paddle through the floating market for an unparalleled experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere!

7. Monastiraki Flea Market, Athens

The best place to buy, well, just about anything, Monastiraki is your regular bazaar that transforms into an almost third-world-like boisterous flea market on any given Sunday. Wander aimlessly as you window shop or better yet, get your hands on some stunning local products that can be easily found in the market itself.

8. Plaza Dorrego, Buenos Aires

With kiosks selling antique telephones and stunning junk jewellery, and street dancers entertaining you with live jazz and tango performances, a Sunday at the Plaza Dorrego Market at Buenos Aires will see you gladly jostle your way through a throng of 8,000 people for that and much more.

9. La Casa Barata, Morocco

The name literally translates to ‘the cheap house’, so there’s no way this wasn’t making the list. From basic daily groceries to electronics and even traditional Moroccan clay items available here, it’s safe to say that it’s quite the treasure trove.

10. Rose Bowl Flea Market, California

Almost half a century old now, the Rose Bowl Flea Market takes place on the second Sunday of every month. And at the market, you can find all that your heart desires and more — be it clothing, cheap furniture, vintage items, or even an amazing range of art and craft!

11. Jaffa Flea Market, Tel Aviv

Where vintage meets chic. From afar, it might seem like Jaffa overestimates itself, but one trip to the century old market is enough to tell you that it can walk the talk. Open six days a week (Sun-Fri), the market is like a painting brought to life, selling every kind of item unique to the lands of Israel. Don’t believe us? Take a virtual tour here:

12. Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

Well over 60 years old, Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market hosts over 8000 stalls that are divided into 27 sections. From pets and food to home decor and furniture, everything is easily available to both tourists and locals alike at this intricately planned and designed market.

13. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

It’s not exactly a flea market; in fact, it’s one of the oldest and largest markets in the world. Yet, within itself, it seemingly harbours a cluster of flea markets that congregate to form the behemoth that is the Grand Bazaar. Close to 600 years old, it is sprawled over 61 streets and is visited by a whooping 91 million people every year, making it one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world.

Rameez Shaikh

Rameez Shaikh is a twenty-three year old writer. With a degree in journalism to his name, he's an aspiring author with an absolutely astounding admiration for alliteration. Leisure propels him to read, dance, pen fiction and gloat about himself in third person. On weekdays, he works as a features writer. On weekends, he's a Manchester United fan.

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