This little tourist went to market...

Some of Europe's top markets and areas for street vendors

For the most fun shopping anywhere in Europe, head to an outdoor market. It may be the fruit and vegetable market open each morning, the daily leather market stalls of Florence, the weekly antique market of London's Portobello Road, Madrid's El Rastro flea market, or the monthly antiques extravaganza in Arezzo. Even non-shoppers will have fun exploring street markets. Shoppers will find great bargains.

Market stalls are where you'll find the most colorful characters (among merchants and shoppers alike), the best deals, the widest variety of goods (from fine art to used plumbing supplies), and the best chances to haggle.

Markets are also where you'll find the most attempts to fleece the unsuspecting tourist, the most cunningly disguised Gucci or Hermés knock offs (although, if all you want to buy is an imitation, this is perfect), and the potentially shoddiest merchandise.

Aside from commerce, markets are also great for taking pictures, soaking up local character, decompressing from too many museums, and getting cleaned out by pickpockets in the crowd. Have fun; be careful.

One of the odd synchronicities of the Universe is that flea markets are actually called "flea" markets in many different languages: marché aux puces in France, mercato dei pulci in Italy. (Except British English, of course, where they become "boot sales.")

Be that as it may, here are some of the top markets—flea and otherwise—in Europe.

Europe's top markets

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

Related pages



This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in August 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

about | contact | faq

Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.