11 World Food Markets to Try in 2018

11 World Food Markets to Try in 2018

We love fresh food markets. Lively, energetic, and full of new things to try, these traditional places let you buy the freshest goods directly from the farmers and craftspeople who produced them. You get high quality food and goods, the sellers keep all of their own profit, and you reduce your ecological footprint by shopping locally.

If you’re looking to take your market experience on a global scale, consider dropping by some of these amazing world food markets on your next vacation! From quick meals to fresh produce, local specialties and wines, these places offer endless goodies– and great atmosphere, too.  

La Boqueria: Barcelona, Spain

La Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, typically referred to as La Boqueria, is an enormous public market in Barcelona. Though this area is a popular tourist destination, don’t let that scare you off! The market has been around since the 13th century and specializes in cured meats and Spanish hams. It’s a great tour of regional specialties, and the tiny lunch counters are perfect for a quick meal.

11 World Food Market's to Try in 2018

Mercado Municipal: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Housed in an eclectically styled industrial building, the Mercado has thousands of products for sale. From nuts to fresh meats, you can get almost anything you could possibly want. Though the neighboring area can be a little on the seedy side, the Mercado is a neighborhood staple that has developed its own distinct culture and specialties. Of special note is the enormous mortadella sandwiches, which are a meat lover’s dream. Don’t leave without getting something for lunch!

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The Medina at Fez: Fez, Morocco

An intricate and ancient marketplace made of winding stalls and ancient buildings, the Fez Media is a treasure-hunter’s paradise. Located in Fez’s ancient quarter, this market is home to a mix of open stalls, small shops, and mosques. Though it’s a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s oldest markets, wandering the streets is an experience that’s full of life and energy. Fair warning: One of the charms of this market is the joy of getting lost in it, so keep a close eye on your group.

Union Square Farmers Market: New York City, United States

If you’re visiting New York City, don’t miss Union Square Farmer’s Market! With more than 140 regional vendors, you can buy pretty much any produce item in the world. Regularly scheduled events and school tours make this destination educational as well as delicious. It’s also an incredibly busy market that attracts up to 60,000 visitors on peak days, so we suggest arriving early.

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Lancaster Central Market: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States

If you want to experience a cultural legacy from the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch, Pennsylvania’s Lancaster Central Market is the USA’s oldest continuously operating farmer’s market. The current facility is modern and clean without giving up that historic feeling you’d expect from one of America’s oldest cities. And, the market is really popular, both for locals buying produce and travelers stopping by. It’s a must-visit if you love handcrafted Amish goods and good old-fashioned American food.

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St. Lawrence Market: Toronto, Canada

Oh, Canada! Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market is one of the best places in the area to get locally produced products, including Canadian specialties like locally sourced game and cheeses. When it was originally founded in the 1800’s, the market was one of the town’s major social hubs. That history lives on today with the friendly artisans and vendors who offer their goods for sale. It’s a sociable, down-to-earth market that you can visit year round.

(Related: See our Secrets of Niagara site for an insider’s guide to the Falls and the lively Niagara region)

Borough Market: London, England

With an emphasis on locally grown produce, the Borough Market is located in the Southwark neighborhood of London. It has operated in that neighborhood since 1755 and supplies fruits and vegetables to many upscale restaurants in the city. The market is open to the public on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

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Marché Provencal: Antibes, France

France is brimming with delightful fresh food markets, but the Marché Provencal in Antibe’s historic old town is a jewel of Provence. Mixing stalls with small, open-front shops, this market is full of produce in the morning and local artisans in the afternoons. If you get tired, sit down at a café for a coffee and a brioche. We especially recommend trying some famous Provence lavender!

Fair warning, the Marché has high-quality produce, and the prices reflect that. Don’t go to this one expecting cheap products.

Chinatown Wet Market: Singapore

If you want to get away from the tourist markets, Singapore’s Chinatown Wet Market is three glorious floors of meat, produce, and flowers. They have a huge variety of goods for sale, including exotic ingredients like live frogs and preserved eggs. Though vegetarians may be a little unsettled at the live produce, there’s also a big selection of tofu-based products. If you tire yourself out, head upstairs to the Hawker food centre for a great meal.

Haeundae Market: Busan, South Korea

Right along the coastline, Haeundae market is a beachy, laid-back market selling meat, fruit, clothes and other miscellaneous items. Fishmongers will prepare your fish right in front of you, giving you the absolute freshest fish you can eat. The street food is just as good as the produce, so come hungry and bring lots of small bills. If you get too hot, take a quick swim at the adjacent Haeundae beach.

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Tsukiji Fish Market: Tokyo, Japan

If you want to go where the best restaurants in the world get their fish, then the Tsukiji Fish Market is your next stop. As the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, Tsukiji sells more than 400 types of seafood. If you like a good show, come to the market before dawn and watch the lively auction featuring the day’s catch of enormous tuna. The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 may require the market to move in order to allow for road construction, so if you want to see it in its original location, don’t wait.

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The Paris Pass: Should You Get One?

The Paris Pass: Should You Get One?

With a reputation for art, wine, cheese, and all the finer things in life, is anyone really surprised that Paris isn’t the cheapest place to travel? If you’ve been planning a trip to the country of love, fret no more! The Paris Pass, a sightseeing package, aims to save you money on tickets to major attractions and public transport by bundling them onto one card. It can be a real time saver, but is it something you need to have? Let’s get into the details.

Paris Pass Should You Get One

THE BASICS

Here’s what the pass includes:

  • Access to 60+ attractions
  • Fast track access to select locations
  • One day of hop-on hop-off Paris Big Bus access
  • Paris Visite Pass with unlimited metro access

How it works:  

The pass can be purchased online. It is then either shipped to your house or you can pick it up when you arrive in Paris. You can choose between 2, 3, 4, and 6 day passes. The pass becomes active the first time you scan it. The Paris Pass serves as your ticket when you get to selected attractions, locations, etc. You just scan it and head in!

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Included attractions:

The Paris Pass covers just about every major tourist attraction in the city. The Louvre, the Arc De Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Museé d’Orsay, Versailles, Montparnasse Tower, the Centre Pompidou, the Opera Garnier, and more are all included. The only major attraction that isn’t covered by the pass is the Eiffel Tower.

Here’s a link to the full lineup.  

Paris Pass Should You Get One (1)

Getting around:

The Paris Pass includes unlimited public transport access for the duration of your pass. That includes unlimited RER trains, metro access, buses, trams, and SNCF Overground Trains. It also includes a Seine boat cruise!

Pricing:

Pricing is determined based on the duration of your stay and the age of the traveller. There are adult, teen, and child passes that all have different pricing.

Here’s the breakdown of cost. All prices are in Euros, and the prices go in order of adult, teen, and child passes.

2 day: €131, €81, and €44

3 day: €160, €96, €49

4 day: €189, €106, €56

6 day: €244, €126, €69

Paris Pass Should You Get One

SHOULD YOU GET ONE?

Some pros:

  • If you’re a heavy sightsee-er, the Paris Pass is a fantastic option. You get entrance to many attractions at reduced rates, and the list of included locations is very comprehensive.
  • It’s far cheaper than buying the tickets individually. On some passes, you get savings of more than a hundred Euros, which in most cases covers the cost of the ticket.
  • With the built-in train pass and the accelerated entrance lines, it’s one of the most convenient ways you can get around. You buy it once, and then you don’t have to think about it again. Straightforward and easy to use.
  • If you’re not sure about the attractions element, you can buy a museum-only pass separately, if you prefer. Note that the Museum Pass doesn’t come with included metro access.

Paris Pass Should You Get One

Some cons:

  • The Paris Pass has a “purse value” maximum that you can’t go over during the course of your ticket. Basically, this means that you can’t exceed the total value of the attractions on your card. For example, the six day pass includes 350 euros worth of attraction entrances, so if you exceed that total value using your card by entering multiple places more than once, your card will expire.
  • Your pass will automatically expire once your time frame runs out. There’s no grace period, and the clock starts when you first swipe it at an event.
  • The unlimited transport system only includes metro zones 1, 2, and 3. Frankly, that shouldn’t be an issue unless you have your heart set on some of the outermost suburbs.
  • Finally, note that the 3-day Paris Pass only includes a 2-day Paris Museum Pass. So if you get the three day pass, plan your museum trips on two consecutive days in a row.

So, should you get it?

The bottom line is that if your trip is heavy on attractions, the Paris Pass makes a lot of sense. It’s convenient and includes metro access, so it saves you time and will probably save you money. That said, it might be worth sitting down with your itinerary and actually doing the math on the cost of your intended attractions and a metro card. You may find it’s actually just as cheap to buy your own tickets directly, depending on what you plan to see.