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Europe is a popular destination for travelers around the world. And when traveling, most people enjoy doing some type of shopping. In Europe, you’ll find fashion boutiques and expensive brand stores to outlets, seconds hands, and also some markets. If you enjoy bargaining for a good deal (like I do), then you’ll probably be more interested in exploring some of the local shopping markets during your travels around Europe. There are plenty of places you can explore to find something to fill your luggage with. Plus, one of the reasons I enjoy shopping at local markets is that they offer a great window into the local life. So if you are planning a trip, check out this list of popular markets for shopping in Europe!
Can You Haggle / Bargain in Europe Shopping Markets?
If you haven’t noticed, I love to bargain in markets around the world! And I’ve learned a lot over the years and improved my bargaining skills. But with Europe being such a popular and modern destination, many wonder if you can even bargain in some of these city markets.
Believe it or not, bargaining for merchandise is an accepted method of setting a price at many of Europe’s markets. But maybe not all of them. So you first need to determine whether it is appropriate or not to bargain at the stand or store you’ve set your eyes on.
When shopping in Europe, to learn if a price is fixed, show your interest (but not too much) in that product but mention that it’s too expensive for your budget. If the seller comes down with the price, then you’re free to haggle. Your job is to determine the seller’s lowest price. Most will settle for a small profit than lose the sale entirely.
Shopping Markets in Europe You’ll Enjoy!
1. Amsterdam’s Waterlooplein
Waterlooplein is a square in the center of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The flea market takes its name after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and is now extremely popular with tourists. This big outdoor bazaar is best-known for its secondhand clothing and other previously owned items. It has over 300 stands and can often get crowded, so choose your time wisely.
Open: Monday – Friday 9 AM – 5.30 PM; Saturday 8.30 AM – 5.30 PM.
Address: Waterlooplein, 1011 PG Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2. London’s Portobello Market
The Portobello Road market is the largest antique market in the world. It holds over 1,000 sellers offering every kind of antique and collectible you can think of. The market has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Today, visitors from all parts of the globe flock to this market to discover this extensive selection of antiques, bric-a-brac, and vintage clothing. You can find all sorts of items – from stamps to furniture to jewelry to fresh produce and delicious street food.
Open: Monday – Saturday 9 AM – 6:30 PM.
Address: 306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, United Kingdom.
3. Paris’ Les Puces de Saint-Ouen
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is the most famous flea market in Paris. The history of this flea market dates back over two centuries. It now covers seven hectares and receives up to 180,000 visitors each weekend. The market and neighborhood are very colorful, and you’ll find a variety of items to shop for. Besides antiques, you’ll also find clothes, household goods, African objects, textiles, paintings, and many other treasures. But beware – Les Puces de Saint-Ouen market gets very crowded after lunch, so it’s best to visit it in the morning.
Open: Monday 11 AM – 5 PM; Saturday and Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM.
Address: 99 Allée des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, France.
4. Madrid’s El Rastro
Located in the capital city of Madrid, El Rastro is the most popular open-air flea market in Spain. It consists of the main street dedicated to the market stands, but many visitors will find that the side streets are the best places for discovering real “treasures.” Thanks to the variety and quality of the products, El Rastro is always full of locals and tourists. You can find all sorts of items – from craftwork, clothes, and accessories to second-hand magazines, records, kitchen equipment, toys, and all sorts of old objects from different decades. Many visitors end their visit to El Rastro with a glass of wine or beer and some paella and tapas at one of the many bars in the area.
Open: Sunday (and public holidays) 9 AM – 3 PM.
Address: Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, 28005 Madrid, Spain.
5. Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
Even if you haven’t visited Istanbul before, it’s highly unlikely you’ve never heard of the Grand Bazaar. It’s one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Moreover, it’s among the world’s most-visited tourist attractions, attracting up to 400,000 visitors daily. The Grand Bazaar is made up of more than 60 covered streets and has more than 4,000 shops.
The Grand Bazaar is one of my personal favorites, and I’ve visited it a couple times already now during my travels. This market is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace and cannot be seen in just one afternoon. In terms of products, the Grand Bazaar seems to have it all, but most visitors come here for the fine selection of jewelry, antiques, carpets and kilims, textiles, Oriental lamps, and other traditional Turkish items. And this is one place where you don’t have to wonder if haggling is allowed or not because bargaining is the norm here!
Open: Monday – Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM.
Address: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/stanbul, Turkey.
6. Lisbon’s Mercado de Santa Clara
The Santa Clara Market in Lisbon was inaugurated in 1877 and was one of the first buildings in Portugal made up of iron and glass, two construction materials characteristic of the 19th century. In the beginning, Mercado de Santa Clara was used only to sell fresh food produce. Nowadays, visitors can find different types of artisanal crafts, antiques as well as fresh vegetables and eateries. In the central part of the market, there’s a Center for Culinary Arts.
Open: Tuesday and Saturday 9 AM – 6 PM.
Address: Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisbon, Portugal.
7. Athens’ Monastiraki Market
The Monastiraki Market in Athens, Greece, is a flea market with such a great selection of products. From radios and antiques to cell phones, books, and all sorts of items people have in their homes, you’ll literally find anything here. There are also shops with icons painted by monks from Mount Athos and other Greek monasteries. All in all, the Monastiraki flea market is the place to be on weekends. But make sure to come early, because by 11 Am the place gets overly crowded and you’ll have a hard time finding a table at the restaurants in this area.
Open: Monday – Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM; Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM.
Address: Ifestou 2, Athens 105 55, Greece
Explore These Shopping Markets on Your Next Trip to Europe!
Whether you want to score a bargain, soak up the culture, or try some local foods, the local shopping markets in Europe offer a place to do it all. And since bargaining is considered appropriate at many of these markets, don’t be afraid to haggle and get yourself the best deal you can on that souvenir, antique, or item of clothing that you’ve been looking for!