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Travel Wishlist – Markets of Europe

Traveling to Europe involves sight seeing, experimenting with different kinds of cuisines, shopping and much more. The best way to feel the

Temple Bar at night

pulse of a country, city or town is to go to a local market place (not a supermarket or a mall) and watch the lives of the locals go by. You can window shop, munch on a fruit, taste an exotic local dish, buy some souvenirs, take lots of photographs and add them to your memories.

1. Belfast, Northern Ireland, St. George Market at Oxford Street:

Voted as one of the best UK markets in 2004, this market has around 248 stalls. From meat, seafood, fresh veggies and beautiful flowers, there are stalls dedicated to antique items, clothes and jewellery as well. The first Saturday of every month has a live cookery performance by one of the best chefs in town at noon.

2. Birmingham, West Midlands, England Wellsbourne Market (Avon):

It’s a huge market, mostly open on Saturdays and bank holidays. It has almost everything from books, cards, camping gear, clothes, shoes and electronics. Bargaining here is highly recommended. Situated on an airfield, Wellsbourne Market can get very windy and uncomfortable when it starts raining.

Antique Fairs: If you’re interested in antique items, then this is a place to visit.

Rag Market: Want to pick up toiletries, camping gear, herbs and spices, branded make up, CDs, designer clothes or maybe even second hand clothes, then drop by at the Rag Market. Open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, look around before you buy.

3. Cardiff, Wales, Queen Street:

Cardiff has been rated as one of the top five shopping cities in the UK. At Queen Street you can pick up branded watches, designer clothes, cameras etc.

4. Dublin, Ireland, Temple Bar:

To the south of the River Liffey, Temple Bar is situated in central Dublin in Ireland. With narrow cobbled streets, Temple Bar is a popular hangout for tourists for its zippy nightlife.

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands, Flowermarket Amsterdam:

A place for souvenirs and beautiful flowers, Flowermarket is situated in the city centre of Amsterdam. It is recommended that you buy flower bulbs with certification only, if you wish to bring back home. Summer is the time when the Flowermarket is full of vibrant colors. This is a popular place where everyone comes to buy their Christmas tree. The market is open on all days, Monday to Saturday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 5:30 pm.

6. Barcelona, Spain, La Boqueria:

A food lover’s paradise, La Boqueria is one stop destination to buy veggies, fruits, meat and fish. This market is frequently visited by the best chefs in town. If you want to do something different, then take a walk down La Boqueria and have a good time tasting food and filling your tummy.

Las Ramblas: A part of the wide pedestrian avenues, Las Rambla de les Flors is one of the 5 Ramblas. If you’re visiting Barcelona, it would be a crime to not make a trip to Las Ramblas. You can pick up something you like, or simply stick to window shopping and watch the ‘living statues’, flower shops and pet shops.

7. Berlin, Germany, Tiergarten Fleamarket:

One of he most colorful and the biggest markets of Berlin, the Tiergarten Fleamarket is mainly open on weekends and bank holidays. This market is divided into two sections. The first part has shops sporting antique items, clothes, furniture etc. while the second part is full of artisans of all kinds. It is advisable to go early to get the best bargains on antiques. But if you’re only interested in looking around, then pay a visit during the peak hours of 1:00 pm and enjoy the energy of the market place.

8. Paris, France, Marche aux puces de Saint-Quenn:

A fun place to shop and get good deals on branded and second hand clothes, old radios, antiques and what not. There are two more main flea markets in Paris – Porte de St-Quenn and Porte de Clignancourt. The puces de Saint Quenn is a home to second hand mattresses, old junk and the like. The shops are open on Saturdays and Sundays, on Mondays most of the shops are closed. Sundays are the busiest days of the week and it is also very crowded.

9. Vienna, Austria, Meinl am Graben:

Famous for coffee and the quality of food, Meinl am Graben is also home to an amazing stock of wine. By midnight, the Wine Cellar is transformed into an up market wine bar. Here different kinds of wines are offered for tasting every fortnight. From the wide range of wines, you can pick the ones that fit your budget. You can also whet your appetite at the sushi bar, health cafes, or a coffee shop that sells Viennese coffee, made from Meinl coffee beans. This is slightly an up market area, but worth a visit to get the real essence of Vienna.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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