Markets are one of the best ways to discover a country’s culinary customs
Experiencing a destination’s local fare is an essential element of any trip, and markets are one of the best ways to try the typical foods of a region. Furthermore, a visit to a good market gives you the chance to taste distinct dishes, both from that country and a variety of others.
Europe is known for its impressive food markets, and you can’t miss the following spots the next time you’re traveling around the continent.
Amsterdam’s Foodhallen market offers more than 20 prepared food stalls featuring numerous international cuisines. Here you can find tacos, sushi, and even Spanish tapas. They also offer various bars specialized in both beer and wine.
It is located in the lively and diverse Western neighborhood of the city, Oud West. Foodhallen is open all afternoon and evening, making it the perfect place to grab lunch, a snack, or dinner.
La Boquería (Barcelona)
La Boquería can be found right in the tourist center of Barcelona, Las Ramblas, making it a destination more frequently visited by travelers than locals. Nonetheless, this market deserves a visit. You can take some incredible photos of the colorful fruit and juice stalls, and you can also find a wide variety of fish, nuts, and other fresh foods.
The market has plenty of history, given that it has been open for 180 years, and it is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, thanks to the fact that you can also order tapas and traditional Spanish dishes at some of the various prepared food stalls.
Markthalle Neun (Berlin)
This diverse market is located in the center of Berlin and stands out for its ample culinary offering. You can try the best German and international cuisines at its numerous stalls, and on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you also have the option to visit a traditional market with fresh produce and meats.
Markthalle Neune is open every day but Sunday, but perhaps the best time to visit is on a Thursday, when “Street Food Thursday” takes place. This friendly competition pits stalls against each other, each one showing off their best culinary creations.
Great Market Hall (Budapest)
Built at the end of the 1800s, the central market of Budapest is a must-see, not only because of its culinary offering but also its architectural splendor. It is the city’s oldest and largest market, with three levels of prepared foods and typical Hungarian products.
The market is the perfect place to try the popular Hungarian dish “lángos”, fried bread made with flour and yeast and commonly topped with sour cream, tomato, or cheese. You can also acquire some of the most emblematic foods of the region, like Hungarian paprika, Tokaj wines, or salami. If you’re looking for a calmer experience, try to plan your visit during the week.
Also known as Copenhagen Street Food, this market is known for its more than 30 international, creative, and exquisite food stalls. You can try interesting African dishes, New Orleans soul food, Nepalese cuisine, and Morrocan classics.
This market is located next to one of the city’s typical canals, and its 6,000 square meters house not only excellent food stalls but also a variety of events and startups focused on culinary innovation.
Mercado da Ribeira (Lisbon)
More commonly referred to as Time Out Market Lisbon, this locale is a mix between a traditional market with fresh products and a modern offering of innovate and creative prepared foods. Here you can purchase, meats, produce, and even flowers, but Mercado da Ribeira really stands out for its impressive prepared food stalls.
Here you will find traditional Portuguese fare, like rice dishes and seafood, and numerous stalls are run by renowned Michelin star chefs like Alexandre Silva and Henrique Sá Pessoa. Stop by the famous ice cream shop Santini to end your visit on a sweet note.
Borough Market (London)
It’s not easy picking the best of the many incredible markets in London, but Borough Market outshines the rest thanks to its grandiose size and more than 100 diverse and delicious stalls. If you’re looking for prepared foods, you can choose between the various restaurants inside the market or one of the many street food stands.
This incredibly old space (its history dates back to the 6th century) offers endless international cuisines, including Mexican, Mediterranean, Argentinian, Indian, and Thai. You can also buy fresh products from local and international vendors, like cheese, sweets, and much more.
Mercado San Miguel (Madrid)
A can’t-miss stop in the nation’s capital, Mercado San Miguel spotlights all of Spain’s best cuisine in an impressive building with over a century of history. Celebrated Michelin star chefs, like Jordi Roca, Rodrigo de la Calle, and Roberto Ruiz, exhibit their culinary genius in a few of the over 20 food stalls.
And don’t miss out on the beverages, as you can try the best offering of Spanish wine and vermouths during your visit. The market is open from noon to midnight every day but try to avoid visiting on weekends if you want to avoid the crowds.
Marché des Enfants Rouges (Paris
With more than 400 years of history, Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris. Like at any traditional market, you can buy fresh produce, meat, cheese, and flowers, but there are also a number of prepared food options.
Some of visitors’ favorite spots are the stalls and restaurants with Indian, Japanese, Italian, North African, and, of course, French cuisines. Though it is a great spot for tourists to visit, it is also often frequented by Parisians.
Naschmarkt is by far the most popular market in Vienna. It is an open-air market that spans over 1.5 kilometers and has some 120 fresh and prepared food stalls.
While you can try typical Viennese fare, the market also has food stalls with Indian, Italian, and Vietnamese cuisine, just to name a few. Additionally, Naschmarkt hosts a flea market every Saturday where you can find endless antiques and curious tchotchkes.
So, when you’re planning your next Europe trip, don’t forget to include some of these destinations in your itinerary if you want to try some of Europe’s best local and international cuisine.