Flea markets are great places to pick up hidden treasures and original art from all over the world. While our local home furnishing stores surely have more than enough to jazz up your living room’s décor, sentimental artifacts from our travels cannot be beat for upping your home’s cultural clout.
Below, we explore some of the best destinations for flea markets around the world* that are ideal for picking up bargains from Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay.
One of the oldest and more popular flea markets in Marrakech is Bab El Khemis, which takes place every Thursday from 8 a.m. to mid-day. This enormous, stall-lined street market is loved by locals and sells everything from carpets and artwork to furniture and souvenirs. During your stay in Marrakech, get lost in some other must-see attractions including the medina, a medieval city with lively souks, the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque and the extravagant Bahia Palace.
Where to stay: Stay in the heart of Marrakech at the 18th-century Riad Kniza, for a traditional Moroccan experience, featuring ornate carved wooden furniture and an open fireplace.
Palermo’s Mercato Delle Pulci opens up on the last Sunday of each month, selling everything from pottery and tapestry, to furniture and other nifty souvenirs. While in Palermo hit up ninth-century palace and museum, Palazzo dei Normanni, the Teatro Massimo opera house and the royal tombs.
Where to stay: Nestled in the historical centre of Palermo is the Porta di Castro, a beautifully restored townhouse dating back to the 1500s. Rooms feature original stone walls and archways, perfect for those looking for accommodation with exceptional interior design to help add to a more memorable holiday.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., JJ (Jing Jai) is an active flea market jam packed with cool finds that’ll inspire you to bring a little Thailand back to your home. Rich in beauty, it’s no surprise that Booking.com travellers endorsed Chiang Mai for architecture, with popular nearby sites such as the Wat Phra Singh Buddhist temple and the ornate Wat Lok Moli temple.
Where to stay: Located just 200 yards from the busy Chang Puak Market (another popular market to add to your list) is the Green Tiger Vegetarian House, surrounded by beautiful gardens and serving tasty Thai cuisine.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Be one of this market’s 100,000 weekly visitors. Voted as Britain’s favourite market for 2017, Leeds’ Kirkgate is massive, and sells everything from hardware to fashion and even furniture. Taking place every Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. till the late afternoon, guests can meander past out over 800 stalls while gaining some design inspiration and scoring some serious bargains.
Where to stay: Don’t break the bank on accommodations – you’ll want to save the extra cash for shopping! The Art Hostel is the perfect stay for travellers on a budget looking for a no frills, yet modern place to rest and relax. This minimalist hostel offers both private and shared dormitory style rooms, a convenient location and serves daily continental breakfasts.
Described as an antique treasure trove, Cat Street flea market is the ideal spot to rummage through the hidden gems of each vendor, and who knows, you may even come across some rarities, like a piece of furniture from the Ming dynasty. Open Monday to Saturday, take a walk through Upper Lascar Row to uncover the buried treasures from professional antique dealers. Take full advantage of you time in Hong Kong and see all it has to offer, like the vibrant urban scene filled with skyscraper-studded skylines.
Where to stay: Floor-to-ceiling windows providing stunning views of Victoria Harbour isn’t all this quaint home-away-from-home has to offer. Little Tai Hang was designed with a loving devotion to detail, giving guests a cosy place to stay minutes from local shopping malls, public transit and the airport. This spot is ideal for the quality-lighting obsessed Canadian traveller.
Head to his thrift shopper’s paradise in 2019 as it’s sadly only open once a year on the first Saturday of spring. Münchner Flohmarkt auf der Theresienwiese is the largest and most famous of flea markets in the city, featuring affordable finds including second hand furniture, home appliances and artwork splayed across 2,000 vendors. If you’re looking to soak up a little more of Germany’s rich culture and history, a visit to the 19th century straight-out-of-a-fairy-tale castle, Neuschwanstein, or the opulent Linderhof Palace should be at the top of your to-do list.
Where to stay: Ideally located close to the Theresienwiese underground station are the charming The SPOT apartments. These stylish and modern suites feature black and white décor, floor-to-ceiling windows and a fully equipped kitchen. A well-designed, spacious kitchen is a huge bonus for many food-loving travellers when choosing a holiday accommodation they can truly feel at home in.
* 616,898 Booking.com travellers have endorsed destinations for street markets and 1,702 destinations are known for being great for street markets. Booking.com analyses endorsements in over 125,000 destinations.