Maybe you’re in a new city, or maybe you’re in your bunny slippers at home. No matter your coordinates – or what you’re wearing – there’s probably a market (e.g., farmers, antique, or flea markets) near you, buzzing with activity.
Not only are markets are an easy and affordable way to experience a new culture, but they’re also a tremendous photo opportunity! With beautiful displays of exotic merchandise, candid moments between vendors and customers, and unique architecture and landscapes, it’s a no brainer.
That’s why we’ve found and compiled the 5 most photogenic open-air markets in the world:
Jemaa El Fna Square
A market by day and night, the ancient Jemaa El Fna Square operates at the heart of Marrakech in its Medina — or “old city” — quarter. You’ll find snake charmers and water carriers among the square’s purveyors, selling colorful mounds of dyes and spices, textiles, and pottery. But don’t stop your journey here — Marrakech is a great maze of interconnected souks (open-air markets), worthy of exploring with your camera.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Roughly an hour outside of Bangkok, you’ll find Thailand’s most popular floating market, Damnoen Saduak. Everyday from early morning to noon, hundreds of local farmers and vendors sell straight from their row boats on the crowded canal. There are literally boatloads of vibrant fruits and vegetables to purchase and photograph.
Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt at one time operated like Damnoen Saduak, with vendors selling directly from their boats. Nowadays, Bloemenmarkt sits beautifully on several houseboats along the Singel canal. While the vibrant fresh flowers and exportable tulip bulbs are the market’s main pull, and rightfully so, there’s plenty else that makes Bloemenmarkt one of the most photogenic markets, such as the gorgeous canal crowded with hundreds of bicycles and the tall Dutch canal houses.
Every Saturday, the cobblestone streets of Hobart’s waterfront flood with thousands of locals and tourists eager to experience the famous Salamanca Market. With the rows of renovated Georgian sandstone warehouses, Salamanca’s waterfront port, and the mountains beyond, wherever you point your camera, you’re sure to have a fantastic backdrop for your photos.
Treasure Island Flea
San Francisco, California
Treasure Island Flea — quite possibly the best title ever for a flea market — operates on the last weekend of every month about ten minutes outside of San Francisco. Treasure Island provides amazing views of the Bay Area, including the Bay Bridge, as you gallivant among the wonderful mix of local food trucks, colorful vintage trailers, handmade goods, and antiques. You really don’t want to forget your camera at home for this one.