No matter where you go in the world, there's a local market waiting to wow you. Here are our top picks in 20 cities across the planet.
No Sunday in Athens is complete without a stroll through the narrow passageways of Monastiraki, where you can dig through piles of old coins and hand-painted icons—all with the Acropolis in view.
Where: At the intersection of the streets Odos Pandrosou and Odos Ifaistou
The doors open at 4:30 a.m. at the chaotic weekend version of this daily bazaar, with more than 3,000 stalls displaying jade jewelry, ceramic teapots, and Mao posters.
Where: Just off South Third Ring Road East, to the east of Longtan Park
Flohmarkt am Arkonaplatz
The stately canvas-and-wood stalls lining this square each Sunday house an assortment of melamine tableware, textiles with geometric patterns, and glazed mid-century stoneware.
Where: Arkonaplatz, between Wolliner Strasse and Ruppiner Strasse
Sablon Antiques Market
Prices don't skew cheap on the well-preserved lacework, crystal, and hotel silver in this quaint, orderly weekend market, but great quality is the payoff.
Where: Place du Grand Sablon (a.k.a. Grote Zavel), which is both a plaza and a stretch of cobblestoned road located between two streets Rue des Minimes (a.k.a. Rue Lebeau) and Rue de la Régence.
When: Saturdays and Sundays
San Telmo Market
Many of the embroidered textiles, estate jewelry, and chandeliers at this Sunday market in the city's tango district were brought over by the waves of Italians who immigrated to Argentina in the past 150 years.
Where: Plaza Dorrego, located along the stretch of Calle Defensa between Avenida Independencia and Avenida San Juan
BUSTEHRAD, CZECH REPUBLIC
An insiders' secret even among Europeans, this informal twice-monthly market—sellers often showcase goods in the trunks of their cars—is a standout source for Eastern European artifacts like perestroika-era memorabilia.
Where: Lidicka between Revolucni and 61; take the green metro line to Dejvicka and then the buses numbered 220010 or 220012 (15–20 minute ride)
When: Twice each month
Since the late 1300s, these dusty stone corridors have hosted an array of merchants with finely honed specialties: copperware, gold jewelry, and carpets, in particular. Now, new pieces mix in with antiques.
Where: Across from Al-Azhar mosque, bordered on the south by al-Azhar tareeq (street) and on the west by the Muski Market
Church Street Antiques Market
This daily (except Sundays) market sells a wealth of small items like porcelain jewelry boxes, old postcards, and sailing maps.
Where: On Church Street, running from Lansdowne Road to Wetton Road, in the City Centre
When: Daily, except Sundays
Bella Center Loppemarked
Surprisingly affordable mid-century modern furniture and decor from the likes of Aalto, Wegner, and Saarinen fills this convention center's halls every March and August.
Where: Center Boulevard 5
When: Every March and August
La Grande Braderie de Lille
Legend has it that this September event was once a forum in the Middle Ages for the servant class to sell objects cast off by their employers; today, residents crowd the streets from a Saturday afternoon until midnight Sunday to unload their own Breton crocheted linens and ceramic mustard pots.
Where: Citywide; parking and public transport info on the sponsoring website of this annual event
When: One weekend each September
Feira da Ladra
Known as the "Thieves' Market," it dates back to the 12th century, when stolen goods made up the bulk of the stock; today's (legit) merchandise, set out Tuesdays and Saturdays, includes old cameras, stamp collections, leather-bound books, and transistor radios.
Where: Campo de Santa Clara, a well known square in the Alfama district
When: Tuesdays and Saturdays
Portobello Road Market
The more than 1,000 dealers snaking up Notting Hill's main thoroughfare every Saturday are (unofficially) divided by theme: Upper end for furniture and household wares and the lower for clothing and jewelry.
Where: Between Golbourne Road and Chepstow Villas, on Portobello Road
Cuban antiques and centuries-old religious relics can be snapped up for practically nothing at this 500-year-old Sunday market that is, inexplicably, still under the radar for most out-of-towners.
Where: 3 blocks east of Plaza de Garibaldi, at Calle Libertad, between Calle de la República de Chile (or Calle Comonfort) and Calle Allende. Take the metro (green line) to the Garibaldi/Lagunilla stop—Its icon is a guitar and jorongo (Mexican shawl).
Naviglio Grande Antiques Market
On the last Sunday of each month but July, sellers line this mile-long canal-side stretch with pristine vintage clothing and accessories, from designer bags to leather gloves.
Where: Alzaia Naviglio Grande by the Porta Genova subway stop; dates and locations listed at the association's website
When: The last Sunday of every month but July
Beneath the chaos of this Sunday event (think caged tarantulas and blaring music) lies order: Each corridor has a distinct specialty, like records, used books, or leather goods—three of the market's strengths.
Where: Between Avenida 18 de Julio and Calle Tristán Narvaja
The hokey onion-domed façades on this suburban weekend market belie the genuine treasures you'll find here. Look for nesting matryoshka dolls, Soviet military regalia, and handmade Central Asian suzanis and rugs.
Where: In Izmaylovsky Park. Take the metro to Partizanskaya station
When: Saturdays and Sundays
Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair
At the European equivalent of Brimfield, nearly 4,000 dealers gather six times a year on 84 acres in the British countryside, selling Victorian- and Edwardian-era items like parlor lamps and onyx jewelry.
Where: Lincoln Road in Winthorpe, a village in the Newark and Sherwood district of in the county of Nottinghamshire
When: Six times a year; check the fair website for date
Porte de Vanves
Less touristy and much more affordable than the famous Clignancourt market, this weekend affair is stocked with choice tabletop pieces (like Pernod carafes and bistro ashtrays) worth digging for.
Where: Between Avenue Georges-Lafenestre and Avenue Marc-Sangnier, 14th arrondissement by the Porte de Vanves subway stop
When: Saturdays and Sundays
Praça Benedito Calixto
Founded in 1987 by artists looking to sell their work, the Saturday Praça Benedito Calixto market has evolved to comprise an even split of the new and the old; delicately fashioned porcelain dishware sits next to piles of retired metal store signs.
Where: On Praça Benedito Calixto, between Rua Lisboa and Rua Henrique Schaumann
Togo Shrine Antique Market
Arrive early at this first-Sunday-of-the-month gathering to have your pick of wooden kokeshi dolls, old sake sets, and exquisite kimonos, all laid out on colorful mats on the grounds of a Togo shrine.
Where: Located on the street Meiji Dori, in the Harajuku neighborhood, which is in the special ward of Shibuya-ku in Tokyo. It is a short walk from Harajuku St (JR Yamanote line) or Meiji Jingumae St (Chiyoda line). From both stations follow the signs for Takeshita dori
When: The first Sunday of every month