I don’t know if you’ve figured this out yet or not, but I absolutely love eating when I travel. This isn’t really a new thing. What is a little bit more recent, however, is my love for food markets. After visiting Copenhagen Street Food and the Rotterdam Markthall this spring, all I can think of is finding even more awesome food markets. In order to do that, I decided to compile a list of all of the best food markets in Europe. So, without further ado, here they are – brought to you by probably every travel blogger on the internet!
In case you’re looking for something in particular, here’s a handy map of everywhere that’s covered in this guide:
Best Food Markets in Europe
The Best Food Markets in Europe
Naschmarkt in Vienna
By Josie of Josie Wanders
Vienna’s Naschmarkt has over 1.5km of mostly food related stalls. It is open during the day from Monday to Saturday. There is also a flea market that sets up in the carpark on Saturdays, so this is a particularly good day to visit. It is possible to find nearly every possible fruit or vegetable, cured meats, fish, dried fruits and nuts, coffees and teas, vinegars, wine and breads, just to name a few of the products. There are also a small proportion of souvenir stands, clothes, watches, sunglasses and other goods.
What makes this market unique is the second row of “stalls”, all set up as restaurants and bars with plenty of outdoor seating. After picking up everything you need, you can relax with a bite to eat or a drink, enjoying the vibrant atmosphere before heading home.
Dolac Market in Zagreb
By Punita of 100 Cobbled Roads
Zagreb’s famous Dolac market is an 80-year old treasure trove for locals and tourists in search of home-made foodstuffs, fresh fish and meat, cheese and cream, fruit and vegetables. Browse around in the open stalls filled with rows, and rows of red umbrellas for locally-grown fresh vegetables and fruits. Inside, scout for the best fresh fish in all Croatia, poultry, olive oil, dried fruits, nuts, home-made breads, pasta and cheese stalls. Be sure to sample the traditional ‘kružnjak’ (cornbread) and ‘sir i vrhnje’ (a popular cream cheese). This Dolac tradition has continued since 1930, and is not something you want to miss. After all, it is nicknamed ‘The belly of Zagreb’.
Gundulićeva Poljana Market in Dubrovnik
By Kristen of Travels & Treats
Gundulićeva Poljana Market is located in the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Every morning, vendors fill the open-air market with fresh local fruits, vegetables, olive oil, lavender, homemade spirits, and countless other local goods. The location couldn’t be more easy to access and it makes for a great pit stop when you want to slow down and refresh while exploring Old Town Dubrovnik. It’s especially nice to visit the market on those hot summer days in Dubrovnik and cool off with the refreshing local fruit cups that some vendors sell to conveniently eat on the go. If you are staying at a place with a kitchen, Gundulićeva Poljana Market is the perfect stop for all of your cooking needs. Read more about where to eat in Dubrovnik in this blog post.
Copenhagen Street Food in Copenhagen
By Addie of Addie Abroad
The moment I fell in love with Copenhagen was the moment I stepped foot inside of Copenhagen Street Food. Located on Paper Island, only a ten minute walk from the famous Nyhavn canal, Copenhagen Street Food is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
When I walked inside of the giant warehouse-esque building, my senses were completely overwhelmed by the smells of 33 different food trucks filling the air. We must have walked around the whole place at least three times before we finally decided what we wanted. Eventually, I settled on a huge serving of Pulled Duck fries – and they might just have been the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.
While not a food market in the traditional sense, I still think Copenhagen Street Food is easily one of the best food markets in Europe. I loved it so much, in fact, that I wrote a whole blog post about my experience! Don’t miss your chance if you’re ever in Copenhagen.
Hakaniemi & Old Market Hall in Helsinki
By Jonathan of Everybody Hates a Tourist
Helsinki, Finland has two great food markets of note, Hakaniemi and Old Market Hall. Hakaniemi is a packed, multi-level building that sells everything from food to clothing. There are great bakeries selling a variety of baked goods including korvapuusti, which are delicious Finnish cinnamon rolls. The highlight of Hakaniemi is Soppakeittio Tapaste oy, a phenomenal soup restaurant that specializes in bouillabaisse. A bowl of seafood soup plus some hearty bread is heaven on a cold day.
Old Market Hall is on Helsinki’s waterfront near the ferry to Suomenlinna. This market is less crammed and a bit more upscale. Here you’ll find Finnish baked goods, seafood, and more. Or, combine the two and get a smoked salmon pasty.
Market in Concarneau
By Marie-Carmen of Orient Excess
Every Monday and Friday morning, the city of Concarneau in Brittany offers a lovely market full of some of the best local produce the region has to offer. Friday morning gets bigger crowds and seems to draw exhibitors from all over the country. Fresh seafood, lobsters and fish are laid on the frozen stalls, while bakers show their best local specialities and handover to their many visitors their Kouign Amann (a speciality from Brittany that, translated, means butter cake ). Local producers from neighbouring regions like Normandy and Auvergne bring their best cheese and saucisson.
As you would imagine things get busy, and you might want to get ithere early to beat the crowds. Don’t skip the covered market where most of the fishermen drop their daily catch, and if you want a taste of Brittany try a little stall in the middle of the market that offers small Kouign Amann, it will allow you to try out a local ‘must’ without the commitment of an enormous cake, plus you might be able to try a few of their amazing flavours!
Les Halles Market in Dijon
By Maegan of The Wanderlust Dietitian
Dijon’s covered market, Les Halles is located Northwest of Palais des Ducs. The market is active 4 mornings a week and housed inside an old cast iron building from the 1800s. There are unusual items on offer as well. I found the Tête de Veau (veal’s head) to be most interesting!
My favorite part of market day is simply people watching! I loved seeing the Dijonnais stroll along with their chariots perusing the many food stalls. We stocked up on fresh produce, mustard, baguettes, and cheeses for our picnic in the vineyards and planned our later return to this nirvana.
Avenue Jean Médecin in Nice
By Naomi of Probe Around the Globe
I stumbled upon one of the best food markets in Europe in Nice in the South of France. I’m not talking about the overcrowded tourist market in the Old Town, but the market where local farmers sell their produce.
When you follow Avenue Jean Médecin you’ll find all kinds of stalls, selling the best fruit and vegetables for you to sample.
At the end of the street, you’ll find a small covered area (Rue Assalit) where local cheesemakers and butchers have their stalls. It is here that I tasted the best cheese of my life. My mouth totally waters again when I think of it.
If you rent an apartment and if you’re looking for a local experience, the market in Nice is the place to be to mingle with the locals and get the best produce from the region. Read more about Nice and Food on my blog.
Great Market Hall in Budapest
By Cris of LooknWalk
The Great Market Hall is the oldest and largest indoor market in Budapest, Hungary. Located at the end of the famous pedestrian street, Vaci utca, it is one of those places that you cannot miss checking out when you are in town.
Designed and built in 1897, the building is imposing, featuring an entrance gate with a neogothic touch. Destroyed in World War II and later rebuilt, it was the 1990s restoration that brought it back to its old glory.
It spans on three floors and offers a variety of stalls. On the ground floor, you will find the produce, meats, as well as spices such as paprika, wines, as well as candies. Going up, you will find places to eat, as well as souvenir shops.
I pass by the market almost every time I visit Budapest and cannot help but stop at the paprika stall to buy spices for home.
Mercato Centrale in Florence
By Lori of Travlinmad
Florence, Italy really is the Renaissance City – continuing to progress with the times while keeping one foot planted in its illustrious past. The Mercato Centrale is a prime example. The beautiful iron and glass structure in San Lorenzo dates to 1874. It was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni, the Italian architect famous for his design of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan. The covered food market was overhauled in 2014 to add a hip, modern space upstairs. This space includes a ginormous open food court and areas for educational classes and demonstrations.
After browsing the vendors downstairs, take the escalator up and watch the passionate food creators in action. Take your pick of freshly made pasta, wood fired pizza, artisan bread, fresh fish, charcuterie, hand crafted cheeses, wines, chocolate, gelato, and sandwiches. Don’t miss this historic market when you’re in Florence!
Mercato de San Benedetto in Cagliari
By Claudia of My Adventures Across the World
Sardinia is known for its amazing beaches, but what people don’t know is that Cagliari, its capital, has a fantastic food market. Mercato di San Benedetto, that’s how it is called, was first opened in 1957. It measures 8000 square meters and it is the largest civic market in Europe. The ground floor is entirely occupied by fishmongers, selling the fresh catch of the day. There’s even a couple of places that prepare fresh seafood dishes (try the fried calamari). The first floor is where other produce are sold: fruits, vegetables, bread, meat and cheese. It is an incredible place to spot a bit of local life, and more than anything to get fresh food to cook at home.
Ortigia Market in Siracusa
By Jan of Budget Travel Talk
Ortigia Island is connected to the Sicilian town of Siracusa by two bridges. Mercato di Ortigia unsurprisingly specialises in fish. Spiky sea urchins and glossy giant tuna or swordfish, rub shoulders with glossy black aubergines, purple artichokes and ruby red tomatoes. At the end of Via Emmanuele De Benedectis, an excited lunch-time crowd congregate at Caseificio Borderi.
Owned by local Borderi family, this extra-ordinary Deli is surrounded by a group of cheese-munching customers who watch and wait. They are held in the theatrical hands of charismatic Andrea, who talks non-stop – slicing fresh mozzarella or maybe a baked ricotta – handing it around – layering it with spicy Sicilian sausage, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and freshly picked greens onto long laden breadrolls.
Locals and visitors line up patiently waiting for their turn to purchase an Andrea masterpiece. At 5 Euro for a huge two person roll –it certainly is a budget gourmet meal – and the performance is gratis.
Rialto Market in Venice
By Megan of Wander Toes
The Rialto Market in Venice, Italy, has been the city’s major food market since 1097AD, nearly 1000 years. The Rialto Market is filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, but also herbs, vinegars, oils, and dried soup mixes made from local ingredients. Since Venice is literally in the water, the Pescheria (fish market) offered such a diversity of fresh seafood. I honestly started giggling at times at the alien looking offerings. Take a look around at the walls, and you may even find the marble plaque outlining the minimum fish lengths, first regulated in 1173 and still enforced today. My fantasy is to stay in an apartment, armed with an Italian cookbook, and shop for fresh ingredients to make my dinner each evening.
Viale Papiniano Market in Milan
By Margherita of The Crowded Planet
Milan, my hometown, is one of the best places I know when it comes to street markets. There are markets every day of the week, all over town. They usually sell a variety of wares ranging from artisanal cheeses and cured meats, fresh fruit and veg, clothes, shoes and more. There are definitely some bargains to be had, with stall holders selling cashmere scarves and sweaters, or leather products. You may even find Gucci and Prada shoes!
Viale Papiniano Market in Milan is one of the best when it comes to snapping up fashion bargains, and it’s also a delicious food market. The market is held every Tuesday and Saturday in Viale Papiniano, close to the Sant’Agostino underground stop. You’ll find delicious seasonal fruit and vegetables, farmhouse cheeses, ready-made food like rotisserie chickens and roasted potatoes (perfect if you don’t feel like cooking!). There are even stalls laden with all sorts of olives – from huge green ones to tiny black ones, with all varieties in between.
Riga Central Market in Riga
By Bryony of Travels and More
When you think about food markets you probably picture a large outdoor open area in the sun on the banks of a beautiful river, right? Well Riga’s Central Market is a little different. Its located inside several massive ex-nazi Zeppelin hangars on the concrete banks of Riga’s defense canal system.
Built in the 1930’s Riga’s Central Market is a Latvian cultural hub where locals trade, sell and even shop and why not. The market has some of the best priced and best quality produce in the City.
Although Riga’s market and bazaar isn’t in the most traditional of market settings it is Europe’s largest market. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are over 3000 stands in Riga Central Market where you can buy the freshest seasonal Latvian fruit and vegetables, feed a family of four on the freshly caught catch of the day or even buy a new outfit. You must check out the fruit, especially in early summer. The strawberries should absolutely not be missed!
Markthall IX in Berlin
By Chris of Ile de la Cite Fr
Whether you are in Berlin for one day, or for several weeks, Markthall IX has to be at the top of your to-do list. It is easily one of the best food markets in Europe. You name it, you can eat it here. There are vendors selling everything from traditional German favorites like Wiener Schnitzel and Wursts to Vietnamese noodles and Spanish tapas.
I was lucky enough to visit on Street Food Thursday, which is held every week between 5 pm and 10 pm. The choice is amazing. I enjoyed a British steak pie from one stall, Nigerian FuFu from another, and finished it all off with Thai tapioca. Just as I thought I was too full to eat another thing, a stall selling smoked fish caught my eye. Then another round of food sampling commenced.
There are plenty of small bars near the market. You can pop in one of them to finish your evening with a beer. On Thursday evenings it gets really busy, so you need to get there early.
Make sure you use a bag that allows you to keep your hands free. There is not a lot of seating available, so be prepared to eat and drink standing up.
Maastricht, The City of Markets
By Gordon of Short Holidays and Getaways
Maastricht is a city in the Netherlands and is known as the city of markets. The best-known market in Maastricht is the one held on the square of Markt. The magnificent city hall overlooks it, and it is where locals do their shopping. This is held every Wednesday and Friday and features lots of home made food like these pastries.
Maastricht’s Organic Market is held two days a week, at the Stationsstraat. It attracts a lot of the restaurateurs and students from Maastricht University.
The Flea Market of Maastricht is held every Saturday and is a treasure trove of goods to discover from this charming town. It is also the home of Andre Rieu as an aside.
Markthal in Rotterdam
By Addie of Addie Abroad
The Rotterdam Markthal is the one that started it all. The market that inspired me to make this post in the first place. I stopped by while I was cycling around Rotterdam in May and absolutely fell in love with the place. So much so, in fact, that I came back only two days later. Wander the aisles of the Rotterdam Martkhal and you’ll find not only fresh fruits and vegetables, but artisanal cheese, tender cuts of meat, and pretty much everything you can ever dream of. Stop by one of the restaurant stands for a meal while you’re there. Then grab dessert at a different one. Ice cream, donuts, and a chocolate fountain are all on the menu.
Rotterdam Markthal is located directly across from the famous Rotterdam Cube Houses. You can easily reach it by public transportation (or by bike). I highly recommend trying the smoothies from one of the fruit stands!
Time Out Market in Lisbon
By James of Portugalist
I obviously suffer from tremendous bias, but Lisbon’s Time Out Market in Cais do Sodré is definitely one of the best food markets in Europe.
The market features more than 30 mini-restaurants, most of which are pop-ups for well-known Lisbon restaurants. It’s a great opportunity to try food from popular Lisbon restaurants such as Sea Me, Confraria, and Manteigaria; restaurants and cafés that are normally extremely busy and difficult to get a table at.
Look out for popular Portuguese dishes including Leitão, bacalhau, and of course pastéis de nata (or Portuguese custard tarts as they are often called).
Open Kitchen in Ljublijana
By Nathan of Foodie Flashpacker
I visit food markets as often as possible but Open Kitchen, located in Ljubljana, Slovenia is hands down the best high end food market I’ve found.
I say high end because this isn’t your typical street food market like you might know (and love) from Thailand. In fact, to even be eligible to apply for a spot in the market, you must be in the top 100 restaurants in the country. And that’s just to apply.
Every Friday from mid-March until the end of October chefs from approximately 50 of the country’s best restaurants meet in a central square to start preparing their offerings. The market has a wide variety of dishes including local classics, new/modern take on classics and international dishes.
Some of my favorite things I tried during my visit are the whole roasted pig, horse burger (with horse bacon) and handmade pastas.
Central Market in Valencia
By Teresa of Brogan Abroad
Valencia’s Central Market is somewhere I always go back to whenever I am in the city. Built in the 1920s, this gorgeous modernist building attracts a lot of visitors. But the best thing about it is that it is still a neighbourhood market. So it’s the perfect place to observe local life and buy yourself some delicious traditional Valencian goodies – a must do amongst all the exciting things to do in Valencia.
It is considered one of the most beautiful market halls in Europe. It was also the first market in the world to offer online shopping and home delivery. In some of the stalls you can buy fresh fish and seafood. Then, you can take it to one of the little restaurants outside the market to get it cooked for a small fee. Can you get any fresher than this?
La Boqueria in Barcelona
By Catalina of Miss Adventures Abroad
If you are planning a trip to Spain, then you will definitely want to put a visit to the Mercat de Sant Josep high on your list of things to do in Barcelona! This local market commonly referred to simply as “La Boqueria” is one of the best markets in Spain and dates all the way back to the 1200s! You’ll find stalls filled with fruit, smoothies, delicious takeaway snacks, and even eggs, fish, and meat here.
I highly recommend stopping by in the morning for breakfast and picking up a fresh fruit juice-or two! the juices come in every color of the rainbow and are just as delicious as they look. The perfect start to a busy day exploring Barcelona!
Lonja del Barranco Market in Seville
By Inma of A World to Travel
As every city is doing nowadays, Seville did not take long to refurbish a traditional market into a hipster mecca. Today, Lonja del Barranco is a gourmet market full of restaurants and taperias. It is housed in a 19th-century galvanized-iron building first built as a fish market. After a day filled with exciting Seville experiences, head there at sunset, as it is located by Seville’s river and there’s nothing more special than enjoying the last sun beams from its terrace.
San Miguel Market in Madrid
By Marina of Barcelona Eat Local
For anyone visiting Spain, a visit to its iconic markets should be a must as it is a great way to connect with the local culture, see what and how people eat. And who doesn’t like to talk about food? Madrid has several markets, most of them with a unique history linked to the neighborhood they serve. Mercado de San Miguel was my take in the Spanish capital and it didn’t disappoint me. Off the Plaza Mayor, this impressive iron-sided structure, built in 1916, was refurbished, covered in glass and somehow re-converted into one of the livest culinary spots of the city.
This is the place where madrileños and tourists alike practice the country´s favorite activity: tapeo or ir de tapas, a way of eating where friends share small portions of foods that are paired with wine or vermouth. You can´t really go wrong when it comes to eating at this market and I highly recommend La Casa del Bacalao for cod-pintxos and La Hora del Vermut for vermouths and olives.
Hötorgshallen in Stockholm
By Jonathan of Everybody Hates a Tourist
Stockholm’s Hötorgshallen is one of the finest specialty food markets in Europe. Located at Hötorget, a public square & metro station with an outdoor market as well as many other food shops & restaurants, Hötorgshallen showcases the finest in Swedish & European cuisine. Highlights include Hellbergs, a butcher shop that specializes in game & birds, the Fromageriet cheese shop, and Kajsas Fisk, which is famous for their fish soup.
However, you really can’t go wrong in this market. There are also shops selling delicious Swedish baked goods, fresh seafood, Finnish pastries, fresh produce, and so much more. If you want a proper introduction to Swedish cuisine, go to Hötorgshallen, and go hungry!
Markthalle in Basel
By Laura of Savored Sips
The Markthalle building in Basel used to house a traditional farmer’s market, but it’s expanded dramatically to include dozens of food vendors from around the world. It also rotates specialty vendors, crafters and flea market stalls.
There’s always something to do at Markthalle. Whether it’s eating and drinking to live music or checking out one of the popup specialty markets, like the wine market, or the cheese festival. There’s even a nightly flea market that starts at 5pm. One thing I know from personal experience, you either need to be really hungry when you arrive or have lots of time. The food choices are vast and it can take quite a while to look around and decide what to eat!
Brixton Food Market in London
By Nienke of The London Tester
If you’ve been to London a couple of times and would like to see something different than the touristy Borough or Camden markets, then I can recommend heading over to the South of the city and visit the Brixton Food Market! In an eclectic mix, you’ll find the best exotic fruits, vegetables and homeware on the outside markets from British, African, Ethiopian and Caribbean sellers. Then head on to the covered Brixton Village, where you’ll find the best budgets eats of South London.
On Thursday and Friday evening, the market is open late and you’ll get entertained by live music and a great atmosphere. And another bonus: the hip Pop-up Brixton is only a short stroll away for your street food fix. Visiting this market will let you discover a whole new side of London!