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You love to travel and we do, too. You know what you need for a road trip and how to dress for the seasons. And when you shop, you seek out authenticity, handmade crafts and goods and food made by local artisans. To point you in the right direction, we’ve rounded up five of the world’s hippest markets, from Cape Town to Queens in New York City.
With 250 dealers, this is one of Japan’s largest outdoor markets. Oedo Antique Market is held the first and third Sundays March-June, from 9am-4pm, in the courtyard of Tokyo International Forum (there’s a less frequent Sunday market in Yoyogi Park). The people-watching alone here is fantastic, hundreds of nattily attired hip locals perusing the stalls and selling their wares. Within vendors’ impeccable displays are beautiful secondhand kimonos, pottery, vintage jewelry and skeleton keys, cult Japanese toys, and antiques like railway signs from Manchuria.
Local tip: Say “ikura desu ka?” when you want to ask how much something is. If that’s the extent of your Japanese just nod and pretend you understand the reply.
Is Chippendale Sydney’s new “it” neighborhood? Adjacent to the city’s central business district, this burgeoning arts enclave is home to a slew of hot new hotels, cafés and galleries. Brewery Yard Market—named for the former Carlton & United Brewery building-turned-Old Clare Hotel—sits within development Central Park. The market is held the first and third Sunday of every month, 10am-4pm. Stalls sell clothing, artisanal food and drink, and handmade goods. Look out for the requisite pressed juices by Prodjuice and the ultimate symbols of hipsterdom, beard oil and moustache wax from The Mister Brand in Dulwich Hill and Lemunky Toto’s bacon-and-egg necklaces. Live acoustic music and a pop-up funfair with giant Jenga, ping pong tables, and treasure hunts round out the fun here.
Local tip: Try a monut (muffin-doughnut hybrid) at the Baked by Binky stall—they’re exclusive to Sydney.
Cape Town, South Africa
Beneath the handsome leafy oaks in The Company’s Garden is this delightful market, simultaneously hip and family-friendly. Held Saturdays, 9am-3pm, in the Paddocks area (next to the National Gallery), this market has lots of shaded table seating, games like giant Jenga, good food and drink, and live music. Locals come for fresh produce and to peruse the tables selling chic clothing and accessories by local designers, treats like chewy fudge and refreshing green smoothies, and savories like tacos, samosas, and pizza. To drink, there’s craft beer on tap (Striped Horse), wine from nearby vineyards and, to make every weekend a bit of a celebration, some bubbly.
Local tip: Arrive hungry and visit the ‘build your own picnic’ stall, which lets you select goodies from around the market to enjoy with family or friends.
Taking advantage of temperate weather year-round, Madrid’s most popular open-air market is held every Sunday, 9am-3pm, and on some public holidays. The market’s breadth is staggering, with up to 3,500 stalls spread across several crammed streets. Antiques, clothing, costume jewelry and carnival masks, and vintage bric-a-brac are all for sale. Come early, haggle appropriately and then, when the market wraps for the afternoon, follow the crowds to the surrounding bars and cafés for beer and tapas.
Local tip: Don’t miss the Mercado de San Miguel, a covered market and food hall tucked in next to the Plaza Mayor.
Queens, New York
Everyone loves the Brooklyn Flea, but New York’s newest hot borough is Queens, with waterfront Long Island City quickly becoming the place to be. LIC Food & Flea runs weekends April through October, and as an added bonus, you can take a water taxi here. Munch on perfectly flaky empanadas from Jessy’s or salted chocolate macarons from Sweet Dames while you peruse stalls selling reclaimed wood furniture, bespoke bowties, and handmade jewelry.
Local tip: Don’t forget to make a quick stop at the famous Pepsi sign by the river to get a Instagram-worthy view of Manhattan.
This flea market in trendy Mitte—the neighborhood within the larger borough of the same name—attracts a young, alternative crowd. These are not the type to rise early, so come in the morning for better bargains. You’ll find here lots of ‘60s and ‘70s furniture, clothing and accessories, records, and books. Arkonaplatz, shaded by large chestnut trees, is lovely, and the outdoor seating at its cafés perfect for people-watching. Trödelmarkt Arkonaplatz is open Sundays, 10am-4pm.
Local tip: Dig hard enough and you’ll find East German bric-a-brac.