Do you like the hustle and bustle of markets? The Middle East is known to have some of the most vibrant street markets in the world. They’re great places to gain bargains, source fresh produce, barter with street vendors over the price of food and other goods and just immerse yourself in the culture of the local population. Here are some of the best souks you need to visit in the Middle East.
Khan el-Khalili, Cairo, Egypt
This is one of the oldest markets in the world dating back to 1382. Named locally as the Khan, this market is one of the most historic sites in Cairo as it influenced trading routes from Asia to Europe. If you’re in Cairo, stop by for some amazing coffee, local produce and of course, people watching.
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
Visiting Istanbul, you need to go to one of the worlds best known and oldest markets. The market is so big that it looks like a map of a European city. Established in 1491, the market has grown into a location of over 60 streets and over 4000 shops. Highlights include jewellery vendors and antique selling. If you get lost, there is a Turkish spa to enjoy to get your energy back!
Old City, Jerusalem, Israel
Go on a journey of discovery to the Old City of Jerusalem and you will feel as if you’ve travelled back centuries. The gates of the city add to the character of this souk. Be prepared to be approached by vendors who will try and sell you near enough everything. Prepare for the calls of “Yalla” which means lets go in arabic.
Manama Souk, Bahrain
Manama, the capital of Bahrain and this souk is the capital of quality too. There’s a mixture of small shops and large department stores, the souk is separated by quarters called fareeqs. Situated near to other great locations in the city, you can buy local produce, quality goods while being close to other places in the capital.
When visiting the Middle East, you need to sample the local markets to get an actual feel of the culture and wider population. Don’t miss out.