7 Tips for Shopping Europe’s Best Markets
August 2014, Paris—The most colorful shopping in Europe is found at its open-air markets. From London’s Portobello market, where you can find everything from antiques to fresh produce and clothing; to Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence, known for its antique and produce ; the outdoor markets of Europe offer fun shopping experiences to locals and tourists alike.
Visitors should remember some things before visiting Europe’s marketplaces. This list, provided by local market tour experts at Coloratour.com, will help you make the most of your shopping adventures in Europe’s best markets.
- Arrive at the right time to avoid crowds. Come early if you plan on eating at the market; at Les Halles de Lyon in France, where the top chefs shop, most lunch vendors close at 2 and reopen for dinner. Also, most vendors are on vacation during July and August. Markets are busier on weekends, when locals meet with friends to shop.
- Be wary of pickpockets! Pickpockets love busy markets. Keep your money close to you and leave your passports at the hotel.
- Cash is king; bring plenty—you might get a discount using cash. Markets have soft prices, so bargain like crazy.
- Prepare to shop until you drop. Bring roomy bags. Have paint or fabric swatches to shop for a specific room at home. Bring an umbrella and pray for rain—with fewer customers, vendors might strike a deal in the drizzle.
- Look through riffraff for hidden treasures. Parisian flea market Marché aux Puces, known for its antiques, also offers determined shoppers anything from jewelry to furniture.
- Be aware of your home country’s customs regulations. For example, in the US, anything made with ivory or tortoise shell will be confiscated.
- Prioritize the parts of the market you want to see most so you don’t get exhausted wandering.
“Remember, your market souvenirs will bring back memories, which are the best part of your trip”, says Coloratour.com founder Olivier Chavaren.
For more helpful information on market visits, download the free e-book, “10 Best Markets of Europe.”
Coloratour.com was founded by Olivier Chavaren to offer a new niche in the travel industry – special-interest private tours in Europe concentrating on a wide range of Europe’s colorful markets. For more about Coloratour.com and its tours, please visit www.coloratour.com .