The fragrance of flower petals, saffron, and cinnamon wafts through the air in these bustling, exotic, and colorful bazaars and souks. Ker & Downey takes you on a trip around the globe to some of our favorite spice markets. Add them to your next journey for total sensory immersion.
This 11th-century vaulted market is a maze of lanes selling carpets and crafts, but it is the pungent spices sold in canvas bags and bowls that stand out. Scents and samples will have travelers dreaming of the delicious Persian dishes and drinks that are infused with saffron, cardamon, and mint.
Indian food is known for its rich spices, and the Khari Baoli provides a dizzying array of nuts, foods, and spices to whet any appetite. Since the 17th century, spices like turmeric and crushed chili have been sold here in cone shapes, ready to be scooped up by the next chef. Tea leaves are also on display, perfect for a cup of creamy chai.
A vivid palette of color awaits in Istanbul. This market that was constructed in 1660 as a last stop for camel caravans travelling on the Silk Road from China, India, and Iran. But it isn’t just a market for spices; this maze-like bazaar sells foods, art, trinkets, clothing, flower petals, and everything else imaginable and is a true shopper’s delight.
Curious foodies will find Moroccan saffron and an exotic spice blend of more than 30 ingredients among the spices sold at very affordable prices. The heaping cones in vibrant colors are almost too pretty to disturb, but the scents tantalize your senses.
Chilies, chilies, and more chilies. The oldest market in Oaxaca has been around since 1893 and is a blast of sights and smells. Wander around and find rows of stalls selling colorful local crafts and spicy cayenne.
Take a deep breath and dazzle your senses with the aroma of cinnamon and peppercorn. Walk along the narrow lanes and bargain on baskets of spices, dried fruit, nuts, rose petals, and incense. Dried hibiscus is boiled to make a fragrant tea.
Third and fourth generation sellers proudly show off their seasonings here alongside produce, meats and local ingredients. This is the place to people-watch and pick up the ingredients for a pot of paella in this sizzling Spanish city.
Spice things up on your next journey with a jaunt through our favorite spice markets. Contact your Ker & Downey travel expert to begin planning your own custom adventure.