Best Markets in the World for Haggling

haggling haggler at markets bazaars souksIn many cultures, haggling (or bargaining) is a way of life and a perfectly normal part of any shopping experience. Personally, I did not start out as the type of shopper who enjoys haggling. At first, I found the process uncomfortable and felt that I paid the price too. Often, I didn’t know what the market was for a given item and feared insulting the merchant. It also seemed to me that haggling over the equivalent of a couple of dollars just wasn’t worth it. However, some people enjoy the wheeling and dealing in the hunt for the best price. A fellow traveller was so kind as to show me the upside of bargaining. Not only can you find some great deals, but it is also a social event. What better way to dive into a conversation with a local? To feel better about buying an item, I’ve learned to scope out the market first and ask for some prices before attempting to bargain. Then I put on my poker face and start the haggling. A good haggler would say that you shouldn’t be shy about offering a really low price and to initially offer half to a third of the initial asking price. You should also not get your heart set on an item, so you can just walk away if need be. Think of it as an experience rather than a shopping trip. If haggling is your thing or if you want dive into a new experience and test your skills, here are some of the best souks, bazaars and markets from around the world to show off your techniques.

Khan el-Khalili Bazaar – Cairo, Egypt

Khan el Khalili Bazaar Cairo Egypt
The Grand Bazaar – Istanbul, Turkey

Taroudant Markets and Souks – Taroudant, Morocco

Taroudant Markets and Souks Taroudant Morocco
The Gold Souk – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Gold Souk Dubai United Arab Emirates
The Sunday Market – Kashgar, Xinjiang, China

The Sunday Market Kashgar Xinjiang China
The Covered Souks – Aleppo, Syria

Chatuchak Market – Bangkok, Thailand

Chatuchak Market Bangkok Thailand

IMAGES VIA: spideman, energeticspell, demonvaska, Esprit de sel, PJ Huang, sheilaz413, delayed gratification, paulancheta

6 thoughts on “Best Markets in the World for Haggling

  • Don’t forget Otavalo in Ecuador! It’s said to be the largest open-air market in Latin America. Among other things, you’ll be able to get good leather products, silver jewelry, and alpaca wool. Go on Sundays if you want to see the live animal market.

  • I loooooove haggling. I grew up just on the other side of Tijuana, I hate that city, but one thing it gave me was a love of the dealing. The person in control of a deal is the one that can walk away from it. When I’m traveling, I’m stuck with the size of my bag and I like to travel light, so I can almost always walk away. I find it to be enormous fun and part of the experience of some places. I’ve only been to three of the spots you listed, but now I really want to head to the others, especially in China and Syria.

  • Oh yes!@Tran Otavalo is without a doubt one of my best memories ever! Amazing setting, beautiful people, colours and sites not to mention great shopping!! Don’t miss it!

  • For me haggling is quite a culture shock, as it is something which is not really done in the UK. That being said, I find it important to remember that in many countries it is the done thing, else you will get ripped off, and the person selling the goods will not be offended by low offers!

  • Glad you mentioned Turkey on the list. A lot of people when entering these markets do not think that haggling is a must. They think it is optional and then when someone tells them they paid too much, they moan. Haggle, haggle, haggle and if you are shy get someone else to do it.

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