9 Delectable Food Markets In Europe
An essential European checklist for foodies. Food coma guaranteed.
One of the biggest pleasures of traveling Europe is the food. There’s nothing quite like a good meal to cement your memories of a favorite city. Most destinations have at least one traditional dish or food that is unique and worth trying. There are no better places to explore all of this than at a local food market. Although you might come across several food markets in Europe, here are nine that are worth a special detour.
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Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Rotterdam's Markthal is one of its main attractions, easily found after surfacing from Rotterdam Blaak train station. The ultra-modern building houses food stalls which reflect Rotterdam's international culture. You can find Dutch fare, such as krokets, biterballen and the iconic stroopwafels, alongside fish, burgers, pinchos and even Moroccan spices. While you enjoy your meal or snack you can take in the massive "Horn of Plenty" artwork, sprawled across the ceiling.
How to get there by train: Rotterdam has direct connections to most major cities of the Netherlands. It is also a stop for international Eurostar and Thalys trains, connecting it to Belgium, France and England.
De Markthal, Rotterdam
Copenhagen’s no stranger to street food and popular markets. Torvehallerne is perhaps the most famous of the lot, and for good reason. There you’ll find everything from wine and chocolate, to bread and spices, as well as Danish smørrebrød, open sandwiches consisting of gourmet toppings on rye bread. If you’re not feeling particularly hungry, you can just wander the vibrant aisles while sipping on a hot cup of coffee and pick up some items for later in the day.
How to get there by train: As a primary rail hub, there are regular trains to Copenhagen from throughout Denmark. There are also easy connections from Sweden and Germany.
Danish smørrebrød traditional open sandwich
Le Marché Raspail
Le Marché Raspail is a quintessentially French market on Paris’s Left Bank. It oozes true Parisian charm, and is slightly more polished than other typical food markets in Europe. You can pick up staple French supplies like bread, cheese, and a range of local pastries. But on Sundays, a selection of high-end food trucks roll in to serve delicious fresh meals.
How to get there by train: As a leading rail hub, Paris has eight train stations with regular connections to cities throughout the country and continent . This includes several overnight trains to cities further away.
Variety of fresh organic vegetables on sale at a farmer market in Paris
Mercado da Ribeira
Also known as the Time Out Market due to the large travel publication who renovated the beautiful old building, this is a one-stop food destination for any visitors to Lisbon. It borders on being more slick and polished, rather than totally authentic. But the high quality and reasonable prices of the dishes on offer more than make up for the somewhat sterile atmosphere.
How to get there by train: Lisbon is easy to reach by rail from within Portugal, due to its central location. It’s a convenient train ride from both northern and southern Portuguese cities.
Decorated sweets at Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon
Berlin’s Markthalle is one of the last remaining original market halls in the German capital, and it doesn’t disappoint. There are popular events on certain days of the week, but none as bustling as Street Food Thursday. This is one of the biggest and most popular street food festivals in the city. You can pick up a wide range of goods, both local and international. There are also several bars in the area to help quench your thirst.
How to get there by train: Berlin is a well-connected rail hub. There are regular trains to the city from throughout the country. Many cities also offer long distance and overnight trains.
Markthalle Neun, Berlin
There’s a certain charm to Vienna’s Naschmarkt that you won’t find at any other of the food markets in Europe. Its location next to The Secession art gallery sets the perfect tone for an evening of delectable food. You’ll find a range of international dishes, as well as various traditional Austrian dishes such as schnitzels and pancakes.
How to get there by train: Vienna is easy to reach by rail from across Austria. There are also regular connections from neighboring countries such as Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany.
Assorted candies at Naschmarkt, Vienna
The building that houses this Swedish market is worth the visit alone. It’s a slick iron and glass building that dates back to the late 1800s. But venture inside, and you’ll discover a world of delectable goods. There’s a range of fresh fish, sushi, and several other items such as cheeses and meats that you can eat there or take away. The true drawcard of this market, however, is its chocolate. You’ll find spectacular Swedishchokladsnittar, or chocolate slices, that may just have you coming back for more.
How to get there by train: Although it’s a little more isolated than other mainland European capitals, there are regular trains to Stockholm from nearby capitals Oslo (Norway) and Copenhagen (Denmark). Local rail travel to Stockholm is also quick and efficient.
Assorted berries at a Stockholm market
Great Market Hall
Budapest’s Great Market Hall is a stunning destination to visit for the architecture alone. This impressive building feels like a train station, and in many ways mirrors work by Gustave Eiffel and Antoni Gaudí. Most people head to the market for the famous Hungarian dish lángos, a deep-fried dough topped with sour cream and grated cheese, but you’ll also be able to track down other delectable Hungarian meals, snacks, and drinks.
How to get there by train: There are regular trains to Budapest from most local destinations, as well as nearby capitals Vienna (Austria), Prague (Czech Republic), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia), and Bratislava (Slovakia).
Interiors of the Great Market Hall, Budapest
Mercado de San Miguel
Most dining in the Spanish capital tends towards tapas in fixed restaurants. But the beautiful Mercado de San Miguel is starting to make a name for itself as a must-visit destination for foodies. The vibrant market overflows with people strolling down the narrow aisles between a range of food stalls. You’ll find modern spins on traditional tapas, with most stands specializing in just one or two local delicacies.
How to get there by train: Madrid is a major rail hub and easy to reach by train from throughout Spain. There are also long-distance and overnight trains from neighboring France and Portugal.
Night view of Mercado San Miguel, Madrid
There’s one truth about traveling: you’re going to have to eat at some stage. So instead of sticking to the boring fast-food chains that line the main roads, look for something more authentic at one of these food markets in Europe. After all, isn’t that what a Eurail/Interrail journey is all about?