Top 5 bizarre bazaars of the Middle-East

They love shopping in the Middle-East. Tourists who travel in these enchanted lands also like to hunt for a souvenir or two in the traditional souks and markets of the region, but nothing is quite as it seems…

Souk Jara in Amman
Souk Jara in Amman

5. Souk Jara, Amman, Jordan

What’s bizarre about it? Well, Amman is not known for its tourist-friendly flea markets, but Souk Jara is exactly that! The most bizarre things include the small scale of the market, and the lack of Jordanian locals.

Souq Waqif, Doha
Souq Waqif, Doha

4. Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar

What’s bizarre about it? Much of Qatar is now booming like an economic giant with high-rise buildings and fancy shopping malls popping up all over the place, yet Souq Waqif is a reminder of a bygone era, where everything was simple and friendly.

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

3. The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

What’s bizarre about it? For a market so ingrained in the consciousness of the average traveller, the Grand Bazaar is actually rather small (at least it seems like it) and many of the products on sale are repeated down every nook and cranny.

Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech
Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech

2. Jemaa el Fna, Marrakech, Morocco

What’s bizarre about it? If a culture shock is what you’re after, then you’ll find it here at Jemaa el Fna, which is the main marketplace of Marrakech. Sheep’s heads are regularly eaten here (just a normal meal for Moroccans) and the snake charmers and performing monkeys turn this whole market into something of an ethnic circus!

Khan el-Khalili in Cairo
Khan el-Khalili in Cairo

1. Khan el-Khalili, Cairo, Egypt

What’s bizarre about it? There’s no denying that any trip to Cairo would not be complete without experiencing the mazes of Khan el-Khalili, yet what strikes tourists the most is the amount of hassle and pressure you get from the vendors to purchase their products. Khan el-Khalili is a true Egyptian treasure, yet you really need your wits about you to survive this bizarre bazaar!

Have you been to any of these marketplaces in the Middle-East? How was your experience?

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