Whether you’re looking for an outdoors bite to eat or fancy some souk-style bartering over a piece of fabric, Leeds has plenty of markets, packed with vendors who pride themselves on providing that personal touch. Aside from the famous Kirkgate Market, be sure to drop in on the other offerings.
You’d be surprised at the sheer range of fancy gifts to be found in traditional marketplaces. Search here for things you won’t find online, such as tobacco accessories, fine walking sticks, and cards. One of a kind ornaments and homewares turn up in traditional markets too, so you might meet a key piece for that one room you’re trying to finish. Arts and crafts supplies are another specialist item you’re likely to find.
You’ll also find much more interesting food options than the big box stores can offer, for a much cheaper price. This includes global groceries and butcher’s counters, but also prepared foods and snacks, from hotdogs to bombay mix.
For the creative fashionistas out there, the markets of Leeds are replete with fine cloth and fabric, so if you’re looking for that perfect scarf or wedding accessory, dive in and see what’s there. You’re also going to find new and second-hand bespoke clothing, whether it’s a vintage piece miraculously preserved or something amazing stitched together by a contemporary creator.
It’s also a much more relaxed and personal experience to shop in a traditional market than in a pressurised retail outlet. No-one’s hurrying you on, and you’re expected to wander about seeing what’s what. A day at the markets is a great idea whether you’re out with family or friends, as there are nooks and crannies for shoppers of all ages.
Leeds has identified as a market town for nearly eight centuries, so let history be your guide and do as the Leodensians do. Here are our top 5 markets in Leeds. Get haggling!
Here are our picks
Leeds Kirkgate Market, 34 George St, Leeds, LS2 7HY - Visit now
Kirkgate Market towers over the city’s shopping scene, like some mighty cash-heavy colossus. It’s the largest covered market in Europe, so no need to bring a brolly, but set a full day aside – there are over 800 stalls to choose from.
Artsmix, Albion Place, Leeds, LS10 1JF - Visit now
Or to give it its full title, the Artsmix Arts, Crafts and Creative Produce Market. Head here if you’re looking for delightful gifts and one-offs – everything is hand-crafted or personally-designed. You won’t find this down your local Tesco.
Asian Bazaar, Kirkgate Market, Vicar lane, Leeds, LS2 7HY - Visit now
Held in the outdoor market area of Kirkgate market every Wednesday, come here for all things Asian. Amongst other products, you’ll find exotic spices, ceremonial jewellery and beautiful silk saris, giving an enticing glimpse into the Asian continent.