The late chef and food writer Anthony Bourdain often said that the first thing he did when visiting a new city was tour its municipal market. If you want to get a real feel for a city’s habits, culture and way of life, spend time around local market sellers, and discover their wares. At Belém’s Ver-o-Peso market, Bourdain’s maxim rings truer than ever. Located on the docks of Guajará bay, the Mercado Ver-o-Peso (originally called Haver-o-Peso, which translates to “have the weight”) dates back to 1625 and is considered to be the largest open-air market in Latin America.A vast complex made up of a fish market, butcher’s market, craft stalls, fruit and veg, exotic spices and herbs, and antiques, visitors can spend hours perusing the items on sale and will want to come back for more. Head there for lunch on the weekend and grab a seat at one of the countless food kiosks. For one of the best pieces of fried fish in town, visit Box da Lúcia and order the peixe, along with a delicious bowl of pulped açai berries and a cold bottle of Tijuca beer. Alternatively, for something tourists don’t often get to see, get down to the market in the wee hours of the morning and catch the boats coming ashore, filled to the brim with the fresh seafood, as well as freshly picked açai. Work starts very early at the Ver-o-Peso (some stalls are already set up before 4am), so don’t forget to set your alarm!