The Local Shopping Experience
Many people come to Malta to enjoy a day of shopping in one of the various spots – Sliema and Valletta have both become quite commercial areas where you can find mainstream shops and various designer brands. You only need to go as far as Republic Street in Valletta, or go to Sliema which is a hub of activity especially with the only mall on the island (Tigne Point). Now that we’re on malls Bay Street in St. Julian’s is also worth a mention.
These spots have a certain charm, yet what if you want something which is and feels more local? A shopping and browsing experience which is raw, where you can meet the people and get to see how locals live in the more remote areas…
In this case you’re in search of the open air markets. Somewhere you can be exposed to the avenue of traditional garments and food.
The route not taken
This is like you’re going to London and all you think of is Oxford Street, sometimes you just want more than the usual tourist experience – when everyone knows you’re a tourist.
You want to get to the outdoor markets. The good part is that you will also be able to get this kind of a market in Valletta – especially on a Sunday. This means that if you come in on a cruise then you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the locals doing it their way.
The Main Spots: Open Air Markets in Malta
– Valletta Sunday Market
The market on Sunday will be buzzing with activity, from local crafts and rugs to reasonably priced clothes, souvenirs and groceries.
– Sliema Bisazza Street
During the Sliema festival, the pedestrianised Bisazza street will be bustling with little stalls selling traditional souvenirs, garments and food as well as honey products.
– Marsaxlokk Market
If you want some fresh fish or to just see a very traditional food market then you want to head over to the fish market in Marsaxlokk. It is located along the seafront, so you will see if once you reach the church at the centre of the village.
If you can’t buy fish to cook at home but the scene has opened up your appetite then I’d suggest heading over to one of the local restaurants and have a superb lunch.
– Rabat & Mdina Market
Whilst going around the gorgeous cities of Rabat and historical Mdina then you should definitely head over to the market located next to St. Paul’s Church. This is the place you should be checking out the churches and catacombs. Whilst you’re walking through, sample the traditional pastizzi or bread which the inhabitants of Rabat have their own special way of making.
– Vittoriosa Market
In the heart of the 3 Cities, this market will give you the chance to mingle with the locals really well, as well as the excuse to get around and visit the sites of the old towns. It is usually held on Tuesdays.
– Ta’ Qali Farmers Market
Moving away from the cities towards the outskirts. This is a true farmers market, open on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings from 10-5p.m.
This market is wholly dedicated to local farmed produce, including bigilla, Maltese fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, and sweets.
– It-Tokk Market in Gozo
This is one market that the Gozitans take seriously, it is held everyday in Victoria’s main square.