The Maltese love shopping and the streets in the main shopping districts of Valletta, Sliema, Mosta and Hamrun are packed with well-known brands.
Shopping complexes are popping up in many areas, typically offering restaurants, bars and cafes as well as stores. There are daily open-air markets in Valletta, Marsaxlokk and Victoria (Gozo), and if you want to see souvenirs being made, go to the crafts’ villages in Ta’ Qali and Ta’ Dbiegi. Traditional Maltese crafts are filigree, weaved goods, pottery, mouth-blown glass, ceramics, dolls, lace, copper and brass items, while knitted garments are still handmade in Gozo where they tend to be practical rather than artistic.
Mediterranean cuisine, meanwhile, is based on the dazzling freshness and taste of its food and, for many tourists, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled capers and stuffed olives are great mementos to take home. The Maltese have a sweet tooth as well, with honey-rings and nougat being a speciality.
Malta also offers numerous liqueurs made from prickly pear, melon and pomegranate, among others. Almonds are also a favourite and apart from the many sweets they are used in, are the main ingredient of the popular cordial, orzata.