Pulsating with life, fresh produce and a healthy dose of haggling, Malta’s best markets are a fun and enjoyable way to discover Maltese cuisine, culture and learn how to shop like a local. Whether you’re looking to create an authentic Maltese picnic, stock up on local olive oil, window shop for intriguing antiques or just to enjoy soaking up the atmosphere, these outdoor markets in Malta come highly recommended.
A chance to sample the best and freshest produce in Malta, Ta’ Qali Farmers Market takes place near the picturesque Ta’ Qali National Park. Held every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning, stop at the market on your way to the park and pick up a seriously delicious picnic. Sample freshly baked bread, locally made cheeses such as gbejniet, cured meats, wine and Maltese honey, and don’t forget to try the regional delicacy, bigilla (a dip made with tic beans or broad beans).
Marsaxlokk is Malta’s biggest fish market, and even if you’re not looking to cook up your own catch of the day, it’s worth visiting for the atmosphere and spectacle. Taking place in the charming harbour of the village of Marsaxlokk, the fish is lifted straight off the fishermen’s boats and onto the market stalls. Look out for the eager locals who will haggle with the fishermen to get the best price. After soaking up the sights, head to one of the harbourside restaurants for a fishy feast.
Known as both Vittoriosa and Birgu, this ancient city forms a wonderful backdrop for this Tuesday market, which snakes around the ancient city walls. The variety of items available here is extensive, from locally made olive oil to clothes and shoes, and a wander around the market is a great way to take in the sights of medieval Birgu. Walk up the impressive Notre Dame gate on the outskirts of the market to admire this splendid 17th construction.
Positioned close by to the impressive St Pauls Church, Rabat Market makes a perfect pit-stop for those exploring the historical and cultural attractions of Rabat. Once you’ve admired the neo-baroque façade of the church—which was built here as it’s close to the site where St Paul is said to have sought refuge following his shipwreck in Malta—prepare to scour the market stalls. The city is thought to have to the best pastizzi on the island, so don’t leave without getting your stuffed pastry fix.
There are few nicer ways to spend a Sunday in Malta than a trip to Valetta’s Sunday market. Amble through the sun-drenched streets of The Fortress City and keep a look out for great antiques as well as beautiful handmade tablecloths, which typically include Maltese lace and other locally made crafts.
Visitors to Gozo needn’t miss out on Maltese market culture either, It-Tokk Market takes place in Victoria and is a lively affair. Held daily in the main square, it’s an opportunity to check out local Gozitan produce as well enjoy a coffee and a few irresistible kannoli.
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Are you an art lover or culture vulture holidaying in Malta? Well, you’ll be pleased to find that this Mediterranean island may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to art and culture. Here are six recommended destinations to add to your itinerary to experience the best of Malta’s art scene.