To really immerse yourself in Malta’s unique Mediterranean culture, there are few better places to visit than one of the island’s many open-air street markets.
With colourful stalls selling everything from souvenirs to household supplies, and delicious smells drifting from the plentiful traditional food on offer, Maltese street markets remain a national favourite for locals and tourists alike.
Here are some of the best street markets in Malta to visit during your holiday, for the chance to discover the local culture whilst mingling with the island’s famously friendly people.
‘Il-Monti’, as it is known locally, is one of the largest street markets in Malta, as well as one of the most popular. Held every Sunday in the main pedestrianised street of capital city Valletta, the market is unmissable with its vast selection of souvenirs, clothes and Maltese delicacies such as ‘imqaret’ (date-filled pastries) or ‘pastizzi’ (pea or cheese cakes) available. If you can’t make it on a Sunday, the capital also hosts a slightly smaller daily market.
For the freshest and finest Mediterranean fish and seafood in Malta, look no further than the Marsaxlokk Sunday fish market. Originally dedicated to selling fish alone – which led to Marsaxlokk becoming renowned as the ultimate fishing village – this coastal market has extended to include crusty Maltese bread and other savoury and sweet local cuisine, as well as bric-a-brac and souvenirs.
Pay a visit to Birgu’s street market on a Tuesday, and you will be treated to a picture-perfect Mediterranean market complete with friendly locals, delicious food, and interesting trinkets for sale. Visit the market very early Sunday morning however, and you could experience this and more, as it extends to include car boot sale-style stalls with odd or vintage homeware pieces at bargain prices.
More a Farmer’s market than anything else, the giant Ta’ Qali open-air market held on Tuesday afternoons and Saturdays is dedicated to Maltese farmed produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables, oven-fresh breads, Maltese honey, and the best of local delicacies such as the broad bean dip known as ‘bigilla’ and the date pastries ‘imqaret’.
Bonus: It-Tokk, Gozo
Yes, we may be talking about street markets in Malta, but the list would be incomplete without a mention of our sister island Gozo’s famous ‘It-Tokk’ market in the capital city Victoria. Held every day in the main square at the heart of the Gozitan capital, this open-air market is full of character and Mediterranean charm, with souvenir and food stands, and even a few stalls selling one-of-a-kind antiques.
Interested in spending more time in Gozo? Check out our guide to The Ultimate Day-trip to Gozo!