Recession, recession, recession! Aren’t you just sick and tired of hearing about it? That is all we have heard for the past year and a half isn’t it? People losing their jobs, prices shooting up, banks and other organisations going bankrupt and so on. All this has meant that many people have had to cut down on their spending for obvious reasons.

Some people have a natural talent to sniff out a good bargain but for those who don’t be aware that few good places still exist in Malta where one can find a good bargain indeed! I am mostly referring to the open markets one finds scattered all over Malta, some on a daily basis and some on a weekly one.

Let us start with the most popular one, where you will find the best Malta bargains! The Valletta market, held from Monday to Friday in Merchant Street (the street parallel to Republic Street) starting early in the morning and lasting till early afternoon. Needless to say the earlier you go the more items you will find. The main items sold at the Valletta market are; Costume jewelery, clothes, CD’s and DVS’s, fabrics, souvenirs, household goods and religious icons. On Sundays Valletta has a flea market, held in the square near the bus terminus. The same types of items can be found along with an interesting collection of bric-a-brac. This market gets very busy so go early!

Marsaxlokk, the small fishing market in the South of Malta also has a daily open-air market. Among the usual bargains one can find in markets, here you can also find a vast array of fresh fish and seafood on sale every day. An early visit is surely recommended to get the freshest catch and a good parking spot. At the Marsaxlokk market you will also be able to find many of the typical Maltese delicacies such as different types of honey and bread among other things.

The open air Market in Mosta is held every Monday morning. Here you can find several Malta bargains too, including many clothes stalls, shoe stalls, jewellery stalls and plenty of household goods. Some Maltese delicacies and fresh vegetables are also available at very low prices.

Other open-air markets include:

  • Birkirkara – Wednesday and Friday
  • Luqa – Monday
  • Naxxar – Thursday
  • Paola – Thursday, Friday & Saturday
  • Qormi – Saturday
  • Rabat – Sunday
  • Ta’ Qali – Sunday
  • Victoria Gozo – daily
  • Vittoriosa/Birgu – Tuesday

Useful tips for bargain shopping at open-air markets:

  • Have a good look around before you buy an item. Usually a particular item will be available at more than one stall at different prices. So shop around for the best bargains;
  • If you are interested in buying an item which is an antique make sure it is authentic. If you know nothing about antiques try do some research before or take someone with you who is knowledgeable in such matters;
  • If you are buying food items make sure that they have been kept at the appropriate temperature;
  • If you’re any good at haggling give it a try;
  • Go as early as possible to any market. The earlier you go the more items you will find. Parking can also be difficult around markets which is another good reason to go early;
  • Take shopping bags with you. Remember you have to pay for plastic bags now;
  • If you are not sure which stalls are the best for certain items have a look around. The stalls with the most local people will usually be the best ones;
  • Some stalls can be very crowded. You will have to push your way to the front if you want to have a look (without hurting anyone possibly);
  • If you have young children be aware that making your way through with pushchairs will be quite a challenge. Maybe carrying them would make more sense;
  • Be aware of fakes and pirated CDs and DVDs. It is illegal to sell such items in Malta but these items can still be found in nearly every market.