There are quite a few open-air markets in Malta. While most of them focus on fresh produce, clothes and cheap stuff from China, there is one which is completely different.
I am talking about Malta’s own Birgu flea market. Located in one of the famous Three Cities (fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua), invites all sorts of bargain hunters, bored locals and interested tourists.
The market is held every Sunday morning – aim for 8 am – usually around the noon people are starting to leave. Because of the nature of the event, rainy days bring a high chance of cancellation, so get your weather news sorted out before heading out.
If you don’t drive, you can get there by infamous Maltese Public Transport bus – catch anything from Valletta to Vittoriosa Bus Terminus (Italian name of the city – don’t ask me why in the hell both names are used).
It looks like, lines 2, 3 and 4 will take you directly there. Climbing the hills is the last thing you want to do in the Sunday mornings, right? From Bus Terminus to the actual market grouds you will have to walk for another 5 minutes. Entrance is free. Opposite the gate, you will find a snack bar, so there is no need to haul water with you.
One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
As you probably know, second-hand car boot sales are full of …rubbish. It’s not like you cannot find anything valuable there, but brace yourself, as some heavy digging through, is needed.
Feels like every seller has to have at least few of second-hand market staples – half dozen of pairs of old and worn-out shoes, old home-recorded tapes, prints so old that they lost all colours and assorted rusted things found on the fields.
Imagine having a very messy attic or basement – full of rubbish – and instead of sorting it and throwing away ruined and soiled stuff, you just put everything in your car, and happily dump it on the ground in Birgu flea market.
Need one of these half-rusted 70’s ceiling pendant with shattered two of six glass covers? That’s exactly what you’re going to find here!
It wouldn’t be fair to only hurl insults on Birgu flea market because of that. There is definitely a huge potential for finding something valuable. Among all these, let’s call them, low-quality products, you can spot really interesting things. Old, British war memorabilia, beautifully hand-crafted wooden toys, dusty but well-kept consumer electronics and daily life products will surely catch your eye and make you stop for a while.
But the thing we like the most was the vibe around us. You can tell straight away, that for these people, coming there is like a weekly Sunday ritual. Everyone knows each other, but still, everyone is helpful and ready to share all the knowledge about the items they sell.
If you want to feel a real local life, I can’t recommend Birgu flea market more. Just don’t forget your camera!