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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Shopping in Malta

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Shopping in Malta

With the advent of supermarkets in the last decade or so, the traditional grocery store has become a rarity. Prominent supermarkets include Smart, at Birkirkara, PAVI at Qormi, Park Towers at Birkirkara and St. Julians, and Scotts Supermarket, a chain consisting of seven outlets. The pan-European chain LIDL is also represented in Malta. As a first approximation, supermarkets open at 7:00am until 7:00pm. LIDL is open until 10:00pm on Fridays.

Many international brands have taken root. Such brands include: Terranova, United Colors of Benetton, Miss Selfridge and Marks and Spencer. These and other retail outlets are often clustered within Shopping centres, prominent amongst which are: Bay Street Entertainment Complex at Paceville (10:00am to 10:00pm, all week); Embassy Shopping Complex at Valletta (9:30am to 7:00pm); and Tigne’ Point at Sliema (9:30 to 7:30, Monday to Saturday). Republic Street in Valletta is also lined with shops selling all sorts of wares from clothing to jewellery. In Gozo, the Arkadia shopping centre in Fortunato Mizzi Street, Victoria also comprises such well known international brands such as Miss Sixty, Urban Jungle and The Body Shop, in addition to a Supermarket. A short walk away is the Duke Shopping Complex.

Mdina Glass are well known for their unique handicrafts. Since 1968, they have acquired a firm reputation for excellence. Many of their brightly coloured glass products are destined for export. The factory at Ta’ Qali is open to visitors (Tel: +356 2141 5786). Watching these master craftsmen in action is a truly fascinating experience. Additionally, Mdina Glass products may be purchased from their retail outlet in Valletta (located at 14, Merchants Street) and from practically any souvenir shop on the island; Gozo Glass is perhaps less well known. Whilst in Gozo, you may wish to visit their premises (Hut 25/27, Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Village – Għarb) and acquire one of their products to show off to your friends back home.

Malta, and more especially Gozo have a long standing tradition of fine lace making (bizzilla, in Maltese). Such hand made articles are laboriously manufactured on a trajbu (pronounced: trai-boo) – an elongated cushion as a base, with ċombini, to weave the fine threads into intricate patterns guided by pins on the trajbu. Maltese bizzilla typically bears the eight-pointed Maltese cross.

The popular Sunday “Monti” or open air flea market has recently been moved from St. James Ditch in Valletta (to make room for the new bus terminus) to the Park and Ride area in Blata l-Bajda – you may take bus 132to get there from Castille Square, from Valletta. Here you may find hawkers selling such wares ranging from books, clothes, chocolates and food items to plants, CD’s and DVD’s, antiques and rarities such as old coins and stamps. On weekdays a similar, albeit slighter Monti operates in Merchant Street in Valletta from 9:00am until noon. Other popular Monti’s include the one at Marsaxlokk on Sunday afternoons and the Sunday Monti at ta’ Qali during the autumn and winter months until 4:30pm.

 

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