The Marsaxlokk fish market is one of the most popular markets in Malta among both locals and tourists. Discover more about the market, held every Sunday.
Marsaxlokk is a quaint fishing village in the south-east of Malta. This village, which has a population of around 3,500 inhabitants, is where the majority of Malta’s fish supplies are caught. These include swordfish, tuna and ‘lampuki’, which are freshly caught and subsequently used in traditional Maltese dishes, such as the lampuki pie. Although the fish caught on weekdays is taken to Valletta’s fish market, Sunday's catch is sold in the fishing village itself at the Marsaxlokk Fish Market. This is one of the most popular markets on the island, with both locals and tourists flocking to the stalls to purchase fresh fish that has been caught earlier that morning. Discover more about this traditional fish market before booking your flights to Malta, and experience the true meaning of fresh food.
Visiting Marsaxlokk early on a Sunday allows you to truly immerse yourself in the Maltese culture and appreciate the work done by local fishermen. The traditional and colourful fishing boats, known as the luzzu, are frequently used. These small fishing boats, painted in bright shades of blue, red, yellow and green have been used in Malta for centuries. Each boat has a painted pair of eyes on the bow, which symbolize power and good health, and are believed to offer protection to the fishermen while they are at sea. The luzzu boats can be seen all over the waters surrounding Marsaxlokk, colouring the scene with their bright colours.
As the luzzu boats draw close to the shore, you can observe the freshly caught fish being transferred directly to the stalls where it will be sold and consumed within hours. Some locals can also be seen rushing towards fishermen to make their selection for their preferred fresh fish and haggle to try and get the best deal. However, most locals and tourists can be found slowly making their way through the market stalls, allowing them to take a look at all the fresh fish and seafood on offer. This not only includes tuna, swordfish and lampuki, but also squid and octopus as well as any other seasonal catch.
In addition to purchasing the fresh fish and cooking it themselves, many locals and tourists opt to dine at one of the many restaurants in Marsaxlokk, which of course specialise in sea food. Most of the restaurants are located on the waterfront. Here diners can enjoy some delicious, fresh fish which has been caught just across the road.
The Marsaxlokk Fish Market takes place every Sunday starting from the early morning, until around 12.30pm.
Author: Sabine Jung