If you are looking to immerse yourself in the local culture of Palermo, Italy, the Ballaro Street Market is the place to go. As the city’s busiest street market and one of the most entertaining markets in Europe, Ballaro also provides a glimpse into Palermo’s past as a major commercial center and port. Said to be more than 1,000 years old, the market winds through the narrow medieval streets surrounding the Plaza Carmine in the Albergheria quarter of Palermo. While it is primarily a food market, it is also a great place to buy inexpensive clothing and other goods. Listen for vendors speaking a local dialect similar to Arabic and try to grab some food samples. Or, learn even more about Sicilian food by combining a walking tour of the market with a Sicilian cooking class.
The Ballaro Market occupies the streets from the Piazza Ballaro near the Church of San Nicolo, along the Via Ballaro past the Piazza Carmine toward Corso Tukory. It is somewhat parallel to the Via Maqueda, which runs to toward the main train station in Palermo.
To get to the general area of the market, take bus 109, 234 or 246 to the Porta S. Agata stop on Corso Tukory (south of the market) or the ARANC bus to Maqueda – Palazzo Comitini or Maqueda – San Antonino (east of the market).