Ballarò Market (Mercato Ballarò)
Said to be more than 1,000 years old, the market winds through the narrow medieval streets surrounding Piazza Carmine in the Albergheria, one of the five Norman quarters in the center of Palermo. While it is primarily a food market specializing in fresh produce, fish and meat, and local specialties, it is also a great place to buy inexpensive clothing and other goods.
Listen for street vendors speaking a local dialect similar to Arabic—the name Ballarò comes from Bahlara, a town outside Palermo where Arab merchants historically made their home. And, sample some of Sicily's famous street food while you stroll through this colorful market as part of a Palermo walking tour or bike tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
As with any busy outdoor market in Italy, pickpockets can be a problem in the Ballarò, so be vigilant.
Be sure to bring your camera, as the colorful stalls (and charismatic vendors) in the Ballarò make for fantastic photos.
Market tours through the Ballarò Market are on foot, so wear comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
There is limited space filled with crowds of shoppers between the market stalls, so Ballarò is not recommended for wheelchairs or strollers.
How to Get There
The Ballarò Market occupies the streets from Piazza Casa Professa past the Church of San Nicolò toward Corso Tukory, about a 10-minute walk from the main train station in Palermo.
When to Get There
The Ballarò Market is open daily from 7am to 7pm, but it is especially lively on Saturdays and Sundays when the weekly flea market is also open and food stands prepare traditional street food from Palermo.
Palermo's Many Markets
Palermo has a number of landmark outdoor markets in the city center famous for their lively and authentic atmosphere. Aside from the Ballarò, the most famous are the Vucciria Market and the Capo Market.
- Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù)
- Piazza & Fontana Pretoria
- Vucciria Market (La Vucciria)
- Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo)
- Palatine Chapel (Capella Palatina)
- Mirto Palace House Museum (Palazzo Mirto Casa Museo)
- Opera Dei Pupi (Rod Marionette Theatre)
- Massimo Opera House (Teatro Massimo)
- Capo Market (Mercato di Capo)
- Chiaramonte-Steri Palace (Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri)
- Branciforte Palace (Palazzo Branciforte)
- Four Corners (Quattro Canti)
- Zisa Castle (Castello della Zisa)
- Politeama Garibaldi Theater (Teatro Politeama Garibaldi)