Street markets are a way of life in Europe. Locals in just about every small town throughout Spain make the weekly hike to the local market to buy their fresh produce straight from the source.
Street markets were the original form of commerce as we know it today, often with local framers covering great distances to bring their wares to village and townsfolk all over. Typical local town markets showcase fruits, vegetables, cheese, nuts, jams, bakery goods, flowers, meats and fish all made by hand, grown, reared or caught in the vicinity.
Today’s street markets, especially in tourist destinations, are usually more for recreation, photo ops and bargain hunting than the place to go and get the week’s food supply. Luckily, the Costa del Sol has authentic markets which now include more commercial stalls – bringing visitors and locals alike an interesting variety of goods.
The Saturday Puerto Banús market is not one of these but it brings variety of a different nature.
This is a good-sized market about a 5-minute walk northwest of the main Puerto Banús entrance. It covers a large section of the Av. Pilar Calvo, is laid out around the Nuevo Andalucia Bullring and intertwines around the trendy boutiques and clothing stores in the Centro Plaza Shopping Centre.
There are a couple of fruit, veg and flower stalls at the Banús end, but it’s a meager offering and not what the crowds throng for. This market definitely has its fair share of fake bag stands – one smiling Moroccan guy assured me that the Chanel look-a-like I had in my hand was “very cheap, missy, very cheap”. “Yes”, I said, “It looks it!” I am not personally in favour of knock-offs, but I have to say this market definitely has a better-quality selection than many I have been to and the vendors are all very friendly and not pushy at all.
You’ll find a lot of leather goods – originals, not all fakes, and some stands selling wonderfully warm, fluffy sheepskin slippers, as well as a good selection of belts – mainly for men. I saw a couple of full-length, very chic leather coats that made me stop and check, some very cool cowhide rugs dyed in super-fun colours and some interesting embossed-leather Moroccan ottomans.
Aside from battery operated toys from China, there was a good selection of local souvenirs, flamenco dresses, fans, handmade canvas espadrilles, trendy ballet shoes and hand-embellished straw baskets that were ideal for the beach.
It may have its tourist element, but the locals were out in full force the day I went. Groups of friends congregated for lunch at nearby restaurants, people greeted one another as they tried on cashmere wraps and Panama hats, hearty salutations were passed on whilst exercising the dog… there was definitely a community spirit here. Nowhere more so that the Adopt-a-pet area, where several doleful doggies were being loved to bits by little girls and the fundraisers were out in force. Palevlas Animal Charity was manned by volunteers and they were thankfully being kept busy with plenty of local support.
The twist to this market is the vintage or antique section spread around the circumference of the bullring. This was definitely a step up from a flea market with some very pretty art deco bronze statuettes, a variety of tables, chairs and furniture pieces – all in good condition. There was lots of art, from vintage to new. Several artists were in the mix showcasing their works which ranged from contemporary to classic -most with a taurine theme. (Guess that goes with the territory!)
I spent a long time here, picking through various interesting ceramic pieces, intricate antique Moroccan jewelry and old silver pieces – all in excellent shape.
A particularly well-organized, good-quality stand was manned by Wendy and Peter West who, with their chatty banter and good humour, managed to coax me into buying a lovely old silver cruet set. I think I got a good deal, but he didn’t haggle very hard, so maybe not… Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them and was happy to be giving a new home to something that I knew was the real deal! Oh, and they have a storage unit full of goodies – so if you’re looking for something specific, get in touch at Pwest7@brinternet.com.
Puerto Banús Street and Antique Market
- Located – Av. Pilar Calvo, Nuevo Andalucia Bullring and Centro Plaza Shopping Centre.
- Hours – Every Saturday from 9am -3pm
- Parking – Centro Plaza Shopping Centre, Puerto Banús, Corte Ingles
- Good Buys – Local souvenirs, original artwork, vintage pieces, sheepskin slippers, locally-made leather goods, cashmere sweaters and wraps, knock-off designer sunglasses.
- ATM – Banco Sabadell, Centro Plaza. – Cash only at all stalls.
Where to Eat
- Lots of options in Centro Plaza Shopping Centre. Outdoor cafes, kiosks, restaurants… they’re all here.
- La Sala Restaurant with terrace +34 952 81 41 45