It has a reputation of being vibrant and interesting. With a reputation like that, we got out early, and headed into Paphos to check it out.
Did it measure up? Not at all. In fact, we’d suggest its worth avoiding.
The market is very much a part of the tourist trail, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s packed to the gills with all the ephemera tourists like to take home. Right down to the ‘kiss me quick’ hats.
The term ‘market’ brings up an impression of a place selling local produce and crafts. Good value items sold at bargain prices. Not true in this case. It sold a few fruit and vegetables, but the vast majority of the market is given over to things Cypriots think tourists want to buy.
So you’ll find ‘local lace’ by the metre, Cyprus t-shirts in every colour of the rainbow, ‘Cyprus Delight’ by the kilo, some cheap jewelery and herds of leather goods. The only off-beat thing that caught our attention was a few stalls selling belly dancing clothes. That’s different!
In a funny sort of way, it’s quite a sad place. It was all a bit tired and tawdry. The people selling stuff were to some degree trying to make themselves look like traditional Cypriots. And failing badly. Traditional Cypriots drive BMWs and wear fashionable jeans. This lot didn’t.
There were some fruit and vegetables for sale, but only tired looking examples. I couldn’t help but compare what was for sale here with the real fruit market (the one Cypriots go to) on the corner of Agapinoros and Priamou lower down the hill.
The few tired looking oranges compared badly with the produce that is sold in Cyprus. Before we moved here, I’d forgotten how good real fresh fruit and vegetables taste. They might look terrific in Tesco, but in Paphos they haven’t flown half way round the world and they taste GOOD.
So if you want some ‘typically Cypriot’ presents to take home for your friends, maybe the Paphos Municipal Market will help you. And maybe it won’t.
See more pictures of the Municipal Market in Ktima Paphos.