Birmingham’s World Famous Rag Market

Locally known as the World Famous Rag Market, St. Martin’s Market in Birmingham has been a lynchpin of cultural life in the city for years.

Home to 350 stalls and 17 shops the massive market is open four days a week selling such a diverse range of good, knickknacks and food to rival anything like it, anywhere else in the world.

For 20 years Birmingham has been transforming itself into a cosmopolitan city fit for 21st century Europe, but in the opinion of some locals this is the “real” Birmingham.


People watching

All walks of life shop here looking for bargains, and if things don’t quite look like they do in the picture, don’t worry because you will have paid for it at a pretty reasonable price. You don’t even need to go to spend money, you can just enjoy the splendour and diversity.

The Rag Market is a place for everyone, and as you wander around you will see the wonderful and rich cultural diversity of Birmingham doing the same thing – shopping!

Local love

There seems to be a lot of love for the vintage and retro clothing stalls, as well as the vast array of jewellery, a range that would surely not look to out of place in a middle eastern market souk.

If you are more interested in making your clothes rather than buying them then this is the place for you, where there are miles and miles of fabric in every colour imaginable for as little as £1 per metre.

When you begin to tire of wandering the endless maze of colour one of the most popular paces for a refuel is Café Soya where you can fill up with Asian cuisine before you head out to hit the stalls for round two.

It might not seem like the obvious place to go if you’re visiting, but centrally located hotels in Birmingham are just convenient enough to make the trip worthwhile, and as I said, you don’t need to buy anything, just wander around and soak up the atmosphere. And just in case you were wondering what you could get, here is a full list of categories:

  • Action Figures & Toys
  • Books
  • Candles & Accessories
  • Clothing
  • Computer Accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Crystal/Gifts
  • Curtain Accessories
  • Decorative Flowers
  • Electrical Goods
  • Fabric
  • Fancy Dress
  • Food
  • Footwear
  • Greetings Cards
  • Haberdashery
  • Hardware
  • Hats
  • Hosiery
  • Jewellery
  • Lingerie
  • Mobile Phones & Accessories
  • Net Curtains
  • Pet food
  • Smoking Accessories
  • Stamps
  • Tights
  • Toiletries
  • Workwear

Yes, that is an epic list, but I think it’s fair to say that all of the bases are covered.

Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article links back to

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