The capital of Georgia is a city with an oriental flavor, which is characterized by a large concentration of markets. The central market of Tbilisi is Deserter (Borjomi). Each bazaar is unique, has no analogues, here you can meet Tbilisi hospitality in abundance, chat enough. It is necessary to visit such atmospheric attractions in order to bargain and acquire delicious products, national souvenirs.
The deserter market in Tbilisi is considered the central and oldest in the capital. Another name for the food market is Borjomi. The historic background of the market makes it one of the landmarks of Georgia.
According to historical sources, the food market in Tbilisi came into existence during the years of the civil war. At the market deserters sold weapons, uniforms, ammunition. Decades later, of course, there were no deserters left, but you can still buy delicious products grown and produced by local residents over there.
Important! As residents of Tbilisi note, you should not buy fruits and vegetables in stores, it is better to wake up early and go to the market. There you can choose the best products, and nobody forbids bargaining.
There is a grocery market near the train station, which is probably why it is the most visited and popular. One can without exaggeration, buy everything at the market. Of course, the main assortment of the market is food products. It sells aromatic spices, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, eggs, sweets and pastries, homemade cheeses and a variety of sauces.
Interesting fact! In 2012, the market building was reconstructed, and life began to boil again, gaining momentum and attracting new customers.
Many tourists visiting the Desertirk grocery market in Tbilisi note that real chaos reigns there. This is true – the counters are set close to each other, each merchant invites buyers, a kaleidoscope of goods flickers – churchkhela garlands, fragrant oranges, pork heads, fresh pastries. You can even find homemade wine there.
Fun Fact! A distinctive feature of the food Deserter market in Tbilisi is that you can try everything.
- Do not buy anything immediately at the entrance to the market, prices are higher there;
- It is better to visit the deserter on an empty stomach to taste foods and have a satisfying and tasty meal;
- Boldly bargain;
- If you can hardly tolerate the noise and crowds, it is better not to come to the grocery market on the eve of big holidays;
Most popular products on the Deserter grocery market
Some of the most popular products purchased from the market are:
- Farm fruits and vegetables;
- Churchkhela, baklava;
- Fragrant greens and nuts directly from the bags;
- Homemade sauces and cheeses;
- Svan salt.
Until recently, shops with clothes of Chinese and Turkish origin were equipped in the underpasses. Now the authorities are actively struggling with street trading in Tbilisi, so everything you need can be found exclusively on the territory of the Deserter, but not near it.
What do you need to know?
The address of the Deserter Market in Tbilisi: 186 Tsinamgrishvili Street. The market is open everyday except Monday from 07:00 to 17:00.
You can get to the Desertirsky Bazaar by metro – Station Square or Vokzalnaya station, or by bus – the Tsinamgrishvili stop. For owners of their own transport parking is organized.
Flea Market Dry Bridge
The flea market in Tbilisi is a popular bazaar in the Georgian capital, also known as the Dry Bridge, where souvenirs are sold. It is located in the old part of the city, on the bridge, built by Italian architect Giovanni Skudier in the late 19th century. The bridge is called Sukhim because the Kura River, flowing under it, has become shallow.
The flea market on the Dry Bridge in Tbilisi appeared at the end of the last century. This period was difficult for the country, many residents were in poverty and were forced to sell their property. The hardest hit were the people who lived near the Dry Bridge, because in the old houses there was no light and water. Difficult times remained in the past, but the flea market remained in the same place, strengthened and expanded. Today, one can buy antique items, handmade souvenirs, antiques, paintings from the market.
It is important! The vast majority of sellers in the flea market in Tbilisi are intermediaries. The main assortments are – rare books, vinyl records, knives in a sheathed scabbard, carpets, horns and toys, flasks, carpets. There is also aq specially allocated space for paintings by Georgian masters.
- While buying souvenirs, remember – for cultural objects, an export restriction has been introduced, first of all, this applies to carpets so that there are no problems at customs, the merchant must apply for a permit;
- Pay attention to communicating with sellers, as a rule, they can tell a lot of interesting things;
- Do not go to the Flea market when it rains, in bad weather there are no traders here.
There is a flea market near DedaEna Park. You can visit it daily from 09:00 to 17:00, the largest number of sellers and buyers can be seen there on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00.
It is easy to get to the flea market on foot from Shota Rustaveli Avenue or from Freedom Square metro station. You can also take buses No. 20, 23 and 95 to the Sukhoi Bridge stop. By the way, in this area there are several of the best restaurants in Tbilisi with national cuisine .
The Dry Bridge is not only a market, but also one of the sights of Tbilisi that are definitely worth a visit .
The Lilo Market in Tbilisi is the farthest from the center, located at the exit, at the address: 112 Kakheti Highway (5 km from the airport). This is a huge territory, where the most diverse products from Dubai, Turkey and China are collected.
Interesting fact! All products there are sold at no extra charge, so you can buy everything you need cheaper than in stores. Over tere sellers from fashion boutiques come to be stingy. According to statistics, the margin in shopping centers is from 40 to 50%.
The place of trade is a large covered area, divided into rows and pavilions. As a rule, they update their wardrobe, choose toys, bedding, dishes, shoes and bags, jewelry, appliances and building materials.
Among the buyers you can meet local residents, shopkeepers, residents from neighboring Georgian cities. Sale is carried out wholesale and retail.
The main working days are Thursday and Sunday, from 7:00 to 12:00.
If you have not yet decided where to stay in Tbilisi, see this article .
Samgori Market, or Navtlugi
Another grocery market on the map of Tbilisi. The assortment is in many respects similar to the assortment of the Deserter Market. It is also located next to the railway station, at the address: 52 Georgi Chubinashvili Street.
There you can buy:
- Spices and nuts directly from the bags;
- Dried fruits and candied fruits;
- Fruits and greens.
The vast majority of sellers themselves grow their goods in eastern Georgia, as well as in neighboring villages and cities.
Good to know! Prices in this grocery market are several times lower than in stores located in the center of Tbilisi. You can get to the bazaar by metro, if you go from the city center, you need to get off at the fourth stop.
Souvenir market at Shota Rustaveli
The market is located near the metro station “Rustaveli”. In terms of area occupied, this bazaar is only slightly inferior to Bloshinov. Over there you can also purchase various souvenirs, art objects, paintings, antiques.
Sellers display goods directly on the stairs, which leads to the Presidium of the country’s Academy of Sciences. At first glance, the neighborhood is more than strange, but Georgian academics take this fact quite calmly, every day, going to work, they go around the rows of daggers, fur hats, icons, jewelry, ceramics, knitwear.
The cost of souvenirs is diverse, it all depends on their value and your ability to bargain. However, tourists note that on average the price level in the Souvenir market is an order of magnitude higher than in the Flea Market.
Organization of the trade process in Tbilisi
Despite the large number of industrial and food markets on the map of Tbilisi, street trading is widespread in the city. However, the mayor’s office is actively fighting this phenomenon. In accordance with the agreement reached with the Tbilisi Markets Association, all sellers who occupied the territory adjacent to the Marjanishvili metro station, Vokzalnaya Square and Abastumani Street were provided with seats in the capital’s bazaars.
Despite the proposal of the mayor’s office, sellers held protests and refused to stand behind market stalls. They motivated their decision by the fact that their product will not be able to adequately compete with products on the markets.
Street sellers were offered preferential terms for buying a place, in addition, they retained the right to choose which bazaar to sell goods to. Most of the merchants moved to the Deserter Food Market.
Important! Street trading in Tbilisi is prohibited in accordance with the Code of Administrative Offenses. For violation, a fine or arrest of seven days is assumed.
On the map of Tbilisi, the Deserter Market and other bazaars are bright and colorful sights. Here you can buy national goods, get acquainted with the national culture and fully experience the sociability inherent in all Georgians. Be sure to visit the market in Tbilisi and enjoy buying delicious goods.