The Beauty of Russian Markets
St.Petersburg is a city with an incredibly rich history, which visitors may experience for themselves in a multitude of ways. Many go to museums, wander through the streets and bridges, read old literature, or visit monuments to try and feel Russian history for themselves. While these are great options, another way to familiarize yourself with Russian history, culture, and life is to go to a market!
Markets are great for many reasons. Mainly, there are a lot of great vintage and used things that you can purchase. These items are not available anywhere else, and definitely not at these prices. Additionally it is a wonderful opportunity to people watch and meet Russians by talking to the vendors. Shopping at a market is a way for you to practice your Russian in a different setting, practicing different vocabulary and phrases. While many vendors speak English as well, bargaining is a necessity and you will get a better price, and experience, if you can haggle in Russian.
Udelnaya market is a great location to check out what the Soviet era left behind. The market is open year round on Saturday and Sunday, officially from 8:00am-5:00pm, so don’t let snow scare you away! Although in the winter it might be better to come sometime after 10:00am, when vendors have their items set out. When you first walk up to the market you will find some small indoor shops, but what is truly of interest is the outdoor vendors that set up shop on the far side of the market. Individual vendors sell everything from used clothing, books, movies, computers and electronics, jewelry, samovars, podstakanniks (подстака́нник), old money, trinkets, and almost anything more you can imagine. I ended up walking away with a children’s book about Lenin, a great find! The market is huge and has something for everyone, you just need to dig for it, which is half the fun.
The market is located next to Udelnaya metro station, just over the railroad tracks and then to the right. It is nearly impossible to miss, and you can always follow others to it’s location as it is a popular place to visit. There are many other markets to visit in St.Petersburg and Moscow as well. Have fun!
Author: Allison Heitmiller