There are many nice spots for souvenir shopping in Tbilisi. But one of the most extraordinary places to find antiques and rarities is the Dry Bridge Flea Market. It’s located near the bridge that connects Dedaena Park with Saarbrücken Square.
You can wander the maze of stalls for hours, scouring through years of history. There are carpets, clay pots, old Russian watches, jewelry, Georgian books, maps, kitchen utensils, knick-knacks, and everything in between.
During the Soviet era, capitalism was illegal. Markets like the Dry Bridge Flea Market only existed underground. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, vendors started emerging out in the open. Originally, it was just locals selling things they didn’t want anymore to make a few extra bucks. Today, you’ll find some of the same, but also vendors who work at this market for a living.
Locals and tourists love to visit the Dry Bridge Flea Market. Locals come mostly to score deals on second-hand household items. But a growing number of tourists frequent the stalls as well. Here are some unique things to look out for.
What to Buy
Soviet Era Memorabilia
Undoubtedly, you will see many stalls selling items from Georgia’s perestroika years. This is the main draw for tourists. You’ll find military medals, pins, old currency, maps, and propaganda posters (mostly reprints but originals too!) to name a few.
Vendors are starting to capitalize on the growing tourist market. There are some unique handicrafts for sale. But a lot of the artwork is reprints. Still, it’s nice to bring home something quintessentially Georgian.
Cameras & Typewriters
Vintage is in! Anyone who loves old cameras and typewriters won’t want to miss out on the array of “technology” on display. Comb through the tables of antiques and you may just find an old German camera or a dual-lens treasure.
Clothing & Jewelry
The Dry Bridge Market is a mecca for those who love one-of-a-kind fashion pieces. In addition to old USSR t-shirts, there are also WWII military jackets, papakhas (traditional Georgian fur hats), and amber jewelry.
Visiting the Dry Bridge Flea Market
By Bus: bus lines 20 and 23 will take you to Pushkin Square. From there it’s just a 5 minute walk to the market.
By Car: Parking is very limited around the market. It’s better to take the bus.
Hours: 10am – 5pm daily; might be closed if the weather is bad. You’ll find the most vendors on the weekend.
Notes: It’s ok and expected that you will haggle on the price. Negotiating in Russian is helpful! But don’t low ball or expect to pay the same as locals. Cash only.