Bargain Hunting

A Guide To Georgia's Best Markets, Bazaars, And Flea Markets


Georgia's market culture is a vibrant and essential aspect of the country's rich heritage, where traditional customs seamlessly blend with modern elements. These bustling bazaars and markets, teeming with life and activity, serve as the heart of many Georgian communities, connecting people from all walks of life through trade, socialization, and the sharing of stories. The importance of markets and bazaars in Georgian daily life cannot be overstated, as they provide not only a place to buy and sell goods but also a forum for cultural exchange and the preservation of age-old traditions. This article aims to guide you through Georgia's best markets, bazaars, and flea markets, offering a glimpse into the country's unique market culture and providing invaluable insights for those seeking to immerse themselves in authentic Georgian experiences.

Traditional Georgian Markets

Overview Of Traditional Markets

Traditional Georgian markets are a reflection of the country's rich cultural history and provide a unique opportunity to witness the daily life of its people. These markets are a treasure trove of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, spices, and a wide array of household items. While each market has its distinctive charm and appeal, they all showcase the hospitality and warmth of the Georgian people, making them must-visit destinations for any traveler.

Dezerter Bazaar (Tbilisi)

Located in the heart of Tbilisi, Dezerter Bazaar is the city's largest and most famous market. Named after the soldiers who deserted the army during the Soviet era and sold their weapons and belongings here, the bazaar has since evolved into a bustling hub of commerce. The market offers everything from fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices to meat, dairy products, and household items. The vibrant atmosphere and the sheer variety of products make Dezerter Bazaar an essential stop for anyone visiting Tbilisi.

Samgori Market (Tbilisi)

Samgori Market is another popular destination in Tbilisi, known for its vast selection of fresh produce, meats, and cheeses. The market is frequented by locals who come to stock up on groceries, making it an excellent spot to observe the daily rhythms of Georgian life. In addition to the food, Samgori Market also features numerous stalls selling clothing, accessories, and other goods at bargain prices, catering to a wide range of tastes and budgets.

Kutaisi Central Market (Kutaisi)

Situated in Georgia's third-largest city, Kutaisi Central Market is a bustling hub of activity, offering a wide variety of products and goods. The market is known for its extensive selection of local and regional delicacies, including fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and spices. Visitors can also find an assortment of household items, clothing, and accessories at Kutaisi Central Market, making it an ideal destination for those looking to experience the city's vibrant market culture.

Batumi Central Market (Batumi)

Batumi Central Market, located in the seaside city of Batumi, offers a unique shopping experience for visitors. The market is home to a diverse array of products, including fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses, as well as clothing, accessories, and household items. The lively atmosphere and friendly vendors make Batumi Central Market a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Georgian shopping experience along the picturesque Black Sea coast.

Flea Markets And Antique Shopping

Overview Of Flea Markets And Antique Shopping In Georgia

Flea markets and antique shopping are popular pastimes in Georgia, offering a unique opportunity to explore the country's history and culture through the lens of its material artifacts. From vintage clothing and accessories to antique furniture, artwork, and collectibles, these markets provide a treasure trove of items that reflect Georgia's diverse and fascinating past.

Dry Bridge Market (Tbilisi)

Dry Bridge Market in Tbilisi is the city's most famous flea market and a must-visit destination for antique enthusiasts. The market is held daily, weather permitting, on the pedestrian bridge near the Saarbruecken Square. Dry Bridge Market boasts an eclectic mix of stalls offering Soviet-era memorabilia, vintage jewelry, traditional Georgian textiles, and various antiques. Bargain hunters and history buffs alike will delight in the unique finds and charming atmosphere of this iconic market.

Makhinjauri Flea Market (Batumi)

Located just outside the city of Batumi, the Makhinjauri Flea Market is a hidden gem for those in search of antiques, vintage items, and local handicrafts. The market, which is open on weekends, attracts locals and visitors alike with its fascinating selection of old books, coins, traditional clothing, and other treasures. Makhinjauri Flea Market is an excellent place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and experience the thrill of unearthing hidden gems.

Tbilisi Antiques And Vintage Market

The Tbilisi Antiques and Vintage Market, held every Sunday in the city's Dedaena Park, is a haven for collectors and lovers of all things vintage. The market features a variety of vendors selling antiques, vintage clothing, accessories, and artwork, as well as traditional Georgian crafts and handmade items. Visitors can spend hours browsing the stalls, haggling for the best prices, and soaking up the market's lively atmosphere. With its unique offerings and vibrant energy, the Tbilisi Antiques and Vintage Market is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a truly authentic Georgian shopping experience.

Food And Produce Markets

Georgia's food and produce markets are a culinary paradise, offering a wide variety of fresh, locally sourced ingredients that showcase the country's agricultural bounty. These markets are vibrant, bustling hubs where locals gather to buy and sell fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and other culinary delights. Visiting these markets is an essential experience for food lovers looking to sample the flavors of Georgia and gain insight into the country's rich culinary traditions.

Eliava Market (Tbilisi)

Eliava Market in Tbilisi is a lively market specializing in fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce. The market is frequented by locals, who come to stock up on high-quality, seasonal ingredients at affordable prices. Visitors to Eliava Market can expect to find a vast array of colorful, aromatic produce, as well as a selection of locally made cheeses, nuts, and other culinary treats. The market's vibrant atmosphere and friendly vendors make it an enjoyable and immersive shopping experience.

Varketili Bazaar (Tbilisi)

Varketili Bazaar is another popular food and produce market in Tbilisi, known for its wide variety of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The market is a bustling hub of activity, with vendors selling everything from seasonal fruits and vegetables to fresh meats, dairy products, and baked goods. Varketili Bazaar is an excellent destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Georgia's thriving market culture and sample some of the country's most delicious culinary offerings.

Fabrika Market (Tbilisi)

Fabrika Market, located within the trendy Fabrika complex in Tbilisi, offers a modern twist on the traditional Georgian food market. This indoor market features a curated selection of local and artisanal food vendors, selling high-quality produce, cheeses, meats, and specialty products. Fabrika Market provides a unique opportunity to sample a diverse array of Georgian cuisine while enjoying the market's chic and contemporary atmosphere.

Telavi Market (Telavi)

Situated in the heart of the Kakheti wine region, Telavi Market is a must-visit destination for food and wine enthusiasts. This bustling market offers a vast selection of fresh, locally sourced produce, as well as a variety of specialty items such as homemade wines, cheeses, and traditional Georgian sweets. The lively atmosphere and authentic culinary offerings make Telavi Market an ideal destination for visitors seeking to experience the flavors of Georgia's renowned wine region firsthand.

Textile And Craft Markets

Georgia is home to a rich tradition of textile and craft production, with skilled artisans creating a wide range of beautiful and unique items. These markets offer an opportunity to explore the country's artistic heritage, discover one-of-a-kind souvenirs, and support local craftsmen and women. From traditional clothing and accessories to pottery, jewelry, and home decor, Georgia's textile and craft markets provide a captivating shopping experience for visitors.

Samoseli Pirveli (Tbilisi)

Samoseli Pirveli is a renowned textile and clothing store located in Tbilisi, specializing in traditional Georgian garments and accessories. The store offers a wide variety of beautifully crafted items, including chokhas (traditional Georgian men's attire), embroidered dresses, and handmade jewelry. Samoseli Pirveli is an excellent destination for those seeking to purchase high-quality, authentic Georgian clothing and accessories, as well as learn about the country's rich textile history.

Artisan Market (Tbilisi)

The Artisan Market in Tbilisi is a vibrant and diverse marketplace where local craftsmen and artists showcase and sell their work. The market features a wide range of unique items, including pottery, jewelry, textiles, and other handmade goods. Visitors to the Artisan Market can browse the stalls, chat with the artists, and purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs that reflect Georgia's rich artistic heritage. The market is held regularly throughout the year, making it an accessible and enjoyable shopping experience for visitors.

Sighnaghi Handicraft Market (Sighnaghi)

Located in the picturesque town of Sighnaghi, the Sighnaghi Handicraft Market is a must-visit destination for those interested in Georgian arts and crafts. The market features a diverse array of stalls selling handmade items such as pottery, jewelry, textiles, and traditional clothing. Visitors can spend hours browsing the unique offerings, interacting with the local artisans, and admiring the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Sighnaghi Handicraft Market provides a memorable shopping experience that showcases the creativity and skill of Georgia's talented craftsmen and women.

Regional Specialties And Unique Markets

Georgia's diverse regions offer a variety of unique markets and regional specialties, reflecting the country's rich cultural and geographic diversity. These markets provide visitors with a chance to explore the distinctive products and traditions of each region, as well as support local artisans and producers. From delicious honey and exquisite wool products to one-of-a-kind souvenirs, Georgia's regional markets are a treasure trove of authentic and memorable experiences.

Svaneti Honey Market (Mestia)

Nestled in the heart of the Svaneti region, the picturesque town of Mestia is home to the Svaneti Honey Market. This market specializes in the region's renowned honey, which is produced from the nectar of wildflowers found in the surrounding highlands. Visitors can sample and purchase a variety of honey types, as well as learn about the traditional beekeeping practices that have been passed down through generations. The Svaneti Honey Market offers a unique opportunity to experience the flavors and traditions of this remote and breathtaking region.

Tusheti Wool And Craft Market (Omalo)

The Tusheti Wool and Craft Market, located in the remote village of Omalo, showcases the region's rich tradition of wool production and craftsmanship. This market offers a wide range of handcrafted woolen products, including traditional Tushetian carpets, clothing, and accessories. Visitors can browse the stalls, chat with the local artisans, and learn about the unique techniques and patterns used in Tushetian wool production. The Tusheti Wool and Craft Market provides a fascinating glimpse into the artistic heritage and skills of this isolated mountain region.

Uplistsikhe Souvenir Market (Uplistsikhe)

Located near the ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe, the Uplistsikhe Souvenir Market offers visitors a chance to purchase unique and locally made keepsakes. The market features a variety of handmade items, including pottery, jewelry, and traditional Georgian crafts. In addition to shopping, visitors can explore the nearby Uplistsikhe archaeological site, which dates back to the 1st millennium BC and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Uplistsikhe Souvenir Market is an ideal destination for those seeking to combine their shopping experience with a touch of history and adventure.

Tips For Bargain Hunting And Market Etiquette

Navigating Georgia's markets and bazaars can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for bargain hunters. However, it's essential to be aware of some key tips and strategies to make the most of your shopping experience and ensure you find the best deals while respecting local customs and traditions.

Haggling And Negotiation Techniques

Haggling is a common practice in many Georgian markets, and mastering the art of negotiation can lead to significant savings. When bargaining, it's essential to remain polite and friendly, as aggressive tactics may sour the interaction. Start by offering a price lower than what you're willing to pay, then gradually increase your offer until a compromise is reached. Be prepared to walk away if the vendor doesn't meet your desired price, as this may prompt them to reconsider and offer a better deal.

Market Etiquette And Cultural Considerations

Understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette is crucial when visiting Georgian markets. Be mindful of personal space and avoid touching items unless you intend to make a purchase. If you're unsure whether haggling is appropriate, observe other customers or ask the vendor politely. When shopping for food, it's customary to ask for a sample before buying, but always do so respectfully. Additionally, be aware that some markets may close for lunch or religious observance, so plan your visit accordingly.

Staying Safe While Shopping

While Georgian markets are generally safe for tourists, it's essential to remain vigilant and take precautions to avoid any potential issues. Keep your belongings secure and be wary of pickpockets in crowded areas. Avoid flashing large sums of money, and consider using a money belt or hidden pouch for added security. If you're unsure about the quality or authenticity of an item, don't be afraid to ask for additional information or consult with other vendors. By following these tips and maintaining awareness, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience in Georgia's diverse and vibrant markets.


Georgia's vibrant market culture offers visitors a wealth of diverse and authentic shopping experiences. From bustling traditional bazaars and food markets to niche regional specialties and artisanal handicrafts, there is something for every traveler to discover and enjoy. These markets provide a unique window into Georgia's rich cultural heritage and showcase the country's exceptional craftsmanship and culinary traditions.

There is no better way to truly immerse yourself in Georgian culture than by exploring the country's many markets and bazaars firsthand. By engaging with local vendors, sampling delicious cuisine, and browsing unique, handcrafted items, you can create lasting memories and gain a deeper appreciation for Georgia's rich traditions. We encourage all visitors to venture beyond the typical tourist attractions and experience the country's vibrant market scene for themselves.

Georgia's markets offer an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the country's people, culture, and traditions. As you plan your visit, be sure to include time for exploring these lively, colorful, and unique shopping destinations. Embrace the art of bargaining, be mindful of local customs, and above all, enjoy the sensory feast that awaits you. By following our recommendations and immersing yourself in the market experience, you will leave Georgia with not only one-of-a-kind treasures but also a newfound appreciation for this captivating country and its people.

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