Flea market "Starokonnyi"
Working hours: from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The flea market “Starokonnyi”, commonly known as simply Starokonka, is one of the most colorful places in Odesa; it’s live attraction. For collectors, the swap meet is a place where they might find unique items, for tourists – Starokonka is a so-called open-air museum, whose exhibits can show fascinating history of the city and tell everyday life, habits and temperament of its citizens. Even, authoritative magazine Forbes included Starokonka in Top-10 of the most interesting flea markets in the world.
The history of this no less than a legendary place dated from 1832 when the local authorities decided on setting the so-called Livestock Bazaar for horse and cattle trade in the very center of the famous Moldavanka district. In the middle of 20th century, the specialized livestock market moved to a new place – next to well-known Privoz Market. Therefore the abandoned commercial place welcomed vendors of mostly alimentations, and it was baptized Starokonsky Market.
Since then, the adjacent streets were occupied by a flea market that rose to fame among locals and tourists alike. As of today, the market takes up several blocks and represents a real treasury of rare items. As ordinary flea market, Starokonka hasn’t got any counters and stalls – some articles lay down on the ground, the other hung on the windows, walls, fences and even trees. One might find everything he wants: from valueless plastic trinkets to precious antic objects.
Some people try to find vinyl discs, other look for Soviet photo cameras well-known for its high-quality; somebody is interested in rare badges, medals and coins. Nevertheless the vast majority of tourist head towards Starokonka for original souvenirs from Odesa as pre-war post cards, vintage brooches, brass candlesticks or samovar. Among pile of different items as Chinese umbrellas, German dolls, vintage dresses and dishes, there are some most unexpected articles, for example, Ceylon tea box dated from the Russian Empire, or a book published in 1877. Besides, Starokonka is a real heaven for literature lovers because one might find antic edition from all over the world.
The prices at the Odesa flea market are moderate and heavily depend on quality of the goods and vendor’s mood. By the way, it’s essential to bargain because locals are keen on this process. The Starokonka vendors can even say: “Do you think we come here to sell? We come here to communicate!”