When I first arrived in Moscow, I did not think there would be many markets. Somewhat naively, I have always equated markets with the outdoors and good weather, which is hard to come by in Moscow for a lot of the year. However, after some digging I have come to realise that Moscow is home to some amazing markets. In this post, I would like to share some of the best Moscow markets that I have found.
1. Izmailovsky Market
Of all the markets mentioned in this article, Izmailovsky is probably the most famous Moscow market. It is billed as a flea market, but a large portion of the items on sale are new. This is the place to go to pick up your stereotypical Russian souvenirs at prices that are much lower than the small souvenir shops you find in the center of Moscow. Although the market is busiest on the weekend, this is still the best time to visit as there will be a much wider range of vendors.
Hours: 10am – 6pm (closed Tuesdays and Thursdays)
2. Danilovsky Market
Another well known Moscow market is Danilovsky, which specialises in farm fresh produce. The market is contained under a a large, circular pavilion, making it a good shopping destination no matter the season. As I mention in a post abut Danilovsky, there are also some great ready to eat food vendors around the outside of the circular market. This is not the kind of place you go to for the best price, but the produce you get will always be of high quality.
Hours: 8am – 9pm
3. Dorogomilovsky Market
Dorogomilovsky market has a very similar history and focus to Danilovsky market. At this market you will find a widfe range of fresh produce, with a slightly larger selection than Danilovsky due to its larger size. That said, the quality is a bit more variable and you will need to be selective. A particular strong point of this market is the game meats that are available, such as venison and guinea fowl.
Hours: 6am – 8pm
4. Mestnaya Yeda
Mestnaya Yeda or ‘Local Food’ is a very interesting concept that is much more than just a market. This group is dedicated to supporting local Russian food producers and up and coming restaurateurs. They offer a shared commercial kitchen space and run a monthly market where ready to eat food and packaged food products can be showcased to the public. Even if you cant make it to the market, you can order a monthly ‘mystery box’ of interesting locally produced product via their website. For the most up to date information about Mestnaya Yeda, it is best to follow their Facebook page.
Hours and Location: Runs monthly, check Facebook page for details.
Following a very similar model to Mestnaya Yeda, Lambada focuses instead on local arts and crafts. You can get a good idea about the kind of items available by visiting their website, where it is also possible to order from different vendors. However, going to the market itself is a very interesting experience, as it has very European feel and atmosphere. For the latest details on where and when the market will next be held, follow them on Facebook or check out their website.
Hours and Location: Varies, check their events page for details.
The Gorbushka market is famous, or some would say infamous in Moscow. In years gone by it was renowned as the place to go for counterfeit music, movies and software, however crackdowns on such piracy in recent years has impacted this side of the markets trade. It is still a great place to visit for a range of electronics and related equipment.
Hours: 10am – 9pm
7. Sevastopol Hotel
This is maybe one of the most interesting of Moscow’s markets. Contained within the rooms of the Sevastopol Hotel building, this is one of those markets that is just oozing with character due to the way it naturally evolved. Each of the individual rooms holds a different store/stall and wandering the corridors you can find some interesting hidden gems. Most of the stallholders are from the Indian subcontinent and sell goods imported from this region. A lot of the items on offer are low cost and low quality, but you may just find something useful while you soak up the atmosphere. If you can handle it, most people recommend taking the lift straight to the 16th floor and then leisurely making your way back down through the building.
Hours: 9am – 9pm
Location: Sevastopol Hotel Complex, Bldg. 4
As well as these selected Moscow markets, there are also some more local flea markets which are great (and very Russian). I will save these for a later post, as the directions and details are much more difficult to explain! If you know of any other great markets in Moscow, then please let me know about them in the comment section below.