For those who love antique things, jewelry and Soviet symbols, dry bridge market in the capital of Georgia is for you! This extraordinary open-air market facilitates many sellers offering very interesting and unique things from the past. The name is after a bridge that leads to it. Once, it was above a river, but it dried out. Thus, the name “Dry bridge” was born. It is located near Dedaena park and is easily visible due to the crowd always being there.
Imagine a museum where you could buy things at a heck of a bargain price! Well, Between an old vase and a picture of Stalin, you can find old Soviet medals, Georgian books, maps, pins, badges and kitchenware. Be careful, this huge assortment of all kinds of things will keep your attention for hours if not prepared properly, since it is just like a maze.
In the past, this place used to be just a place where people would go and sell their stuff, but nowadays, for some people, it has become the source of their main business. While shopping on the market, you’ll sometimes see old people with their children, or even grandchildren, selling things with them. If the weather is good, they will be there, at their usual place, open from early morning to 5pm.
It was a surprise to hear one of the sellers speak five different languages in order to promote his products. People mostly communicate in Georgian, but it is likely that they speak Russian too. English is a rare language on the market, but the competition has made them learn enough so that the buyer can bargain.
Apart from the kitchenware, one might stumble upon, if investigated enough, animal trophies brought by hunters. You can buy a giant head of a wild boar, deer horns and an animal fur. Local painters bring their artwork to sell and they have their special places which is behind the main line of jewelry, knives and Christian icons. It is very easy to navigate through the market since it is small.
While you can buy some goods, you can also get a little cultural experience, for free, with which you can analyze the history of what has happened to the country. People sell their medals of honor which they got during the Soviet Union. All they are left with are useless medals and loads of money from the past and the only thing they can do with that money is to sell it. The money they sell nowadays has no value but is historic. When asked why they have the money, they answer that they lots of it, but they couldn’t buy anything, so now the only option is for tourists to have it in exchange for real money of value.
Though the place is moderately cheap for natives, for tourists it is inflated. You need to bargain, or a better option: take a Georgian friend with you so he can bargain.