Tbilisi is a small city where trendy hotels neighbor little hostels and famous shopping brands are located next to “second hand” vintage-production shops. It is a town of chic restaurants with European menus and noisy beer-houses. In modern Tbilisi one can come across multi-storey blocks as well as ancient balconied houses. But the charisma of soviet-era Tbilisi may be best experienced at the flea market – “Dry Bridge” bazaar, where
a visitor to Georgia’s capital can peruse an interesting selection of antique items, soviet artifacts, jewelry, second-hand privately owned possessions and many other things.You can reach the Dry Bridge bazaar from Vorontsov Bridge or Kolmeurneoba square, passing along Khidi Street.
THIS IS AN OPEN-AIR BAZAAR WHERE EVERYTHING IS LAID OUT
ON THE GROUND INSTEAD OF COUNTERS, AND SHELVES ARE
REPLACED BY TREE BRANCHES. THIS DISTINCTIVE PLACE IS A
KIND OF MUSEUM EXPOSITION WITH BARGAINING FUNCTIONS
AND A BELOVED VENUE FOR CURIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS,
PEDESTRIAN TOURISTS, WHIMSICAL COLLECTORS, AND SKILLFUL
It is perhaps one of many rare places in Tbilisi tightly connectedwith the dim nostalgia of the soviet past. You can purchase there antique vessels or old-fashioned domestic items, toys, breastplates, soviet uniforms, ancient photo-cameras, accessories, Georgian rugs or original carpets, equipment for hunters and alpinists, gramophone plates, different musical equipment and a variety of other stuff. Prices are generally low here, but still remember to haggle, as sellers may inflate those prices especially for tourists. Sellers gather at around 9.00 am at the Dry Bridge bazaar and trade there until late evening.
There is also an exhibition-sale near the bazaar in the garden located adjacent to the bridge along the central road. This display features paintings and graphics by Georgian artists – mostly created on Georgian motives and Tbilisi landscapes and clay items with
national ornaments, thick felt works, silver vessels and daggers.
The Dry Bridge bazaar is especially alive on weekends and it welcomes its guests in every season and every weather.
A well-organized recreation zone – Dedaena Park -is located next to the bazaar. This place used to be an epicenter for meetings of demonstrators in soviet times. The park is also a kind of Mecca for sale and purchase brokers. There is a huge bronze monument “Dedaena” (mother tongue) nearby, dating back to the beginning of the 1980s. This part of the territory ends with the modern mushroom-shaped building of the Justice House. The inner side of the park is situated near the river Mtkvari, a beloved place for picnickers and fishermen.
One can catch a glimpse of an amazing view of Tbilisi from the Voronstov arched Bridge which leads to Aghmashenebeli Avenue. Voronstov Bridge was built two centuries ago and thanks to it, Chughureti district, Kukia and the German settlement were connected with the Old Town.
If you are an art-lover and especially interested in antiquary and unique works by artists of the past centuries, you should visit Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street, parallel to Aghmashenebeli Avenue, where you will come across cellar-type and visually simple shops. Some of these shops are real storehouses of precious items. You can also get free consultations from antiquary specialists there. You will easily recognize these shops by the antique furnishings on their porches.