Guide to the Markets in Bucharest, Romania
When visiting the Romanian capital of Bucharest, one of the best ways to soak up the atmosphere is to visit a local market. Here, you will see two worlds come together, as city-dwelling locals arrive to buy their fresh produce from farmers and agriculturalists that live in more rural locations around the city. Typically, Romanian markets offer craft and souvenir items, along with fresh fruit, veg and plants. Whether you’re looking to grab some food, a gift, or just to have the experience, these are the best markets in the city.
Markets are the lifeblood of Bucharest’s kitchens, as they typically offer fruit and veg for a lower price than the competing supermarkets; along with the benefit of being fresher. Piata Obor is an inside market that covers roughly 26,000 square meters and offers the broadest range of fruit and veg under one roof that you’ll find in Romania.
Comprised of a network of stalls and small shops, the marketplace doesn’t only sell fresh fruit and veg, but also teas, syrups, spices, cheeses and meats. Additionally, there will be handmade homewares such as wicker baskets and wooden bowls. Throughout the year, there are dedicated event days that celebrate different produce, with the ‘must’ fair being held in Autumn. Must is a sweet and alcoholic grape juice which is often referred to as young wine.
The centre of the city is pretty free of markets, so to fill this gap, the modern style Piaţa Amzei sprang up and began offering market space for traders. This multilayer location caters to all kinds of buyers and sellers, with the underground floor offering the basic fruit and veg stalls. The ground floor boasts small stalls that offer Romanian and European delicacies, along with flowers and gifts. The first floor has a plethora of meat and fish stalls, with almost everything being locally sourced or produced.
The weekends are a great time to stop by as there are additional stalls selling antiques, old books and handmade jewellery; perfect for gifts or souvenirs. Typically, cafes and bakeries will be buzzing during the weekend, which can make this a genuinely authentic experience.
Somewhere crossed between a flea market and a car boot sale, Valea Cascadelor is a large outside market where it’s possible to find anything and everything. Stalls will typically sell a mixture of goods, rather than one kind of product, including clothes, toys, books, vinyl and lots more. Make sure you’re ready to haggle as well, as sellers will start with higher prices expecting to be knocked down.
The market is open Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and can be accessed using a bus from the centre of the city. The journey usually takes around 40 minutes with buses running every 20 minutes in this direction. Mornings can be a little quieter as crowds will not yet have arrived, giving you the chance to peruse at your own pace.
Located just ten minutes from the famed Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest’s very own Arc de Triomphe, the Agronomiei is one of the best places in the city to get a taste of fresh food made by local suppliers. Many of the businesses that display food there are small and family-owned, with fantastic local hot and cold foods available. The market is open every day from 8am until 2pm, perfect for a mid-morning or lunchtime snack.
By no means the largest market in the city, Piaţa Domenii is ideal for those that just need the basics such as fruit and veg. They also offer a good selection of flowers to brighten your day. In the market, you’ll also see a number of permanent stalls for cheese and meat sellers, along with other animal products. Much of these are homemade and carry a lower cost than supermarket produce, often tasting better too!
What is typically appealing about this market is the location, located in the modern and affluent Sector 1. Due to the location, the market can be a little pricier than those located in other parts of the city, but will be convenient for those staying in this area. Sector 1 is also just south of the airport which can make it a good first place to stay if you’re visiting Bucharest for the first time.
Flower Market, Rahova
Regardless of whether you are in the market to buy some flowers or not, a trip to this beautiful spot is not one to be missed. Here, you’ll likely see local flower shop owners picking up their merchandise, which means you can cut out the middle man and grab some bargains. Rahova is a neighbourhood located towards the south west of Bucharest which is linked to the centre of the city by a metro line.
Vitan Flea Market
Last, but certainly not least, is the Vitan Flea Market. Held every Sunday from 7am until 2.30pm, the is one of the largest in Bucharest often featuring over 5,000 sellers and attracting 30,000 visitors per week. Typical goods that can be found in the market include old books, photos, musical instruments, homewares and lots more. Haggling is necessary here, as sellers will be keen to get the best prices possible. The market is southeast of the city centre and easily accessible by public transport.
Which one of these markets would you visit in Bucharest? If you want to start planning your trip to Romania, why not check out Bucharest Christmas market experience? You’ll be given plenty of time to explore the Christmas markets and other markets in the city. You can also check out our blog to find the best time of year to visit Romania!