Established back in 1824, the Levsha Flea Market – also known as Novopodrezkovo flea market – is the oldest of its kind in Russia. It is situated roughly 30km from the center of Moscow, accessible by a regular train service from Leningradsky Station. And because some seriously good items can be found at this flea market, it is often worth the adventure to get to Novopodrezkovo.
The flea market experience is a little different in Russia than through Europe. These are not gatherings of chic nostalgia, but rather true slices of a historic past, reflected by both the items for sale and the older generation of people selling them. Levsha Flea Market is off the tourist track to say the least, which can make it more difficult for an enthusiastic tourist to successfully communicate but the experience is all the more authentic. A bonus though are the lower prices here than at some of the other more touristy markets in the city.
Levsha Flea Market sells anything and everything – there is plenty to be found from the Soviet era, including bronze busts of famous political characters, Red Army badges and medals, old coins and bills, vintage toys, and of course the usual banners and painting of Lenin and Stalin. Levsha Flea Market also features more flea market-like items like old music instruments, clothes, glassware, soviet watches, crockery, cutlery, books, sewing machines, records, record players, as well as some items of Nazi Germany memorabilia too.
This flea market is not a gathering of professional antique dealers selling their latest finds, but rather ordinary, private people selling the treasures and antiques from within the family. In fact, unlike Vernisazh in Izmailovo, Levsha Flea Market mostly sells genuine junk and collectibles. You will hardly find there matryoshka dolls, fake amber jewelry, fake Fabergé eggs, fur hats and likes.
Further within the Levsha Flea Market there is a small rented space for people to spread out a carpet and sell whatever they managed to find in their homes that might be worth a few rubles. It can be fun to rummage through the complete randomness of this area, and every now and then there is something worthwhile to be found among the mishmash. Keep in mind that almost no one speaks English at the Levsha Flea Market. It is therefore advised to visit the flea market with a Russian speaking friend, or be ready to make yourself understood with sign language!
In the whole of Levsha Flea Market there are over 5,000 antiques up for grabs. The best chances for securing valuable items are first thing on a Saturday, and half a day is enough to fully explore this slice of Russian history.