If Poznan is known for its universities, Old Market Square and Renaissance buildings, Poland's fifth-largest city is also a shopper's paradise. From modern malls, shopping centers and boutiques to the many market squares offering thousands of collectibles, Poznan entices shoppers to part with their hard-earned cash.
However, one place, in particular, seems to be unanimously favored by locals and tourists alike with a keen eye for all things antique and vintage. Stara Rzeźnia, a former meat factory and slaughterhouse that closed in the 1990s, has been transformed into a mixed-use complex with a coherent functional layout and people-friendly public spaces that regularly hosts cultural events. Two of these events are a weekly flea market (Pchli Targ) and a monthly antique market (Giełda Antyków), which is considered one of the largest antique markets in Poland. The fact that the Stara Rzeźnia Antique Market is visited by collectors and buyers from all over the country proves that this is no exaggeration. The old slaughterhouse also houses an antique furniture shop open 5 days a week.
The antique market in Stara Rzeźnia (Giełda Stara Rzeźnia) is a gold mine for flea market lovers and bargain hunters. Held in a parking lot in front of the M1 Poznań Shopping Center, at 14 Szwajcarska Street, sections C2 and C3, the Stara Rzeźnia Antique Market features about 80 stalls overflowing with Art Nouveau and Art Déco antiques, design from the 50s, 60's and 70s's design vintage clothing and accessories, antique books, vinyl records, stamps, clocks, furniture, pottery, toys, silverware, glassware, pre-war bathroom fixtures, sculptures, beautiful jewelry and lots of knickknacks. Most vendors simply place their wares on blankets on the ground around the factory building, or use small tables and chairs to make a makeshift display. Some sell their wares directly from the back of their trucks.
Travelers who do not speak Polish should not be discouraged by the prices the vendors ask, as these are usually opening bids. Some vendors may try their luck at cheating tourists with ridiculously inflated prices, but that's part of the flea market experience when traveling in a foreign country.
Still, the Stara Rzeźnia antique market can be a goldmine for shoppers who are determined, persistent and early risers! It's generally advisable to arrive at around 8 a.m., when the merchandise hasn't yet been unpacked. This is when the real bargains are made.
Update: In 2021 the Stara Rzeźnia Antique Market will move from the Old Slaughterhouse in Poznań to the parking lot of C.H. M1 Poznań. In June 2022, Rzeźnia Antique Market opened a new location in the parking lot of C.H. Kometa in Toruń.
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