Starokonnyi Rynok (одесский барахолка староконный рынок) or Starokonka Market is a truly unique place not only for Odessa, but for all of Ukraine. It is the largest permanent open-air flea market in Ukraine, also called "baraholka" or барахолка ("barahlo" means "junk" in Ukrainian). Only here can you buy antiques, admire exotic aquarium fish and colorful parrots, pet puppies and kittens, listen to fishing stories of famous fishermen and buy something useful for repairs in one day.
Weather permitting, the Old Market expands every Saturday and Sunday from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the streets adjacent to the market, retirees, collectors and antique dealers display their old junk on the ground or on the hoods of cars. Grandparents open their woodsheds, take down old things from the attic and put them on display. There is a special atmosphere. People also come here to chat, to discuss news, to improve their financial and psychological well-being.
In these difficult times for Ukraine, the Starokonny flea market helps many people to find clothes and other useful items for little money. Starokonny is really the equivalent of a thrift store. In addition to old clothes, you can find old toys, dishes, crockery, household items, taxidermied animals, vinyl records, coins, religious artifacts, postcards and souvenirs from all over the world brought by Ukrainian sailors for many years. There are many items from the Soviet Union, such as militaria, as well as items from when Odessa was part of the Russian Empire in the 19th century.
The Starokonny flea market is also a meeting place for hipsters looking for retro clothing, military style, Soviet shoes, original accessories, vintage leather briefcases or stylish vintage cameras. Creative people and artists such as writers, photographers and designers come here to find inspiration. They are drawn to old and second-hand objects because they hold history, memories, and a piece of someone's life.
Here you can find old books, old Christmas decorations, music records and the old toy soldiers of our childhood, which now bring joy to the little ones. The Starokonny flea market is also full of architectural salvage such as typical 19th century Odessa doors, door handles and other old door fittings. If you are looking for more specialized items such as deer antlers for the interior, a piece of rubber for a fishing spear or accessories for an 80s style party, you will certainly find them at the Starokonny flea market. As you can see, it is almost impossible to leave Starokonny empty-handed!
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