Do you want to feel the special atmosphere of the city? Then there’s one thing you should definitely do: visit one of its open-air markets. Not only will you find a large range of items to buy, but also you‘ll have a lot of fun just walking around and mixing with the locals. Before going, remember to exchange your money into Moldovan leus.
As the name implies, Piata Centrala is located in the center of the city. Since it is a huge open-air market that occupies several blocks, there is no way that you won’t notice it while you’re walking through the city. From fresh fruit and vegetables, dried nuts, raw honey, fish, meat, bread, wine, and brandy to clothing and household items, you can find almost anything you need. Most products are local and the prices are negotiable, so don’t forget to bargain. If you like cheese, stop by the cheese hall and enjoy some of the various types that vendors offer; they always let you taste something prior to your purchase. Always crowded and noisy, Central Market is the perfect place to feel like a local. Opening hours: 7am-5pm Address: Strada Ismail, Chișinău
Ten minutes away from the city centre, you will find Calea Mosilor, or Tolcioc as it is usually called by Moldovans. Fresh products, homemade wines and brandies, handicrafts, and delicious sweets are just some of the things you can find there. Do not go if you don’t like noisy places; people can get too excited when bargaining.
Vegetabes, fruits, greens, oils, flour, and grains are the reasons people visit this market. Agricultural Wholesale was an idea of supply and demand coming to life in 2006. Whether you want to sell or buy an agricultural product at a reasonable price and outstanding quality, this is the place to go. Opening hours: 7am-5pm Address: Calea Basarabiei 8, Chișinău
One of the most delightful open-air flower markets in Europe runs along the northwestern edge of Parcul Catedralei. The numerous vendors with their rich selection of flowers from all over the world will surely awaken your romantic self. Before leaving the city, do visit Piata de Flori, travel to the past, smell the change of seasons, and experience nature’s most harmonious symphonies. Opening hours: 10am-10pm Address: Str Mitropolitul Gavriil Bănulescu-Bodoni, Chișinău
Located on the Stefan cel Mare Boulevard, between National Drama Theatre Mihai Eminescu and Organ Hall, the Arts Square is an open-air market selling souvenirs for visitors. If you want to take home a part of Moldovan culture, there you will find the best authentic local crafts. Although it may seem small at first sight, it is filled with stands selling homemade goods ranging from clothes, pottery, jewelry, antiques, carpets, handicrafts, and paintings to traditional musical instruments and relics from the Soviet days. Although most sellers do not speak English, they are always willing to help and even negotiate with you. If you appreciate art, you should definitely pay a visit to Chișinău’s main artisan market.