With 240 spaces for vendors, Vaksala Torg is among the biggest and best markets, not just in Uppsala, but in all of Sweden, where markets hold a special place in people’s hearts. Almost from the crack of dawn (depending on the time of year, as dawn is quite subjective in Sweden) right through to late afternoon, this centrally located market draws in the crowds in this university town of around 150,000 people.
There is a lot of stuff to pick through to find the treasures you’re looking for. Table after table heaves with all sorts of curiosities, from the obvious, such as glassware and books, to the more unusual, such as handmade quilts and old Swedish signs.
The trick to this market is to get here either early or late. Getting here early means you’ll be among the first to pick through the hundreds upon hundreds of items for sale, although your bargaining power might not be quite as strong as at the end of the day, when vendors are more likely to make a good deal so they don’t have to schlep their stuff back home. Getting here late means that you’re in a great position to go ahead and make a reasonable offer. Another hint is to wait until everyone packs up and leaves; many a vendor has been known to leave behind items that they weren’t able to sell, meaning that they’re there for the taking – and you’d be surprised at the gems you can find. One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.
The market attracts everyone: students at Uppsala University, professors and townspeople of all ages. The atmosphere is fun and friendly, and there are plenty of food vendors, as well as some good places to eat close by.
So if you’re in Uppsala at the weekend, mark this one on your calendar. Bargain hunters rarely walk away without a few treasures, and if books, cameras or vinyl are your thing, you will definitely not walk away empty-handed. In fact, there is so much on offer you may not have time to look through it all in one day.