The rynok is a sort of farmer’s or flea market. The rynok began as an economic safety valve under the Soviets, allowing for some private production and sales. During the 1990s, they became the beginnings of the capitalist system in many of the new countries that formed from the collapsed USSR. Then and through the 2000s, they were lively, bustling places often selling everything from cheese to socks and electronics. In recent years, however, with the stabilization of the economy, larger chains have gained dominance. Government policy has also worked against the rynok, which, while often cheap, was also often associated with crime, tax evasion, and health issues. Today, where rynki (the plural of rynok) survive, they often do so in poorer areas or as hipster locations, dealing in upscale food, art, and/or antiques.

Udelnaya Flea Market in St. Petersburg, Russia

Six blue line stops north of Nevsky Prospect  is one of the most enjoyable and authentic experiences that I have had in Russia. Rows and rows of stalls selling clothes, antiques, jewelry, tools and everything in between. Some sellers shout about what they’re selling, while others discuss prices and make sales with shoppers. This is […]

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