Central Market (Piaţa Centrală), Chisinau

Central Market (Piaţa Centrală), Chisinau

Just like any other capital, Chisinau has no shortage of shopping venues. The Central Market (Russian: Tsentral'nii Rinok / Romanian: Piata Centrala) is the largest and busiest agri-food market in the city, if not the whole country. It covers an area of 3.5 hectares occupying 2x2 city blocks between Armeneasca and Tighina Streets, Stefan cel Mare Blvd and Mitropolit Varlaam Street.

Originally called New Bazaar upon establishment in 1825, the market stood out for its elegant wooden architecture. Also added to the appeal, especially among vendors, the initial tax-free policy in force for almost 80 years. In 1886-1887, following the municipal order, the entire market was redone in stone. In 1941, amid the looming occupation by the Nazis, the retreating Soviet troops blasted the whole place, lest it fell into the enemy's hands. After the war, the market was restored together with the rest of the city, and was subsequently renamed Central Market.

Here you can find absolutely everything, from suitcases to electronics, clothing, jewelry, household goods and appliances, plus the famous Bucuria-made sweets, cookies and desserts sold at the outer stalls. Further inward you will be delighted by the beautiful displays of a tremendous variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as meats, fish, dried fruits, grains, and the locally-made sheep and goat cheeses. Good and cheap street food and snacks are also in rich supply.

Particularly noteworthy are the traditional Moldovan items, like the woven baskets, căciuli (handmade sheepskin hats), and other curious things.

Why You Should Visit:
If asked “what can I see and do to experience local tradition?” – Piata Centrala is that place in Chisinau. The locals come here to buy their stuff, so it must be good.
For those with a taste for open-air marketplaces and keen to feel the “real life” in Chisinau, this place is a must! The atmosphere is crowded, noisy and old world.

Tips:
- English is not widely spoken. Moldovan/Romanian and Russian are the standard.
- Cash is the king, so bring your Lei.
- This is a traditional market/bazaar, so keep an eye on your valuables like at any other close quarter place with a lot of foot traffic.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Chisinau. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Central Market (Piaţa Centrală) on Map

Sight Name: Central Market (Piaţa Centrală)
Sight Location: Chisinau, Moldova (See walking tours in Chisinau)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Chisinau, Moldova

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Stefan cel Mare Blvd Walk

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
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While the true origin of the name is unclear,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Best Wine and Brandy Shops

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Chisinau Shopping Guide: 20 Moldovan Products to Take Home

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Once part of the Soviet Union, now independent Moldova is a small country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, of which still very little is known. To mend this, the country has recently opened borders to the outside world. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity and acquaint yourself with...