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Market Vernissage - GO TRAVEL
Market Vernissage

One of the most crowded places in Yerevan is Marcet Vernissage, which goes live on every Saturday and Sunday, no matter it’s hot outside, cold or heavily raining. It’s an open air market where the best and most impressive souvenirs are offered. Throughout the years it has turned into one of the most significant elements of Yerevan’s cultural life.

The term Vernissage, which has French origins and simply means a private show before the opening of an art exhibition, was included in the vocabulary of Yerevan residents only in the late 1970s.

The Arts and Crafts Vernissage seems to be divided into two parts, the one part where arts and crafts prevail, and the other one, where more technical things, like different metals and fasteners can be found. The latter is visited by people, whose TV, for example, has broken down, and they need a certain piece. This part, particularly, carries the Soviet Union era breath, and you will hardly see a young man selling those things.

Instead, the part where arts and crafts can be found is more lively and even colorful. This part offers jewelry, woodwork, ceramics, paintings, books and carpets. Various souvenirs depicting Mount Ararat can be seen. Of special interest is the Armenian duduk, traditional Armenian woodwind instrument. Interestingly, the sound of the duduk seems to accompany every visitor while they are roaming around. Other than that, Vernissage offers puppies, dog leashes, hand-carved walnut backgammon boards and vintage clothing.

Vernissage comes with really unique things. At the same time, it doesn’t mean every single thing is truly unique and exceptional.

As you pick a certain item, be sure to hear a long description of that particular thing, which is usually being so strongly praised to the skies that you might think it will be one of the greatest mistakes in life not to have it in your house.

In general, no seller at Vernissage has taken English courses, but they all understand English very well, and very often they will understand the language of the tourist much better than those who are specialized in that field.

The purpose of every seller at Vernissage is to sell at least one item during the day. But at the same time even if they have already succeded to sell five, they will spare no effort to sell the sixth and so on.

As you “fail” and let the seller know you are a tourist and not a local, the prices will go higher than they actually are. This is an annoying thing especially for locals, who are sometimes being taken for foreigners and therefore, asked the same price tourists would be required to pay. The best option in this regard, would be to have a typical Armenian by your side while making purchases.

Vernissage is usually open from early morning till 5 pm, sometimes until 6 pm. So don't think of visiting it during your evening roams, as you will simply have to walk along the concrete sidewalks crumbling under the feet and only.

Every relation there is based on a pure bargain over the prices. Long, sometimes boring, and very often funny negotiations are held until a proper price is settled on.

As the sun rises over Yerevan on weekends, the Arts and Crafts Vernissage awakens and comes alive offering a great variety of things sure to entice every passer-by, be it a local or a tourist. Lastly, while leaving Vernissage make sure you buy pomegranate, the most mystical object and souvenir to take back home to your family. With its variety of goods and mix of visitors, Vernissage is always a delight!
















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