Sofia’s largest and busiest market, Zhenski Pazar (Women’s market) has a wide range of seasonal fruit and vegetables, cheese, cured meats, dried fruit and nuts, homemade halva and other Turkish-inspired goodies. There are two “roads” the right-hand one is for fruits, vegetables and food and the left one is for clothes (usually cheap fake designer clothes), shoes, and other cheap Chinese stuff.
The stands’ owners are not always very kind and helpful but it is a picturesque place that you should visit to get some taste of the locals’ life. There are also many shops and restaurants owned by Arab immigrants as well as cheap hotels in the area. It is not exactly the best place you can visit, but still, it’s an interesting place where you can find a bargain or two especially if you haggle.
You’ll also find people sitting on the side of the street trying to sell what little they have harvested from their garden that morning. You can perhaps buy homemade pickles from the village women who spend the whole day selling 2-3 jars of it or explore the antique dealers who offer cheap stuff from both pre-socialist and socialist times.
The stall-holders here were originally all women but now both men and women from the surrounding hills travel down daily to sell their produce. A few basic cafés selling coffee and savoury pasties provide refreshments for shoppers. Like all crowded areas, watch your valuables.