On a night bus from Belgrade center towards Zemun, 2 am:
– Can you tell us where the flea market is?, asked a guy in screaming green suit.
– Sure, I live nearby. Going to the market this early?, I asked.
– Yes, me and my friend (guy with a bunch of bags) just came from Skopje, to grab a place there.
– You came all the way from Macedonia to sell stuff for a few hours?
– Yeah, we’ve heard about it, so we hopped on a train.
Zemun flea market, or buvljak (boow-lyak), is one of a kind. Placed at the outskirts of Zemun, open on Sundays from 6 to 10 am, going on for 30 years.
The sellers are predominantly local Roma, but, as just mentioned, some also come from as far as Macedonia. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here – and also the things you didn’t even know you needed.
New furniture, sofa, oven, housewares? Check. Random old books, records, magazines and memorabilia? Check. Clothes, audio equipment? Check. Live animals, beautiful old chandeliers? Check. DVD of a local wedding, with custom made cover? Check.
Things can get really cheap here, especially if you know the fine art of bargaining:
– How much are these silver shoes?
– 200 dinars for you.
– 200 dinars?!!? (asked as if it’s expensive)
– Ok, give me a 100 and they’re yours.
To reach buvljak, wake up early and hop on a bus 15 on Zeleni venac bus stop (a 20-minute ride), or you can just finish a night out with some early bird shopping.