The best time to visit Kosiv is on a Saturday. And that’s because of
the Kosiv Bazar.

On Saturday morning wake up as early as possible, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Eat a quick breakfast and head on out of the door to the legendary Kosiv Bazar!

It has taken place here every Saturday for more than 100 years – it starts at 4am and lasts until 2pm, but the earlier you get there the more you will get to see, hear, and experience. This bazar is famous not just in Carpathian Mountains, but all around Ukraine – and for a good reason. 

The Kosiv Bazar Over 100 years ago

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Kosiv is known as the town of Masters, as many artists and craftsmen have been born here, or made their home here over the centuries, and pass down their craft from generation to generation. As a result, Kosiv is home to many unique arts and crafts, which are still preserved and cherished by local artists today. 

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Many craftsmen and artists from the area gather here on Saturdays to sell their wares – which means the items on offer are exquisite, unique, and guaranteed to be the real deal. This is the culmination of all unique arts and crafts in the area.

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Take your time to stroll the rows of stalls, and enjoy the atmosphere…

Admire the ornate carved wooden items – from jewelry boxes to eagles, spoons and bowls; marvel at the iconic style and earthy tones of Kosiv Ceramics – which have recently been added to the added to the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage!
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You can find beautifully embroidered Ukrainian shirts, towels, and dresses, and hand woven carpets and sheep’s’ wool blankets – known as lizhnyks. These can only be found in the one Carpathian village of Yaroriv and come in a variety of sizes colours and patterns! You’ll find a whole aisle dedicated just to these!  

 

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The Kosiv Bazar really is museum of folk art. At the same time it’s a sort of exhibition, as you can communicate with artists themselves – for example every time we visit, we meet with the woodcarver Mykola Strynadiuk (or KOKA) and his wife Halya from Kosiv, selling their beautiful wood-carved plates, pictures, crosses, necklaces and earrings. 

In the embroidery section, you can see and chat to many women, sitting and embroidering their shirts right there at the market! Because they are the ones who make the shorts – you can even order your own unique one, styled to your taste from them here at the market (yes, they can ship it to Canada!)

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 They say at the Kosiv Bazar – you can buy everything!

This isn’t just a bazar for artisan crafts – locals come to do their weekly shopping, of fresh local food and produce (you can buy meat and sausage, homemade cheeses, honey, fresh berries and mushrooms picked in Carpathian forests) but you can also find everything from live animals, to car parts and washing machines! 

The Pre-Easter Bazar has its own special charm – here artisans from across the country gather to sell hand painted Easter eggs, or “pysanky” – and by the hundred!  You can also buy your essential items for your Easter basket – delicious Easter bread or “paska”, intricate cheese horses, any kind and size of Easter baskets you can imagine. You’ll be amongst the locals doing the very same thing! It’s truly a pleasure and an adventure to hunt down the items to put in your basket here, and really a once in a lifetime experience! 

 Do you hunt for antiques?

Then you will definitely enjoy it here – another separate row of stalls, where you will find centuries-old items. Things like “paskivnyks” – a unique wooden item used in olden times to carry your paska to church; antique instruments, ancient clothing items such as beaded belts and “keptars” – festive Hutsul woolen vests; and some embroidered shirts that are might be older than your baba! 

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Once, one of our guests bought a masterpiece that was worthy of being in a museum – a beautiful beaded embroidered blouse from 1960, in perfect condition, for just $20! You can really get some bargains here… if you hunt for them! The vendors are usually open to bartering with you, however some items are so unique/intricate, they really won’t budge, and you can see why!  

Attending the Saturday Kosiv Bazar is quite the folk experience, where you can truly feel Hutsul spirit – local don’t just come here to shop – they come to share the latest news, gossip, anecdotes and just enjoy the community spirit.

Even if you don’t buy something (which we very much doubt) – you’re guaranteed to come away with positive emotions, inspiration and a good mood!

We visit the Kosiv Bazar on so many of our Scheduled Ukraine Tours:

Easter in Ukraine | Christmas in Ukraine | Great Ukraine | Western Ukraine | Highlights of Ukraine | Intro to Ukraine | Ukrainian Christmas Markets | 

 

Or you can plan a Custom Private Tour with us to the Carpathian Mountains. Contact us for more details. 

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You can see more photos of the Kosiv Bazar in our photo gallery below!