Whether you are a natural-born gift shopper or the one who just grabs the first thing on the counter, you probably would like to know where to buy souvenirs in Moscow and for what price. You have probably heard about Russian matryoshka but what else can you bring back home from your next trip to Moscow? Let’s find out what are the TOP 7 gifts you can’t leave Moscow without.
That was definitely a long way to the country of bears, vodka, and beautiful women. It’s a nonsense to come back without a proof
WHERE TO BUY AND WHERE NOT
Kremlin is probably the first place you want to visit, isn’t it? This is also the first souvenir-stop on the list. When you don’t want to spend hours on picking out gifts, stock up on traditional keepsakes the first day of your trip near the Red Square just along the Museum of Patriotic War of 1812 (Teatralnaya/Okhotny Ryad metro station). There are rows of tents selling overpriced cliché Russian gifts.
- Hours: daily, 10 am – 9 pm
- Adress: Revolyutsii Square, 2/3
- Price: starting price for a matryoshka (5-7 dolls) is 700 Rubl (~ $8), for ushanka – 1 000 Rubl (~ $16)
The most popular place to buy souvenirs in Moscow is Arbat St. No doubt, you would like to stroll through one of the most famous streets in Moscow, so you can always come by and look for something special.
- Hours: daily, 8 am – 10 pm (depends on a shop)
- Adress: Arbat St.
- Price: starting price for a matryoshka (5-7 dolls) is 700 Rubl (~ $8), for ushanka – 800 Rubl (~ $13)
But the vast majority of gift shops are concentrated a little bit further from the city center in Vernissage in Izmaylovo which is nothing more but a flea market. That’s why it’s cheaper to get your souvenirs in Izmaylovo where the salesmen are ready to lower their prices if you are a good negotiator (sure you are). There you will find a great variety of matryoshkas, ushankas, shawls, and magnets.
BEAR IN MIND
The best time to shop for gifts in Izmaylovo is Wednesday which is a day of the wholesale trade
Vernissage in Izmaylovo
- Hours: daily, 9 am – 6 pm
- Adress: Izmaylovskoye Highway, 73 (Partizanskaya metro station)
- Contact: +7 (499) 166-50-48
- Price: starting price for a matryoshka (5-7 dolls) is 200 Rubl (~ $3), for ushanka – 500 Rubl (~ $8)
In case you’re tired of stereotypical keepsakes, check out some trendy places where to buy souvenirs in Moscow. Museum gift shops and bookstores offer modernly designed mugs, pins, postcards and other cute goodies all made with love from Moscow.
Bookstore Biblio Globus
- Hours: daily 9 am – 10 pm, Saturday, Sunday 10 am – 9 pm
- Adress: Myasnistskaya St., 6/3, Bld. 1 (Lubyanka metro station)
- Contact: +7 (495) 781-1900
- Hours: daily 9 am – 12 pm
- Adress: Tverskaya St., 8, Bld. 1 (Tverskaya metro station)
- Contact: +7 (495) 629-64-83, +7 (495) 797-87-17
The gift shop in Museum of Moscow
- Hours: daily, 10 am – 8 pm; Thursdays, 11 am – 9 pm; Mondays closed
- Address: Zubovskiy St, 2 (Park Kultury metro station line 5 or 1)
- Contacts: +7 495 739-00-08
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #1 MATRYOSHKA
Matryoshka is a world-famous Russian wooden doll that can serve as a symbol of the country or as a secret safe. However, matryoshka is much more than a souvenir. The name of the nesting doll comes from the female name Matryona (or Matriosha) associated with motherhood, which was extremely popular in pre-revolutionary era. Wooden dolls placed one inside another manifest the importance of close family ties with many generations and extended relatives in Russian culture.
You will find matryoshkas of all possible sizes and colors at souvenir markets in the Red Square, Arbat St. and Izmailovo.
Price: 200 – 700 Rubl (~ $3 – $10) for a matryoshka (average size with 5-7 dolls)
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #2 USHANKA
Even if you won’t need ushanka back home, you will probably like to try it on. Even when it’s not freezing outside many tourists want to know how it feels to be a Russian in winter. Back in the days, people used to put Russian “shapka” in the fridge to preserve the fur. Nowadays nobody wears ushanka in Moscow but it’s still in use in remote and freezing cold regions. And just for the record, the word “ushanka” comes from the Russian word “ushi” (ears) thanks to its ear flaps that keep your ears and even neck (when it’s tied) warm.
Souvenir shops don’t sell real fur hats but items from faux fur for low prices. You can at least choose an ushanka of your favorite color, whether it’s pink, yellow or green. Souvenir markets in the Red Square, Arbat St. and Izmailovo offer a big variety of sizes and colors.
- Price: from 500 Rubl (~ $8) at Izmaylovo, from 800 Rubl (~ $13) at Arbat St.
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #3 VALENKI
To complement your Russian outfit you should try on the original valenki or at least bring some home as a souvenir. Valenok means “made by felting”. Traditional natural and highly comfortable felt boots are perfect for a frosty winter. Who knows, maybe you will start a new trend wearing modernly designed or authentic gray ones. If the Uggs could do that, why wouldn’t valenki?
It’s not a problem to purchase a nice pair of tiny valenki in the most popular souvenir shops from 300 Rubl (~ $5). In case you dream of wearing real ones at home you will have to leave the city center and visit official fabrics. Besides, that will be a very different experience off the beaten tourists’ path:
- Hours: weekday 10 am – 8 pm, weekend 10 am – 6 pm
- Adress: Stroiteley St., 6 Bld. 4 (Universitet metro station)
- Contact: +7 (495) 930-38-71
- Price: 1 200 – 2 000 Rubl (~ $19 – $32)
- Hours: weekday 9 am – 10 pm, weekend 10 am – 9 pm
- Adress: Gazoprovod St., 4Б (Ulitsa Akademika Yangelya metro station)
- Contact: +7 (499) 390-21-76
- Price: 1 200 – 5 000 Rubl (~ $19 – $80)
- Hours: daily 9 am – 11 pm
- Adress: Varshavskoye Highway, 170A Bld. 1 (Anino metro station)
- Contact: +7 (495) 971-99-40, +7 (495) 973-70-41
- Price: 1 200 – 25 000 Rubl (~ $19 – $396)
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #4 PAVLOVO POSAD SHAWLS
If men could let themselves wear that shaggy ball of fur on the head, women had to come up with something warm that would at the same time enhance their beauty. Pavlovo Posad shawl is not only a souvenir but an awesome gift for a woman. The shawls are made of natural, high-quality wool or silk, designed and produced in a small town Pavlovo Posad not far from Moscow. The variety of ornamental styles and colors will satisfy the taste of the most demanding lady.
There are not many official manufactures selling the shawls but almost every gift shop in Kremlin, Arbat and Izmaylovo has it. However, you should be careful not to get a fake one. Authentic shawls are made from 100% wool or silk without adding viscose nor synthetic. Of course, it’s not a big deal to fake the tag. Given that it’s better to know how natural wool is by touch. Also, shawl’s fringe should be made from wool as well. The easiest way to purchase such a gorgeous and useful souvenir that would be natural is to shop in official stores of Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory.
Bearly-team’s chosen locations:
Vetoshniy Per., 9 (daily, 11 am – 9 pm)
Kamergerskiy Per., 6/5, Bld. 2, 2d floor (daily, 11 am – 9 pm)
Noviy Arbat St., 11 Bld. 1 (daily, 10 am – 9 pm)
Sadovnichiy Drive, 6 (weekdays 10 am – 9 pm, weekend 10 am – 7 pm)
- Contact: +7 (496) 437-07-05
- Price: 1 000 – 6 000 Rubl (~ $16 – $100)
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #5 CAVIAR
Everybody knows that if you go to Moscow you cannot come back without a caviar tin. You can purchase black (beluga, osetra, sturgeon) or red caviar (salmon, trout) but you should know that black caviar is more expensive and harder to find.
That might be a good idea to try caviar before buying it. Many places offer Russian blinis with red caviar which is good for tasting. A low-cost but still worthy option is Teremok, the fast food chain that offers traditional Russian cuisine. A rather costly option would be to taste traditional delicacies in the main gastronomic attraction of the capital, White Rabbit overlooking the Moscow International Business Centre. If you’re eager to taste caviar from every corner of the country investigate the widest assortment of eggs in Moscow in the restaurant of Russian delicacies and caviar brasserie Beluga.
- By purchasing caviar in a metal jar pay attention to the integrity of the tin; there shouldn’t be any blisters;
- It’s a bad sign when you note the gurgling sounds while shaking the jar. That means there is too much liquid;
- When you buy caviar in a glass jar remember that the density of eggs is crucial – there should be no damages;
- If you have a chance to taste caviar before buying pay attention to the firmness of the egg texture. Superior and fresh eggs should “pop” on the tip of your tongue; The taste shouldn’t be sour or rancid;
BEAR IN MIND
An abbreviation “ГОСТ” means that caviar meets the technical standards
- Check out the composition. Only salt, glycerin, vegetable oil, and antiseptics can be added (shelf-life of unpasteurized eggs 2,5 months and 8-18 months of pasteurized eggs). In case you find preservatives E239 or E200 it’s OK. It just means that caviar won’t spoil in a year.
- Be aware that sturgeon caviar harvested from July to August. Eggs, packed in another period, were subjected to long-term freezing.
- Don’t forget to put the caviar in the fridge. The temperature is important therefore that would be great if you could keep it cold on a plane too.
Talking about shops, we’ll recommend you official stores Krasnaya Ikra with reasonable prices. In supermarkets Perekrestok (reasonable prices) and Azbuka Vkusa (expensive but big assortment) you can find sturgeon and beluga caviar as well as salmon and trout.
Bearly-team’s chosen locations:
Novokuznetskaya St., 13/15 (daily, 9 am – 10 pm)
Troilinskiy Per., 3 (daily, 9 am – 10 pm)
- Contact: +7 (915) 262-37-85
- Price: 1750 Rubl (~ $28) per 500 g of salmon caviar, 5000 Rubl (~ $80) per 100 g of sturgeon caviar
Bearly-team’s chosen locations:
Okhotniy Ryad St., 2 (daily, 9 am – 11 pm)
Noviy Arbat St., 15 (daily, open 24 hours)
Zemlyanoy Val St., 33 (daily, open 24 hours)
- Contact: +7 (800) 200-95-55
- Price: 2800 Rubl (~ $45) per 500 g of salmon caviar, 5300 Rubl (~ $84) per 100 g of sturgeon caviar
- Bearly-team’s chosen locations:
Bolshaya Lubyanka St., 12/1 (daily, open 24 hours)
Serafimovicha St., 2 (daily, open 24 hours)
Petrovka St., 19 Bld. 1 (daily, 8 am – 10 pm)
Arbat St., 54/2 Bld. 4 (daily, open 24 hours)
- Contact: +7 (495) 663-86-02
- Price: 900 Rubl (~ $15) per 100 g of trout caviar, from 8 000 to 13 000 Rubl (~ $126 – $206) per 100 g of sturgeon caviar, 29 000 Rubl (~ $460) per 100 g of beluga caviar
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #6 SWEETS
In order to make your friend jump for joy, add in your souvenir kit a bunch of chocolate sweets produced by the RotFront and Krasniy Oktyabr factory which you can find in almost every shop and in official stores Alenka. The most popular ones are Mishka Kosolapiy, Alenka, chocolate bars Batonchiki and Stolichnye (with vodka). What’s also worth a try is Tula Gingerbread and Kolomensky pastels (Russian marshmallow).
When you are eager to fill your bags with eatable presents for your family, visit the most famous and beautiful Moscow store Eliseevskiy, which can compete with palaces and museums. Some products are overpriced but it’s still worth visiting. Feel free to enjoy traditional candies and cakes with a cup of a fine Russian tea in the shop’s cafe. You will easily find caviar there as well.
- Hours: daily, open 24 hours
- Adress: Tverskaya St., 14 (Pushkinskaya metro station)
- Contact: +7 (495) 650-46-43
- Price: 700 – 900 Rubl (~ $11 – $15) per kilo of sweets, 900 – 1 300 Rubl (~ $15 – $20) per kilo of vodka sweets, 40 Rubl (~ $1) for Tula Gingerbread, 800 Rubl (~ $13) per 100 g of red caviar
MUST BRING FROM MOSCOW #7 POSTCARDS & PINS
Your luggage is about to burst out of keepsakes but just in case you are still looking for places where to buy souvenirs in Moscow we have one more recommendation for you. Don’t miss out an opportunity to shop for handmade or even hipster trinkets in bookstores and museum gift shops. Be sure you will find lovely postcards, funny stickers, and magnets. You will probably also like the idea of hanging a pin by Heart of Moscow with tiny Historical Museum or Boris Yeltsin on your chest (why not?) so as everybody knows where you spent your vacation. Check out Respublica stores and their huge collection of pins by Heart of Moscow and postcards.
- Hours: daily, 10 am – 22 pm or open 24 hours
- Bearly-team’s chosen locations:
Vozdvizhenka St., 4/7 Bld. 1 (open 24 hours)
1-ya Tverskaya-Yamskaya St., 10 (open 24 hours)
Manezhnaya Square, 1 Bld. 2 (daily, 10 am – 10 pm)
Red Square St., 3 (daily, 10 am – 10 pm)
Bolshaya Ordynka St., 21 Bld, 2 (daily, 9 am – 11 pm)
Now you know where to buy souvenirs in Moscow but bear in mind that your own memories and impressions are the best ever keepsakes