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SEPTEMBER 20
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Moscow Travel Guide

Shopping in Moscow

Being a populous city Moscow offers you a lot of shopping malls. There are many shopping malls which act as a paradise for those visitors who love to shop. Moscow now offers as many designer boutiques as Paris, London or Milan. Feast your eyes and save your wallet, or head to the markets in search of that elusive find. Some of these are located in the Down Town Moscow area. These boutiques carry the world’s most famous brand names which include Balgari, Armani, Prada, Bentley and Tiffany.


WHERE TO SHOP

Depending upon one's taste, everything is available in Moscow.


Head for Ulitsa Arbat for the best antique stores in town, although be aware that anything pre-1945 old is subject to a ream of red tape and a hefty exportation tax.


Tverskaya, heading north from Red Square, is Moscow's most fashionable shopping street and the address of some expensive boutiques. In Tverskaya you can find the Knizhni Magazin Moskva book emporium (with a good selection of Russian classics in English, should you need them). Kuznetski and Petrovka are essential to any shopper.

Shopping in Moscow


Originally built in the late 19th century, GUM (Gosudarstveny Univer Mag) was an "exhibition centre" during the Soviet period. Located adjacent to Red Square, GUM was actually the shopping place for all of the Soviet Union's elite while on vacation in Moscow. From the high end to the low end of shopping the visitor will find countless individual shops catering to any taste. GUM is open daily from 08:30 to 20:30. (11:00 to 19:00 on Sundays). All of the biggest names in Western fashion can be found here: Guess, TJ Collection, Nike, Reebok, Rivoli, Casadei, Vicini. There is also a food court on the bottom floor.


Most things are widely available in Moscow. Supermarkets and WalMart-style shops can be found in every corner of Moscow. IKEA now has three gigantic superstores, and you can buy any brand-named good you wish.



There are some great markets and shops where you can buy souvenirs in the centre of the city, and a large souvenir market located close to the metro in eastern Moscow.


For a range of goods that stretch from the Caucasus in the south to Central Asia and Vladivostok in the east, the Vernisazh Weekend Market, near Ismailovsky Park is a must see. Here you will find local handicrafts originating from all the distant corners of the former Soviet Union.

Shopping in Moscow


There are rugs from all regions, handmade clothes from the Russian Far East, and amber from the Baltic, antique samovars, chess sets, Matroyshkas, artists selling their own work and much, much more. Bargaining is obligatory if you expect to pay a reasonable price, otherwise be prepared to be fleeced. The Vernisazh is a three-minute walk from the Isamailovsky Park metro.


WHAT TO BUY

There are plenty of souvenirs of the ex-Soviet Union that have become delightfully retro-kitsch items among the foreign tourists that now flock to Moscow. Everything from Soviet Army uniforms (hats, belts and coats are favourite items) to everyday paraphernalia such as telephones and kitchen utensils can be found for sale at Moscow's more eclectic markets.



For the souvenir hunter, Palekh and Kholui lacquered boxes make attractive gifts, as do the traditional Matryoshka dolls (wooden dolls within dolls) and samovars. Other options are Khokhloma wooden cups, saucers and spoons (painted gold, red and black) and Dymkovskaya Igrushka pottery figurines based on popular folklore characters.

Engraved amber, Gzhel porcelain, Vologda lace and Fabergé eggs and jewellery are highly sought after. Mementoes from the Red Army abound. Izmailovskii Park has a good craft market at the weekends.

Shopping in Moscow


However, items such as caviar, vodka and handicrafts, the Russian Shapka (traditional fur hat) are easy to find at many of Moscow's large shopping areas, it could be a very useful purchase if you happen to visit during a Russian winter.

A bottle of vodka, there are many varieties available; to foreigners Stolichnaya is probably the most recognisable of the domestic brands.


Shopping in Moscow


You should become familiar with the Russian system of paying for your goods still employed in many stores. This method of shopping involves choosing your purchase from a display counter. The assistant here will give you a chit, with the item and its price written down on it. You take this to the payment counter or kassa. After paying for your goods here you'll be issued with another receipt that you have to take back to the original display counter and finally you receive your purchase.

OPENING HOURS

Stores in the city centre open daily (including Sun) and usually from 10:00-20:00 or later each day (shorter hours may apply on Sun). Markets are open daily, but tourist attractions Izmailovsky Vernisazh and Krymsky Most have far better stalls at weekends.



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