What to buy?, Moscow
Been to the new honey fair in Orekhovo / Tsaritsino,
Bought southern honey from Abhazia, eastern from Jewish republic in the Far East and northern from Viatka region
Will write a full review later.
What to pay: 300 - 900 rubles / kg
The boutique is called Massandra wines, and they indeed make the bulk of the store, although they feature other wines, too.
What to buy: Remember the good/bad old times when Americans used to buy Cuban cigars in Russian shops because of the embargo? There is another reason to visit Moscow now: wine.
Dry sherry is especially good.
What to pay: 5 - 15 euro / bottle
Publishing house Moscow Time - 'Moskovskoye Vremia'
What to buy: Why choose dull ‘CCCP’ T-shirts made God knows where when you can get these lovely landscapes for the same price? I mean, not just one, but a set of ten!
They have no weight, they need no space and they are as packable as any Ikea stuff. You put one set into your suitcase, then give them away by one to your friends / relatives – everybody is happy and feels completely enlightened.
There are wonderful calendars, too – this is old Moscow not many Muscovites know, not just the same St. Basil’s cathedral from 12 different angles.
I caught them at the Museum of Moscow, but if you are late for the exhibition, here is the publisher’s site
Luxurious interior. Dozens of branded sorts of sweets of highest quality. Rot front factory operates since 1826. Low prices.
At website you can get more adresses.
What to buy: Candies sold by weight: Golden domes, Autumn waltz, Cow, Sticks, Candied roasted nuts.
What to pay: Less than $1 for one brick, less then $10 for 250 g of candies or one box.
You will find Russians, especially in Moscow, very brand conscious. This is especially true amoung the emerging middle class professionals and the niveau riche. From brand new BMWs & Mercedes, Rolexes & Cartiers, to suits from Armani & Hugo Boss Russians will stump up for the best they can afford. It they cannot afford the original, they will happily buy the imitation. There are many markets & kiosks in Moscow where you can buy fake goods at reasonable prices.
However, here the accent is on conspicuous consumption. What is the good of having the newest model of mobile phone from Nokia or Samsung if you do not let it ring long and loud in the restaurant before answering it? And, then proceed to speak loudly into it so everyone knows you must be a very important person? I have even seen people stand-up in a restaurant while they take their calls. Who can miss such a distinguished businessman as that?
What to buy: Generally, you will find the prices of imported goods higher than in western Europe or in N. America. Moscow is a very expensive city. However, you will also be able to find local or cheaper substitutes for almost anything you want or need to buy.
Many Russian brands have disappeared. Some have survived. I tried to buy Russian made hockey equipment, but could only find Canadian, Finnish and Swedish brands for example.
Many international firms are also beginning to produce international brands in Russia for domestic consumption. This should help reduce prices overtime.
What to pay: As much as you want or can afford.
It is difficult to think of a better present from Russia to give to your relatives and friends abroad than a jar of delicious black or red caviar.
But there are certain limits on how much caviar you are allowed to take out of the country, and it is best to be prepared so there are no nasty surprises at the airport or on the border.
When shopping for caviar in stores around town, keep in mind that a customs officer will allow only a factory-packaged caviar container -- either glass or tin -- to leave Russia with you. Market-bought containers with some plastic over the top just won't do.
And unfortunately, customs laws of the Russian Federation allow an individual to take no more than 250 grams of black sturgeon caviar and no more than 500 grams of red salmon caviar out of the country.
If you're looking for ways around these restrictions, it is also good to keep in mind that international courier services will not help you send some caviar to your grandma or auntie.
Courier services don't deliver caviar of sturgeon, as it is considered to be a special product subject to excise duty and requires special registration at excise customs.
What to buy: However, please keep in mind that there is a lot of illegal poaching of caviar going on in Russia and other former CIS states. Literally, rivers blocked-off, thousands of fish trapped, cut open, their caviar extracted, and the fish carcasses left to rot in the sun. Some of this is done with official protection or by the police which turn a blind eye. The film I saw on this illegal trade was very disturbing to say the least. I will not buy caviar anymore from non-official sources. That is no guarantee of its origin, but pirated caviar can come from anywhere, and now I know where it might be from.
What to pay: On a recent visit to a duty free shop in Domodedovo Airport, we spotted a blue-lidded 56.8-gram jar of Beluga caviar for $50, while a similar yellow-lidded jar of Osetrova caviar was slightly cheaper at $36 and the red-lidded Sevruga caviar was the most modest in price, retailing at $34 for a jar of the same size.
The cheaper red salmon caviar was sold at $39 for a large 380-gram jar, and a smaller, 70-gram jar cost just $8.
Russia has a long tradition in producing tasty chocolate. So if you plan to bring gifts for family and friends from your trip to Russia, you should take chocolate into account.
Among the best brands are "Krasnyi Oktyabr" (Red October) and "Babaevskiy". The latter was established in 1804 and is even said to be the oldest confectionary in Russia.
The most famous product of company "Krasnyi Oktyabr" is a chocolate known as "Alenka". It can easily be recognised by its packaging with a smiling Soviet girl.
Russian Chocolate can be bought in one of the countless small grocery stores, which are called "Produkty" and of course also in the big supermarkets (Hyper Market).
A 100 gram chocolate bar of good quality chocolate sets you back something between 50 and 70 Rubles (2009).
Alenka chocolate - Website:
Babaevskiy chocolate - Website:
A gorgeous souvenir from Russia is a calendar with photos of a city, region or even local things.
All over Russia you get typical square size calendars with photos of e.g. St Petersburg at night, Moscow at night, the Golden Ring, Russian birches or the Holy Places of Russia.
These calendars are available at bookshops, kiosks and sometimes even in souvenir shops. In 2009 these calendars cost something between 150 and 200 Rubles (less than 5 Euro).
What to buy:
Matryoshkas are one of the most popular Russian national souvenirs. So if you have to bring presents for your family and friends, then you should take Matryoshkas into account.
Matryoshkas are colourful wooden nestling dolls of different sizes. Smaller ones fit inside the bigger ones.
You get Matryoshkas at almost all souvenir stands and souvenir shops. Popular places to buy Matryoshkas are the souvenir stands at the northern entrance to Red Square, at the Sparrow Hills plateau (Vorobyovy Gory), at the Izmaylovo Market as well as the souvenir shops on the street ul. Arbat.
You might even bump into people around the main sights who directly offer Matryoshkas from their bags.
Russia seems to be a very popular place for all kinds of pirate CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs. You even get pirate products in many shops or at kiosks in metro stations and underpasses, so not only in hidden places.
There are rumours that the quality of the pirate products is not always satisfying. These music CDs are on offer for about 80 to 150 Rubles (2005).
Also new licensed products are still a bit cheaper than in Western Europe.
Everyone knows how a Pavlovo Posad shawl looks like, you have seen them at fashion shows and even Olympic games opening events.
I have one, too, since the old times – actually, they cost less now, by the Big Mac Index.
To be honest, the manufacturing site does not strike me as a hot tourist destination, though I have located a few 19 – 20 century celebrities, several old churches, a lot of greenery and an overall serene air of a small Russian town.
The shawl factory is by far the main attraction. They have their own museum and a retail store, for a Russian both look pretty plain, but for you foreign folks shopping there will be a genuine adventure.
To visit Pavlovo Posad
- train, from Kursk station
- car, GPS latitude — N 55.47.4, longtitude — Å 38.40.35
To see the museum ring (49643) 2-96-18
To call the shop (49643) 2-96-91
Open 9 – 18 Monday – Friday, 9 – 17 Saturday – Sunday
They have a sensible English language site and even a funny tester for your monitor
There is an internet store, too – write to email@example.com
What to buy: P.S.
Don’t use them as tablecloth, unless you deliberately mean an insult
What to pay: pricelist – in Russian roubles
The CHAPURIN shop is located in the so-called meatpacking district of Moscow, which has nothing to do with packing meat, but is named after the area in NYC due to a great choice of restaurant, clubs and bars around it. One called The Apartment is next door to CHAPURIN. The design of the shop deserves a few words in its own right. Transparent mirrors, dark wooden floors and some brown wood and 70s design chammy chairs, with fantastic music playing on top of all that.
The area, where the shop is located is not far from the Novodevichi monastery, which is a must see. Another shop worthy the attention in that area is LIDE, located in an industrial passageway on the right-hand side from CHAPURIN, mostly Belgian designers and great sunglasses.
What to buy: CHAPURIN does intellectual, at points, slightly military chick clothing for women, from tight trousers to garrison caps. I was told that he became famous in mid-nineties for his couture dresses. These days however the collections contain a lot of futuristic references like the fabulous prints imitating golden and silver quicksilver effects. Fantastic furs. The company shows it’s prêt-a-porte twice a year in Paris.
What to pay: A lot. It is expensive, but totally worth it.
ah, what can i add about GUM? in soviet times and during perestroika i didnt like going here-it was too crowdy, too many tourists and everyone pushing you..what shopping you're talking about?:) but now it's changed, really..like many things in the city. They renovated the building and now it's all full of expensive upscale boutiques, i think it doesnt make sense to buy things here cause they sell Kenzo and Burberry at higher prices than everywhere in Europe..ok, maybe it's more expensive in Tokyo:) but it's definitely worth to have a look inside..it's clean and shiny and still has old spirit.
What to pay: a lot of money, really a lot...
I think "Moskovsky Dom Knigy" is the biggest book shop not only in Moscow, but also in Russia (and before in Soviet Union). It's located on Novy Arbat street, so it wont be difficult to find it. Here you could find all kind of books of course, postcards, maps, travel guides, cd's, dvd's and even some rare old book, second-hands...and just in case if you dont find yourself in Novy Arbat dont be upset, because for sure you would be somewhere close to Tverskaya and here there is a great book shop as well-"Moskva".
What to buy:
At Heathrow in the duty free, Beluga caviar (the black stuff) costs £2,000 per kilo. In your average Moscow supermarket, you can easily pick it up for a tenth that price - i.e. £200 per kilo. And if you go to a more traditional-style market you might even be able to bargain the price down further. Make sure you taste it before you buy - they will probably open the tin up and let you try it. Not only does this ensure you actually like caviar, but also demonstrates that it's the real thing, not lots of little black plastic balls. If you wait until you get to the airport, it will be more expensive - perhaps £400 to £600 per kilo, although still a lot cheaper than UK prices, obviously. A final word of warning - caviar needs to be refrigerated. So if you're going to buy it, make sure it's the last thing you do before heading off to the airport.
What to pay: £200 per kilo for Beluga. Red caviar (from Salmon) is considerably cheaper, but tastes like seawater.