Where to go?, Moscow
Okhotny Ryad is not a shop. It is a three level shopping mall that can be found underneath Manezhnaya Square. Perhaps the only thing that differentiates this mall from those commonly found in the centre of most major cities is that it is built down (i.e. the lowest level is about half way to the subway station of the same name). Otherwise it should be familiar to anyone who has been to Toronto, New York, LA, etc., including the cacophony of Russian conversations. This is a classier mall than you might expect, but not one that caters exclusively to the über-rich. Rather, you can find all the standard western chains here, like Zara, H&M, Pull and Bear, Hugo Boss, Guess, etc. in addition to smaller domestic brands that you might not find outside of Russia. It is a bit of an experience, though, especially if you come from Red Square, as it provides a stark, commercialist contrast to the glories of the old régime.
What to buy: Anything and everything. If you are looking for something specific and want to be sure that you get an item of a quality equivalent to what you would buy in an American or French or Italian mall, just come here right away. It also seems a better bet that you will get someone with some knowledge of English to help you (many people who work here are under 30) than if you waltz into a store in Kitay Gorod.
What to pay: Moscow stores range from expensive to very expensive to I pay this because I have no soul. This mall stays in the lower ranges of the scale.
This is really nice place, in my opinion, it is modern and old fashion at the same time, not to mention its unique interior design. It has with plenty of everything, cafes and bars, fast food and elegant restaurants. You can do a lot here, from fashion shopping to local crafts, etc.
It had even own little museum - a wall exibition of old Russian tea and sweets packages (it was there a year ago). It does a lot of temporary exibitions also. A couple of times I saw there unusual art, sculpture and Da Vinchi's Models exibitions.
What to buy: You can find everything here: food, drinks, gifts, clothes, shoes, etc.
Visit Gum's even if you don't intend to buy anything. It's been called the largest shopping mall in Europe. It's 3 levels of shops with both Russian and Western goods. From designer goods to more affordable souvenirs. Many cafes and restaurants. Impressive glass roof letting in lots of light and sunshine.
Gum is worth a visit even if you don't intend buying anything. Inside are 3 levels of arcades, which are filled with shops, western & Russian. Expensive designer goods or affordable souvenirs can be bought. There are numerous cafes & restaurants too.
The inside of the buildings design looks even more impressive when sunlight streams through the glass roof.
deffinessee by Olgadeffi. deffinesse is a famous French line, but you can get desiger clothes for reasonable prices through Oladeffi in Moscow.
Olga Deffi creates all the deffinesse collections from european designers and is a permanent participant of Russian Fashion Week
What to buy: Designer clothes for a reasonable price
What to pay: normal to a bit more
Most tourists seem to buy handicrafts in shops or stalls at Arbat street. While they do have a good selection, prices are high as well. To buy regular quality handicrafts, you can go to the underground passage between the GUM stores and Revolution Square (very close to Red Square and Kremlin) where prices are like twice less.
If you want to buy the high end stuff, do go to Stary Arbat to one of the fancy stores. They do have a good selection, but be prepared to pay top dollar for top quality.
What to buy: Russian crafts
Way out on the North East end of Moscow... take the little bus to get to the bazaar.
The little buses ,the 586 and the 489, for about 20 Pbl. each will get you to the bazaar. Bring cash as it's warehousing area so toilets and bankomats are hard to find...
Walk around a bit before you start real shopping as the place is huge!
What to buy: Everything that you can carrry. No cars or big machines...
What to pay: 0-$US500
Why not to buy and bring home some exotic fish from Moscow? It’s possible. The shop “Sea Aquarium” has great variety of fish, invertebrates, all necessary equipment for their keeping.
If you are not interesting in buying, just come and look at well-liked ‘Nemo’, sea-stars, corals, actinias, rays, sea-horses, morays, medusas and many-many others. But the main attraction of the aquarium is reef sharks. Twice in a week (Wednesday 12:00, Saturday 18:30) they have a so-called show “Shark feeding”.
Open air market near M Partizanskaya where bargaing is MUST. I went there to see this unsual unique market (see photos) and tried to pay less then in city, but even there they cheated me (or I'm not good negotiator :-)
Still, nice to walk around soviet memorabilia, art, handmade craft, antiques.
What to buy: Soviet souvenirs.
What to pay: You can spend as little as you negotiate well.
The Yeliseev food store is ressembling a palace more than a shop where you buy those ordinary things like bread & butter.
It's a in a beautifully restored house with chandeliers, marble columns and large mirrors.
What to buy: grocery products
What to pay: slightly more than normal
On Red Square, directly opposite Lenin's tomb and across from St Basil's Cathedral is a place where tourists and New Russians come to worship a much more popular god, consumerism.
In the old state department store, the GUM, is like a cross between Covent Garden and an old railway station - lots of elegance and style in 3 seperate, parallel arcades housing lots of individual shops and cafes.
Pre Soviet times it held up to 1,200 different shops and stall holders - later it was used as a Soviet office and even housed the body of Stalin's wife after she committed suicide.
Now it houses lots of international shops, salons and boutiques, all at prices that would make a true Red tremble with rage!
What to buy: Even if you don't want to buy (nothing unique here, just expensive) it is worth visiting if just to enjoy the architecture and the buzz of the place.
Its a shopping mall just at the Red Square. Its the most beatifull and big building there. You can't never miss it.
Its beatifull also inside, as it look like a street inside with its corridors. Even you don't shop, just get inside and enjoy yourself.
Izmaylovo Market is a sprawling area also known as the nisazh market is packed with art hand made crafts and antiques.
What to buy: Original range of matryoshki, pelekh and khokhloma were
What to pay: Dont expect too much flexibility in the prices
These little shops sell virtually everything. They are good for window shopping and in winter they are not out in the street. You find them in underpasses and near metro entrances.
What to buy: Toilettries, huts, stockings, CD's and DVD's, drinks, snacks, paper tissues, magazines, maps, telephone cards, flowers, etc. etc.
What to pay: normal prices
TSUM is one of the largest and most successful department stores in Russia. Central Universal Store (TSUM) is located in the very center of Moscow ? next to the Red Square and the Bolshoi Theater. Opening hours are 9 am till 10 pm Monday to Saturday, 9 am till 9 pm on Sunday.
TSUM?s history started in 1885, when two entrepreneurs from Scotland, Archibald Mirielees and Andrew Muir opened the first department store in Russia. By the beginning of the XIX century it united over 80 departments and was one of the best in Europe together with Harrods in London. In 1922 the Soviet authorities made it the central store of the nation and from that time the store bears the name known to several generations of Muscovites ? TSUM. Nowadays it is equipped with modern lifts, state of art escalators and is decorated in accordance with the highest international standards.
In 1992 TSUM changed its legal status and became an open joint stock venture. In 1995 it was decided to reconstruct the TSUM building in order to expand the sales grounds and optimize the structure of departments. The reconstruction cost TSUM about 22 million dollars.
What to buy: clothes, shoes, accessories
What to pay: it's not the cheapest shop in Moscow :) you can be shocked of some prices