Where to go?, Moscow
The architecture of GUM is Russian-Revivalist style, with archways, wrought-iron railings, stucco-work and globe lights. The fountain in the centre is also very picturesque and was a popular spot for photo-taking.
What to buy: The three lines of GUM are today filled with a mix of mid to high-end stores, some souvenir stalls, a movie theatre, a couple of cafes and fast food restaurants.
We picked up a couple of last minute souvenirs, but otherwise it was our most frequent choice for breakfast and an espresso to start the day.
TsUM, pronounced "tsoom," is another department store. . .this one less attractive inside than GUM.
This was Moscow's first modern department store, built in 1908 by the Scottish trading firm of Muir & Merrilees. The building was largely destroyed by fire in 1900 and was replaced by Moscow's first modern department store in 1908, with Moscow's first elevator.
What to buy: The neo-Gothic exterior is quite striking, but there's nothing much of note inside. . .we did a quick tour, had an ice cream in the small cafe, and escaped back out into the fresh air.
The Okhotnyy Ryad/Manezh mall was an eye-opener for us. . .we were actually in disbelief when someone told us that there was a mall under the ground-level spot we were sitting. We couldn't imagine what sort of mall it would be ~ what it is, is a three-story underground mega-mall.
It's located right out front of Red Square and the Hotel Mosvka. . .and the interior is surprisingly light and airy for something that is entirely underground. You can actually reach it directly from the metro sation of the same name, so you don't even have to come into the sunlight.
What to buy: The stores inside are high-priced boutiques; there's also a movie theatre complex and a fast food area on the bottom floor (worth checking out if you need a quick and cheap bite to eat).
The stores are framed with varied designs ~ marble pillars, wrought-iron branches, stained glass panels. . .and the centre courtyard has a fountain, and a stained-gladd map of the world on the domed ceiling above. This map is also viewable from the Manezhnaya Ploshchad, but it looks entirely different and doesn't at all give hint to what lies beneath it.
What to pay: We just looked around, so no cost.
We visited the market on a Sunday, I believe it is open all week but most popular on the weekends. There are two markets here, the souvenir market which costs 10 rubles to enter and the clothing/household goods market that is free. Unless you want cheap goods from China, head towards the souvenir market.
What to buy: Every souvenir you could possibly want is here-Matryoshka dolls (nested dolls), wooden toys, laquer boxes, Soviet memorabilia, fake fur hats, Christmas ornaments, amber jewelry, etc.
What to pay: Bargain, bargain, bargain!
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
It's a huge underground shopping mall.
It's situated on Ohotni Ryad metro station, under Manezhnaya Square.
You'll be struck by the number of shops and boutiques you'll see there...and by the prices in some of them.....hehehe:)
There are different cafes and cute internet cafe, which is considered to be the best one in Moscow on the first level:)
What to buy: oh, boy.........
Clothes of all kinds, sporty and non-sporty footwear, jewelry,all kinds of accesoirs, cosmetics-whatever you want!
What to pay: It depends on the place. In some of the shops prices are like your telephone number:)
GUM. Gosudarstvenni Universalni Magazin/State Universal Trade Center.
It will take you 10 minutes to walk from Ohotni Ryad shopping mall.
What to buy: I can't say that there's anth special concerning "what to buy" that could make it distinct from other Big shopping malls: the same shops and boutiques and the same prices.
The other is that GUM is much older than one on Ohotni:)
TZUM (Tzentralni Universalni Magazin/Central Universal Trade center).
What can I say .... a regular shopping mall as the previous ones.
What to buy: The only thing is that in additon to clothes and cosmetics you can find some technical things.
Take the metro to Izmailovsky Park, when you get out make a left and follow the crowds.
What to buy: You can buy antiques (not as many as before), handicrafts, fur hats, souvenirs, CDs DVD's, cheap clothes....
What to pay: The prices vary, not a lot of leeway to bargain at shops.
Lots of little stalls run by entrepreneurs and other folks just trying to get by. It is crowded and snakes around but is clean and safe to walk in.
What to buy: Shoes, cheap clothes, cheap towels, soap, detergents, general household goods.
What to pay: You haggle for everything
The Arbat street is famous tourist trap in Moscow for buying souvenirs, but there is one really good shop left from communist time. It is located on Arbat street 27 and its name is Arbatskaya Lavitsa. It is opened daily from 9 am to 9 pm. They accept major credit cards. Entrance is on the corner of the building.
Then I need to buy some souvenirs as gifts for my foreign friends I come here mostly. Well it is little bit more expensive (only for some items) then famous Smolenskiy Passage but quality is much more better and there is not risk that something will have defects and you can return it in 2 weeks.
They have much more wider choice of Russian goods then Smolenskiy Passage has, it is a big shop and you can do shopping there 12 month a year. Smolenskiy Passage is not very pleasant place in wintertime and during working days half of the kiosks are closed.
Many people are under the impression that Russia still suffers from Soviet Era shortages, and that they will have to bring their own jeans and chewing gum with them.
I cannot speak for all of Russia, but in Moscow this is definately not the case. In Moscow you can buy whatever you need, almost anytime you want it. All the major stores have at least a presence in the Russian capital.
Large format mega stores like Ramstore, IKEA, Metro and others have set-up shop on the outskirts of Moscow and along major transportation routes, such as on the way to Sheremetyevo II airport along Leningradskiy & Tverskaya Boulevards. Actually, local shoppers can exacerbate already problematic traffic jams in the evenings and on weekends. Hmm, just like anywhere else in the world?
What to buy: In the city center you will still find major stores for all-purpose shopping like the Seven Continents grocery store and Smolensky Passage department stores located at Smolenskaya metro station on Smolensky Boulevard along the Garden Ring Road.
There are also cheaper shopping alternatives from small mom & pop kiosks along all major roads and in most neighborhoods near the metro station to Garbuschka market, which is famed for its electronics, games & music selection.
Garbuschka market is basically a very large bazaar where traders in Soviet times used to sell bootleg copies of music and other semi-banned, semi-tolerated merchandise. Today it has morphed into a huge home entertainment and home appliance market where you will find almost everything for less. However, beware there are many fakes & phonies being sold, too. So, if the price is right fine, but don't expect your warranty card to be worth the paper it's printed on if you have problems later.
What to pay: less for local goods & imitations, and more for most imported and brand name items.
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”.
It was built by Pomeratsew in 1890 in an old russian style. It looks nice, but we had not very much time and so I could only see it from outside, although it looks also great from inside ....
What to buy:
nearly everything (I guess .....)
There are sooo many shops. I think that there is also an information office about all the shops. I would recommend you to ask here.
Modern subterranean shoppingmall just North of the Kremlin and Red Square. A large collection of trendy and styleshops are drawing many tourists down, while Moscowians use the place as a popular meetingground for youth. At lowest level there is a restaurantplaza, where one can get a wide variety in menus. Outside at groundlevel are magnificent fountains, at night beautifully aluminated.
What to buy: If you can (dare) to take it home: cloths made from fur. Here it is still considered the normalest thing in the world and ... it somehow belongs to the country and it's centuries old tradition of fur (Russian gold).