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Nevsky Avenue: Bolshoi Gostiny Dvor and Grand Palace
Bolshoi Gostiny Dvor on Nevsky Prospekt deserves a visit, but rather as a historic and cultural monument. It was built back in the 18th century.
Opposite stands a new shopping center, Gallery Grand Palace, where you can find the world’s leading brands.
I have a photo of a building (photo 2) which says "Grand Palace" on the side. At first I thought it was a hotel, but it doesn't match up with the pictures. So maybe it is this shopping center.
What to pay: According to the Russian websites "prices are set too high"
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Gostiny Dvor: Shopping in History
This is a huge shopping mall with a perfect architecture. There are two floors, mainly for men's and women's clothing, souvenirs and couple of cafes and pizza place. One of the main tourist spots so do not expect nice pricing. Meanwhile, there are high quality souvenirs that mey be interesting.
What to buy: Zenith St Petersburg Footbal Team merchandise, SPB souvenirs.
What to pay: 150 ruble for Zenith scarf, 400-500 rubles for small size matrushkas.
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Gostiny Dvor: Sheer size
You can find almost anything in Gostiny dvor and the building alone is alone worth a visit. A succession of several buildings and architects (among them Bartolomeo Rastrelli) worked on this place, with a facade totalling almost 1km...
One of the most amazing features is that when walking through the complex, you actually walk through (and not around) all the boutiques.
The arcades or the shop itself are also appreciable in case of bad weather (in case when walking either along Nevski prospect or Sadovaia street)
What to buy: All kinds of shops, from honey (with red caviar one of the meals russian enjoy the most today - I always wondered why bear is a national symbol :-) ) to clothes, children toys...
A classic department store in sum...
Open from 9 to 21 daily (yes, contrary to many european countries, there is no such thing as saturday or sunday closures - every day means really every day)
gostinny dvor: if you don't find it there
Stretched along Nevski for 230 meter at the corner with Sadovaya Ulitsa gostinny dvor is a shopping paradise that mostly sells cloths but you may find about anything inside from toys till cameras. The building itself is an architectural gem. Inside you can walk for over a kilometer and the story goes that during restauration in the 60's over 300 pounds of gold were dicovered hidden in various places. There are also some cafes in the galleries on the outside.
Nevsky Prospekt: Gourmet Gastronom
Yaliseevsky's on Nevsky Prospekt is an institution & a gourmet delight with it's meat & fish deli, caviar, chocolates cakes & wine.
By Russian standards it is pretty expensive, but even if you don't want to buy anything it's worth having a look at for the interior alone with its marble counters, ornate chandeliers and stain glass windows.
Open weekdays 10h00 - 21h00 & week-ends 11h00 - 21h00.
What to buy: Treat yourself to a cake or some choclate!
What to pay: A few chocolates or a cake would probably set you back a few pounds or euros/dollars.
Nevsky Avenue: The main drag
This is a shot of just a small portion of Nevsky. Nevsky is to St. Petersburg as Michigan Avenue is to Chicago. It's something you just have to visit to round out your trip, but it is far from an "authentic" Russian experience. Many of the stores I saw there were the same or similar to what we see all the time in America. The prices were pretty expensive too, compared to what you would pay at stores or restaurants in other places around town.
Nevsky Avenue: Fancy-Schmancy Grocery Store
This is the outside of Yeliseev's grocery store. It's a really nice, upper-scale store that supposedly only the Russian muckety-mucks could shop at during the communist era. Now the hol-poloi can enter!
Gostinniy Dvor: Looking for Matreshka?
Gostinniy Dvor (Hotel yard) is right on Nevsky Avenue and is impossible to miss. It is a beautiful architecture and has many shops inside - anything from really expensive boutiques to souvenir selling shelves. It's fun to be there and get a feel for the local culture. In front of Gostinniy Dvor there are quite few kiosks that represent different tourism agencies. There you can buy tickets to almost any tours in and around town and most of the tour buses start their journey right there.
What to buy: If you know how cold it gets in St. Pete in the winter, then you won't be surprised to see the countless fur shops. If you come from a cold place or going to one, then I recommend you buy a fur hat. They're really cool and will keep your head warm ;-)
What to pay: Hmm, anywhere between $50 and up if the prices haven't changed since 2003.
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ST PETERSBURG : NEVSKY PROSPEKT
Nevsky Prospekt is the main thoroughfare of St. Petersburg where everything happens.
One of the metro lines is along this road too.
There are many shopping centres under restoration at the moment when I was there. But, I am sure they provide very modern shopping interiors, with international brands.
There are some supermarkets with proper cash registers on some main streets off Nevsky Prospekt. I remember one is along the street right opposite Catherine the Great Statue.
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