Shopping in Russia - 6 Amazing things to buy
When you think of Russia, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably the cold weather. But, there are so many beautiful things that you can find exclusively in that country. We have listed six – and some bonus items – that should definitely be on your shopping list when in Russia.
By the way, while you’re in Russia, it would be a good idea to stay away from branded perfumes, make-up, shoes, clothes, and bags as they will be quite expensive thanks to the exorbitant import duty.
However, there are a lot of things that you can buy only in Russia. So, make the most of your trip and bring a little piece of Russian culture back home with you.
1) Imperial Porcelain
Russia’s cultural capital, St Petersburg, is home to the world-famous Imperial Porcelain Factory. These exquisite ‘white gold’ china pieces, as they are known in Russia, will be a great addition to your living room. They are delicate, intricate, and visually awe-inspiring. A simple teacup-and-saucer set starts at US$30. A full dinner set can cost US$900-1000.
Where to buy: You can check out the Imperial Porcelain Factory showroom in Moscow (Kutuzovsky Avenue) and St Petersburg (Nevsky Avenue).
2) Faberge egg replicas
You absolutely must pick up a replica of the stunning Faberge Easter egg while in Russia. These jewelled eggs were created by St Petersburg jeweller Karl Gustav Faberge for the Russian Royals between 1885 and 1917. The originals were made of gold and silver, decorated with precious gems, and cost millions of dollars, but you can pick up a replica for US$100-200, depending on the design.
Where to buy:Hermitage Museum or the shops on Nevsky Avenue in St Petersburg are worth checking out. In Moscow, your best bet would be the Armoury museum gift shop and numerous souvenir shops on Arbat Street.
3) Nesting dolls
Brightly coloured and eye-catching, nesting dolls are the quintessential Russian souvenir. Called matryoshka dolls, they come in different sizes, numbers, and themes. They are typically painted to look like women in traditional Russian clothing. Some depict Russian fairy tales, world leaders, pop culture icons, and sports heroes. A basic design with just five dolls starts from US$15 and can go up to US$100. Around ten dolls with elaborate designs will cost approximately US$200.
Where to buy: You can find them in any souvenir shop, local market, or street vendor in Moscow and St Petersburg. You will also find exquisitely painted dolls at Tsentralny Market in Sochi and Voroshilovsky Shopping Centre in Volgograd.
4) Artisanal amber jewellery
Amber, mined on the Baltic coast, is loved by local artisans and is used to make beautiful jewellery – rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Amber is called ‘tears of the sun’ as it resembles sunlight caught in a capsule. These pieces of jewellery can cost between US$10 and US$100 for delicate rings and pendants, and a few thousand dollars for chunky necklace and earring set.
Where to buy: You should check out Amber Hall at Prospekt Leninsky 51, Kaliningrad. Amber & Art Flagship Store in St Petersburg also has an extensive collection of amber jewellery.
5) Wedding ring shawls
Shawls from the Orenburg region are very famous in Russia. They are fashionable, often knitted with brightly coloured yarn, and have unique patterns. They are also called ‘wedding ring shawls’, as even a large shawl can easily pass through a wedding ring. These shawls cost US$100-300, depending on the size and quality.
Where to buy: There are multiple Pavlovo Posad showrooms in Moscow – at Vegas Shopping mall, Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street, and Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street.
6) Russian chocolates
Russia also has a rich chocolate-making tradition. The hundreds of varieties of chocolates will make you feel like a kid in a candy store. You should try the Alenka, Babaevsky, and Red October chocolate bars. The price will vary depending on the brand and the shop you purchase them from.
Where to buy: You will find authentic Russian chocolates in local markets and also luxury shops across the country.
Other unique things that can go on your shopping list include lacquer boxes (papier-mâché boxes covered with lacquer and painted beautifully), and traditional honey. If you’re having trouble dealing with the bitter cold and generally unforgiving weather, buy some felt boots and ushanka (Russian fur cap with earflaps).
With everything you can buy here, Russia offers major #ShoppingGoals to any shopaholic. More importantly, with zero cross-currency charges on international shopping, emergency cash assistance, and flexibility of balance transfer from one currency to another, HDFC Bank’s Multicurrency ForexPlus Card is the perfect companion for your overseas adventure as you enjoy a game of football, soak in the Russian culture, and have a memorable shopping experience. So, as the world gets ready to enjoy the football's biggest event, it’s time you #GoForGoals too and make the most of Russia’s shopping scene! And if you’re worried about being broke by the time your trip ends, here are some money saving tips on your trip to Russia
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