Shopping!

You can buy anything in Russian cities especially if you have cash you could  find what you’re looking for at the markets, malls, shops etc. There are many things, souviners, to buy if you know where and what to look for.

The most popular and the most classic souvenir from Russia is matryoshka, the set of wooden dolls placed one inside the other. The first nesting dolls were carved in 1890 by a  design by Sergey Malyutin inspired by souvenir dolls from Japan as wooden toys for kids.  The number of nested figures can be as few as five or as many as twenty. The dolls are typically made of linden tree (basswood), dried for at least 2 years to ensure their stability.  The most traditional design is one that looks like a peasant girls dressed in Russian native costume with a scarf on her head, Today there is a big variety of the themes: from animals to movie stars etc.

If you are looking for a present for your mom, grandmother or even girlfriend the best option will be traditional Russian wool schawls and silk scarves. There are 2 cities which are famous by producing these products: Pavlov Posad and Orenburg.  Since old times Russian schalws and scarves were obligatory parts of woman’s costumes and they had large importance. This time a woman, who went to the church, should have her head covered with a shawl or a stole. In accordance with Russian traditions a married woman could not be in public without a shawl on her head. There are plenty colours, prints and sizes, huge possibilities of wear and it’s probably one of the reason why they are so popular as a stylish accessory

Another attractive Russian craft is palekh – enamel wooden box. The boxes feature intricately hand-drawn miniature paintings based on a variety of themes, including fairy tales, poems, country life, troikas, landscapes, battle scenes, and old art masterpieces. But they’re usually quite expensive. Cheeper but joyful are the red, gold wooden cups, spoons from Khokhloma.

Gzhel porcelain decorated with fancy blue painting has wide popularity. Gzhel ware is decorated with flowers, leaves, bunches and garlands of flowers. They are painted with the only colour – blue cobalt, which is sometimes laid wide and rich dab and other times in hardly noticeable touch of the brush. Touches of different intensity create a rich, bright and very impressive picture.

You can also bring from Russia: fur, paintings from the street artists, caviar and vodka (Russia is the best place to buy it), amber, chocolate, posters with the Soviet theme, pirate CDs, DVDs and CD-ROMs, Russian linen, old Soviet stuff such as the pins shown in the attached photos, cigarette cases, tea holders, Lenin busts, hats, etc.

Enjoy your time in Russia!