Moscow shopping is a lot of fun these days. Tons of malls, shops, exhibitions and open markets that offer you everything from matryoshkas to jets. No, no, I wasn't kidding about jets!
Different stocks, different prices - and different quality. There are flea markets that offer cheap Turkish and Chinese things - and there're boutiques that sell a bottle of perfume for the price of Russian car! It all depends on your wallet...
Don't forget about souvenir stalls - there's a whole market of'em in Moscow. But let's not ruin the surprise - we'll talk about everything in its own sweet time!
As I said, there are several flea markets that sell cheap things of vague origins. One example is "Cherkizovskiy" open market run by Chinese and Vietnamese natives.
There were times when these places literally saved lives. Winters are cold, and after USSR collapse many people didn't have cash to buy warm things! But - they could still afford Chinese jackets. They wouldn't last long, but they are more than enough for one season - what else could you ask when you're tight on funds?
These days, the flea markets are dying - people prefer to buy more expensive stuff. In fact, Moscow government is planning to close them down completely!
Don't go there to shop - if you could afford a flight to Moscow, you can certainly buy something better than that cheap apparel! The only reason to visit those markets is to see the last of their kind, to catch a glimpse of early post-Soviet era. Just beware of pickpockets!
There's another extremity of Moscow shopping - boutiques. They mostly sit in the city center, and they are the place to look for local celebs if you're dying to get an autograph!
The most known one is Moscow GUM - a Mecca for rich Russians. Well, their wives, to be precise
Didn't find what you were looking for in GUM? Wow, you ARE demanding!
Hold on, I have another ace up my sleeve! Visit Moscow TSUM - another huge department store and GUM's main competitor. If that's not good enough too - I give up!
Want something exotic? Right next to Moscow GUM, under Manezhnaya Square, there's a big underground shopping mall.
Its name is "Ryad". "Okhotny Ryad".
Boutiques as glamorous as they are expensive. In most cases, it's just a waste of money. You're paying for a status, not for a thing! In fact, many upper-class Russians prefer to shop abroad. It still cheaper than to overpay some 200% in luxurious stores!
Bottom line? A no-no as well!
Oh, the last one is my favorite! "Evropeiskiy" Moscow shopping mall is the biggest one I've seen in my life, and I really mean it! Want to check? be my guest - it's right next to "Kievskaya" metro station.
Also, be sure you visit Eliseevsky store - Moscow's most famous shopping mall built before the October revolution!
Looking for mega malls? You'll have to go to "MKAD" (Moscow beltway). There's not enough place in the city, so stores like "Ashan","Mega" and "IKEA" were built outside.
New Year in "Atrium"
On the other hand - you could easily go there for an entire day. Watch movies, wine, dine, buy everything from clothes to furniture to electronics - it's up to you! Such places are the Mecca of Moscow shopping!
Unfortunately, they are ill-equipped for kids. Not many have children rooms, and some places don't let them in at all. I figure out you can't leave them in your hotel, but at least check in advance. I do know that "IKEA" and "Kaluzhskiy" provide those places, but I'm not sure about the rest.
Shopping in Izmailovo.
Oh, but I promised to talk about souvenirs! Silly me! There's a whole market that's called "Izmailovo Vernissage", right next to "Partizanskaya" metro. Oh, and did you know it's also got its very own Kremlin?
Take my word for it - you won't regret coming there!
Oh, by the way - looking to buy some toys? Want to have some fun with your kids? No better place for that than Detsky Mir! It's the dream of every child and a part of Moscow history - don't miss your chance!
As you see, Moscow shopping is an entire adventure. Be sure to walk around - you may just want to buy that special thingy you were looking for!
- Eliseevsky Store in Moscow - The Story of Eliseev's Gastronome.
- Izmailovo Kremlin in Moscow - right next to Izmailovo Vernissage
- Moscow Atrium
- Moscow TSUM
- Okhotny Ryad shopping mall in Moscow, Russia
- Moscow GUM department store
- European mall in Moscow - the biggest there is!
- Detsky Mir Department Store in Moscow,Russia