From Russia with love or best souvenirs

We all bring some Souvenirs from our travels. Many of my tourists prefer something that will not just gather dust on the shelf. And I understand you, but I also understand those who are in correspondence about the details of all st petersburg guided tours asking me to find time for shopping. I'm taking spices and shoes from Italy for myself and a ceramic tile for a friend. So what is considered a souvenir from Russia and where it is better to buy it. By the way, if you arrive in St. Petersburg on a cruise ship and take one of the St Petersburg shore excursions be prepared to visit souvenir shops. This is just a mandatory part of the program.


This can not be avoided - matryoshka! Prices vary from $ 10 for 3 pieces from a street vendor at the entrance to the Hermitage or Peterhof to $ 2000 for a giant nesting doll of 50-60 dolls. Basically, the difference in the quality of work and materials, and most importantly, how unique this work is. Of course, a well-known artist who has spent a lot of time performing an individual design is free to set a good price. And mass standard copies are inexpensive. If you buy something in a souvenir gallery, you can always ask about the history of creation and the artist. For kids, you can buy an unassembled matryoshka doll-tumbler with bells inside. It is better to buy nesting dolls for collecting in souvenir galleries, including museums during one of the St Petersburg tours. Simple Matryoshka dolls are easier to take from street vendors, they have the most attractive offers.


One of my favorite gifts is porcelain. The history of the Imperial porcelain factory begins in St. Petersburg in 1744. It is surprising that in Soviet time the plant was not closed, although of course the name was changed. I recommend to buy cups made of bone porcelain or the famous "cobalt net" in official stores in St. Petersburg and Moscow, the addresses can be easily found in Googlem : "ifz porcelain". In the picture is a decorative plate with a view of St. Petersburg among the Souvenirs from other countries. The price of a set of one Cup and two saucers from 25 dollars.


I almost forgot to mention the hat with earflaps, prices are from $ 10 for a cap made of artificial fur. Again, street vendors have the best offers. One day, my tourists who booked St Petersburg shore excursions with me (which means that they could not be in the city on their own) noticed mink hats on the first day nearby Hermitage offered by a street vendor . The price of $ 60 sounded attractive, but the deal did not take place. The next day, at their request, we examined 3 large fur stores, and eventually returned to the Hermitage and bought 9 or 12 hats for ourselves and as a gift! I'm still impressed :-)

If the earflaps are tied on top, "ushanka" will look like on Schwarzenegger in the movie "Red heat". What other movies about Russia can you watch?


Another unusual souvenir can be brought from the tour of the "Golden ring of Russia". Products with lacquer miniatures can be found in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but not so profitable offers. The art of lacquer miniature appeared in Ancient China, in the Middle ages, lacquer became known in India, and then - Iran, in the XVII century, the art reached the countries of Europe, only at the end of the XVIII century this amazing craft became known in Russian Empire . There are three different schools in Russia: Fedoskino, Palekh and Kholuy. The usual subjects of numerous products are traditional folk motifs, often fairy-tale and icons. If in the ancient era they preferred to paint and varnish wood and porcelain, then the masters of Europe reduced the cost of technology and began to paint products made of papier-mache. Most caskets are unique, exclusive masterpieces, so their cost is very high. However, there are more affordable Souvenirs, original, not fakes. Masters make "copies" from old well-known works and do not detail the image so accurately. The result is inexpensive, but very beautiful boxes, which decorate the interior and serve as good gifts.


If you like books, you can pick up a collection in the Hermitage store. In the Museum you can ask to mail a heavy book home. Another great book store where you will find literature in foreign languages is the Singer's house on Nevsky Prospekt 28.


I do not advise you to buy Antiques, because for the export you will need the appropriate official documents, and everything that is older than 50 years is prohibited for export from Russia.


Football fans should go to the store " Zenit "(this is St. Petersburg club) on Nevsky Prospekt 20. Hockey fans may visit the "Hockey club" store on Nevsky Prospekt 23.


One of the most frequently purchased Souvenirs is a Christmas decoration that is sold everywhere but do not buy it in museums-churches or in the market nearby the Savior on Spilled Blood church. The reason why not lies in the triple cost of such products. Not so often visited Yusupov Palace offers some of the best prices for Christmas decorations. So if the Palace where Rasputin was killed is included in the plan of your tours in St. Petersburg, feel free to go to their store.

I also advise you to look at the assortment of two markets in the suburbs: in Peterhof and in Pushkin (Catherine palace). Prices for some Souvenirs may be more attractive than in St. Petersburg.


What else can and should I bring home? Vodka, for example, "Russian Standard" which is produced in St. Petersburg or "Stolichnaya" from Moscow. In St. Petersburg we still make delicious chocolate from the "Krupskaya" factory. In Moscow, you can visit Izmailovsky souvenir market, it is large and colorful. Quite an interesting flea market in St. Petersburg is located near the Udelnaya metro station. So if you have time, go there in the morning. Vendors are already used to tourists, be sure to bargain for Soviet badges or dug items of WW2.


If you dream about a copy of the Faberge egg, then my advice is to go to the Faberge Museum on the Fontanka river embankment 21, there is a very large assortment and products are slightly cheaper than in the main souvenir galleries.


Finally, do not be upset if you have booked one of the group shore excursions St Petersburg Russia. One of the additional stops is directly at the port. Of course the prices may not be so attractive, but all the necessary souvenirs are presented here.


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