Best Russian Souvenirs for Men, Women and Children

0 658

Russian Gifts and Souvenirs – What is the Best Choice?

Russian Gifts and Souvenirs – Overview

A voyage to a foreign country is always something thrilling that wants to be kept in mind and heart for a lifetime. For sure, the best reminding of any trip is always a good souvenir.

We have already listed the most unusual Russian souvenirs you could ever think of: a real cosmonaut helmet, customized Fedoskino boxes, Kalashnikov Vodka AK-47 and many more (all of the unusual gifts have been bought by our guests at least once!).

This very article is another gift-searching aid. We have gathered some truly Russian gift ideas and grouped them in categories for men, women and children.

 

Best Russian gifts for her

Pavloposad shawls and scarfs

Pavloposad shawl as a part of modern casual outfit

Remember Eurovision 2012? Adorable Russian grannies had nearly won, taking the second place. They came out on stage, all wearing lovely scarves. This is exactly the present we suggest you to buy – shawls  from Pavlov Posad (not to be confused with Sergyiev Posad) – a small town  80 kilometers away from Moscow.

Pavloposad shawls are worn in Russia by women of all ages especially in winter with fur coats. They can be made of wool or thin silk and will definitely become the favourite casual accessory of any girl or woman.

Indeed a fantastic Russian gift for her.

It isn’t necessary  to go to Pavlov Posad to get yourself the beautiful accessory. The Pavloposad Company has franchise shops all over Moscow and many other cities in Russia.

Сentral brand stores in Moscow:

  • Kamergerskiy st.,6/5, (the entry is to the right of Starbucks, the second floor)
  • Vetoshny st., 7, Nikolskiy Passage Shopping Centre (near GUM)

 

Russian Fur Coats and Sable Hats



Now the next present might freeze a purse but will definitely melt a woman’s heart. Natural fur is something Russia’s best in. Cold winters made the Slavs the best fur hunters and the fur coat making tradition has a thousand years of history. Even women from warm Southern countries deserve a nice fur coat to feel like  real snow-queens (or in case of visiting some cold countries).

However, mind the fact that natural fur coats and hats are being replaced by Chines synthetic analogs.

Be aware that it may be difficult for a non-specialist to see the difference between a solid natural fur-made coat and a cheaper synthetic analog, modern technologies are very advanced. The fur items are best bought at specialised branded fur stores.

Quality fur coat stores in Moscow:

  • “Dynasty Furs” – metro station Marksistskaya, Taganskaya st., 2. Shopping center “Taganka”.
  • “Mehgrad Shuba” – Kolpachny st. 9A, metro station Kitay-Gorod.

 

Decorated Russian Lacquer Boxes

Palekh style box set
Palekh style box set

Russian artisans were widely known for making decorative jewelry boxes and the most impressive ones belong to two traditional schools – Palekh and Fedoskino.

Such boxes are not only beautiful for decorating a shelf, but are also useful for storing the most precious belongings: jewelry, old coins, important documents- anything dear to your heart that will fit inside.

During one of our Moscow St. Petersburg Tours, stop by one of many Moscow souvenir shops and take you time to choose, or even order a customized box with your own photo in ancient Russian style!

Beware of counterfeit from China. Thankfully, these are much easier to identify than fur coats: true Russian artisan-made Boxes will NEVER contain any paint spills, broken edges and other defects – the quality control at the factories is very strict.

Where to buy:

  • Izmailovo Crafts and Flea Marker
  • Bigger Russian souvenir stores

 

Best Russian Gifts for Him

Medovukha, Vodka and Kvass

Russian Standard – premium Russian vodka

Yeah, in that order precisely. Medovukha and only then Vodka.

Medovukha was a Russian #1 drink long before Vodka. Russian Drinking Culture originates from Mead consuming rituals of Varyags – Viking founders of Ancient Russia.

It’s similar to wine (not strong spirits) and has unique honey flavor. An exclusive gift  all men covet.

Vodka is also a splendid option – but mind the fact that not all vodkas are equally good in Russia. Drinking counterfeit vodka is rather dangerous for the health.

So take your time and ask a shop-assistant for help to choose a high-quality vodka bottle.

Good middle-segment vodkas include: Zelyonaya Marka, Belenkaya, Stolichnaya, Smirnoff, Evreyskiy Standard (kosher vodka made of matzo).

Premium class segment vodkas are Beluga, Stolichnaya Gold.

If your friends don’t drink alcohol for any reason, you may want to surprise them with “Kvass”. It is an ancient Russian non-alcoholic drink made from bread by means of fermentation. It has a refreshing flavor resembling Coke, but is made from natural ingredients and contains little sugar.

Where to buy:

  • In almost any supermarket or convenience store across Russia.

 

Black Caviar

A can of Russian black caviar
A can of Russian black caviar

Black caviar is known throughout the world as an exquisite delicacy, bringing class and sophistication to any who offer it. Once served to the Russian Royalty exclusively, today you too have a chance to try out this exclusive royal food. Yielded from rare sturgeons in the Caspian sea, the Russian caviar will become a delicious present and will satisfy even the pickiest gourmet.

The price for a can starts at $110, due to the rarity of Caspian sturgeons. This truly Russian gift will definitely be a great pleasure to receive and prove your special attitude towards those you give it to!

Best consumed with ice-cold vodka, a can of this delicacy will be a great gift for your boss or business partner!

Where to buy:

  • Specialised caviar shops in Moscow – like the chain owned by Sakhalin Fishing Company and selling under “Красная икра” (Red Caviar) brand. It is represented by some 50 shops in Moscow. Its most central (but not the biggest) shop is at Bolshaya Polyanka st., 28. For a complete list of its stores visit their website (available in Russian).
  • In large supermarkets, such as “Azbuka Vkusa” (Азбука Вкуса).

 

Metal Tea-glass holder

Metal Glass Holder, Russian style
Metal Glass Holder, Russian style

Have you ever been on a long-distance train jouney in Russia? You might have seen those solid metal glass holders – they look really brutal! Yeah, it is a completely unnecessary SWAG item. But you know what? It is really Russian, or even Soviet. Vladimir Lenin was a passionate collector of tea glass-holders.

This soviet accessory may be hard to find in common souvenir shops. Consult your Russian friends and buy one online.

Where to buy:

  • from a train attendant in any of long-distance train sleeping carts.
  • In some dish or hardware store.
  • online from a local ecommerce shop.

 

Russian Watches

Volmix Aviator Mechanic Watch

Most of Russian watches use a mechanical jeweled movement instead of quartz and are sold for prices between $30 and $600. Many of watchbuyers consider this to be an outstanding value for a high-quality mechanical watch. High-end luxury watches are also available. Russian watch designs tend to be strong and functional. If you like diver, aviator or military-style watches, you will probably like Russian watches too.

The most worldwide-known brands include: Buran, Shturmanskie, Vostok, Gagarin, Slava. These watches have strong association with men of dangerous workfields – pilots, racers, divers, cosmonauts, the military men. The old soviet brand Polyot has been reorganized into Volmix Watch Company, that has created another famous Russian watch brand: Aviator.

An official dealer for the most of Russian watch brands is “Russian Watches”.

Offline official stores in Russia:

  • Adress in Moscow:  Leningrad prospect, 10, Belorusskaya metro station, Moscow
  • In St.Petersburg: 55 Lermontovskiy Prospect, Baltiyskaya Metro Station, Saint-Petersburg

 

Best Russian gifts for kids

Russian Chocolate

Russian chocolate differs from the chocolate you can find worldwide. Founded in the mid 19th century by a German – Theodor Einem – these chocolate recipes evolved after the Great October Revolution. Usage of locally-grown ingredients creates the unique flavor of Russian Chocolate of the most famous Russian Confectionery Factory.
One of the Red October Factory masterpieces is the “Alyonka” chocolate. There are also Rot-Front bars – chocolate bars that were distributed among soldiers during WWII, and its recipe hasn’t changed ever since.

Traditional chocolate will become a nice tasty gift from Russia not only for children, but for adults as well. There is a great variety of Russian native chocolate: from delicate boxes with luxury confectionery (A.Korkunov, for example) to fine dark chocolate, excellent for consuming with strong coffee.

  • Unfortunately, chocolate tends to melt in warm places, so mind this fact and ask the flight attendant to store it in the fridge until you land at your home country.

Red October Confectionery brand stores in Moscow:

  • Nikolskaya ulitsa, 4/5, Moskva (next to the GUM Department store)
  • Povarskaya St, 29/36, Moskva, 121069, Barrikadnaya metro station
  • Bersenevskaya Emb., 6,  –  metro station Kropotkinskaya

 

Pilotka Hats

Pilotka – once just a pilot hat, now has a strong association with Russia and WWII. It is a cute hat and a popular culture souvenir.

It is an affordable traditional Russian gift that you can present to a group of people too: your colleagues or your child’s classmates, for example. Pilotcas also look great on photos with a lot of people wearing them. There is nothing cooler than a soviet-style friend gathering.

Where to buy:

  • Old Arbat Street offers a huge variety of Pilotkas.
  • In almost any souvenir store in Russia.

 

Clay and Wooden Toys and Whistles

The tradition of making pennywhistles in the form of a horse, a horse rider, and a bird goes back to the ancient magic ritual images and has to do with the agricultural calendar holidays. Later on, little figures lost their magic meaning and turned into toys for children. These are a form of handcraftsmanship particularly present in small Russian towns, for example, Suzdal or Sergiev Posad.

  • These toys, however, are a bit old-fashioned and best for children between 3-5 years old.

Where to buy:

  • In small Russian towns, where making such toys is a traditional craft.
  • If you don’t plan to visit any – Izmailovo Flea Market will be a good option.

 

Smart Russia Gifts That Suit Everyone

Russian Dolls

Matryoshkas, Russian nesting dolls! This is what comes to mind when you hear about Russian Dolls. That’s right, matryoshkas are famous and awesome; they are available in a variety of painting styles: mock-ups on famous politics, celebrities and even countries. It is an outstanding souvenir that will bring lots of smiles. However, apart from matryoshkas, there are also other types of Russian dolls that are worth being noticed – tin soldiers, miniature figurines of soldiers, mostly from the Napoleonic War period. These are also traditional Russian Dolls. You can find them in almost every souvenir store in Russia.

Doll collectors may also like dolls in Russian national costumes, or dolls of Soviet Leaders. The best place to purchase them in Moscow is Izmailovo Flea Market.

Where to buy:

  • Izmailovo Flea Market
  • Arbat street
  • Any souvenir shop

 

Russian Hats

Ushanka Hat

Ushanka is a unique Russian headwear that is perfect to wear in winter and you wouldn’t find this one in the West! It is a simple and at the same time useful gift, that will keep you warm even during the coldest winter.

Another traditional Russian hat is a Budenovka. It is a “lighter” version of Ushanka. These hats were designed by a Russian soviet sympatizer – painter Viktor Vasnetsov, with the intent to create a uniform hat that would differ from the hats  White Russian Army used to wear, and, at the same time, they were supposed to remind conical helmets of Bohatyrs – medieval Russian heroes.

Where to buy:

  • Izmailovo Flea Market
  • Arbat street
  • Any souvenir shop

 

Russian Samovar

Samovar (literally its name means “self-boiler”) is a Russian unique kettle used even nowadays, mostly for boiling and serving tea. But you can cook food in it, too, and in earlier times cooking food was the main purpose of a samovar.

Traditionally, samovars in Russia were a matter of status. The more expensive and well-maintained a samovar was – the more prosperous and successful was its owner, well, at least in the neighbours’ eyes.

There is a huge variety of samovars – from simple utilitarian, made of tin, to true marvels of art, with paintings and reliefs. Samovars can be coal-fuelled or electricity-powered. It is up to you to choose what you like most. We suggest that you buy electric-powered ones as they are simplier to use.

This really useful and solid gift will become a great addition to any homemaker collection.

Samovar is usually a heavy Russia souvenir. Even smaller models of Samovars may weigh much. However, if you want to bring a truly special useful gift from Russia, this will be a great option!

Where to buy:

  • Big souvenir shops, and sometimes hardware stores in small Russian towns.

 

Valenki

Stylish valenki

Traditional Russian footwear, resembling Australian uggs that are popular among the modern youth. Valenki are (yet) not so popular in the west, but are still convenient winter shoes, and can be quite comfy and stylish to wear!

Traditional Valenki are grey and ugly, and were a footwear of commoners. You can see people wearing Valenki in old Russian films, but today, it is a rare sight.

Nowadays, stylish versions are created that look great and unusual for any occasion. Look at this gorgeous beauty wearing a pair of Russian Valenki in the picture. Modern Valenki is a unique Russian gift that you can bring back home, it will help recall the Russian hospitality and warmth in mind.

Valenki is not a souvenir you can find anywhere. You will have to go to a specialised store if you want to buy really good ones. Those ones sold at souvenir stores are more like gifts and cannot fulfil even their main purpose – protect from cold.

Best choice of Valenki:

  • Best choice of Valenki is at “Russkie Valenki” store, at the following address: Moscow, Warshavskoe rd. , 170А , h1, metro station “Annino”

 

Imperial Russian Porcelain

Russian Imperial Porcelain is one of the hidden gems of Russia gifts. It is made exclusively at one and only factory: Handpainted Ceramics Plant in the Lomonosov area, often referred as Lomonosov Porcelain Factory.
Its history goes back to the 17th century, when the first Russian female ruler – Empress Elisabeth (Elisaveta Petrovna) ordered the Russian scientist Dmitriy Vinogradov to develop a technology of making porcelain from our local-produced materials and provided funds to open a manufactory. Later, this manufactory grew into a huge factory, which works even today.

Nowadays, the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory produces not only tableware, but also porcelain dolls, decorative statues and much more! You will see its masterpieces in shops across St. Petersbrug and other Russian cities. Our Moscow St.Petersburg Tours may include a visit to a souvenir shop by request. Our guide will help you make the right choice and buy genuine porcelain, especially if you are planning to buy it in Moscow, where it is hard to find real Imperial Porcelain instead of a fake one.

Porcelain is very fragile, so it is important to thoroughly plan the transportation of a porcelain Russian souvenir.

Where to buy:

  • Imperial Porcelain Brand Store №1 offers the best choice for the best price. It is the factory store, and its adress is: St.Petersburg, Obukhovskoy oboroni rd., 151. metro station “Lomonosovskaya”
  • Official brand store in Moscow, adress: Tverskaya st. , 27, metro station “Mayakovskaya”.
Written by

Leave a Comment