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Over the past twenty years, Russia has gradually become a shopping heaven. There are many opportunities to purchase speciality goods and large international brands, especially in larger cities such as; Moscow and Saint Peterborough.
Many well-known signature products come to mind when you think of Russia. One of these has to be the Matryoshkas - nest dolls. These can be bought for almost any souvenir shop but the quality can vary dramatically. If you would like to purchase a cheaper generic doll these can be found in the open markets, if you would like something more collectable it would be best to visit an upscale souvenir shop.
Other famous specialities to buy are vodka, Russian porcelains, and caviar. Many people are also interested in antiques or souvenirs with characteristics from Soviet times such as military badges, military knives and watches. However, you should note that some antiques are prohibited to be brought out of Russia.
Unless necessary, it is not recommended to buy international brands of make ups, perfumes, brand name clothes, shoes and other similar items as often these items will be more expensive in Russia.
Russia does not lack places to shop; there are plenty of markets and local shops for immediate needs and shopping centres, super stores and department stores for everything else. If you are new to Russia and you chose to shop in a local market, it is recommended to take someone that has previous experience with you. This is because some traders may take advantage of your lack of knowledge and over charge you. Haggling is also common when shopping in markets, if you ask for a discount it is likely you will receive one.
As Russia has an exchange control policy you should bring Roubles, the official currency, to shop. You can purchase Roubles in foreign exchange shops; it is illegal to change money unofficially. International cards are sometimes accepted, especially in larger hotels or foreign currency shops and restaurants. You can check with your card company to confirm if your cards will be accepted in Russia. You may also use your card in ATMs but try to avoid using ATMs in the metro or on the street, these ATMS may be corrupted and you risk losing your card details. Always use ATMs in large hotels or banks as these places are normally guarded.
Online shopping has become popular in Russia. Many big brands have their own websites which provide payment facilities and delivery services. You can buy what you want online from all over the world from sites such as Amazon and ebay but be aware that this is a form of importation and may trigger custom duties and VAT. Also some items may not be allowed to enter Russia.
There is generally no restriction on business hours. Shops can open seven days a week. Typical opening hours in a day are 8am to 10pm. Small shops may close at 6pm.
Sections in LIVING IN RUSSIA:
» Safety And Emergencies for Expats in Russia
» Retirement for Expats in Russia
» Family Life And Childcare for Expats in Russia
» Solo Living And Dating for Expats in Russia
» Shopping for Expats in Russia
» Entertainment, Media And Television for Expats in Russia
» Arts And Culture for Expats in Russia
» Fitness And Sport for Expats in Russia
» Communications for Expats in Russia
» Driving And Public Transport for Expats in Russia
» Government, Politics And Legal Systems for Expats in Russia
» Regions And Cities for Expats in Russia
We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.
If you are considering moving to Russia or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Russian section including; details of immigration and visas, Russian forums, Russian event listings and service providers in Russia.
From your safety to shopping, living in Russia can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks. Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Russia with relevant news and up-to-date information.
Working in Russia can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Russia, and general Russian culture of the labour market.
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