Souvenirs from St Petersburg
Shopping for souvenirs in St Petersburg is a part of almost every trip. But what to bring back home & what are the best places to buy souvenirs ? Here you will find some ideas.
You can buy the majority of common budget souvenirs in the center of St Petersburg at the souvenir market by the church of the Savior on the Spilled blood. Lots of matreshka dolls, magnets, cups with the views of St Petersburg, T-shirts, fake ushanka hats, key chains, etc. Whatever the sellers tell you, many of these items are made in China, but they will do as inexpensive souvenirs.Check the quality though. Here you can bargain and pay in USD or Euro, not only in roubles, but exchange rate is worse than in a bank.
Also, there are lots of souvenir shops all around the center of Saint-Petersburg. Many of them have bigger choice than the stalls at the souvenir market, but once you visit several of them, you will see that they are selling more or less the same things. Prices are fixed there.
If you want something more unique than a magnet or a matreshka nesting doll that is probably made in China, here you can find a few suggestions.
Imperial porcelain factory items. It’s the oldest porcelain factory in Russia that has been working since 1744. The quality and the prices are high. You can find their products in the shops of the company all around the city center of St Petersburg (the choice is better here) or in the souvenir shops. There are several shops on the main street at the Nevsky avenue 60, Nevsky 92 and Nevsky 160.
Amber. This semi-precious stone is not mined in St Petersburg, but it’s very popular in Russia. Unfortunately, it became much more expensive than it used to be. You can find it in any souvenir shop, but I prefer checking jewelry shops.
Vodka. The most famous alcoholic Russian drink 🙂 Popular brands include Beluga (it’s the most expensive one), Russian standard, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya and Absolut are popular mass-market options. Russians usually buy it in a supermarket. (I must confess that I don’t drink vodka).
Pavlovoposad shawls. One of the best authentic Russian souvenirs that you can buy in St Petersburg. These colorful shawls with typical floral ornaments are produced in a small town of Pavlovsky posad near Moscow. They have shops in the city center and you can find them in the souvenir shops, but don’t buy fake ones in the street. In my opinion, it’s something exotic with real Russian spirit. One of the most central shops is located on the Nevsky avenue 87/2.
Faberge-style eggs and jewelry. You can find many of them in the souvenir shops, but in my opinion, those sold in the Faberge museum itself are of the better quality.
Chocolate by Krupskaya factory. The most famous chocolate factory in St Petersburg that is called after the wife of Lenin. J My personal favorite is their chocolate “Osobiy” (Special) as they add a little bit of salt into it. They have shops in the city center.
Sweets from Eliseev food hall (Nevsky avenue, 56). Eliseev food hall is the most beautiful shop in the city, a kind of Harrod’s of St Petersburg. In spite of the fact that a lot of food sold there is actually made abroad, it’s a good place to buy a present to a friend. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate beautifully decorated cakes (some are shaped like a pine cone or a swan).