a few rubles for oodles of fun

moscow souvenirsFor many people, Russia is synonymous with Russian dolls (matryoshki), fur hats (shuba), samovars and Soviet memorabilia. So it’s not surprising that these are the most sought after souvenirs on visits to Mother Russia. And luckily Intrepid’s Tania George knows just the place to shop in Moscow…

“Located close to metro stop Partizanskaya and the Izmailovo Hotel complex, the Izmailovo markets seem to go on forever. Open daily from 10am till 6pm, you can buy literally everything here. Locals shop for clothes, shoes, household utensils, tools, fabric, illegally copied CD’s and DVD’s, etc. If you get hungry, you can enjoy cheap local snacks and drinks at one of the many food stalls.

All this is great, but for the souvenir shoppers among us, there is an even more interesting part… Vernisazh.

This section is also open every day, although there is a lot more on offer on weekends. Vernisazh is like a separate market inside the huge Izmailovo market. You need to pay a small sum of 10 rubles to enter, but that’s definitely worth it.

Once inside, you’ll discover hundreds of stalls with the famous matryoshki dolls (you can even find life-size ones!), tons of Soviet memorabilia (honestly, everything from a little Lenin pin and propaganda posters to Red Army World War II helmets), samovars (tea urns) made out of silver or copper, toys, traditional woodwork and ceramics, fur hats and coats, musical instruments, Central Asian carpets and jewellery. Most items have a history, so show your interest and the stallholders will tell you the story behind every matryoshka-design, and by the time you leave you’ll be an expert in Russian fairy tales!”

Tour Russia with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Footsteps of the Tsars – 18 days St Petersburg to Moscow
A Taste of Russia – 8 days Moscow to St Petersburg

* photo by Carinda Harris, Intrepid Photography Competition.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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The pretty girl with the russian hat/beanie thingy on in my awesome sister carinda harris!!!! Yew!

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