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GUM, Moscow

Red Square
Russia 103012
Tel: 7 495 788 4343's insider take:

Short for State Department Store, GUM (pronounced "goom") was the original Russian shopping mall—a prerevolutionary shopping arcade that became the central Soviet store. There are modern malls now: Yevropeisky, located in front of the Kievsky train station, is a phenomenal specimen that's almost worth a stop on the tourist circuit for a firsthand look at Russia's newfound consumer culture. But GUM is still the mall, at the very least for its Red Square address. In Soviet times it went from a showcase—one of the few places with any goods—to a symbol of what went wrong as the shortages took hold. Now controlled by Mikhail Kusnirovich, the chief of Bosco di Ciliegi, a luxury importer, it's gone way upscale, and there are outposts of Cartier, Hermès, and Antonio Marras, and an Emporio Armani boutique and café. At night, the exterior of GUM is lit up like something from a fairy tale, and during the Christmas season, costumed chamber musicians perform and Bosco sets up a skating rink right on Red Square.

Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.