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Moscow shopping

Shopping in Russia during Soviet times was an oxymoron. Russians often jumped through hoops to acquire even the most basic goods through a complex system of rationing, barter, and, most importantly, connections. That seems like forever ago at the vast Yevropeisky shopping mall, which has hundreds of stores and a 24-hour supermarket. Even as the global economic crisis was sweeping into Russia, shoppers packed the mall and cleared the latest fashions off the hangers at Zara. In Moscow's city center, by Red Square, there's a veritable feast of luxury goods—it could be Milan or New York. Hermès and Cartier boutiques overlook Lenin's mausoleum from their perch inside GUM (short for State Department Store), Moscow's only mall in Soviet times; two blocks away, TSUM (Central Department Store) has become the Russian capital's answer to Barneys. Nearby, the country's most famous fashion designers have opened boutiques. In addition to their taste for designer duds and luxury goods, Muscovites have also gained a fondness for attributes of their Soviet past: Packaged right, these kitschy souvenirs can make fun gifts.

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GUM, Moscow

Short for State Department Store, GUM (pronounced "goom") was the original Russian shopping mall—a prerevolutionary shopping arcade that became the central...more

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Izmailovo, Moscow

Part flea market, part exquisite crafts fair, Izmailovo (located behind the Izmailovo Hotel) is the one-stop shopping mecca for souvenirs from Russia and the...more

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Ministerstvo Podarkov, Moscow

For proof that Soviet nostalgia has turned into marketable irony, visit the Ministry of Gifts (Ministerstvo Podarkov). A red carpet leads to the ministerial...more

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Socialist Realist Art/Leonid Shishkin Gallery, Moscow

A journalist turned art gallery owner, Leonid Shishkin brings together two eras: 19th-century Russian realist painters and their counterparts in...more

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Tryokhgornaya Manufaktura, Moscow

What a difference a decade can make. Not long ago, the company store of this prerevolutionary textile plant seemed hopelessly Soviet. Now, it looks like an...more

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Yeliseyevsky Magazin, Moscow

As was the case with GUM, the faded glory of this prerevolutionary food store was dusted off a few years ago and it's now the most beautiful food store in...more

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



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