When this question is posed, the typical answer is "Matryoshka
" (wooden nesting doll) or "Balalaika
" (musical instrument). It is easy to find matryoshkas and balalaikas. We want to note parenthetically that, according to some versions, the matryoshka was not initially a Russian invention, but a Japanese one, so keep that in mind.
We would be happy if your outlook on Russian souvenirs (originating from folk art and traditions of handicraft) broadened after meeting us. Besides what is stated above, you will surely take a liking to the famous Orenburg shawls
, soft to the touch, as well as many different products fashioned from wood (broaches, the shkatulka, a lacquered box, a full set of dishes for the table, or goods with a famous style of painting called Khokhloma), lacework from the city of Vologda (and other places) and goods made from it, and, of course, a diverse variety of traditional Russian tableware: Gzhel ceramics and Kuznetsov porcelain
Objects of art and everyday life linked with the Soviet period for Russia
represent a special category of souvenirs. These souvenirs enjoy popularity with Russians as well, since they appreciate a lot about that time period, now irreversibly in the past. Here, we can draw your attention to famous Soviet-era paraphernalia
: military uniforms
and clothing (especially shirts and the telnyashka, a sailor's striped shirt), propaganda posters and placards
put out by the Soviet authorities, the famous faceted glass tumbers
(often in a silver glass holder), Soviet Christmas ornaments
, flags, orders and medals, vinyl records, and much more.
And on the whole Russia gave a lot to the world, that can be considered souvenirs that are no less interesting, even if they do not carry that status: traditional Russian alcoholic drinks, mittens, winter fur hats with ear flaps, Russian and Soviet movies, and so much more. And, naturally, if you want a keepsake of your trip then you should not leave Russia without vodka and caviar.
Our guide will always tell you where to buy any Russian souvenirs, both regular and unusual ones. We do not recommend buying souvenirs in the more touristy places, especially if you want handmade work done by craftsmen. We will tell you and, if needed, accompany you to the right places. In Moscow, the leading place to get authentic souvenirs is, without any doubt, Izmailovo Market
Where to buy traditional Russian souvenirs