5 Essential Moscow Souvenirs & Where To Find Them

Don’t leave for home without these classic Russian keepsakes.

Souvenirs are an excellent way to remember your trip for years to come. Check out five of the most quintessentially Russian souvenirs and where you can get them before you leave Moscow.

1. Matryoshka Dolls

Matryoshka Dolls
Matryoshka Dolls. Photo by opsa from Pixabay

Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshka, are an iconic symbol of Russian culture and family life. These wooden dolls are usually hand-carved and painted, and often follow different themes such as Russian fairytales or political figures. They come in varying sizes and even the biggest ones are not too large, making them a great souvenir if you don’t have much room in your luggage. Matryoshka dolls can be found in nearly every souvenir shop in Moscow. Some street vendors also sell them, namely the ones that line the famous Arbat Street and Izmaylovo Market.

2. Vodka

Russian Vodka
Photo by russianstandardrussia on Instagram

Legend has it that around 1430, a monk named Isidore created the first recipe for Russian vodka right within the walls of the Moscow Kremlin. It remains one of the most popular alcohols in Russia today with over 20 vodka brands native to the country. The smaller bottles make a great souvenir, so those of legal drinking age should pick up some of Russia’s finest, available in most Moscow supermarkets. If you do decide to bring a bottle back with you, don’t forget to say a quick “na zdorovie” before enjoying your Russian vodka at home!

3. Palekh Boxes

Palekh Boxes
Palekh Boxes. Photo by allrussiansouvenirs on Instagram

Palekh boxes display colorful lacquer paintings of scenes from Russian fairytales on their lids. These delicately handmade boxes can serve as storage for jewelry, eyeglasses, or any other small items you wish to put in them. They make for great souvenirs due to their beauty, functionality, and subtle nod to Russian culture. Get your very own Palekh box at any souvenir shop around Arbat Street or the Red Square.

4. Pavlovo Posad Shawls

Pavlovo Posad Shawls - From Russia
FACEBOOK Pavlovo Posad Shawls – From Russia

Scarves and shawls are a coveted part of the traditional Russian style. Originally produced in the 19th century, Pavlovo Posad shawls were typically worn with folk costumes until they became more popular in everyday fashion. Known for their elegant design and versatile use, these shawls are a souvenir that won’t go to waste. You can find authentic Russian shawls at the Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory in Central Moscow.

5. Ushanka Hats

Ushanka Hat
Ushanka Hat. PHOTO Wendy Hung

Although ushankas are not typically worn by many Russians anymore, they remain an important part of the country’s culture and history. These hats were made to protect their wearers from the “deep frost” that occurs during the frigid Russian winters, and they inspired the design of the budenovka hats worn by soldiers of the Red Army. While most souvenir shops do not sell ushankas made with real fur, you may want to ensure the hat you chose is made with faux fur before purchasing. Ushankas can be a functional addition to your winter wardrobe, or just a cozy reminder of your Russian adventures in Moscow. Find yourself an authentic ushanka at the souvenir markets in the Red Square or at the Only Me store on Gogolevsky Boulevard.

Meghan St. Pierre

Content Editor Associate

Meghan is a native of South Florida who loves nature and landscape photography. Her favorite travel activities are getting lost in new cities and trying local desserts. She has been to 22 countries, and her favorites have been Sweden and Denmark so far.

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