Moscow is a shoppers’ paradise, with a huge range of places to shop from high street stores to sleek mega-malls to fun flea markets. Browse for stylish fashions along Kuznetsky Most, soak up some old-city charm while you shop on Arbat Street, or uncover unique designs and artwork at some of the newer, hip areas like Flacon Design Centre.
While there’s no shortage of exclusive stores around Moscow, there are also plenty of places to find classic Russian souvenirs including matrioshka dolls, fur hats and retro Soviet-era posters. Here are a few ideas on where to shop in Moscow that’ll satisfy the cravings of bargain hunters and brand-name aficionados alike.
Stretching for about a kilometre through the historical centre of Moscow, Arbat Street is one of Moscow’s oldest streets now lined with a host of bars, shops, cafes and restaurants. Explore the hidden side streets or just wander along Old Arbat to find a lively atmosphere of street artists and musicians performing for passers-by.
Visit early to avoid the crowds when the 18th century buildings shimmer in the morning sun, or go in the evening to see Arbat bathed in the light of its lovely street lanterns. Countless souvenirs are for sale here including amber jewellery, samovar tea sets and matrioshka dolls.
Kuznetsky Most and Stoleshnikov Lane
Kuznetsky Most is a stylish shopping street found in Moscow’s city centre near Red Square. Since fashion-conscious Russian women were drawn here in the 18th century for its famed French tailors, Kuznetsky Most has retained an upscale aura.
The street’s lined with boutique shops selling designer clothing and jewellery, swanky restaurants, department stores, bookshops and wine bars. Fashion designers like Victoria Beckham are known to drop by to promote their new collections, while the nearby park is an artistic haven where it’s not uncommon to see live poetry readings and theatrical performances.
Set along the Kuznetsky Most shopping area, TsUM is a century-old department store in an imposing Gothic Revival style building. With more than 70,000 square metres of retail space, TsUM is the largest department store in Eastern Europe. The latest fashions from many major brands are sold here including Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Dior, Fendi and Alexander McQueen.
Take a break from shopping at one of TsUM’s trendy restaurants including Buro Tsum on the fifth floor, where in summer you can sip cocktails on the terrace overlooking Bolshoi Theatre and Petrovka and Neglinnaya streets.
Location: 2 Petrovka Street, Moscow, Russia
Kitai-Gorod and Tretyakovsky Proezd
Kitai-Gorod is a charming district found east of the Kremlin that’s still bordered in parts by medieval city walls. Among the eclectic stores in the area are the art boutiques tucked away inside the Ulitsa Varvarka churches that sell Russian works of art, local handicrafts, ceramics and jewellery.
Wander to the north-west from the Kitai-Gorod metro station to find Tretyakovsky Proezd, a small walking street with an aristocratic vibe and elite brands including Prada, Bentley, Bulgari and Armani on display.
Found near Partizanskaya Station east of central Moscow, the Izmailovsky flea market takes a bit of an effort to get to but the bargains and unusual finds here make it worth the trip.
This huge outdoor bazaar is one of the best places in the city for traditional Russian arts and crafts, with stalls selling matryoshka nesting dolls, lacquer boxes, Soviet-era memorabilia, handcrafted furniture, jewellery and antiques. You’ll also find carpets from central Asia and stacks of used books. The market’s open daily but it’s best to go on the weekend since many shops shut down during the week.
Location: Izmaylovskoe Shosse, Moscow 105122, Russia (close to Partizanskaya Metro station)
Set on the east side of Red Square, GUM shopping arcade has been a hive of Moscow shopping activity since it opened more than a hundred years ago. GUM offers a range of shops and boutiques over three floors in a palatial glass-domed building with a cinema and plenty of dining choices.
More than 100 mid-range and upscale brands are sold here, and the mall’s elegant courtyard also hosts regular cultural events, fashion shows and exhibits. Take a rest from shopping at GUM’s beautiful fountain in the centre of the complex.
Location: 3 Red Square, Moscow, Russia
Found in the Aeroport District of Moscow, Aviapark is a giant of a mall with some 500 shops, restaurants and entertainment attractions set over six floors. In addition to several Russian and international fashion brands, there’s a good choice of stores for children including Adidas Kids, Mothercare and Lego.
Kids are also catered to with an ice-skating rink, trampoline park, escape rooms and gaming centres among the mall’s family-friendly activities. Aviapark’s aquarium is an impressive sight with its towering cylindrical tank full of colourful marine life.
Location: Khodynskiy Boulevard, 4, Moscow, Russia
Flacon Design Centre
Formerly a dreary industrial site in the northern outskirts of the city, Flacon Design Factory is now a centre for creative design, arts and culture. The buildings’ brown brick walls are now splashed with edgy graffiti art and there’s a lively vibe to the place with street performers playing live music and artists selling their wares in the open-air market.
Shops with locally-designed fashions and souvenirs, art studios, cinemas and cafes are set over two levels, and the centre plays host to many outdoor festivals and concerts.
Location: Bol’shaya Novodmitrovskaya Ulitsa, 36, Moscow, Russia
Leading from the Kremlin north through central Moscow, Tverskaya Street is home to some of the world’s most expensive properties and the shopping here reflects the area’s exclusive cachet. Historically an important trade route for Moscow, the street has since transformed into a bustling wide avenue lined with regal stone buildings housing luxury brands, fashion labels, souvenir shops and restaurants.
Be sure to stop by Eliseyevskiy food store, the legendary purveyor of chocolates, caviar, cognac and more Russian delicacies in a grand 18th-century mansion with glittering chandeliers. Wander the side streets off Tverskaya for some more peaceful exploration of Moscow urban life.