Thursday, April 13, 2017

Top 20 Russian Souvenirs to Bring Back Home

       I bet you've heard of the Matryoshka dolls, but seeing everyone bringing back the dolls from Russia, it makes you wonder, what else can you buy as souvenirs? You want to be creative, but you also want something traditional... Here are 19 more ideas! Hopefully, this article would help you to find the perfect gift from Russia.
       Firstly, some words about the Matryoshka dolls. They are hands down the most popular Russian souvenir. Each doll typically has 3-5 smaller dolls nested inside of the biggest "outer shell", the number goes up to 50. Traditional dolls show Russian women in traditional costume, but you may also find modern matryoshka with faces of cartoon characters, politicians, and celebrities.  

2. Pavlovo Posad Shawls.
These shawls originated from Pavlovo Posad, a small town outside of Moscow. The shawls are now recognized as a part of Russian traditional wear. It features beautiful floral pattern. Dry clean only.

3. Khokhloma
If you've seen wooden kitchen wares painted with red and gold flowers on a black background, that is Khokhloma. Khokhlomas are perfect gifts because they are traditional, light and easy to pack. The only downside is, these kitchen wares can not stand water.

4. Palekh
Palekh-style painted lacquered boxes are papier-mâché (it looks like wood) boxes used to store jewelry. Similar to Khokhloma, the patterns usually feature characters from fairy tales and literature painted in bright colors over a black background. 

5. Gzhel
These Russian ceramics come from the village of Gzhel near Moscow. The designs may look similar to French pottery designs with it's blue on white concept.

6. Valenki
Valenki is winter indoor footwear to keep your feet warm during colder months. However, they are not water-resistant. To wear them outdoor, you'll have to attach them to a rubber sole. It may not be a practical gift to bring back to South East Asia 
To Discover Russia

7. Things related to the Soviet Era
These are unique and cool souvenirs to impress your friends back home! There are various choices, for example, badges, water flasks, empty bullet shells and so on. However, be very careful when purchasing these items. If something is more than 50 years old, you'll have to get permission from the Cultural Security Department (Rosokhrankultura) to bring them back home. Don't dream of bringing anything over 100 years old home.

8. Russian sweets
For Russian sweets, I highly recommend zefir, pastilla and chocolate bars. The most loved local labels chocolate bars are “Alyonka”, "Skazki Pushkina" and “Korkunov”.

9. Russian vodka
It's a good choice for men if you run out of ideas. 
Hangover Prices

10. Rostov enamels
You can buy some Rostov-enamels-incorporated jewelry. 
Russian Handicrafts

11. Winter hat
These traditional fur hats are called "Ushanka" or "Shapka Ushanka". The design is what I call "cute" because it has "ears" at the side (like a puppy) and you can tie them up around your chin. 

12. Faberge-eggs 
Of course, you won't get a genuine one, but if you'd like to have one (a replica), it'll still be expensive. The eggs are made of brass decorated with beautiful enamel, crystals and gemstones.

13. Orenburg shawls
Knitted of goat fiber and silk, these precious handmade Orenburg shawls are great souvenirs for women. They are very lightweight but at the same time keep you warm.

14. Zhostovo trays
Zhostovo trays are metal trays hand painted with wildflowers patterns. The tray is then covered with 3 layers of lacquer. This traditional craft originated from a small village in Moscow Region, Zhostovo.

15. Vologda Lace
The lace came from the town of Vologda. The making of these Laces is very time-consuming, hence, expect them to be expensive.

16. Samovar
If only you have enough space in your luggage and appreciate this piece of Russian culture so much that you can't leave it behind, you may bring this metal container back. This container is traditionally used to boil water for tea. A Russian doll is typically placed over the samovar to keep it warm. 

17. Tea-glass holder
You may not have the luggage space for the huge samovar, so why not settle for a smaller metal tea-drinking essential? If you've been on a Russian train, then you've seen how these tea glass holders work. They allow you to drink your hot tea without touching the hot glass. 
Russian Legacy

18. Birch bark Crafts
Birch bark crafts are classic souvenirs to bring home. The silver birch is the national tree of Russia, they are literally everywhere. Birchwood combs are also available and according to the Russians, they are good for hair growth.
Bridge to Moscow

19. Bogorodsk Wooden Toys
When we visited the Museum of Toys in Sergiev Posad, we were fascinated by all those beautifully carved wooden toys. Usually, these crafts show animals and people carrying out activities, for example,  chopping woods. 
20. Honey
There are a lot of varieties when it comes to Russian Honey. My personal favorite is the herb infused honey I got from the Caucasus mountain region. There are honey of May flowers, June flowers, a certain species of flower and also fruit-infused ones. 
My supply of Honey in Winter 2013

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Thank You for Reading! This post is based solely on my opinion. 
Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!


Russianblogger said...

Another cool thing to bring home from Russia as a gift for somebody is a souvenir with Putin. They sell all kinds of stuff like little statues, mugs, magnets, and etc. I mean, he is very well known all over the world and when people hear Russia one of the first things that come to their head is "Putin".

Miss HappyFeet said...

@Russianblogger: YES, totally! Especially the Putin Matryoshka. they are everywhere!

F. said...

Hello! I buyed a little wooden tower such as those in the first photo. What is it? Many thanks!