Here you can find the necessary information about buying food and clothes in St. Petersburg, as well as purchasing the souvenirs and handicrafts. Check out all the sections to be well-prepaired for the trip!
- General information
- Malls and shopping centers
- The most popular chains of food retailers which you can find in the center (hypermarkets and supermarkets)
- Take note
- “Must visit” shops
- Where can you buy the souvenirs
- The specific shops
The majority of shops in St. Petersburg are open 7 days a week. They are open as a rule from 10.00 to 20.00 o’clock. In every part of the city there will be a 24-hour shop, selling food, household items, chemicals; there are quite a lot of 24 hour pharmacies and even the always-working bookstores, where you can buy souvenirs! Most shops accept payment by credit/debit card. You will need to use cash only in some small shops.
Usually these types of the cards are good for a stay in Russia: Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, MasterCard Electronic and Maestro. Other payment systems (for example, American Express) are rarely accepted. If the card is nominated in Russian rubles, there is no commission. If it has the foreign currency only, there will be an automatic converting but the rate may be not favorable to you. If you decided to use the card, it is better to tell the cashier in advance. You may be asked to enter your PIN code on the special device. Don’t forget about the precaution measures – do not let anyone see he code and don’t forget to take the receipt with you. Also you may be asked to show the identification documents to prove that the card is yours.To the top
Malls and shopping centers
There are many malls and shopping centers in St. Petersburg. The centers are listed here (the text is in Russian, click on the “Google translate” button before clicking on the link). 2 biggest shopping malls are on the outskirts of the city (the subway “Дыбенко”, “Парнас”), they are called “Мега”=”Mega”. Two others are situated in the center of the city, near the station “Площадь Восстания”=”Ploshad’ Vosstaniya” or “Маяковская” =”Mayakovskaya”.
One of the big malls that is situated in the center is called Stockmann. It has a big grocery store with quality food and beverages. You can find there delicatessens and a good choice of any product you like. The price of the goods is above the average, from time to time there are really good discounts in the shop. This store sometimes has very good prices for caviar* and special cheeses.
The second big mall with a product shop in it is called “Galeria” = “Галерея” (the information is written in Russian) – a very popular shopping center, one of the biggest in Europe. The product shop situated in it is called “О’Кей” = “O’key”, which represents a big and a good chain of hypermarkets and supermarkets. There you can buy the caviar*, be sure to check the expiration date**.
At the information stands of the 2 malls mentioned above you
can take the information booklets about St. Petersburg, they are made in Russian and English. You can even take the special map with coupons that will help you to save some money while exploring the city! (see on the right)To the top
Here is the list of the most popular chains of food retailers which you can find in the center (hypermarkets and supermarkets):
- The mentioned above shop O’Key* – there you can find food, essential commodities, products for babies, clothing, home appliances, electronics, as well as cookery, where you can buy ready to eat convenience foods. The prices are average $. From time to time there are different discounts in the shop. In addition to cash payments they accept the following bank cards Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, MasterCard Electronic и Maestro.
- Prisma* – the chain of Finnish supermarkets, has a good choice of Russian products as well as Finnish.
- Le Land* – the supermarket of a premium class level, offers a mix of options of plain food as well as delicatessens. The assortment is significant; the price is above the average. There is a cookery and a bakery in the shop. Some of the shops work 24 hours. If the shops are situated in the shopping centers, there is separate entrance for them)
- The chain of product shops “811”. The only shop of average price is situated in the middle of Nevskiy Prospect. There you can buy food as well as the the chocolate with the sights of the city.
- “Полушка” has the average prices, they have the prepaid foods.
- “Семья” (“Народная 7Я семьЯ”)- this chain is everywhere in the city. The price is below the average which can be explained by the lines inside the shop (there is not a sufficient number of cashiers).
- “Дикси” – this chain is everywhere in the city. The price is below the average and the assortment is smaller than in the supermarkets.
- «Фермерское мясо» – the farm products (meat, milk products, eggs).
- The usual markets – as an advice – I would not recommend the foreigners to go there for purchases as all the products are practically the same as in the shops, but there is a risk of being cheated or being robbed (if the market is overcrowded). If you still want to go to the market, choose one in the city center:
Мальцевский рынок (Maltsevskiy), Василеостровский (Андреевский) рынок (near the subway “Василеостровская”), Кузнечный рынок (near the subway station “Владимирская”), Сенной рынок (near the subway stations “Сенная площадь”/”Садовая”/ “Спасская”).To the top
*the information about caviar may be useful as foreign guests like this delicatessen (red caviar, black caviar) and buy it as a souvenir for friends.Be attentive about export restrictions (you can read about them here). This product is popular and expensive, that’s why you can find imitation caviar for the price of real caviar. I made a note over the reliablecaviar shops, they have the sign *. This product is popular and expensive, that’s why you can find a fake product in the shops of the price of real. I made a note over the reliable for buying the caviar shops, they have the sign *.
** check the information about the goods on your own – look at the date of expiration (in Russian it is spelled “срок годности”)! The order of the numbers is the following: hour and minutes (if they are mentioned), the day, the month, the year (the same order goes for any Russian date: day, month, year).
Alcohol – can be purchased at any product shop from 11 am till 11pm. The most popular supermarket is «Ароматный мир». The price is higher than average. It is not permitted to carry the visible bottle of alcohol at the streets – you may get a fine. If you do want to drink on the street you are permitted to put the alcohol in the paper bag and drink from that.
Cigarettes –the cigarettes are now available in the shops upon request. You should ask the cashier if there is any special cash desk to buy the cigarettes in the shop). This product is no longer sold in the street booths.To the top
“Must visit” shops
There are several “must visit” shops in the cities. The first shop «Дом купцов Елисеевых» (Елисеевский магазин) is situated in the middle of the Nevskiy Prospect. It is very visible and attracts a lot of attention due to the moving colorful toys from the windows. Once inside the shop, you will feel as if you have stepped back in time to the year 1903. It is beautifully reconstructed with live sounds and offers desserts, cheeses, delicatessens with products from various countries. It is a great place to purchase a souvenir! The high prices for different items can be explained by the quality of the goods. The price tags are written in Russian, however the staff speaks several foreign languages so you can ask for assistance. Also you can use the translit button here.
Another shop is the next if you are moving from the end of Nevskiy Prospect to the beginning – “Пассаж” (Passage) – the roofed gallery with boutiques, shops and the unusual “Museum of chocolate“. The shop is one of the oldest in the cities, there you can spend some time during rain or snow! You can pass the shop through in order to get to the square with Russian Museum.
The 3rd shop of the list of “must visited” places is the «Дом книги» -a spacious bookshop with a wide range of books, written in different languages, good souvenirs. The inner part of the shop looks as great as the external appearance. It’s adress is Nevsky prospect, 28.To the top
You can buy the souvenirs here:
- The named above «Дом книги» = “Dom knigi” – the choice is quite big, the price is above the average.
- The shop “Буквоед” – there are 3 big book shops along Nevskiy prospect – one of them works 24 hours a day! It is a good place to buy the souvenirs if you are limited in time! The price is average and above the average. Nevsky Prospect 13, 46, 78.
- “Большой Гостиный Двор” – the long yellow shop which is in front of “Пассаж” – you can find the souvenirs on the first floor iа you are moving towards the beginning of Nevskiy Prospect. The price is above average.
- The small shops that are situated all around the city (Экспедиция, Souvenir-spb). The price is average.
- There is an exposition of painter’s works near the Cathedral on Nevskiy prospect – there you can talk to the artists and buy the picture. The price is above the average.
- “Дом Культуры «Крупская»” (subway Elizarovskaya)– that is a working book fair in a building which is not in the historical centre – there you can find practically all the things that you can see around the city, but they will be cheaper due to the location. Prospect Obykhovskoi oborony, 105.
There are several fests in the city when it is possible to buy the products of handicrafts (the Christmas fair, the fairs in big shops such as Галерея, Пассаж, sometimes there are the fairs in the exposition centre LENEXPO).To the top
The specific shops:
- The shops of Imperial Porcelain Factory (English version);
- The shops of Pavlovo shawls (English version);
- The brand shops of Krupskaya chocolate (one of the tastiest Russian brands of chocolate. The company has beautiful packages for the sweets and chocolate with the views of St-Petersburg. That is a good souvenir! )
- “The museum of chocolate” – the chain of small shops with amazing chocolate world inside. The entrance is free there, do not hesitate to see the place! There are 3 shops along Nevskiy Prospect so you will definitely pass at least one of them (one is situated on the right from the entrance of “Пассаж” shop)
- «Пчёлкин Мёд» – the chain of shops where you can find the honey of different types, some of the packages are decorated as the souvenirs! Here you can try 2 Russian beverages – kvass and mead, also you can buy a bowl with honey decorated in a Russian style.To the top
If you do consider the information on the website to be useful/money saving / time saving, you can send some kind of financial support/gratitude by clicking the button below.