This tip was written by our San Francisco based Explorer: Luda Berdnyk
Luxurious, cosmopolitan, and wealthy: these words wouldn’t be out of place when describing the atmosphere in Moscow. With its sprawling skylines and businessmen in exotic cars, its no wonder how the city got its name. But have you ever wondered where the rich and famous do their shopping?
Look no further than a couple of meters from the Red Square, and you’ll find the answer: GUM, which stands for the Main Universal Store. What used to be an indoor trading center back in the 19th century has transformed into a sparkling array of stores selling anything and everything—from fur coats and caviar to souvenirs and $20 shirts with Putin memes.
Even though there are plenty of storefronts featuring Armani, Gucci, and Chanel logos, GUM is not exclusively for the rich! There’s a retro-style deli, cotton candy kiosk, and little souvenir stores scattered around the 200-store, 3-floor building.
It’s not the cheapest place to shop in Moscow, but GUM is definitely something that you have to experience while you’re there. I recommend trying some ice cream on the first floor: the recipe that hasn’t changed since the Soviet era, and for good reason – it’s delicious! If you’re in the mood for traditional Russian food, Stolovka 57 (Canteen 57) on the third level is the perfect spot to grab pelmeni (dumplings), chocolate cake, or mors (fruit juice).
Хорошего Путешествия! (Bon voyage!)
Stay tuned for more tips from Luda. Find more of her travels here.
Photo Credits: Author’s own