The first thing you cannot forget to bring home from Russia is, of course, at least one Matryoshka Doll. They are also known as Russian nesting dolls, and they are extremely popular in Russia and all over the world. This is probably the first gift that you think about when it comes to Russian souvenirs. The word ‘matryoshka’ is derived from the Russian female first name ‘Matryona’. It represents a set of dolls of decreasing sizes, one inside the other. All of them are brightly painted, either in the Russian folk art style or a more modern style. Dolls are usually painted in traditional Russian colors: red, yellow, blue, black white and green. But sometimes you can see different famous faces instead of a doll’s face, such as Russian politicians or other famous people.
Soviet Era Souvenirs
These are extremely popular all over the world and have become a retro fashion trend in recent years. The USSR T-shirt can be found in the wardrobe of many celebrities. Olympic bears, vintage teaspoons, a party membership card of the Communist party, a Coin Ring from USSR, waterproof matches, a traditional vintage Soviet wooden spoon, a Soviet leather wallet, a Soviet propaganda red star, a vintage natural white shawl in the Russian national style: the list goes on!
Literally translated as “ear-flaps hat”, shapka ushanka is a Soviet and Russian winter hat that is popular in Russia even nowadays and is worn during winter. It has ear flaps that can be tied up to the top of the cap. If you translate its name, you will note that shapka means “hat”. Nowadays ushanka hats are popular throughout the world and are one of the most famous souvenirs from Russia. The first wave of commercially exported Soviet Russian winter shapkas appeared abroad in 1991, following the dissolution of the USSR.
Everyone knows that one of the most popular Russian drinks is vodka. It is known internationally as strong alcohol which is a classic ingredient in famous cocktails. But in Russia people drink it on its own. The tradition goes back to cold Russian winters when people drank vodka in order to warm up after spending a long time outdoors in temperatures down to -30C. Remember that if you buy any paintings or antiques, you will need to get a certificate from the Ministry of Culture to present at customs when you leave the country.
Gzhel ceramics is one of tourists’ favorite souvenirs brought back from Russia!
If you want to bring home some beautiful art items, Gzhel ceramics is a perfect choice! Though you can find the works of art in the Gzhel style all over the world, in Russia you can find very unique styles that you will not be able to find anywhere else.
Wooden spoons, plates and bowls made in Khohloma (red and gold colors on a black background) are very popular all over the world. They are not heavy and really easy to bring with you. If you purchase a Khohloma gift, note that this type of souvenir does not hold up well in water, so the spoons cannot be used for soup or tea or washed in a dishwasher.