Shopping at Izmailovo Market: Where to Buy Souvenirs in Moscow, Russia
A short metro ride outside of the Moscow tourist center will bring you to the Virnisage market better known as the Izmailovo market. The Moscow Virnisage market is situated in an area called Izmailovo, hence the name and is part of a complex called "Kremlin at Izmailovo". This is where you should do your shopping in Moscow, standard Russian souvenirs like Matryoshka (babushka) Russia nesting dolls, will cost you half as much as they would in Moscow's central shopping area like New Arbat Street. Shopping in Moscow city center usually means either top of the range foreign brands or tourist targeted street stalls but the Izmailovo open air market in Moscow will be your one stop shopping spot for Russian souvenir shopping.
The Izmailovo market is not only a great place to shop for standard Russian souvenirs but also to maybe pick up some more original items and buy original Russian art. At the Izmailovo market you will find thousands of Matryushka Russian nesting dolls, lace and linen items, Russian fur hats, lacquer boxes, old coins, old Soviet mementos including badges, pins, hats, belts and even WWII gas masks. Some of the Russian craftsmen carry out their creative work in workshops in the market including a blacksmith who crafts metal works of arts while you watch. At the Moscow Izmailovo market you can shop for antiques and original art from various regions in Russia.
If you like do your souvenir shopping at the Vernisage flea you will also get a ride outside of the usual Moscow tourist center and you can mix with the locals who also do some of their shopping there.
If you have more time you could see some of the other attractions at the Cultural Entertainment Complex "Kremlin at Izmailovo", including a Vodka Museum, Russian toy museum, Museum of Russian costume and way of life, guided tours of the Russian craftsmen's studios and even attend a Russian wedding at the Church of the Sanctified St. Nicolas. You can find out more about the attractions at this Kremlin on their website.
How to get to the Izmailovo market, MoscowBe aware that some of the Moscow metro stations have changed names recently and not all the maps have been updates so before going shopping in the Izmailovo market ask at your hotel reception. The metro stop for the Izmailovo market in Moscow used to be called Izmailovsky Park and is now Partizanskaya. You need to take the dark blue metro line Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya, going east and get off at Partizanskaya as you exit the metro station turn left, you will see the large Arbat Hotel. Walk towards the right hand side of the hotel and follow the crowds down a path of about 200meters. You will see in front of you a smaller version of the Red Square onion shaped towers made out of wood and painted in vibrant colors.
Open Hours of the Izmailovo MarketThe best time to visit the Izmailovo market in Moscow is on weekends, especially in the mornings, although the market is open all week from 09:00 – 18:00 some of the stalls are not open on weekdays.
Take your time to explore this interesting complex and you will come home with some unusual genuine Russian keepsakes.