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Russian souvenirs

I am going on a cruise in May that will make a one day stop in St. Petersburg. I will be on one of the cruise ship's excursions. I am interested in getting the Russian nesting dolls or matryoshka as a souvenir. How much should I expect to pay for them? I have Rick Steves' book Northern European Cruise Ports. It mentions that most will not have prices marked and you will have to haggle with the vendor. Depending on cost I may get 7 sets of them so getting the best price is important to me.

Posted by
145 posts

Can't comment on the price, but it really will depend on whether they are mass-produced ones (often very poor quality...eyes askew...paint outside the lines ;)) or the hand painted ones. If you are getting them for friends just as a little something from Russia, they you could probably find quite inexpensive ones in lots of souvenir shops on Nevskiyi Prospect or around it. Here is the first popped up link to an online shop...was surprised that they can be that expensive. prices in Russian rubles.

Posted by
1724 posts

We bought small nesting doll sets for souvinirs from a vendor next to the Church of Spilled Blood. Haggling for the price wasn't bad- if you go too low, they just stop the negotiation. Whenever you are going to buy several of something you get a better deal for each. I don't think we paid more than $2 or $3 for eaxh set.

Posted by
3 posts

Two or three dollars each is a great price. That will help me a lot in my haggling. Thanks for the replies.

Posted by
25 posts

Do most of the little vendors accept credit cards or is it best to have Russian currency with you? And are there plenty of vendors and shops around the main tourist stops? Finally, do they all sell pretty much the same thing or do they each have their own variety of handmade items?

Posted by
144 posts

I don't think the vendors near Church of Spilled Blood will take credit cards. To me it appears as the vendors probably work for one main company as the items are similar and appear to be "Made in foreign country" on the cheap.

Posted by
7205 posts

St Petersburg in just 1 day stopover? That's just awful (in my book). It's a great city with many treasures and daytrips including to Pushkin for Catherine's Palace. I think you'll be stuck buying your souvenirs wherever your cruise ship tour guide takes you.

Posted by
2464 posts

Our cruise ship sold the dolls and other things when we left port in the gift shop. They were good prices and a wide variety