"Russian Boutique Gift & Art Store" Souvenirs Tip by starship
Souvenirs, Saint Petersburg: 33 reviews and 60 photos
Even the name of this store evokes pictures of Russia in your head! Although a smallish store, Babushka is spread out over 3 floors, with postcards and books and amber jewelry on the main level; toys, Christmas items, music boxes and lacquerware on the lower or basement level where the ceiling is of vaulted, brick construction; and art on the upper level second floor. All items are attractively displayed within arms' reach, but the shop attendants keep a sharp eye on customers which made me feel uncomfortable -- do that many foreigners steal things? In their defense, they are more than happy to assist you as well.
Our tour guide told us this was a safe place to use our credit cards and we didn't experience any problems with this. However, I wondered if she said this just to make us feel at ease about spending more!!
What to buy: Although I love the handpainted, beautiful, miniature lacquer boxes and there are some very exquisite Matryoshka dolls that Russia is famous for, what impressed me most on this trip were the beautifully painted music boxes found in Babushka! These music boxes were fashioned after the onion-domed cathedrals of St. Basil and the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood. The ones I saw here all played "Russian Nights." I brought home 2 as gifts. These music boxes costs about $25 US and up --- more than I would usually spent for souvenir gifts but so incredibly unusual that they seemed worth the splurge. My husband purchased a couple of replica, Russian military pins at $2 or $3 each.
The distinctively painted red, gold and black Khokhloma lacquerware items came in many shapes and sizes and make great gifts at a reasonable price. However, you can find these on the store's internet site as well and perhaps for a better price.
This store will package and ship your purchased items home which is a nice service, and they also have stamps for any postcards that you buy!
What to pay: Depending on the items, a few dollars up to several hundreds.
Directions: Supposedly located in Prince Golitsin's house and near the cruise ship berths, but I did not see any cruise ships near here myself.
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