Shopping

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Shopping
 
 In Russia you will find an immense range of shopping opportunities . It is necessary to allow extra time for souvenir hunting: shopping can be a time-consuming activity, owing to the relatively chaotic state of the retail trade in the Russian Federation. Whether in antique and souvenir shops, or in gigantic, trendy department stores, Russia is always at its best: glamorous and incredible. If you are sticking to the major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, you should generally find all the products you require. Shopping hours Shops are usually open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Department stores and supermarkets open through lunchtime, and 24 hour shops are growing in popularity. How to pay Please note that you will need to use rubles or credit cards to effectuate your payments in Russia. Unfortunately, you will not be able to pay with your personal or travelers’ checks. Ruble is the only legal tender on the entire territory of the Russian Federation. Foreign currency should only be exchanged at official bureaux and authorised banks, and all transactions must be recorded on the currency declaration form which is issued on arrival. It is wise to retain all exchange receipts. Most department stores have on-site currency exchange offices where you can get Russian rubles exchanging foreign currency cash, getting a cash advance on your credit cards Old and tarnished foreign currency bills and coins will not be accepted at banks and exchange offices - money changers want to deal with pristine banknotes only. Although in major cities there appear more restaurants and shops welcoming credit cards, in some cases you will have to pay in cash. Cash in rubles, however, remains the preferred option. If you are going to travel to smaller Russian cities, make sure you have cash, as credit cards are not widely accepted in Russian provinces. Banking hours Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m to 17:30 p.m.The local currency is the Ruble (RUB), available in denominations of 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50 and 10. Coins are in denominations of 10, 5, 2 and 1 RUB, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 kopeks. Shops Historically, the main shopping districts of Moscow have been concentrated in the city centre, along Tverskaya ulitsa and Novy Arbat. Luxury designer stores like Cerutti, Versace, Hermès, Gucci, Armani, and Prada have settled along pedestrianised Stoleshnikov pereulok, Kuznetsky Most, and Tretyakovsky proyezd. On Kutuzovsky prospekt, off Novy Arbat, you’ll find Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, and Fendi boutiques. Along with Stary Arbat, which has been particularly spruced up for the tourist trade, these streets are your best bets. In St. Petersburg, the central shopping district is Nevsky prospekt and the streets running off it. Don’t expect too many bargains beyond the pirated CDs and videos (which could be confiscated at customs in your home country!), however, because prices for items such as clothes and electronic goods are just as high as in the West, and in the chic stores in hotels they are even higher. Food It follows to buy products in hypermarkets (Mega, Okey, Lenta, Ashan). It is not recommended to buy products in the markets and in small stores.  
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