Although Minsk is not much of a shopping paradise, it won’t disappoint both the luxurious and simple shoppers. The city doesn’t offer such a range of goods as major Russian cities like Moscow or St Petersburg and it doesn’t have all the chain stores that are likely to be found elsewhere in Europe, but on the other hand, Minsk offers nice places that you won’t find anywhere else.
There still are some shops which practice an older way of shopping. First, you choose the product and pay for it and get a receipt. Finally you leave the receipt and get what you paid for. Most shops however left that system many years ago.
There are two big stores on the city’s main street Prospekt Nezavisimosti and not far away from the main street there is the Dinamo market.
A good number of stores are found along the central parts of the main street Prospekt Nezavisimosti, from the central station and 4 kilometers northeast. On this part of the main street one may find big stores like GUM (Prospekt Nezavisimosti 21) and Tsum (Prospekt Nezavisimosti 54). Both stores offer a wide variety of goods, everything from clothes to radio and TV. Looking for a digital watch “made in Belarus” by Elektronika? Then GUM is the right place. Elektronikawatches is a must for the collector or those who likes kitch. GUM also offers some nice “soviet style” radios.
In the city center one should also visit the Dinamo stadium where the Dinamo market is located. This is a nice place for strolling around market stalls. Most kind of goods may be found in the market. On Ulitsa Very Horuzhej 8 is the Komarovskij rynok, a big market hall where meat, vegetables, dairy products and other provisions are on offer. Outside the Komarovskij rynok there is also a big shopping mall with hundreds of smaller offering the latest fashion.
Meanwhile, souvenirs for folks back home can be found at Folk art, it is the main source of souvenirs, which include carved wooden trinkets, ceramics and woven textiles. Unique to Belarus are wooden boxes intricately ornamented with geometric patterns composed of multicolored pieces of straw. These are easily found in city department stores and in some museum kiosks. Most days, this small outdoor souvenir market operates in the small space between the Trade Unions’ House of Culture and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. Breeze past the cheesy paintings and you’ll find crafts in the back.
Splurge your money with quality products in Minsk, from trusted brands and manufacturers, and nifty made souvenirs, too.