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Shopping in Ukraine

Shop for fur caps, caviar, vodka, avos'ka (knit bags), rushniks (decorative towels), hand-painted pysank and krashenki (Easter eggs), plates and wall plaques from Petrikivka (a village famed for its ceramics), wood and metal sculpture, hand-painted lacquerware, and balalaikas and other musical instruments. In most places, souvenirs are sold in outdoor stalls near the center of town. The operative rule is to buy it when you see it – supplies of everything are limited. Window shopping can be fun, but actually buying something in a larger store may involve standing in several long lines before receiving your purchase.

Some shops will not allow new customers to enter if it is less than 30 minutes before closing. Shopping hours are general: Monday-Saturday 10 am-8 pm, Sunday 10 am-6 pm. Some stores and businesses retain the Soviet-era practice of closing for lunch from 1-2 pm, but most remain open throughout the day.

The seven-level Mandarin Plaza shopping centre is conveniently located close to the city centre of Kiev, in the Bessarabs’kyi district. The Plaza features numerous stores, offering goods of every kind. Boutiques – those sanctuaries of high fashion – feature the latest creations by the world’s best known designers. A club for children makes it a great place to shop with kids.

Alta Centre was the first shopping mall to open in the Ukrainian capital. Fashion, sports wear, footwear, cosmetics, perfumery and souvenir stores sell just about anything you can imagine. The mall also hosts a massive supermarket, two department stores and a number of restaurants serving most styles of cuisine. What makes Alta worth visiting, especially for the casual tourist, is the gallery of Ukrainian fashion boutiques adorned with the creations of local designers. There is a fashion show spotlighting these designs every Saturday.

Also, do go to Andriyivsky Descent (Andriyivskyi Uzviz) for a nice collection of things. Vendors sell traditional things, old communistic goods, folkloric items, artwork, crafts, and so on. Best time to go is on Sunday when there's a market.





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