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Shopping in Belarus

When in Belarus, shop for fur caps, caviar, vodka, wall plaques and tiles, wood and metal sculpture, hand-painted lacquer-ware, and balalaikas and other musical instruments. With the plummeting value of the ruble, there are plenty of bargains. The foreign-currency stores have the highest-quality items such as, jewellery and elaborate Palekh boxes.

Apart from the trendy and slightly overpriced shops sporting international labels, Belarus is is filled with bazaars and open-air marketplaces that have become very popular venues for buying a vast array of items, from food to consumer electronics. A large portion of shopping in this country happens at these bazaars, which are favorite places to shop, especially for the locals. Larger towns usually have a number of markets. The largest ones in Minsk are called Komarovka and Zhdanovichi, while smaller towns normally have at least one. The bazaars, apart from food, often sell cheap clothes, shoes and home appliances, as well as CDs and toys

Interesting souvenirs can be found in street stands or in the ruble stores.

Most shops are open Monday to Saturday 9 am -8 pm. Larger cities have shops that are open daily, while many remain open 24 hours a day.


An “Exhibition”, a local version of a shopping arcade, is yet another, and safer place where you can shop. A cross between a mall and a market, an Exhibition is a closed shopping street lined with tiny shop-like booths. Such spaces offer a wider variety of products and is somewhat more convenience. Minsk’s largest Exhibitions include Parking, Impulse, Mir Mody and Europa.

One of the best places to shop in Minsk is the local TSUM, a reminder of the communist regime. Selling almost everything, this Soviet shop constitutes a large building divided into many specialised departments. The GUM store, the abbreviation standing for 'Central Miscellaneous Shop', offers Belarusian souvenirs, jewellery and art. Located close to Yakub Kolas Square and the metro station Ploschad Yakuba Kolasa in Minsk, it sells national diamonds, gold, wooden souvenirs, crystals, local underwear and kids’ clothes.

Prospekt Scarina is the main street with antique shops and two department stores. Podzemka on Prospekt Nezalezhnasti 43 is an underground bookshop-cum-art gallery. A souvenir type shop called Suveniraja Lavka, selling straw crafts, wooden boxes, embroidered linen and Belarusian alcohol, can be found on Ulitsa Maxima Bahdanovicha 9.

Vodka produced by Brest spirit factory, is probably the best in the world. This easily outperforms Stolichnaya, Absolut and Smirnoff.





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