Rich in traditions, the Urals city of Yekaterinburg is a city with a wealth of historical interest and a fascinating past, making it an ideal place to pick up a few souvenirs for friends and family during your visit. A good hunt around the city will reveal a great variety of souvenirs for any taste.
Amethyst is one of the many natural gemstones that the Urals are famous for. Photo: RIA Novosti / Valeriy Shustov
The biggest cluster of souvenir shops in Yekaterinburg is concentrated in the center of the city. Mementos can be purchased not only in special stores but also in large bookstores, museum shops, and churches. When searching for distinctive knick-knacks, you are advised to carry cash (cards are not accepted at every souvenir shop) and have a look in several proven spots.
They say that there are only 3,000 types of minerals in the world, and nearly 1,000 of them can be found in the Urals. For this reason, products made from natural gemstones, semi-precious stones, and minerals representing the historical craft of stone-cutting in the Urals are number one on its list of distinctive souvenirs.
On the main city square, right in the Yekaterinburg administration building, is the Rocks of the Urals souvenir shop. Jewelry, watches, jewelry boxes, exclusive flash drives, ashtrays, and all kinds of other things made from natural stone can be found here.
Address: 24-a, Prospekt Lenina (open Monday-Thursday 10:00-18:00, Friday 10:00-17:00)
A large assortment of souvenirs made from gemstones can be found in the Amethyst store for stone-crafted products. Here you can find beads and bowls, souvenirs and business gifts, figurines and brooches, necklaces and decorative panels, icons and pictures – all made of natural stone.
Address: 43, Ulitsa Malysheva (open Monday-Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00)
Everything from exclusive stationery sets to simple keychains is sold at the Urals chain Rock Shop and the Store-Salon of Stone Products at the Ural Mineralogical Museum. The store has a wide array of lovely gifts of natural stone, as well as products made of silver with inserts of jasper, jade, agate, rhodonite, malachite, tourmaline, beryl, topaz, amethyst, and garnet.
Address: Rock Shop: 103, Prospekt Lenina; 31, Ulitsa Gagarina; 137, Ulitsa Mamina Sibiryaka (open Monday-Friday 10:00-20:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-18:00). Store in the Ural Mineralogical Museum: 1, Ulitsa Krasnoarmeiskaya (open Monday-Friday 11:00-19:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00)
The best choices for souvenir products of a different kind of folk manufacture native to the region – Tavolzhskaya ceramics – are found in the company’s store. Alongside traditional earthenware, it is possible to buy souvenirs and charms made from a special red clay that was discovered in the Urals in the late 17th century and is famous for its unique qualities.
Address: 60, Ulitsa Chelyuskintsev (open Monday-Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00)
Those interested in ancient Russian culture should take a peek into the Living Fire Slavic goods store (it is possible to pay by card and purchase souvenirs online), where there are not only books about the culture of ancient Russian and Slavic charms and ornaments, but also traditional Russian clothes and wares, along with items from the ancient Vedic cult, remedies, and cosmetics.
Address: 24/8, Ulitsa Lenina (open Monday-Sunday 10:00-21:00)
It’s worth looking for unusual souvenirs at the circus flea market (at the Geologicheskaya metro station) where antique collectors, collectors, local craftsmen, and regular citizens sell their treasures. Here you can find old samovars, gramophones, chests, coins, badges, postcards, rarities, Kasli castings, Soviet ceramics, bells, icons, works of art by local artists and stone-cutters, and household products made of metal.
Address: 43, Ulitsa 8 Marta (open on weekends 11:00-15:00)
Those wishing to find something with a more military slant to remember Russia by might consider dropping into the VOENTORG professional store for special clothes and equipment. Here uniforms for government and law-enforcement employees are sold alongside items for self-defense and protection, handcuffs, batons, insignia, epaulettes, cap badges, emblems, stripes, and chevrons as well as military and civilian boots.
Address: 14, Ulitsa Chapayeva, Bldg. 7 (open 10:00-19:00)