What to Buy on your Ukraine Holiday:
The Ukraine is a country that is shaking off its Soviet past and in a hurry to become a Westernised country. Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, now has many attributes of a Western city with large shopping malls, recreation centres and shops and boutiques that carry branded luxury goods.
In Kiev city centre alone there are five huge shopping malls:
- City Centre – 7 Kreshchatik St.
- Globus – Maidan Nezalezhnosty Square
- Mandarin-Plaza – 6 Basseynaya St.
- Metrograd – Bessarabskaya Square
- Ukraine – 3 Peremogi Square
Odessa too has its share of shopping centres. Athena shopping center, with five floors of shopping space, is located downtown on the Grecheskaya Ploschad. Deribaskaya Street is a shopping strip with all kinds of modern boutiques and shops.
Odessa’s newly built Riviera Shopping City, the largest shopping mall in the Ukraine, has just opened and is reputed to be the size of 12 football fields. Located just outside of Odessa, the Shopping City is a complex of retail space and entertainment centres.
What Tourists Want
As a tourist however, you may not have the time or inclination to go into these mega-shopping malls. Most tourists would be on the lookout for gifts and souvenirs which the Ukraine has plenty of.
Souvenir bottles of vodka and gorilka (a Ukrainian version of vodka) that come in beautifully etched bottles are cheap and popular. However, if you are looking for better brands, Hetman, Nemiroff and Ivanoff are the names to look for.
The Ukraine’s rich folk culture are reflected in handicrafts like embroidery, woollen blankets, ceramics, painted wooden eggs and costume jewelry. In our river cruise stops in Odessa, Yalta (embankment and at Swallow’s Nest) and Kiev, Ukrainian souvenir and gift shops were plentiful.