It is time again for the famous GUM winter market! Winter markets are an excellent way to spend your weekends, especially in the lead up to Christmas when there is a lot of shopping to be done. This weekend, the excellent GUM winter market opened and as expected the crowds flocked to it. There are many winter markets in Moscow and each of them is definitely worth visiting, but GUM’s market is a little special because of its wonderful location. It is in front of the store on Red Square, right next to St Basil’s and the Clock Tower of the Kremlin making for a truly amazing atmosphere.
Although smaller than other markets, it certainly is not lacking in atmosphere. There is an excellent ice-skating rink (500 rubles per 90 minute session with 300 rubles for skate hire) and several food and drink stations offering fresh doughnuts, crepes, pancakes, sausages, Russian mulled wines, beers, tea, coffee and other seasonal offerings. At the market there is something for all ages and I definitely think it is worth a special visit as Christmas approaches.
The Department store is beautifully lit up and provides a truly breathtaking backdrop. If markets are your thing, the official winter market season runs from December 18th until January 10th, but you will find many of them popping up well before that. For more information there is a website (sorry, only in Russian) which has a very usable and useful map of the many winter markets dotted around the city
To share your own experience at the GUM winter market, please leave a comment below.