Izmaylovo used to be the ancestral land of the Romanov family before becoming home to the Kremlin of the arts and culture. The Izmaylovo Kremlin, which includes the Izmaylovo market, is a great place for getting a taste of ‘Old Russia’ and for buying souvenirs. This guide will tell you all you need to know about this place before visiting it.
Many companies offer tours to the Izmaylovo Kremlin, but I wouldn’t recommend taking them. The main reason is that entry is free. Also, getting there by yourself is very easy, you just need to take the metro and get off at Partizanskaya (Line 3). After that, you just need to walk 5-10 minutes.
The Kremlin is open from 10:00 to 22:00 every day during summer, while the market works at full capacity only on weekends from 9:00 to 17:00. The best day to go is Saturday, when the market and Kremlin are at their liveliest. To make the best of the market you should be ready to bargain (more on that later) and you should also take cash with you, as not many merchants accept cards.
The Izmaylovo Kremlin is a complex of buildings inspired by medieval Russia and Russian fairy tales. The two main buildings in it are the Church of St. Nicholas, the tallest wooden church in Russia, and a replica of Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov’s wooden palace. These buildings and the whole inner complex are very picturesque, which makes them very popular spots for professional and amateur photo ops.
This place is home to museums of vodka, chocolate, weapons, among other things. The Izmaylovo Kremlin is also often the venue of cultural events, such as the International Festival of Russian Cuisine. On top of that, the complex has a chapel where people can get legally married.
Being latino is tough on your wallet. Every time you go traveling you have to buy presents for every single member of your extended family and for your friends, and for their families too sometimes. So, I’m always on the lookout for places where I can get cheap souvenirs in bulk.
If you’re also looking for cheap, decent-quality souvenirs, Izmaylovo market is the place for you. Apart from matryoshkas, magnets, t-shirts and other traditional Russian souvenirs, you will be able to find antiques and original works of art. It’s possible to get very good prices if you ask for discounts. To help you get the best deals out there, I’ve put together a small Russian dictionary of bargaining and some advice for you.
Скидка: Your raison d’être, a discount.
Сколько стоит?: How much does it cost?
This one is an important basic phrase, but when you’re bargaining it’s always better to propose your own price, instead of asking about it. This way you’ll get a head start in the negotiation. So, for example, you could say: Сколько стоит? ₽60?
(Quantity of items) за (price): This is a structure for asking for discounts when bulk buying. For example, if a magnet costs ₽50 you could propose buying two for ₽90, два за ₽90.
Какие у вас сейчас есть скидки?: What discounts do you have?
Сколько-сколько вы хотите?!: How much do you want [for that]?!
This is a rather informal phrase you could use after the seller proposes a price you’re not happy with. The trick here is sounding surprised by the price, as if it was way too expensive. The point is making the seller feel a bit uncomfortable with their offer and, in this way, make them more open to negotiating. The phrase requires a bit of acting, so you should practice in front of the mirror before trying it out on the market.
When negotiating, it’s a good strategy to be persistent. Often people will agree to your terms just to make you go away. However, if you feel you’re not making any progress at all, just leave and try your luck in any of the other many stands.
Did we miss any important vocab in the little dictionary? Do you want us to make another guide about a different tourist attraction? Just let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our blog and social media for more useful guides and much more!
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