4 reasons to visit the GUM-Fair in Moscow
29 January, 2019
The Red Square is not only the largest and most recognized symbol of Moscow, but it is the heart of the city surrounded by the major sights of the Russian capital. Walking in the Red Square, you can admire the most important buildings of the city, such as the Kremlin, the State History Museum, the St Basil’s Cathedral, the GUM department store and Lenin’s Mausoleum.
The Red Square has always been the main square of Moscow, the history of which dates back to the 1490s when a new Kremlin of red brick was built there. The Square was the place for huge, open-air markets and significant events. For example, this was the place in the city where tsars’ declares were announced and citizens came here to get informed about the latest news. In addition, church festivals and religious processions were also organized here regularly.
The Red Square is definitely one of the must-see sights of Moscow, but this time it’s double worth visiting here. Would you like to know why? Well, because the colourful, teeming cavalcade of the GUM-Fair is waiting for you until 28thFebruary! Don’t miss out the chance to pop into the heart of the city and have fun at the Fair organized by GUM, one of the most beautiful and world famous department stores. The Fair is open every day, so anytime you arrive, you can take part in various activities and taste the real Russian specialities, since 47 pavilions are waiting for the visitors. Let the adventure begin!
Must-try activities at the Fair
Are you keen on ice-skating or would you feel a desire just to try it? Then it’s the place to be! Hire a pair of skates at the hire centre next to the ice rink and enjoy your time on the GUM-Skating Rink, while admiring the magnificent view of the Square’s huge, glorious Christmas tree.
Getting a bit tired and hungry after your ride, there are plenty of opportunities to have a delicious meal around there in the pavilions. Believe me, you will experience one of your greatest culinary adventures! For example, you can taste belyashi (беляши), which is a kind of fried flat pie stuffed with minced meat. In the Soviet era it was very popular to sell hot belyashi on the corners of the main streets, where hungry young people after school shortly lined up in queue to buy a hot meat pie. Let’s move on to the next pavilion, where you can also try chebureki (чебуреки), a crispy, golden and bubbly fried turnover, filled with minced meat and onion. Blini (блины) or pirogi (пироги) are also worth trying with different fillings. Blini is the traditional Russian pancake served with smetana, tvorog, butter, caviar, jam and other garnishes. Pirogi is a small dough filled with mashed potato, minced meat, vegetables, cheese, cabbage or tvorog. Sounds delicious, right? Let’s enjoy then the authentic tastes of Russia and continue the adventure at the GUM-Fair!
After warming up with a cup of hot tea, you can go for a pleasant walk among the pavilions to discover the original Russian products and souvenirs. Have you heard about kokoshnik (кокошник)? Actually, it’s a traditional Russian headwear, which has a high crest. In the old Russian times married women were obliged to cover their heads and conceal their hair with kokoshnik. It is also very interesting that after the FIFA World Cup – replacing ushanka –, kokoshnik became the most remarkable piece of Russian headwear, since some of the fans were wearing it during the match. What about gzhel (гжель)? It is the name of the traditional Russian craft of production of porcelain items, the history of which started in the 1800s in the region of Gzhel, located close to Moscow. The blue and white ceramics are definitely considered to be one of the most marvellous masterpieces of Russian art. Just to mention some more, you can also have a glance at the pavilions of the colourful matryoshka (матрёшкa) dolls, samovars (самовар) or the bogorodskoye (богородское) toys, the most famous Russian carved toys made only of natural wood. Among many other things, you have the opportunity not only to visit the heart of Moscow but to have fun and explore all the aspects of Russian crafts and cuisine at the GUM-Fair.
Monday- Thursday: 11:00-22:00
Weekends & Holidays: 10:00-23:00