Charming knick-knacks

Intricate forest-inspired jewelry straight out of a witch’s closet, hand-made pottery, scented candles, hand-knit woolen hats, chocolate with dried fruit and tiny pine cones… That’s far from the full list of items to be found at Tvoya Polka shops. In our experience, whoever comes into this treasure trove will inevitably find something to their liking: sometimes, visiting it is like going to a museum of creativity and quirkiness – and that is the beauty of it.

Come prepared to find something you never expected to see and keep your feeling of childhood wonder at the ready: you just might end up picking something for yourself along with some very original presents for your loved ones. 

Rare and wonderful finds

When you want to think outside the gift box but not pull a bank job, there’s no better place than Avito. Here, you can find anything your __ (fill in the gap) will wholeheartedly enjoy and even more, be it a specific Russian translation of the Harry Potter books, custom Sorting Hat cupcakes, some used (yet no less great) camera gear, or even vintage action figures of your favorite comic book heroes.

All these goodies can be put on sale by locals, so it’ll take you only a couple of texts and maybe a ride to a negotiated location (delivery is an option, too) to get the perfect gift, especially if your special someone seems to have everything.

Credit: Benjamin Zanatta (@benjaminzanatta) via Unsplash

Credit: Benjamin Zanatta (@benjaminzanatta) via Unsplash

New experiences

If your gift recipient lives by the motto of New Year – new me, you can get them a certificate for some unusual sports. Of course, you need to be attentive to their preferences and general attitude towards physical activity, but once you have it sorted out, the world is your oyster. St. Petersburg has a well-developed sports scene with numerous clubs offering affordable trial packages for the first week of training or first classes in general. Out of tried-and-tested options, we recommend hot yoga, cycling, or boxing. In addition, you can get one for yourself, too, and spend some quality time buddying over sport! 

Feel-good odds and ends

Sometimes, it’s not just the quality of the gift itself that matters, but the sentiment behind it. And in the case of Prostie Veschi (“Simple Things”), it’s both. The store operates multiple workshops around town where people with disabilities work hand-in-hand with various professionals to create amazing pottery, art, souvenirs, decor pieces, and more (even plants!).

These days, you can find their wonderful products at Ogurtsy Cafe (a particular favorite of our team) or the brand’s online store. But the best option is, no doubt, the flagship store in Sevkabel Port (Kozhevennaya 34A) – not only do you get to drop by the city’s predominant public space, but also visit some of the workshops and even grab lunch at the store’s own bistro.

For more gift ideas, look no further than our guides on the best local jewelry shops, St. Petersburg’s top clothing stores, and essential beauty brands to find in the city.

ITMO.NEWS editorial team