Friend Function

I stumbled upon this cosy shop only this fall and it seemed like a true treasure trove of all things colorful, practical, durable, and unique. This is the place to go for your pins, hats, reusable coffee cups and bottles, Kånken backpacks, and, naturally, tote bags! In all shapes and colors. Get one with a catzilla crashing the city, a sweet Moomin, or a meaningful message (in English or in Russian, to truly blend in with the locals). As an added and pleasant bonus, the staff is super friendly and always ready to help choose the best thing for you!

Podpisnie Izdaniya

A legendary bookshop if there ever was one, Podpisnie Izdaniya has long been supplying the whole city with an incredible range of books, custom-made stationery, and tote bags. They now have their own production facility, which they celebrated with a launch of a new series of bigger bags for your special book hauls (or any other occasions when you need to fit everything in that tote bag). It’s a popular and very beloved bookshop, so you’ll likely get bonus points from the young people you meet for wearing their merch – it will hardly go unnoticed. Plus, naturally, the recently expanded shop is always worth a visit for the abundance of books and its unique atmosphere. 

Doris Local

Though this place offers only one tote bag, back in the day it was something of a symbol for a community of regulars of the Golitsin Loft, a creative cluster that shut down in 2020. Doris is still something of a legend among the city’s coffee lovers, with whole odes sung to its wonderful cheesecakes and homely atmosphere. Opt for their hefty tote to broadcast your love for coffee and desire to discover and support local places – and don’t forget to check out the coffeeshop itself so that you know what it is all about! 

The State Hermitage Museum

Funnily enough, the merch of the city’s most famous (and the world’s largest by gallery space) museum is popular among tourists and locals alike. If art is your true passion, then getting a branded Hermitage tote bag might be a good idea. Apart from minimalistic totes with the museum’s logo and buildings, you can also get some with prints of paintings and even one of Picasso’s arguably most popularized quotes.


A little chain of stores that spreads along almost a whole street, FAB is a haven for any and all who want to communicate with the world in the language of street fashion. Here, you will find Dr. Martens, Converse, Vans, and much more, as well as friendly staff who truly get your fashion sense! Like Podpisnie Izdaniya and Friend Function, FAB also print their own designs on tote bags and have by far the widest selection I’ve ever seen: here, there are bags with Harry Potter and Star Wars, Van Gogh and Hokusai, Twin Peaks and the Avengers – and much, much more. A bonus worth knowing: they’ll give you their famous “Fun and Mental: fundamental” tote bag for free if you purchase a pair of shoes.

Anton Tut Ryadom (Anton’s Right Here)

A foundation that supports people with autism, Anton Tut Ryadom is a charity known to many in the city, not least through their collaborations with different shops and institutions. They also have a creative center with arts and crafts courses and workshops where people on the autism spectrum can express themselves through art guided by experienced tutors. Each item they sell is hand-made and by purchasing it you both support the charity and help promote it – the designs are bound to attract attention. You can opt for a tote with a quote in Russian (like “Everything is made of magic and bricks”) or one with a colorful print. Here, you not only keep up with fashion but also help a great cause! 

If you want to learn more exciting details about Russian culture, don’t forget to follow weekly updates on our Russian Mondays series.