Basic: if it writes, it goes

Price range: $

Are you a minimalist? Then you might consider just getting your pens and notebooks at the nearest grocery store, like Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, or Lenta. Another option is FixPrice. This tactic will save you a lot of time and keep the options you’d have to choose from to a minimum. However, if you need stickers, highlighters, multicolored pens, or, say, a ruler, you will likely have to turn to the next category on our list.

Practical & elevated: take notes in style

Price range: $-$$

As a student, my go-to option for all things stationery was Bukvoed: the store has everything you might need, all kinds of notebooks and utensils – and these days even some fancy things like food-shaped erasers. A similar store that specializes in stationery is Komus (although subjectively it always seemed less fun to shop at than Bukvoed). Both are widespread chains, so you can find a store near almost any metro station – for instance, there’s both a Komus and a Bukvoed near ITMO’s Lomo campus.

All in: the fanciest pens there are

Price range: $-$$$

Now, if you are all about study-with-me aesthetics, we have got something extra for you, too. One way to go is Lillko and Zakka, both little cuteness corners with plush toys (and pencil cases), mugs, candles, face masks – and yes, mainly stationery: with adorable designs and mostly in the pink-orange color palette. With these, you will turn your note-taking into a means of artistic expression. 

Another option is to drop by Podpisnye Izdaniya, the bookworm haven that also offers a selection of fine stationery, from democratically priced notebooks to leather-bound personal planners. Take your pick! 

Finally, if you are craving something more unique, turn to Polkius or Tvoya Polka. On display, you will find knick-knacks from local creators – everything from hand-made ceramics and candles to notebooks and stickers with original designs. Be warned, though: it is nearly impossible to leave without some kind of purchase, even if you are shopping for a friend (speaking from experience here). 

Need more back-to-school advice? Check out this start-of-the-year guide to ITMO.