If you plan to study and live in Petrozavodsk, our present international students are ready to give you a piece of advice what is worth-buying in the town and how you can organize your shopping expenses while studying at PetrSU. The best, the second best and the surprising. See below!
Sakura Ito, Japan:
YES: I’ve read about Russian dishes, such as borscht and piroshky, in a Japanese textbook. So I was very excited to try them. Russian piroshky and pelmeni are delicious. I also like Russian ice cream because the servings are big.
NO: I did not like porridges.
Eunji Han, South Korea:
YES: Cookies, cakes, pastry, actually all desserts in Russia are much tastier than what we have at home. Here I have also tried salo for the first time. At first I was reluctant because it is actually pork fat. But then I really enjoyed eating it with bread. I often buy buckwheat, which I like.
NO: I have bought “Chistaya Liniya” shampoo because it is very cheap, and regretted it. So I had to buy “Pantene” instead, but it too turned out to be worse than the one we have. Though when I am leaving, I will buy Russian cosmetics, like hand and foot creams. My friends have asked me to bring them just out of curiosity.
William Akuffo-Addo, Ghana:
YES: I usually buy milk, chicken, fish, and vegetables – the food I am used to. Here, in Petrozavodsk, I have tried mushrooms for the first time. I liked them so I sometimes buy some. I really enjoy Russian kvas because of its original taste. I liked that in Russia clothes and shoes of international brands, like Adidas, are thicker and more durable. It is hot in Africa, so clothes and shoes are thinner and quickly wear out.
NO: I am completely satisfied. I am not picky. Everything I eat at home I buy here as well.
Carolin Schultz, Germany:
YES: I regularly buy pelmeni, cookies, mors and smoked cheese; I like this food a lot. In Petrozavodsk I have bought myself a pair of jeans and two handbags, in “Kari” and “Promod” shops. The handbags are ordinary; the quality is the same as in Germany. Also, I have been buying cleansing here, and I haven’t noticed any difference.
NO: Coffee in Russia is disgusting, this applies to all brands. It is my third visit to Russia and this time I have brought coffee from home. Many complain of the dill. It really doesn’t make ready-made food any tastier. But in Petrozavodsk the amount of dill in salads and meat is actually moderate. Three years ago I was in Yakutsk and for some reason people there eat an incredible amount of dill.
Karolina Pyka, Poland:
YES: I really like “Greenfield” and “Tess” teas, there are actually better than English tea. I have even brought some to my friends in Poland as gifts. Also I regularly buy “Alenka” sweets and chocolate for myself and often bring them as gifts too. You have amazing desserts and dairy products. I love Russian piroshky with cabbage, meat and mushrooms. In Poland we bake cakes too, but Russian pastry has a completely different taste. It has less salt in it, which is just great. And I also enjoyed barbershops in Petrozavodsk. In Poland it takes hairdresser about 20-30 minutes to attend to a client; whereas here they devote no less than an hour, and do hair better. When I’m going home I will certainly buy smoked fish.
NO: I do not like local cheese and beer. I really miss Polish food.
Einar Kristensen Moe, Norway:
YES: “Vasileostrovskoye” beer is actually pretty good. I buy buckwheat, canned fish: saury, sprats –they are delicious. I have also bought camouflage suit “Gorka-3”, I’ll wear it when I go hunting at home.
NO: There are many places in Petrozavodsk where you can get takeaway food. But I don’t buy it. They put dill in every dish and the food is not tasty.
Richard Lloyd Christophe Morin, Canada:
YES: Dairy products by Karelian manufacturers. They are different from the ones you can buy in Canada or Saint-Petersburg. In Petrozavodsk everything is fresh and more natural. The same can be said about ice cream. In Petrozavodsk you can still find genuine ice cream. Of course, you can buy some in Canada but it will be much more expensive. I often go to “Bukinist” and “Okhotnik i rybolov” shops. I like hiking, so recently I have bought an excellent sleeping bag, a backpack and pots to cook outdoors. By the way, here I have learned to cook shashlyk and now it is one of my favourite dishes. When my father visited me, he bought Russian valenki and stripped vests. Lately he has sent me a picture of him shoveling snow in valenki. I also like Russian halva. We have halva too, but it is made of sesame and I like sunflower halva better.
NO: I don’t like Russian chocolate and coffee that is sold here. Coffee is disgusting. I try to bring some from Canada but it doesn’t last long. Moreover, unfortunately here you can’t buy a good steak as meat is cut differently.
Marketa Hofirkova, Czech Republic:
YES: Here are excellent dairy products. I regularly buy vareniki, pelmeni, chicken legs, cornflakes for breakfast and blueberry cakes. Vegetables and fruits are expensive, but I can’t resist pomelo that is sold here. Olives are also very tasty in Petrozavodsk. Russian vodka is milder than Czech and it doesn’t cause hangover. I’ll buy a few bottles when I’m leaving. Clothes and cosmetics are much cheaper here than in Czech Republic, so I willingly buy them. I even plan to take a small supply of “L’Oreal” cosmetics with me. I do not see any difference in quality and it is cheaper in Petrozavodsk. I have bought many nail polishes here – there is a wide choice of them, quality is good, the price is lower. I buy clothes, too. I have already bought shirts, jackets, a scarf, trousers, a coat and boots. I’m considering buying leather boots, we don’t have such a wide selection and the prices are higher. By the way, I like service in your shops better. Here, shop assistants are very attentive. They help you to select clothes and are always ready to give advice. I also have dreamt of buying a “Lada-Niva” car and a dog of Moscow Watchdog breed, but I’m afraid I won’t have enough money for that.
NO: I didn’t like the medicine. I had to take many painkillers and they had no effect on me. It took me a while to find an orthopaedic mattress. Cheese in Petrozavodsk is either tasteless or too expensive. Canned food is another thing I didn’t like. And bread is too sweet for my liking.
Kristyna Spacilova, Czech Republic:
YES: Tea is very tasty, milk is good, vegetables and fruit are expensive here, but pomelo in your shops is so delicious that I simply can’t resist. I have bought “Garnier” shampoo and it is exactly the same as what we have at home. Toothpaste too is no different from ours.
NO: Coffee is awful and there are no soy products at all.
Maria Brindzakova, Czech Republic:
YES: Excellent olives, cottage cheese and other dairy products. I had to buy kitchenware to cook in dormitory. Honestly, it is a bit too expensive. On the other hand, there is a great choice of shoes in your city. I will take vodka and cosmetics with me. I’m stocking up with nail polishes and other nail make-up. The choice is very good here, decent quality, while the prices are lower compared to ours.
NO: It is hard to buy good ham and I didn’t like cheese and sausages. At first it seems that there is a wide choice of sausages but they all taste the same.
So, if you are a great coffee-drinker take some coffee with you to Russia, though you can enjoy quite good coffee in the local cafes, and be prepared to try dill a lot.