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Souvenirs in Ukraine

Souvenirs in Ukraine
Matryoshka dolls -- a favorite souvenir from Ukraine

Matryoshka Dolls

Perhaps the most typical Ukrainian souvenir are the famous Matryoshka dolls. You will find a large selection of these at almost any historical (tourist) sight in Ukraine. Some come from neighboring Russia. These matryoshka dolls are the true nesting dolls. Each doll (and there can be up to 30 or more) is identical in shape and painting, just slightly smaller than the one it nested in.

Ukrainian matryoshka dolls, on the other hand, are different. They usually represent a family. The outer doll may be the father, the next one the mother, then a son, a daughter, an infant, a dog, and finally -- not bigger than a kernel of corn -- a baby chick.

You will also find special holiday matryoshkas. For Christmas (or New Year's), they have Christmas Tree "dolls". Inside the outer tree may be a Santa Claus, family members, etc.

Especially for the tourists, they also offer a number of more humorous dolls. You can find a Lenin doll, a George Bush doll, a Saddam Hussein doll, etc. For the kids, there are Winnie the Pooh dolls (see the lower right hand corner of the photograph above), etc.

Where to Buy Souvenirs

Basically, you can find souvenirs anyplace that attracts tourists (including local Ukrainian tourists). So, look around the famous churches and monuments. The street winding up the Andrew's Slope is especially famous for its tourist stands. There is also a National Handicrafts store on the famous Khreshatyk Street downtown (subway station Khreshatyk).

In Lvov, their is a special outdoor souvenir bazaar located near (behind) the Opera, across the street from the Hotel Lvov.


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