Glávnyj Universálnyj Magazín (G U M)
The oldest and most upmarket shopping centre in Moscow is a work of art. GUM (short for Glávnyj Universálnyj Magazn, or “Main Universal Store”) was constructed in the late 1800s in neo-Russian style to display a stunning mix of a steel skeleton and 20,000 glass panels forming an arched canopy.
This was a one-of-a-kind structure at the time, as the glass had to be sturdy enough to withstand the harsh Russian winters. Outside, the building is almost as stunning, with marble and granite covering all three levels.
GUM is no longer Moscow’s largest shopping centre, but it is by far the most magnificent. The structure, which houses names such as Gucci and Manolo Blahnik, may not be the most budget-friendly location, but the splendour of the building itself is worth a visit.
There are also excellent dining options on the third level, including a Soviet-style canteen serving traditional Russian cuisine and a stall selling ice cream produced by hand using an original 1954 recipe approved by the Soviet government.