GUM Department Store Moscow – Russia

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GUM Department Store in Moscow

GUM Department Store (Pronounced as Goom in Russian) must be one of the most elite and expensive shopping centres in Moscow. Gum is in fact a very unusual name and I was curious to know where the name came from.

In short GUM stands for: Gosudarsestvenyi Universalnyi Magazin.

GUM Department Store is situated right on Red Square. In fact when you step outside of the building you find yourself on Red Square with a beautiful view of the Kremlin and St. Basils Cathedral. Interesting to know that in the former Soviet times many department stores were called GUM.

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GUM department store on Red Square.

History of moscow`s largest department store

The building is beautiful with magnificent architecture. It was built between 1890 and 1893. The building features an interesting combination between Russian Medieval Architecture, steel construction and a glass roof. The building is breathtaking at night when it 1000`s of lights light it up. It took my breath away!

GUM Department Store in Moscow
GUM main entrance at night

I guess we have to thank Catherine II of Russia, who commissioned a Neoclassical architect from Italy, to design a huge trade center along the east side of Red Square. Today we would call it a shopping centre. In 2005 this shopping centre had more than 200 shops.

Want to shop inside GUM Russian Department Store?

Unless you have a very thick wallet full of USD I would not recommend it.  The joke is that ordinary people cannot afford to buy here. It is too expensive. When we visited the store the first time in 2008 I saw diamonds from South Africa – De Beers. The price tag for a ring: 45,000 USD. It was a decent size diamond though. The shops are stocked with many famous Western Brand names.

GUM Department Store is a very popular touris attraction in Moscow. You will often find art exhibitions here.

In my opinion, unless you are loaded, don`t buy anything here. It is a nice experience to walk through the shopping centre and to admire all the beautiful items they have to offer. You can use the restroom facilities free of charge – for now!

GUM Department Store in Moscow
The glass roof,art exhibitions,restaurants and many brand names

Where: Moscow, Russian Federation
When: 17 May 2012

If you want to read more about similar posts click here Red Square Tourist Attractions

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. okay, when i saw your post title i was thinking of “bubble gum.” bubble gum in moscow? hmmm i wonder how different their bubble gum is from other bubble gum. and then the post was waaay more interesting than i thought! what a magnificent structure GUM is! from your photos, it does look like everything in there is expensive! 🙂

    1. Yes indeed! How those shops manage to stay open goes beyond my imagination. Mind you there are many very wealthy people in Moscow. Thanks for the visit!

    1. Hi Martha, yes for me too! I loved walking there but honestly there are so many beautiful places to see that I didn`t spend much time browsing the shops. Glad you liked the photos 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  2. My dear friend Nelieta,
    First thank you for that little piece of history, but the picture at night was simply breathtaking!! I would love to visit that shopping mall. Thank you for sharing and keep them coming.

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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