Every guest of the city would like to go shopping even if he’s not fond of it. Whatever the purpose of the visit you are to go to “the Green Bazaar”. This is an opportunity to plunge into the atmosphere of eastern market, the one that smells with rich spices, pleases the eye with generous piles of goods and flushed with clutter and motley crowd. Here you can buy everything from souvenirs to everyday products and, at the same time, mix with people. It’s common here to taste food and to haggle a bit. Sellers do not bother with excessive persistence. The Green Bazaar is included in many sightseeing tours of the city. Here, almost at every time of the year, you can see, taste and buy the very sort of the famous apples you would hear about in Almaty – Oporto.
In small city shops you can buy everyday products at a fixed price. But recently it becomes more popular to do shopping in big malls. They are built in accordance with the international standards, combining shopping and leisure. Usually there are more than just food courts under the roof of such malls, there are also cinemas, theaters, aquaparks and bowling. It’s necessary to say that world brands are rather expensive in Almaty but here you can find boutiques of Russian designers too. They make clothes in which you won’t be lost among the crowd. Also the craftsmen fairs are regularly held in Almaty – two times a year in Central State Museum and at the end of each month near the hotel “Zhetysu” opposite the TSUM (Central Universal Department Store). These forums gather not only the most talented craftsmen of Kazakhstan but also the craftsmen from all over the Central Asia. On such fairs you can traditionally find ceramics, thick felt goods, accessories, home decorations including national style goods.
Generally the Republic pays a great attention to the native handicrafts development. Almaty could be proud that the best examples of the most talented masters are presented on the market. Few word about TSUM. The Central Universal Department Store (TH “Zangar” now) was built in 1961 and in the Soviet time was the most famous store in Almaty. Because of its convenient location it’s very popular even now. To buy cheap product most of the citizens go to the “Baracholka” – a huge market, the real city in the city. Going there you’d better take someone competent with you, a person who knows what and where to buy. Haggling is common here, and also you could hear some real folklore gems like: “Move legs away – give me a way (zhol)”. As souvenirs from Almaty people usually bring spices, thick felt goods, lashes, ceramic statuettes and magnets as usual.