Countries bordering the Baltic Sea Region offer varied shopping venues. Many of the town and city shopping areas, for example, are for pedestrians only, and shoppers may browse at their leisure while strolling along wide streets free of traffic. Other cities offer shopping within well-preserved medieval walls and along charming cobblestone streets in the old sections of town.
Among the Baltic shopping specialties: Amber is indigenous to the region and can be found in many shops, set in silver and gold. Look for amber particularly in Lithuania and Latvia. Poland, on the other hand, specializes in crystal (cruise passengers have the opportunity to shop for crystal in Gdynia).
Another Baltic specialty: Scandinavian design. In Scandinavia’s large port cities many shops feature furniture, clothing, and glasswork from world-renowned factories in the region.
In St. Petersburg, artifacts from the Soviet-era may be purchased. But be advised that special permits are required for taking those goods out of the country. Antique shoppers will find plenty to browse and purchase in each of the Baltic Sea port destinations.
Daily markets and special event markets, such as Medieval Week in some port cities, offer unique shopping opportunities in festive atmospheres.
While most shops in all of the Baltic countries will accept credit cards, be advised that some smaller shops may not accept foreign currencies. ATM machines for withdrawing local currencies, however, are usually abundant. Also, many Baltic destinations offer tax-free shopping, with a portion of the purchase refunded at the airport before departure or at banks and kiosks. Look for “Tax Free Shopping” signs and postings.
The only thing missing for shoppers in the Baltic Cruising Region is extra space in their luggage to take home all that they’ve acquired. There’s a solution for that. Many shops will ship your goods home. So purchase a souvenir or two — or three. After all, what could be a better reminder of your trip to this remarkable part of the world?