What sweets do Russians like most

Gift ideas for New Year's Eve, Christmas, birthday, Women's Day and other holidays in Russia

Choosing gifts for Russian friends with heart and mind


A gift should bring joy to the recipient and the giver. But choosing the right gift is not an easy task. If you give something unsuitable, you create an uncomfortable situation and can even offend the other. It happens in Russia just like in other countries: most of the time they become unusable Gifts given away. Because even with standard gifts such as flowers, wines, books or toys, you can be spot-on or wrong.

Choose gifts based on the occasion and personality

  • The most important thing is not to pay attention to your own preferences, but to them Interests of the personfor who that gift is intended. If you don't want to make a fool of yourself with your gift, but want to make a real pleasure, you should try to find out as much as possible about the recipient. A few simple pieces of information can be helpful. For example: how old is the person? Is she a coffee or tea drinker? Does the person have a pet? Does she like to travel or prefer to spend her free time in the garden at the dacha?
  • The occasion plays a big role when choosing a gift. So in Russia For International Women's Day on March 8, especially flowers were given. There are expensive gifts for birthdays, New Years Eve, weddings and other larger occasions. There are no gifts exchanges in Russia at Christmas.

Party favors for Russia

Many who go to Russia for a school exchange or a business meeting or visit acquaintances or the family of a friend ask themselves what they can bring as a gift. It is recommended:

  1. Find out something about the hosts' interests, preferences, or hobbies and choose gifts accordingly.
  2. To give something special from your own homeland.

Here are a few general ones Gift ideas:

Gift ideas from Germany:

  • Above all, Germany stands for quality. Who one Branded items as gift should make sure that it was actually made in Germany and not in a third country.
  • For little boys and soccer fans: soccer jersey or another item from the collection of a well-known German soccer team. Some fan shops also make individual outfits with the name of your choice.

Gift ideas from Austria:

Gift ideas from Switzerland:

What to look for when choosing a gift for the Russians

Anyone for Russian friends, colleagues or a host family gift should keep in mind that in many cities you will be in Russia can now buy almost anything that is available in Germany and other European countries.

Generally in RussiaBranded items very popular. In addition, the items manufactured in Germany (“made in Germany”) enjoy a very good reputation. When in doubt, you should choose a good, well-known brand and buy a high-quality gift. Too expensive one should gift but also not to be so as not to put the other in an uncomfortable position.


A beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers is a pretty safe choice. Also who one Last minute gift better buy flowers than alcohol or chocolates.
IMPORTANT: In Russia if you give an odd number of flowers (an even number is only given for funerals). Plastic artificial flowers are not advisable because they are often associated with cemeteries.


A bottle of wine, champagne, or cognac is a relatively popular gift. Women are usually given lighter and sweet drinks (liqueur, wine, champagne) and men high-proof alcohol (cognac, whiskey, etc.). But be careful: it is wrong to think that in Russia everyone likes to drink a lot. There are also non-drinkers among Russians! Anyone who does not drink alcohol or cannot tolerate a drink (e.g. red wine) will not be happy about the most expensive cognac or wine in the world.
Gift ideas from Germany:

Gift ideas from Austria:

Gift ideas from Switzerland:

  • Hardly anyone knows that good wines are also made in Switzerland. A special wine from Switzerland could be a nice surprise.

Chocolate, pralines and other sweets

In Russia there are many people with a sweet tooth. Most of them prefer Russian brands to international brands. Brands such as Alpen Gold, Milka, Toblerone, Côte d’Or, Ritter Sport and many others have been on the Russian market for a long time. Anyone for a sweet gift should consider the following: Russian sweet tooth are more feminine, prefer milk chocolate, don't like chocolate bars and like to melt a fine praline on your tongue. Another idea would be to have the chocolate made in a special shape or to design it yourself. Be careful with ingredients like marzipan, raisins (not all of them like) and nuts (hazelnuts and peanuts often cause allergies).
Gift ideas from Germany:

  • Handmade pralines from a good brand with a special filling

Gift ideas from Austria:

Gift ideas from Switzerland:

  • Swiss chocolate from fine brands
  • Chocolate fondue set


Tea is in Russia a true national drink. Most Russian tea lovers prefer strong black tea from India with no added flavor. As gift High-quality teas are best. Tea bags still have a bad reputation in Russia. Be careful with herbal teas: they often help against certain diseases and can therefore cause negative associations.

Ceramics and porcelain

A tea lover is happy about a nice teapot or tea set from a good German brand. China porcelain is also used in Russia estimated. Whether a playful sugar bowl, a cup with an art motif, an elegant salad bowl or a designer butter dish - the gift should suit the recipient's taste.

Gift ideas from Germany:

  • Meissen porcelain (porcelain brands such as Rosenthal, Ludwigsburg etc. are less known in Russia.)

Gift ideas from Austria:

Books, music and films

“A book is the best gift” they say in Russia. But although many Russians like to read, are Books as a gift rather unpopular. Music CDs do even worse in various surveys. A book, CD, or DVD can be a good one Gift idea be, but only if they have been selected correctly. A special book edition by your favorite author, a rare record for record collectors, your favorite series on DVD or a voucher for an online DVD rental - the choice depends on the person's preferences.

Cosmetics, perfumes, drugstore items (bath, shower gel, shampoo, soap)

Russian women like to look well-groomed and love good cosmetics. But skin type, taste and many other factors should be taken into account when choosing cosmetics. If you don't know each other's tastes, you should rather hand over a gift voucher. A Perfume applies in Russia as very intimate gift and is only given to people you know very well. To be on the safe side, try to find out if your favorite cream or that Favorite perfume is running low, and refill.
Take special care is recommended for: anti-wrinkle creams, anti-dandruff shampoos, deodorants, agents against cellulite, against hair loss and the like.


Whether earrings, bracelets, chains, pendants or cufflinks - jewelry is in Russia gladly given away and accepted with joy. The most important thing here is a sure instinct Value of the gift asked. Too expensive a gift could be embarrassing, although gold and other precious metals are generally popular in Russia. Depending on the occasion and the relationship with the person, high-quality costume jewelry could be a good alternative.
ATTENTION: Gemstones often have special meanings and, for example, do not fit every zodiac sign. So it's better to find out beforehand whether you believe in these things. Pearls are in Russia a symbol of tears and shouldn't be given as a gift.

Adventure gifts

Of course, many would be happy about a free trip. With a concert ticket, theater, cinema or restaurant visit you can also make a lot of friends.
Find a Russian event near you


Money is given in Russia actually only for the wedding. In surveys, many Russians say that they are Money as a gift to wish. However, this only applies to people who are in a very close relationship (parents-children or couples). As an outsider, you shouldn't give any money.

Decorative articles (vases, candlesticks, candles, etc.) and plush toys

Hardly anyone in Russia would like to Decorative items as a gift to have. No wonder, everyone already has a lot of it in their closet. Even passionate collectors of certain figures will only be happy about such a gift if it is special, original or homemade. But if you know the style and taste of the other, you can also make a candle set a pleasure.
Gift ideas from Germany:

  • Handmade wooden figures, Bavarian traditional hats etc.
  • Teddy bears from Steiff
  • Traditional German Christmas decorations from the Käthe Wohlfahrt brand from Rothenburg

Gift ideas from Austria:

  • Music box or barrel organ with Mozart music
  • Tyrolean felt hat

Gift ideas from Switzerland:

  • Various articles with cow motifs (cups, tea caddies, plush toys, etc.)
  • Real rock crystals (as crystal pyramids, pendants, lamps, etc.)

Potted plants

Live plants are considered gift rather difficult. Potted plants should only be given to someone who likes plants and has fun looking after them.


If you want to give your Russian partner nice underwear as a present, you should think twice. Will she really be happy about that? Or do you do it with someone like that gift more of a pleasure to yourself? In addition, it is difficult to get the right size, especially with women's underwear. Then it's better to give a gift voucher for a corresponding shop so that the lady can choose something herself and surprise her loved one with it.

Kitchen utensils and household appliances

No matter if man or woman, only someone who really needs it is happy about a kitchen appliance.
Gift idea:

  • Fondue or raclette set (cheese mixes can also be bought in some supermarkets in Russia)


In Russia there are many cat, dog and hamster lovers. A living being as gift but it is usually not a good idea. But if you already have a pet, you might be happy about a present for your darling.

Gifts and superstitions in Russia

As in today too Russia Many people are superstitious (even if they don't admit it out loud), consider one of the following Gifts particularly well superior.

Knives, scissors, corkscrews, cacti and other pointed things

For superstitious people, sharp objects symbolize enmity, conflict or even war. The bad karma of the gift can be resolved through a symbolic purchase. So whoever gives something sharp out of ignorance need not be surprised if a coin is pushed into their hand.
Gift ideas from Germany:

  • Pocket knives, manicure sets etc. from Solingen

Gift ideas from Switzerland:

  • Multifunctional knives and tools from Victorinox or Wenger


An old superstition says that friendship or love will last as long as the clock works.
Gift ideas from Germany:

Gift ideas from Switzerland:

  • Watches from good Swiss brands are very popular in Russia


It is said that whoever gives a mirror robs happiness, joy and success.

It is important to note that these rules do not apply when someone considers something gift has wished. Then you should get the gift, pack it lovingly and hand it over with a smile.

There are gifts in Russia especially on these holidays:

New Year's Eve on December 31st
Valentine's Day on February 14th
Defender of the Fatherland Day or Men's day on February 23
International Women's Day on March 8th - an important national holiday in Russia!
Victory Day on May 9th

... and of course too Birthdays, Weddings and other private occasions.
National holidays and other celebrations in Russia

Tip: Flowers are always a good gift!

The advantage: Flowers can be sent to Russia as gifts from anywhere in the world (and of course from Germany too). And your gift can be delivered the same day! Sending flowers to Russia

Podcast Lesson 79: Giving Presents. Saying thank you in Russian for a gift. Say something nice to the host.