The best souvenirs from the city of military mariners

"Flotskiy" Emporium

  • Photo: Artem Ganzha
  • Text: Aleksandra Toroptseva

The largest assortment of original souvenirs dedicated to Vladivostok, as well as the sea and Naval fleet, is found in the general store "Flotskiy," located on Ulitsa Svetlanskaya (Svetlanskaya Street) in the city center. This shop has been operating in the capital of Primorye since1953 and is one of the city’s oldest.

It is here that sailors of the Pacific Fleet and students of military institutions acquire their accouterments - uniforms, blue and white striped shirts, forage caps, sailor hats, side caps, epaulets and much more. All of this military naval splendor is available to any tourist. In addition, the store offers clothing for police and the Russian army.

The most popular item in the shop is the sailors’ blue and white undershirt (telnyashka); they sell about a thousand of these striped shirts a month here. There is a whole department dedicated to the pullovers: they have them in fleece and cotton, with long sleeves and tank tops, for children and adults. Undershirts with stripes of different colors have been introduced: dark blue for mariners, light blue for airborne forces, green for border guards, a coral for emergency response teams, and black for the Marine Corps. On Naval Fleet Day, these shirts become urban streetwear for Vladivostok residents.

Other than the official merchandise, there is a large selection of souvenirs with a naval theme in the store - shirts, towels, cups, plates, coasters, and magnets with various inscriptions, or images of warships and famous admirals. Vladivostok-themed souvenirs occupy a separate shelf. Original steel engravings are offered here, as well as gold-plated sailboats, coats of arms of Vladivostok and Primorye, and miniature bronze tigers. All of the souvenirs are locally produced.

Foreign tourists are frequent visitors to this shop. They mainly buy goods with Russian or Soviet symbols on them: flags, badges, caps, daggers. The t-shirt with a portrait of Vladimir Putin is a big hit with Chinese citizens.

About national and regional symbols of Russia

The Coat of Arms of Russia is a golden two-headed eagle on a red background. The monarchist attributes of the eagle are interpreted in a new way these days: the crowns signify state sovereignty, the scepter suggest the rule of law, and the orb - the unity of the people. In Siberia and the Far East, people like to emphasize that the double eagle represents the Eurasian soul of Russia, spread wide to the West and the East.

In Vladivostok and Primorye, the tiger – paramount beast of local hills – is preferred over the eagle. A tiger has been depicted on the coat of arms of Vladivostok since 1883. Anchors and the military-naval (St. Andrew's) flag sit alongside the tiger. Following Vladivostok’s breakthrough in heraldry, the Nadezhda district of Primorye came into being, and put the Far Eastern leopard, which inhabits the southern part of the region, on its coat of arms and flag.

Vladivostok is the only city in Russia having an official symbol from nature – like its Japanese sister cities. In 1994, at the suggestion of the famous botanist Professor Zygmunt Kharkevich, this symbol became the pointed Rhododendron – a shrub with beautiful pink-purple flowers that grows in Vladivostok and the surrounding area. People call it "wild rosemary."

For those who are nostalgic for the Soviet Union, the emporium has a perfume department. Here one can literally inhale the aromas of the past - the same cologne "Shipper" and perfume "Red Moscow". Sales staff in the store admit that they still have regular customers for these products.

Store employees know the military stock well, because many of them have worked at "Flotskiy" for more than forty years. Therefore, they are always ready to come to the aid of tourists and advise on which souvenirs will long remind them of their journey to Vladivostok.

Svetlanskaya Str., 18
+7 (423) 241-30-03
10:00–19:00

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