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A babushka doll partly opened.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Time Out says

Shop handcrafted nested babushka dolls in all sorts of colours and designs at this tiny speciality store

Babushka dolls, also known as matryoshka dolls, have a long and storied history dating back to the late 1800s. The toys, which consist of a set of figures of decreasing size nested within each other, are popular throughout Russia and Eastern Europe. Here in Australia, it's a fairly niche object to come across – but there's one store in Melbourne that's chock-full of them in all sorts of colourways and kooky designs.

Located in Royal Arcade, Babushkas has been around since 1991 and sells everything from traditional babushkas to ones painted like presidents and rock stars. Sets start at as little as $18 but if you feel like splashing out, you can find elaborate sets of up to ten pieces for around $350. 

And while the store is named after its top-selling product, babushkas aren't all this store sells. You can also shop for products like wooden chess sets from Poland, hand-made marionettes and puppets, lacquered jewellery, key rings and pens or wooden toys shaped like animals and vehicles.

Want to give interesting gifts? Here are Melbourne's weirdest specialty shops.

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier


Shop 3-5 Royal Arcade
331 Bourke St
Nearby stations: Flinders Street
Opening hours:
Mon-Thu 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-7pm; Sat 9am-6pm
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