The region surrounding Nizhny Novgorod has long been famed for its artistic productivity and the range and standard of its traditional crafts. The best place to get your hands on some local souvenirs is the large grey block of a building on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya, covered in red and yellow flowers, that also houses the regional craft museum (Bol. Pokrovskaya ul. 43). If you can brave the army of matryoshki you'll find a wealth of attractive souvenirs in Nizhny's regional style, 'khokhloma', from swan-shaped serving dishes to the less traditional iPhone covers and computer mice. There's also a wide selection of knives and silver podstakanniky (metal holders for your glass of tea), embroidered linen and painted chairs. Prices vary so there's something for every budget.
Aside from the boutique shops along Bol. Pokrovskaya ul., there are also a number of smallish shopping centres around the town centre area. For a wider selection of Western shops, head to 'Fantastika', a large shopping centre with most of the usual shops and a very large supermarket. Sedmoe Nebo (Seventh Heaven) on the Lower Bank, ul. Beketova, is pretty similar.