Moscow (Russian: Москва) is the 860 year-old capital of the Russian Federation. A truly iconic, global city, Moscow has played a central role in the development of the Russian state and indeed the world. For many, the sight of the Kremlin complex in the centre of the city is still loaded with symbolism and history - Moscow was the capital of the former Soviet Union and signs of its previous life are very visible even now. Yet, there's more to Russia and its capital than just memories of the USSR. Architectural gems from the time of the Russian Empire are still dotted throughout Moscow, whilst signs of modern Tsars (or at least people with similar levels of wealth) abound.
Moscow is the financial and political centre of Russia and the former Soviet Union with a population of around 13 million and its area officially expanded to around 2,500km² in 2012. One-tenth of all Russian citizens live in the metropolitan area. Moscow time is 3h ahead of GMT.
The Moskva River bends its way through the city with most of the sites of tourist interest on the northern bank of the river. The other major waterway is the Yauza River, which flows into the Moskva east of the Kremlin.
Much of Moscow's geography is defined by the numerous 'Ring Roads' that circle the city at various distances from the centre, roughly following the outline of the walls that used to surround Moscow. With Red Square and the Kremlin forming the very centre, the innermost ring road is the Boulevard Ring (Bulvarnoye Koltso), built in the 1820s where the 16th century walls used to be. It runs from the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in south-west central Moscow, to the mouth of the Yauza in south-east central Moscow.
The next ring road, the Garden Ring (Sadovoe Koltso), derives its name from the fact that landowners near the road in Tsarist times were obligated to maintain gardens to make the road attractive. In Soviet times, the road was widened, and currently you will find no gardens there.
The recently constructed Third Ring is not much use for tourists but is a heavily used motorway which absorbs a bit of Moscow's traffic. It roughly follows the outline of Kamer-Kollezhsky val, the customs and passport boundary of Moscow between 1742 and 1852. The outer edge of Moscow is largely defined by the Moscow Ring Road (widely known by its abbreviation: MKAD-Moskovskaya koltsevaya avtomobilnaya doroga), a motorway which is 108km long and encircles the entire city (similar to London's M25 and Paris' Périphérique). Instead of a fourth ring chord highways are to be constructed.
If you need a visa to go to Russia, Moscow is no exception; there's no specific Moscow visa - once you have a valid Russian visa, you can go to Moscow as well as any other place in Russia. See Russia#Get in for details.
Sheremetyevo International Airport, (IATA: SVO), +7 495 232-6565, is 32km northwest of the centre of Moscow, in the city of Khimki. There are 6 terminals: A (business charter aviation), B (closed for renovations), C, D, E, and F. Terminals D, E, and F are located to the south of the runway and are connected to each other by walkway, but you have to take a shuttle bus to reach the other terminals, which are located to the north of the runway. Most Aeroflot flights operate to/from Terminal D. Sheremetyevo International Airport serves approximately 33 million passengers per year.
The airport has plenty of ATMs and currency exchange offices, duty free shops, a hairdresser, a pharmacy, and several overpriced cafes and basic restaurants. Unlimited free WiFi is available.
If you have a layover at Sheremetyevo Airport, you may stay at the Hotel Novotel Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport even if you do not have a Russian visa. Go to the 'Transfer/Transit Without Visa' desk upon arrival. You'll be escorted to the hotel in a private bus and stay in a corridor with personal security guard. Rooms are spacious and comfortable. You'll be picked up by Aeroflot staff about one hour prior to departure and the bus will bring you directly to the departure gate. The hotel offers rates for stays during the day as well as overnight rates.
To travel between the airport and the city:
Aeroexpress is the only rail link to the airport. Trains operate between the airport and the Belorussky Railway Terminal in the northwest section of the city centre. Trains operate from 5:00AM to 1:05AM every 30 or 60 minutes. The journey takes 35 minutes and costs RUB470 one-way if bought at the airport or RUB420 if you buy your ticket online or via mobile app. Keep your paper or mobile ticket for the whole of the Aeroexpress journey. From the Belorussky Railway Terminal, the journey to the city center takes an additional 20 minutes by metro.
Bus #851 (RUB50) (February 2015) operates service between the terminals and the Rechnoy Vokzal Metro Station, at the northwest terminus of Metro Line 2 (Dark Green). The bus stops right outside the doors of the terminal, and you pay the driver directly. The majority of drivers don't speak (any) English, so don't depend on them for assistance. After paying, the driver hands you a red card, which you scan in order to get past the metal turning gate. You're looking to get off at the last stop, so don't worry that you might miss it by accident. Once you get off the bus, continue by foot a few steps in the direction the bus was going in, and you'll see the metro station on your right in the first opening between the buildings.
When returning to the airport: after getting off the metro and leaving the Rechnoy Vokzal metro station, you must cross the street and go around the fence on the other side of the street, and look for the 851 bus under the orange colored shopping center. Make sure you know the number of you terminal, as the bus makes stops in the different terminals, and you don't want to get off at the wrong station of this huge airport when running on a tight schedule.
Bus #949 also (RUB75) operates service between the terminals and the Rechnoy Vokzal Metro Station. Bus #817 (RUB30) or Bus #948 (RUB75) operate service between the terminals and the Planernaya Metro Station, at the northwest terminus of Metro Line 7 (Purple). The journey by bus to the metro stations takes approximately 40 minutes and the journey to the city centre by metro takes an additional 40 minutes. Buses operate from approximately 5:30AM to 00:45AM.
Night Bus H1 operates every 30 minutes after the other buses have stopped. The bus operates between the airport and the Leninskiy Prospect Metro Station.
Uber operates service to the city centre for a fixed rate of RUB1,000 for UberX. Trasnfers to the other Moscow airports cost a fixed rate of RUB1,500.
Taxis are best booked over the phone using reputable companies such as LingoTaxi, RuskoTaxi or one of the official taxi operators from Sheremetyevo Airport. Don't take a taxi from a tout offering you a ride in the airport. Negotiate the price in advance; many taxis charge approximately RUB1,800 to the city centre. Note that there is a toll of RUB100 for taking the highway to/from Sheremetyevo Airport.
Driving past the toll bar should be avoided whenever possible as there are fees to do so. In addition to entry charge of RUB100/hour (rounded up to the next hour), after entering the toll bar, there is an extra charge from RUB100/hour to RUB300/hour, depending on the distance from the entrance and the comfort of parking—with an unofficial option of an unlimited-time stay for RUB300. However, there are unofficial parking lots near the airport, with daily rates starting at RUB200.
Aeroexpress trains operate between the airport and the Paveletsky Railway Terminal in the southeast section of the city centre. Trains operate from 6:00AM to 1:15AM every 30 minutes. The journey takes 50 minutes and costs RUB470 one-way if bought at the airport or RUB420 if you buy your ticket online or via mobile app. Keep your paper or mobile ticket for the whole of the Aeroexpress journey. From the Paveletsky Railway Terminal, the journey to the city center takes an additional 20 minutes by metro.
Buses operate around-the-clock between the airport and the Domodedovskaya Metro Station near the southeastern end of Metro Line 2 (dark green). There is plenty of space on the buses for luggage. The buses operate every 15 minutes, but every 40 minutes between midnight and 6:00AM. The trip takes 30 minutes and costs RUB120. From the Domodedovskaya Metro Station, the journey to the center takes by metro another 40 minutes. When headed towards the airport, at Domodedovskaya Metro station, take the exit to the south (downtown side) turn right in the underpass, and follow it to the end, then take the stairs. There are crude stencilled signs of Bus 308 on the pillars to guide you. When you get to street level you will see a tall building across the street with blue words reading "овехово-ворисково северное". The bus stop is next to this building.
Uber operates service to the city centre for a fixed rate of RUB1,000 for UberX. Trasnfers to the other Moscow airports cost a fixed rate of RUB1,500.
Vnukovo International Airport, (IATA: VKO), +7 495 436-7196, is 30km southwest from the centre of Moscow. Vnukovo International Airport serves approximately 12 million passengers per year.
To travel between the airport and the city:
Aeroexpress trains operate between the airport and the Kievsky Railway Terminal in the southwest section of the city centre. Trains operate from 6:00AM to midnight every 30 or 60 minutes. The journey takes 40 minutes and costs RUB470 one-way if bought at the airport or RUB420 if you buy your ticket online or via mobile app. Keep your paper or mobile ticket for the whole of the Aeroexpress journey. From the Kievsky Railway Terminal, the journey to the city center takes an additional 20 minutes by metro.
Bus #611 operates between the airport and the Yugo-Zapadnaya and Troparyovo Metro Stations, at the southwestern end of Metro Line 1 (Red). The bus journey takes 35-40 minutes and costs RUB30 if a ticket is bought from the ticket office or RUB50 if paid to the driver. From the metro stations, the journey to the city center takes an additional 40 minutes.
Uber operates service to the city centre for a fixed rate of RUB1,000 for UberX. Trasnfers to the other Moscow airports cost a fixed rate of RUB1,500.
Taxis are best booked over the phone using reputable companies such as LingoTaxi, RuskoTaxi. Negotiate the price in advance; many taxis charge approximately RUB1,800 to the city centre.
Moscow is a principal railway hub, with connections to all parts of Russia and far into Europe and Asia. Due to its hub status, Moscow's train stations are always crowded with transients and are some of the most unsafe places in the city. Despite the relatively cheap price of air travel within Russia, train travel still remains the predominant mode of middle- and even long-distance transportation for the majority of Russians.
All long-distance trains are operated by Russian Railways and its subsidiaries. Tickets can be bought either at stations or online. Some international train operators also serve Moscow. Tickets bought online need to be validated at a counter or a ticket machine. There are often counters with English-speaking personnel at each station. Sometimes the English-speaking counters are marked, and sometimes you will be directed by the first person you speak to another counter with an English speaker.
Saint Petersburg can be reached in 4 hours via the high-speed Sapsan trains. There are seven depatures daily from both Saint Petersburg and Moscow at 06:45, 07:00, 13:30, 13:45, 15:00, 19:25, and 19:45, with some trains stopping at Tver, Vyshniy Volochek, Bologoe, and Okulovka. Fares vary and are cheaper if bought well in advance but usually are in the range of RUB3,000-6,000.
There are also 13 overnight trains that take this route and are cheaper than the Sapsan. The most famous is the Red Arrow (Красная стрела), departing Saint Petersburg daily at 23:55 while the song Hymn to the Great City plays.
The Paris-Moscow Express is a weekly train service that makes the 2-night 3,217km journey between Paris and Moscow. The train makes stops in Berlin, Warsaw, and Brest. The train includes 4-bed compartments (€245), 2-bed compartments (€345) and luxury compartments (€798)
The Polonez is a daily direct overnight train to Warsaw. The Tolstoi is a daily direct overnight train to Helsinki. There are also weekly trains to Vienna and Prague, although they pass though Belarus so you will need a Belarussian visa to ride this train. Other trains go to Budapest, Sofia, Belgrade, and Kiev.
Tickets for Trans-Siberian sell out and it is best to buy tickets well in advance - you may have to buy from an agency/reseller if you can't buy directly from the operator.
The main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway runs between Moscow and Vladivostok, the principal Russian city along the Pacific Coast. The Rossiya train leaves Moscow every other day at 13:20, while the slower but cheaper trains #44 or #100 leave every day around midnight. Stops include important cities such as Yekaterinburg (24-31 hours; RUB2,000-9,000), Omsk (35-48 hours), Novosibirsk (46-54 hours), Krasnoyarsk (54-66 hours), Irkutsk (68-81 hours; RUB4,700-23,000), Ulan Ude (75-89 hours), and Vladivostok (7 days; RUB10,000-34,000).
The other routes of the Trans-Siberian Railway, between Moscow and China, are more popular among tourists. There are two weekly trains from Beijing (US$500-1,200), the Trans-Mongolian (Train #4) via Ulaanbaatar, which leaves Moscow every Tuesday night, and the Trans-Manchurian (Vostok/Train #20) via Manchuria, which leaves Moscow every Saturday night. Both journeys take six nights but the ride via Mongolia offers more scenery.
Moscow has 9 train stations, 8 of which offer long-distance and local train services, while Savyolovsky offers only local train service. All are located relatively in the center of Moscow and near metro stations. Three of them; Leningradsky, Yaroslavsky and Kazansky are all located on one huge square, informally known as the "Three Stations' Square". A running joke among Moscow taxi drivers ever since the Soviet times is to be able to pick up a fare from one of them to the other, taking the unwary tourist on an elaborate ride in circles. Be prepared for enormous queues trying to enter or exit the Metro at peak times, as people are getting off or on the commuter trains.
Many entry points to Moscow over the Ring Road and into the city feature rotating roadblocks, where teams of traffic police may stop a vehicle, especially if it is not featuring Moscow plates. You may be stopped and questioned but you'll be allowed to proceed if you have all the proper documents.
Foreign cars, especially expensive cars, might attract unwelcome attention, and there is cumbersome paperwork involved to enter Russia by car.
The direct way to drive from Germany, Poland, or Belarus is along the E30 road, although it requires having permission to enter Belarus. If you can't enter Belarus, an alternative is to go via Latvia using the E22 from Riga.
The E18 provides easy access from Finland through Saint Petersburg and Novgorod. This route is also known as Russian Federal Highway M-10. Traffic on the M-10 is heavy.
It is generally easier to travel to/from Europe or other parts of Russia via plane or train so most visitors to Moscow will not use the intercity buses.
Lux Express operates coach service between Moscow and various cities in Europe. Buses arrive to and depart from the Stantsiya Tushinskaya Bus Station next to the Tushinskaya Metro Station on Metro Line 7 (Purple) in the northeastern section of Moscow. Destinations include Tartu (14 hours, €49), Riga (15 hours, €55), Tallinn (16.5 hours, €55), Vilnius (18 hours, €66-73), Warsaw (26 hours, €80-92), Minsk (34 hours, €78), Budapest (36 hours, €95-112), Prague (36 hours, €97), and Berlin (40 hours, €97-109).
Many domestic intercity buses stop at the Moscow Intercity Bus Terminal. Despite its name, the bus station is not located in the center of the city; it is located next to the Shchelkovskaya Metro Station at the eastern terminus of Metro Line 3 (Dark Blue). Buses to the popular tourist destination of Suzdal operate from this station.
There are also several small bus stops and stations with buses to/from small towns that are off the beaten path.
There is no scheduled passenger service to Moscow by boat; however, cruise ships do provide service to the Northern River Terminal, on the Moscow Canal near the Khimki Reservoir. The pier is not convenient to the city and it can take over 2 hours to reach the city centre by car.
A system of navigable channels and locks connects the Moskva River with Volga River, which in turn, through the Volga-Baltic channel, provides a way to the Baltic Sea (using the Onega, Ladoga and Neva rivers) and further from Ladoga Lake through the White Sea channel to the White Sea; to the south through the Volga-Don channel to the Don river and the Azov and Black Sea; while Volga itself flows into the Caspian Sea. In the Soviet times this allowed the official propaganda to refer to Moscow as "a port on the five seas".
While central Moscow is best explored on foot, it's easiest to use the metro to cover larger distances. The metro is comprehensive, boasts some great architecture, and is relatively cheap.
A plastic Troika reloadable smartcard is the easiest way to pay for transport in Moscow, with the exception of marshrutkas which only accept cash. You can add trolleybus-bus-tram trips (RUB28), "united" trips which are also good for the metro (RUB40), 90 minute trips (RUB44), or unlimited ride passes to your Troika card. See the fare table for more details on the costs.
The Metro is open from 5:30AM-1:00AM. Station entrances are closed at 1:00AM, and at this time the last trains depart from all of the termini stations of the lines. After 1:00AM, many locals will enter the train station using the exits, which are still open and is allowed if you already have a ticket. Service on the ring line runs until 1:30AM, although entrances are still closed at 1:00AM. The down escalators are also shut off at 1:00AM.
There is signage in the Metro stations in English and the Latin alphabet, but these signs are not everywhere. Each train carriage has a map in Latin script and there is one near the entrance to each platform. Note the direction of the train before you alight. It is worth printing a map of the metro system in both Cyrillic and Latin letters to take with you.
All trains in the system have free WiFi onboard. Some of the older train cars are not air-conditioned nor heated.
Note that 2 or 3 stations may be connected as transfer points but will each have a different name. There are 2 stations called Smolenskaya and 2 stations called Arbatskaya, but the station pairs are not connected to each other despite having the same name. Some of the stations are very deep underground, and transfer times between certain metro lines can take a lot of time. In the city centre, it can save time to go directly to the above-ground entrance of the line you want to take rather than to enter at a connecting station and transfer underground. On the escalators, stand on the right and walk on the left.
Some of the train stations include beautiful architecture and it is worth taking a guided tour of the metro system. The most interesting stations in terms of decor are Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya and Kievskaya on the ring line, Kropotkinskaya on Line #1 (red), Kievskaya, Arbatskaya and Ploschad' Revolyutsii (there are lot of sculptures on sides of this station) on Line #3 (dark blue), Mayakovskaya on Line #2 (dark green) (watch out for the mosaics on the ceiling). The last one is also one of the deepest, which allowed it to be used as a makeshift assembly hall for a Party meeting marking the anniversary of the Revolution during the German bombardments in the winter of 1941. Also you can take a look at the architecture of the ground entrance building of Arbatskaya station on Line #4 (light blue) (it's built like red star in plan) and Krasnye Vorota station on red line (it's like a giant portal protruding from underground). History buffs may appreciate that Metro Line #4 (light blue) has the oldest stations, opened in 1935.
The Vorob'evy gory Metro Station on Line #1 (red) is unique in that it is on a bridge crossing the Moscow River. This bridge also carries auto traffic road on another level. There is a beautiful view through the transparent sides of the station. A great observing point around Moscow is located nearby on Vorob'evy hills. The main building of Lomonosov Moscow State University is next to the observation point.
There are a couple of unique trains operating through the system and you will be lucky if you get to ride them. Aquarelle (Watercolor) is a train that includes an art gallery. The train operates daily on Line #1 (red). The Sokolniki Retro Train is a train modeled after the original 1930s trains and it occasionally is placed into service, usually around a major anniversary of the metro system.
The metro is relatively safe, although pickpockets are a problem, as they are in any environment where a lot of people are pressed together. Opportunistic petty crime, such as snatching someone's mobile phone and jumping out just as the doors are closing, is also commonplace. Take the usual precautions at the night hours, when the crowds recede to avoid being the only passenger in a car with a gang of inebriated teenagers looking for an excuse to beat someone up. There is no train guard or conductor, so the first car near the driver may be the safest. Every car is equipped with an intercom to the driver's cabin; they are beige boxes with a grill and a black button near doors, and mostly work, unless visibly vandalized. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, press the button and wait for the driver or his assistant to reply. The employee might not understand you but will know that there are problems and will pass on the information. At the next stop, someone might check in on the commotion.
Every large street in the city is served by at least one bus and one trolleybus route, which necessitate an abundance of trolley wires in the city. Most Moscow buses and trolleybuses operate 05:30AM-01:00AM; however, there are a few routes that operate during the night.
Buses and trolleybuses never seem to follow their schedules, mostly due to traffic jams and delays, but they are frequent until the late evening.
A trolleybus route map is available online. A useful mobile app called Yandex Transport helps you locate a nearest bus, trolleybus or tram on the line.
Marshrutka is a jitney-like mode of transport similar to a minibus or shared taxi. They follow similar routes as many bus lines and have a similar numbering system. The fare is paid in cash to the driver upon entering. They generally are faster and more efficient than buses, although the drivers are much more reckless. If you need to get off, you have to shout: "Остановите здесь!" (Astanaviti zdes, meaning "Stop here!") as loudly as possible so that the driver can hear. There is a saying "Тише скажешь – дальше выйдешь", meaning "If you speak quietly, you'll travel far". The marshrutka drivers are independent businessmen and are generally immigrants from Central Asia that only speak Russian.
Moscow Monorail is a 4.7km monorail line with 6 stations.
It is slower, less frequent, and has shorter operating hours when compared with the metro (every 6 min at peak hours, 16 min rest of the time). However, the view is picturesque. It is useful to get to the Ostankino Tower, or to get to the VDNKh exhibition centre from Metro Line #9 (silver). Officials are considering dismantling the monorail.
NOTE: Beware of unofficial taxis that like to hang around tourist areas. They use a taxi meter; however, their meter goes by a fabricated inflated rate. A 10-minute ride can easily cost RUB3000 instead of RUB400. Make sure to negotiate a fixed price before entering. Smartphone-based apps such as Uber, Yandex Taxi, and GetTaxi are popular and reliable in Moscow and the rating systems and customer support force the drivers to be accountable.
Rates for UberX are the cheapest among rideshare and taxi services. Non-surge rates are RUB50 base fare + RUB8 per minute + RUB8 per kilometer, with a RUB100 minimum.
It is possible to negotiate the price with taxis drivers and not use the meter. Taxi fares within the Garden Ring are generally under RUB250. When negotiating with a street taxi, if you don't like the amount one guy is charging, you'll doubtlessly find another driver in a minute or two. Try to get an idea if the drivers know where they are going as many will pretend they know how to get to your destination just to get your business. Smartphone-based apps eliminate this problem since the drivers follow a GPS and the rates are fixed.
There are several taxi services operating in Moscow, the most noticeable on the streets being The New Yellow Taxi (Novoye Zholtoye Taxi). The cars are yellow Fords or Volgas (Russian car brand). They will charge the minimum rate of around 250 rubles no matter the distance.
If you're not good in Russian, there are several English-speaking taxi services operating in Moscow, the most notable being LingoTaxi. Prices are generally higher but booking by phone is easier.
If you do use a car to arrive in Moscow, it can be very time consuming and stressful to get around. The street system was never designed to accommodate even a fraction of the exploding population of vehicles; the traffic jams on the Sadovoye Ring often do not clear between the morning and the evening rush hours. Most roadways are in a constant state of disastrous disrepair. You will have to compete for every inch of space on the road (quite literally; the proper distance between the vehicles for a Muscovite is close to zero) with seasoned drivers in dented "Ladas" who know the tangle of the streets inside out and will not think twice before cutting you off at the first opportunity.
The drivers of the ubiquitous yellow "marshrutka" route taxis can seem to be nearly suicidal, and account for a significant percentage of all accidents, while buses stop, go and barge in and out of traffic at will, blissfully unaware of the surroundings. One bright spot is the relative dearth of the large 18-wheeler trucks on Moscow roads; they do ply the Ring Road, however. From time to time all traffic on major thoroughfares may be blocked by police to allow government officials to blow through unimpeded, sirens blaring. Another problem is parking. There is very little of it. Even if there are cars parked, it doesn't mean its always legal; this would mean finding upon return a hefty fine of RUB2500 and your car being towed ("evacuated"). Park as soon as you can at a safe place (your hotel, for example) and use public transit.
Parking is not free everywhere within the Third Transport Ring. Expect to pay RUB80/hour for the parking within the Boulevard Ring and the district, RUB60/hour - between Boulevard Ring and Garden Ring, RUB40/hour between Garnen Ring and Third Transport Ring. Payment is avaialble through SMS (Russian SIM-cards only), mobile app or at parking columns (usually accepting credit cards only). You have to pay for the full hour upfront, unused money will be sent back to your account in the app . Like many other Russian cities, parking spaces, even parking lots, are extremely disorganized, making safe parking a challenge.
However, if you have driven in Rome or Athens before, then it's not that hard to get accustomed to Moscow traffic. Just don't try to cross the city during rush hours or you can be stuck for as long as 3 hours in traffic jams. In the middle of the day it may take as long as 2-3 hours to cross the city compared to only 1 hour by metro.
The safest and easiest time to drive, when the roads are relatively empty and you can reach your destination quite easily, are the following:
during first ten days of May (i.e. from May 1 to May 10, which is holiday time almost every year);
in July and August;
during first ten days of January (i.e. from January 1 to January 10, which is holiday time almost every year).
Check one of the many traffic jam information websites before you start your journey. Taking the metro may actually be faster than driving. The most popular sites are Yandex Probki and Rambler Probki.
Gas stations: BP, Lukoil, Gazpromneft, Rosneft gas stations all have good quality gasoline.
Boats are not the best way to move around the city fast, but they do offer great scenery.
Stolichnaya Sudokhodnaya Kompania (Capital River Boat Tour Company) offers several scenic routes geared for tourists with prices in the range of RUB400-800. A pass is included in some hop-on-hop-off tours.
Flotilla Radisson Royal offers several year-round cruises with prices in the range of RUB650-2,000. Unlike other tourist boats, these boats can move on ice very smoothly so that the waiter can easily pour champagne in crystal glasses on a table. There are huge panoramic windows to protect against the wind. The food is overpriced. The trips depart from either Hotel Ukraina or Gorky Park.
A few hydrofoil passenger ships operate service from the North River Terminal to Bukhta Radosti (Bay of Joy), a popular picnic and barbeque spot with many cafes. This terminal is not close to the city center; the closest metro station is Rechnoi Vokzal.
Velobike operates a bike sharing network that has over 2,700 bicycles available at over 300 bike stations throughout city. To use it, you first have to register on the web site or via the mobile app. Membership rates are RUB150 per day or RUB500 for a month. Usage fees, which are in addition to membership fees, vary, but the first 30 minutes are free. This is intentional to encourage people to use the system for short place-to-place trips; however, after riding for 30 minutes, you can dock your bike into a station, wait 2 minutes, and then take the bike out again to restart the timer. The service is only operational in the spring and summer months, but extending the operational season is currently being contemplated.
The hop-on-hop-off bus is a convenient way for tourists to see the major sights quickly and efficiently. The buses feature English-speaking guides to answer any questions. A 1 day pass costs US$24 for adults and US$15 for children.
Red Square - The heart of Moscow and the first destination for most visitors to the city. Surrounded by St. Basil's Cathedral, the State History Museum, Lenin's Mausoleum and one of the Kremlin's long brick walls. The cobbles that make up the square are black and not red; the name comes from another gloss of the Russian word "krasniy", meaning "beautiful". Metro: Ohotnii Ryad, Teatralnaya or Ploshad Revolutsii.
Lenin Mausoleum (Reopened in May 2013) - in the centre of the Red Square. Walk past the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin (who actually did not want any monuments to be built for him) and join the debate: is it really him? You must leave all cameras, phones and bags in the luggage office. Free admission. Open 10AM-1PM closed Mondays and Fridays.
St Basil Cathedral - in the south part of Red Square. Built in 1555-61. Inside is a museum, although it looks best from the outside, but if you have the time, take a peek inside.
Inside the Kremlin
The Kremlin –  This gigantic site can not be missed. The Diamond collection in the Armoury is worth a visit on its own. There are several stunning churches that warrant a visit. Choose one or two to go inside, then enjoy the rest from the gardens. If you get a chance, the ballet in the Conference Centre has some very cheap matinee performances (and you can change seats in the interval). Tickets are 700 rubles to visit the armory and 350 rubles to visit everything else. For the guided tours arrive early as tickets go on sale 30 minutes (10AM tour) or 1 hour (12, 14:30, and 16:30 tours) before. You may also enter anytime during opening hours without a tour and there are detailed free of charge English language leaflets in each of the churches. There are also rotating exhibitions which cost 200 rubles entry. The ticket office is closed Thursdays. Large bags must be left at a luggage office (60 rubles). Amateur photography and videotaping inside the churches is prohibited. But in a 2015 visit, it is found that most churches and museums allow photography and videotaping without flash. But certain room or items are still prohibited for photo or video. Metro: for tourist entrances - Biblioteka im. V.I.Lenina, Alexandrovskii Sad, Arbatskaya (Dark Blue line, east exit) or a short walk from Borovitskaya. For rest of the walls additional stations: Ohotnii Ryad, Teatralnaya and Ploschad Revolutsii near norther tip of the Kremlin, following walk through Alexandrovskii Garden or through Red Square.
Old Arbat Street – Walk down this kitschy street and don't forget to look at the small by-streets around the Arbat. They allow you to feel the "old Moscow spirit". Arbat is full of souvenir vendors, tourist cafes, lousy restaurants, artists, etc. The prices of the souvenirs vary from reasonable to ripoff. Many of the vendors offer a very high higher price, but can be talked down if you speak Russian. The stores tend to offer the same merchandise but with fixed high prices. Metro: Smolenskaya (both blue lines), Arbatskaya (both blue lines, from Dark Blue line take west exit).
Bolshoi Theatre – Sit in front of the famed theater near the fountain, or catch a show inside if you can. Tickets start at around 1000 rubles. Metro: Ohotnii Ryad, Teatralnaya or Ploshad Revolutsii.
Tretyakov Gallery – One of the world's greatest museums, this is probably the one to choose if you only want to visit one museum in Moscow. In contrast to the worldwide collection of the Pushkin Museum, the Tretyakov is mostly a collection of Russian art. It has the best collection of Russian icons and many of the most famous pieces of modern Russian artists like Ilya Repin. Metro: Tretyakovskaya or Novokuznetskaya.
(NB: There are actually two Tretyakov museums now, the classic one and the 20th Century one. The classic one is where it has always been, the 20th Century one is in the Artist's House Cultural Center across from Gorky Park. They charge separate entry fees.)
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Pushkin Museum (ulitsa Volkhonka, 12) is dedicated to Western art and has one of the world's most significant Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections, along with some Old Masters. The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists were rather unfortunately relocated to an annex in 2007 across the street from the main building. Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Novodevichy Convent – Both a convent and a fortress, Novodevichy was built in the early 1500s and has remained nearly intact since the 17th century, making it one of the best preserved historical complexes in Moscow. The adjacent Novodevichy Cemetery is one of Russia's most famous cemeteries. Famous people buried there include Anton Chekhov, Nickolai Gogol, Konstantine Stanislavski, Nikita Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev (the former President's wife), and Boris Yeltsin. Metro: Sportivnaya. Open from 9am until 5pm. If you want to locate the graves of famous people, you can try and buy a map (only in Russian) from the booth close to the entrance of the cemetery. However, the lady at the booth is rude to the tourists who don't speak Russian.
Church of the Ascension
Church of the Ascension (ЦерковьВознесенияГосподня). Built to commemorate the birth of Ivan the Terrible, Kolomenskoye's Church of the Ascension upended the Byzantine style with its wooden conical tower, and proved to be a milestone in the history of Russian ecclesiastical architecture. Since 1994, it has enjoyed a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Metro: Kolomenskaya or Kashirskaya, then walk through Kolomenskoye park.edit
The Institute of Russian Realist Art (IRRA) – The heart of the collection is presented by paintings of Soviet and Russian masters of ХХ-XXI centuries Sergey Gerasimov, Arkady Plastov, Alexander Deineka, Yuri Pimenov, Gely Korzhev, Victor Popkov, Nikolay Andronov, brothers Alexey and Sergey Tkachev, Victor Ivanov. The paintings exposed at IRRA offer a unique opportunity to get acquainted with important stages of the history of Soviet society. Now IRRA’s collection is considered to be one of the best in the world.
IRRA is located in one of ancient buildings of Moscow cotton print factory in Zamoskvorechye opposite to the Moscow New-Spassky monastery. After re-planning and restoration of outer walls of the factory building constructed at the end of the XIX century, museum premises have been equipped with the most up-to-date engineering and professional museum storage equipment. Now the equipment of the building meets the advanced standards specified for the largest museums of the world. Since December, 2011 the exposition of IRRA is available for the visitors from Russia and abroad, who are interested in cultural tradition of national Realist school. Address: Derbenevskaya street 7, building. 31 (metro stations Paveletskaya, Proletarskaya). Open from 11.00 till 20.00 (–except Monday). Phone: +7(495) 640-14-76. firstname.lastname@example.org, rusrealart.ru.
Ostankino Tower,  – 540 meters tall, with an observation deck 340 meters above ground.
Less essential sites, but very worthwhile if you have the time, include:
Kremlin in Izmailovo (Izmaylovsky Kremlin) - 890-y Proyektiruemyy pr-d (metro: Partizanskaya) - The complex called “Kremlin in Izmailovo” is located on the bank of Serebryano-Vinogradny pond. City holidays, fairs and festivals take place in Izmaylovsky Kremlin. It has inside it various small museums (russian dresses, bells, history of vodka, etc.); there you can find also a wooden temple: Santifier Nikolay's Temple. If you are nearby, it worth a visit.
Museum of soviet arcade machines, Baumanskaya ulitsa 11 (Metro station Baumanskaya), ☎ +79161671925, . 13:00-20:00. Great new space full of old soviet fun! Go hunting, shoot torpedoes, drive cars, check your strength and much more... Price includes 15 15 kopek coins to enjoy the games. It also features a cozy cafe. they also have a private room350 rub. edit
Museum of Modern Art - ul. Petrovka, 25 - (metro: Trubnaya green line; or Chekhovskaya on grey line) This museum exhibits art of the 20th and 21st centuries.
New Arbat Street – Located near Old Arbat Street, this street offers a contrast from the touristy pedestrian-only thoroughfare. New Arbat is perhaps where Moscow's rich are the most visible, as some of Moscow's most expensive restaurants and nightclubs are located here. There are some reasonably priced cafes, however. The street is lavishly lit up at night and is always very lively. Also, check out Dom Knigi (House of Books) on New Arbat. It's not as impressive as the St. Petersburg store, but probably the best bet for books in Moscow. Metro: Arbatskaya (both blue lines, take west exit for Dark Blue line).
Tverskaya Street – This street starts from the Kremlin itself and runs northwest in the direction of Tver (hence the name) and Saint Petersburg. For that reason the road was a very important thoroughfare in Tsarist Russia. It is now Moscow's most fashionable street, with several prestigious boutiques. It is also lined with cafes, restaurants, coffeehouses, a couple of theaters, and several hotels, including two locations of the Marriott. Most of the street's architecture doesn't actually have much history to it, though along the way you will find Russia's first, and the world's busiest, McDonalds. The statue of Pushkin at Pushkinskaya Square is a very popular meeting point. Walk its length. From Red Square to Belorusski Train Station is about one hour and is a great way to see the most famous street in Moscow. Take a peek inside the Yeliseev Grocery Store, Moscow's answer to Harrod's food halls, to see the restored ornate interior. Metro south to north: Ohotnii Ryad/Teatralnaya, Tverskaya/Pushkinskaya/Chehovskaya (Puskinskaya Square), Mayakovskaya (Triumfalnaya Square, sometimes called second Theatre square, containing Chaikovskii Concert Hall, Satire Theatre and nearby Mossovet Theatre), Belorusskaya.
Gorky Park – Easily the most well known of Moscow's many parks, Gorky Park used to be packed with theme park rides, but after undergoing major changes in 2011, it became one of the trendiest places in the city. New cafes, places to stroll, a pétanque cafe, an open-air cinema theatre, free Wi-fi, contemporary public art projects, design fairs and a new cafe policy make Gorky Park one of the most popular places in Moscow. In winter it's a popular place to ice skate and it hosts an ice sculpture competition. Metro: Oktyabrskaya, Park Kultury (it's a walk along the Sadovoye Ring Road from either of them - an easier, downhill stroll from the former, or a more scenic route, over the Krymsky Bridge, from the latter). Please bear in mind that it's almost impossible to find a parking lot nearby on the weekend without breaking the parking rules, so it's better to get there by bus or on foot.
Garage Center for Contemporary Culture – is an independent platform for new thinking locating in Gorky Park. Through an extensive program of exhibitions, research, education, and publishing, Garage reflects on current developments in Russian and international culture, creating opportunities for public dialogue and the production of new work and ideas. Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova in Moscow, the institution is building a unique research archive focusing on the development of contemporary art in Russia while pioneering diverse educational projects for families and professionals that are the first of their kind in the country. These provide the foundation from which experimental exhibitions, events, and screenings are initiated.
Victory Park – This massive memorial to WWII was built for the 50-year anniversary of V-E day in 1995. On weekends, it is very popular with newlyweds. The park now has its own metro station of the same name (Park Pobedy, on the Dark Blue line). There is also a museum to WWII worth visiting if you like military history.
Vorobyovy Gory – The best place for a view of Moscow from the ground. Near the main Moscow State University building, there is a popular lookout point where one can see much of the city on clear days. Metro: A walk from either metro Universitet or Vorobyovy Gory. As alternative, trolleybus #7 (only before about 21:30) can also take you from/to Kievskaya, Leninskii prospect or Oktyabrskaya metro
VDNKh (All-Rssia Exhibition Centre) main entry
VDNKh, aka VVTs. The Russian acronym "VDNKh" stood for "Exhibit of the People's Economic Achievements". It has been since renamed "All-Russian Exhibition Centre" ("Vserossiyskiy Vystavochniy Tsentr"). However, it is popularly known by the Soviet abbreviations. Previously this was a massive exhibit of the advances and progress of the USSR. Now it is largely a marketplace for everything from computers to bicycles. However, many of the monuments and fountains here make the area a nice place to stroll. Bicycles and roller skates rent is available. The main gates are a short walk down the alley from VDNKh Metro station or even close from Vystavochnii Centr monorail station. Various other gates are accessible from Ulitsa Eizenshteina or Ulitsa Akademika Koroleva monorail stations. VVTs is part of large green recreational zone in the Moscow's North-East, including also Ostankino park with historical Ostankino Palace and Botanical Gardens. Access to Ostankino Palace and Park: Ostankino monorail station, trolleybuses and trams from VDNKh metro station (most convenient) or buses and minibuses from Alexeevskaya or Mar'ina Roscha metro stations. Access to Botanical Gardens: metro Vladykino - central gate, a walk through newly forming park on Yauza river from metro Bothanicheskii Sad (south exit) - to a back gate, ask for directions, a walk from Ostankino monorail station or trolleybuses from VDNKh and 24 bus from Mar'ina Roscha metro to a gate on Botanicheskaya street. The borders of three areas in between have official VVTs to Gardens gate and a couple of semiofficial paths which are periodically closed - follow people trails to find them. Only official gates to Botanical Gardens in summer half-year take some admission fee (not high).
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Christ the Saviour Cathedral – This cathedral, the tallest Orthodox church in the world (the largest being the Temple of St. Sava in Belgrade), was blown up on orders from Stalin in 1931, with the view of building the gargantuan Palace of the Soviets, to be crowned by a 100 m high statue of Lenin. The project ran into engineering and geological difficulties (the area used to be a swamp), then the War intervened, and the place was ceded to a year-round open-air swimming pool. The pool was razed and the cathedral rebuilt only after the fall of the Soviet Union, in the mid-nineties. There is an extensive museum underneath the cathedral documenting its history (the original was started in 1839 and consecrated in 1883). Metro: Kropotkinskaya.
Garden of Fallen Monuments – Where many infamous statues in Moscow were placed after the Soviet collapse. See Dzherzinsky, Stalin, Brezhnev, and others. Adjacent to the New Tretyakov Museum, which houses 20th century art. After the Pushkin Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery, this is worth seeing. Metro: Oktyabrskaya.
Russian State Library — One of the largest libraries in the world. Anyone (Russian or foreign) over 18 can view electronic media for free, other items may be viewed by purchasing a "Reader's Card" (a photo id to gain access to physical materials). Previously received a copy of every book, musical score, & map published in the USSR, it now only receives a copy of every Russian book. The military reading room receives over 15,000 readers a year. Metro: Biblioteka Im.V.I.Lenina/Alexandrovskii Sad/Borovitskaya/Arbatskaya (Dark Blue line, east exit)
Bunker-42, Baumanskaya ulitsa 11 (Metro: Taganskaya (the bunker has an actual underground connection to this station, though it is unusable as a means to get into it)/Marxistkaya), . Decomissioned cold war era soviet underground military nuclear bunker - now a museum. Entrance by guided tour in Russian.1000 rub. edit
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center - Newly opened in Nov. 2012 and one of the most technologically advanced museums in Russia, this institution tells the history of Russian Jews primarily through interactive media. Metro: Maryina Roshcha.
Central Museum of the Armed Forces (ЦентральныйМузейВооруженныхсил), 129110, г.Москва, ул. Советской Армии, д.2, стр.1 (Come out of Dostoyevskaya metro, facing the red army theatre (the big building shaped like a 5-pointed star). Take the street to the right of it that runs along side Ekaterininskiy park.), ☎ +7 (495) 681-18-80, . Decent-sized museum filled with militaria and exhibitions from the last few centuries of Russian warfare. The best bits are in the park at the back though (head downstairs and out) where there is an impressive collection of armoury - mostly WW2 and Soviet era including a couple of SU-27s, and SS-20 launcher, a bunch of tanks and an armoured loco. English is close to non-existent though.150 rub. edit
Battle of Borodino Panorama Museum (Музей-панорамаБородинскаябитва), . 10.00 a.m. — 6.00 p.m, Thursday 10 a.m. — 9 p.m, closed Friday. Museum covering some of the history of the battle, in Russian and a large painting showing the scene of the battle.edit
Gorkiy Park, (Metros: Oktyabrskaya, Park Kultury, Frunzenskaya), . It's a main park (renovated in 2011) like a Central Park in NYC. There are a lot of nice cafes and restaurants there (like Hachapuri with cold tomato soup and traditional Georgian hachapuri with cheese, Dom ribaka, Lebedinoe ozero and etc.). There is a lot of place for relaxing and working and a free open WiFi working through the whole park. You can rent a boat or bicycle. There is an open cinema theater Pioner. You can see the map and event timetable on the official website (Russian/English).edit
Kolomenskoye (Kolomenskiy park), (Metro: Kolomenskaya/Kashirskaya. From Kolomenskaya take south exit, then after exit from metro station proper in the underground passage turn left, and then right. Upon leaving underground passage continue going straight for about 300 meters (along east side of Andropov prospekt) to the entrance. Lack of direction signs may be confusing, ask for directions when needed. From Kashirskaya metro walk along the path in general east-north-east direction to the underground passage under Andropov prospekt, the entrance to the park will be right after it. During the summer season special boats operate on Moscow river. There are several loading docks along river. If you are in the centre of Moscow, take boat to the south. There is a loading dock right in the park. Not all boats go there, so check it with the crew.), ☎ 8 (499) 612-52-17, . This former imperial estate is now a very popular weekend destination for Muscovites. It is a vast collection of churches and other buildings from the 16 and 17th centuries, including some wooden architecture that was transported here by the Soviet government from Karelia.Free (the park and museum). There are individual fees for each exhibition ($2-$10 per exhibition). edit
State Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno, . A beautiful reserve in the southern part of Moscow, its nucleus being the largest palatial ensemble in Russia. Constructed between 1775 and 1796 to be the residence of Catherine the Great, the ensemble was abondoned after her death and turned into ruins during following centuries. A decision had been reached in 1984 to completely restore Tsaritsyno architectural and park ensemble. Majority of the architectural monuments have already undergone restoration, Grand Palace having completed by 2007. Exhibitions and expositions of the museum demonstrate various pages of Tsaritsyno history and rich collections of arts and crafts. Metro: Tsaritsyno, Orekhovo.edit
Park Sokolniki, Metro Sokolniki (It is a short walk from metro station to main gate along the alley. North of park is also accessible directly from Malenkovskaya train station or via a walk from Moskva-3 train station from Yaroslavl direction train line). A popular recreational park, which also hosts an exhibition centre. The place to go to experience the Russian nature without going far away from the centre. This is the place to experience Shashlik (Russian/Geogeian kebab) at a very low price (compared with other places) they can be found selling under huge tents all over the park. The park has an amusement park for the kids so they don't get bored. For the want to be hunter there are two Tirs bibi gun shooting ranges with only $1.40 per five shots. If you have a lot of time explore the forest deeper in the park you will find hard-to-find-in-America Birch trees and many people picking mushrooms (a national hobby) if you want to taste real russian spirt this is the best sample. The area is now infested with many high class hotels , such as Holiday Inn and others. One might like to try the goring church of the Jesus Christ, adjacent to park. edit
Patriarshi ponds area, Metro Mayakovskaya (From metro walk along Sadovoye Ring, passing Satire and Mossoveta Theatres to Bronnaya street, then turn left.). There is only one pond left, but it is squared with buildings so it is quite peaceful here despite hectic Sadovoye Ring nearby. Here you can take a nice walk and enjoy the mysterious atmosphere, for which the area is famous - due to the novel of Mikhail BulgakovMaster and Margaret (Master i Margarita), which is well-known for its combination of demonology, mysticism, humour, satire, art and love as well as wonderful depictions of Moscow of the thirties. Some moscovites are eager to take a seat on a bench with their back to Malaya Bronnaya street, as it is a reference to the novel.edit
Aptekarskiy ogorod, Metro Prospekt Mira (it even had former name Botanicheskii Sad)/Suharevskaya (From Ring Line exit from Prospekt Mira station, turn left and walk 200 metres. After you'll pass the fence of Bryusov house museum, you'll see contemporary glass building (look for Valiano restaurant and flower shop). Turn left to the rampant after birches. The ticket-offices will be beyond glass doors, the entrance to the garden will be even further. On days of sports or other events in Olimpiiskii Sportcomplex as well as on Muslim holidays, a walk from Suharevskaya metro station is less crowded and more recommended. A walk from Kalanchevskaya train station along Groholskii side street is also possible.), . (approximately) May-Sept 10:00-22:00, Oct-Apr 10:00-17:00. Garden may be closed for 2-3 weeks in April or in other time due to bad weather; for 1-2 weeks in September for gardening works; for day or several hours in case of various events.. One of the few paid-entrance parks in Moscow. Small but very cozy; very carefully maintained; popular for photo sessions on weddings and babies.100 rubles/150 rubles after 18:00. edit
Japanese garden in Botanichesky Sad, (Closest metro is Botanicheskii Sad and entrance to Gardens via a back gate. Routes from Vladykino metro or Botanicheskaya street gate only slightly longer). Small and well-maintained; excellent for making photos.100/150 rubles for workdays/weekends and holidays. 50/80 rubles for students and pupils. 10/20 rubles for pensioners. edit
Moscow has many attractions, but many of them are not friendly to a non-Russian-speaker. English-language newspapers like The Moscow Times, Element, Moscow News and others can help navigate towards English-language friendly attractions and services.
Moscow has two circuses, the Nikulin circus on Tsvetnoi Bulvar (metro Tsvetnoi Bulvar), and the new circus near the University. Tickets can be bought for as little as RUB200, and even these seats are good. Touts may be selling tickets outside and can save you a lot of queueing, and they'll speak more English than the ticket office. Sometimes they are selling tickets at the cover price, and sometime at twice the price. Ask and make sure before parting with your cash.
The Obraztsov Puppet Theatre at the very north part of the Garden Ring has performances during the winter in the evening. Everything is in Russian and meant for children, but the stories are simple and quite understandable even if you don't understand Russian. There is a small box in front of the building where a puppet appears every hour and does a performance. At 12 midday all of the puppets appear for a short but entertaining appearance.
The Novaya Opera (new opera) in the Hermitage gardens features operas mainly in Russian most evenings, starting at 19:00. Tickets are normally available from 200 rubles. Ticket office is open 12:00-15:00 and then again 16:00-19:00.
Make sure you visit a Russian bathhouse(banya) while in Moscow, as it's an important Russian tradition and Russians, especially 40+, go at least once a week. Have a hot steam, followed by a good whipping with birch branches. While its not the most pleasant experience, the benefits you'll receive afterward will enable you to understand why Russians are loyal to their banya. Most famous banya is the Sanduny (or Sandunovskaya banya - Zvonarskiy per., 4 [metro:Trubnaya]).
Like any city with snowy winters, Moscow is a great place to go ice skating. Gorky Park is most famous but overcrowded and ice is not always in ideal condition; Bosco rink on a Red Square is glamorous and easy, although bit costly and not too favoured by advanced skaters. Luzhniki has arguably the best ice, although service can be tough and open hours are not always convenient. The winter rinks at Chistye Prudy or Izmaylovsky Park can be other alternatives.
Kva-Kva Water Park, Gostinichnaya str., 4/9, ☎ + 7 495 788 72 72, . 10:00-22:00. Water Park affiliated with Maxima Hotels (discounts for guests). There are 7 high thrills (90-120m in length) and a pleasant surprise for extremers – Tsunami trill – unique in Russia. There are also 4-line thrills – Multislide and a special area for kids – a small tropical town with shallow pool. Kva-Kva Lagoone offers hydromassage. There’s also pure Russian bath, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath (hamam) and Kva-Kva SPA-salon.RUB225-745. edit
Hot air balloon ride (high), Suburban Moscow, . RUB4400-5000. edit
Moscow Zoo, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya str., 1, . The oldest and the biggest zoo in Russia, has over 1000 animal species.edit
Moscow Ballet (Bolshoi Ballet), Teatralnaya Metro. The theatre district in Moscow is very centrally located. Three of the best theatres, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Stanislavsky Theatre and the New Opera Theatre are near Pushkin Square and reasonably close to the Teatralnaya metro station. A better hotel will not be far from the Moscow theatre district. Even if you are, see below. If you are a little bit uneasy about navigating, even this area, do one of the following: You don’t have to dress up to attend a Moscow ballet. You can buy your tickets directly from the theatre website if you speak Russian. Some have English versions. Most Moscow theatres require that you register for their website. The easiest way to get good seats at a fair price is to include those in your private Moscow tour. Please note do NOT buy from on-line third-party ticket vendors. They are 2 to 3 times face value in cost and sometimes they are fakes. Don’t try to negotiate with “scalpers”. Sometimes they are a good source of scarce tickets but let your Moscow tour guide do it for you. So what about the people who just don’t like the ballet? If you like symphony music and beautiful theatre interiors (especially the $1 billion renovated Bolshoi Ballet Theatre) it might be worth the visit. Great theatre in Moscow is less expensive than in New York City.edit
House cooking (Tours by Locals), (email@example.com), . The activity is hosted by locals and is held at home of Russian family, so one gets to know both Russian cuisine and Russian family traditions. edit*
Russian Cooking Classes (Classes by Locals), (firstname.lastname@example.org), . On the menu is the traditional Russian cuisine only – “borsh“, “pelmeni”, “uha”, “kelubyaka”, etc. Neither experience nor deep cooking knowledge are required. The one thing you really need is a good mood, willing to communicate and to actively take part in the cooking. Everybody gets involved. The classes are conducted in English by friendly locals. edit*
Russia Flight Adventures, email@example.com, ☎ +79104432000, . 11:00-19:00. All the activities you can imagine in the Russian skies: skydiving, hot air ballon, helicopter excursions, mig-29 flights, cosmonaut training center excursions.edit
Moscow remains the educational centre of Russia and the former USSR. There are 222 institutes of higher education, including 60 state universities & 90 colleges. Some of these offer a wide-spectrum of programs, but most are centred around a specific field. This is a hold-over from the days of the USSR, when Soviet-wide there were only a handful of wide-spectrum "universities" and a large number of narrow-specialization "institutes" (mostly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg). Moscow offers some of the best business/management, science, & arts schools in the world. Moscow is also a popular destination for foreign students to learn Russian.
MGU Russian, . Russian language courses for everyone from beginners to advanced students at MGU, Moscowedit
LMSU Center for International Education, . Russian courses from 4 wks-3 semesters: Pre-university Russian (to prepare for a Russian-language university education, teaches jargon/vocabulary for 6 fields), preparation to be a teacher of Russian, & 6 levels of Russian for fun. edit
Moscow Aviation Institute (State University of Aerospace Technologies), . Specializes in Aviation-related science & engineering. Courses in Russian, but the school has "Pre-school" Russian courses & a tolerance for some English.edit
I.M Sechenov First State Moscow Medical University, . As the name suggests, this school offers Medical & Pharmacological degrees exclusively. It claims to be the oldest medical school in Russia and once to be a medical department of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Courses in Russian, but Russian courses for English-speakers offered. First 2-3 years courses can be in English, afterwards in clinical years mainly in the Russian language. edit
You will need a work visa which is not an easy process. The visa needs to be arranged well in advance of travelling.
It is possible to work in Moscow, you just need to find a good company to support you.
Credit card usage is becoming more and more widespread, but many cheaper stores and restaurants won't accept them, so cash is a necessity. Be sure to break your RUB5000 or RUB1000 notes where you can, as the smaller merchants, street vendors and even many metro clerks will likely refuse them.
While you are able to get some smaller vendors to accept US dollars and euro, it is always best to change currency, which is not a problem as currency exchange spots are everywhere, displaying the daily rates in large yellow letters. Read the terms carefully; even if the offer seems attractive, there may be a fixed-sum commission on top of it, or the advertised rate might apply only to large transactions (USD1,000 and up), while a less favourable one is in effect for smaller ones. Don't forget to check the change returned to you (the most common scam is to let a banknote "stick" inadvertently to the back of the little turnstile which the clerk is using to pass the money back and forth) and do not simply say yes to what you do not understand. A good approach to exchanging currency is to use bank ("Банк" in Russian) offices. There are lots of them in the centre of city (broadly defined as the inside of the Garden Ring). Better yet, use your own bank card from home at an ATM to draw money directly from your checking account, as the machines are almost all compatible with major Western money systems (Cirrus/MasterCard and PLUS/Visa) - not only you'll get a decent fixed bank rate, but also often a screen menu in friendly (albeit somewhat broken) English.
Buying souvenirs can be quite a chore if you do not stay in the centre of Moscow. You can get cheaper souvenirs from Izmaylovskiy Market in Izmalylovo Park. Walking out in the middle of a bargaining session will most likely NOT get you the price you want.
Aviapark - Europe largest shopping mall (390 000 square meters). Nearest metro stations: Sokol, Aeroport, Polezhaevskaya. You can catch a free bus at Dinamo, Polezhaevskaya or Savelovskaya. There are more than 500 shops, cinema with 17 halls, winter garden, 4-level aquarium with tropical fish in Aviapark. But, many shops isn't opened yet (August 2015). You could check shops here Aviapark
Evropeiskiy – A new shopping mall opened in 2006 next to Kievsky station, right next to the metro. Many international brand-name shops e.g. Marks and Spencer, Next, Levi's, Calvin Klein, and Swatch can be found here. There is also a multi-screen cinema, food gallery, supermarket, opticians, and probably everything else if you care to look for it.
Okhotny Ryad – underground shopping mall, located next to metro station of the same name. Also, there are shops with lots of internationally known brands.
Atrium – another shopping mall, located next to Kurskaya metro station. Same kind, as Evropeiskiy.
IKEA – There are three large Ikea stores in Moscow, all just outside the ring road, and located in large shopping malls (MEGA, also operated by IKEA). They all offer free bright yellow buses from the nearest metro stations. Metro: Rechnoi Vokzal (North), Lyublino or Kuzminki (South-East), Tyopliy Stan (South)
GUM at night
GUM – Adjacent to Red Square. Once filled with Soviet-era goods of mediocre quality, it is now a mall with international labels and hyper-expensive boutiques. Even if you don't buy anything, it's highly recommended you go inside and look at the architecture. Metro: Ploschad Revolutsii
Detskiy Mir – "Children's World." Has lots of toys but other stores selling books, DVDs, and Peruvian souvenirs. Again, even if you do not buy anything, its worth going to explore this building. Metro: Lubyanka. Now this building is under renovation and will open at the end of 2013. Nevertheless, "Detskiy Mir" extended its network to almost Soviet-era scales, having outlets of different size (but vast choice of children's goods anyway) in many malls in Moscow and other major cities of Russia.
GOROD - "The City". Huge mall in the beginning of Ryazansky Prospekt (Ryazan avenue) opened in late 2006. Situated in the former territories of Karacharovsky Mechanical Plant, offers standard range of "everything-consumer-needs", including Auchan hypermarket, fastfoods, boutiques, outlets, cinemas, ice-skating etc. Operated by Auchan group. Metro: Ryazansky Prospekt or Marksistskaya, then trolleybus №63 (add №16 from Marksistskaya) and marshutkas. Consider significant traffic jams caused by the mall itself and intersection with the Third Ring.
Izmaylovo Market - A one-stop souvenir venue with hundreds of vendors selling everything from matryoshka dolls to fur hats to lacquer boxes to expensive jewelry. The ground level is where souvenirs are sold. Because some vendors only show up on weekends, the best selections are on Saturday, from 10am to 6pm or Sunday from 10am to around 3, but it's open every day of the week. Take the metro to Partizanskaya station, turn left out of the station, cross the street, and walk down the path with the hotels on your left towards the wooden fortress and find the market. There is a charge of 10 rubles to enter the marketplace. Beware of the police here as they are looking for an excuse to take money from tourists without proper regard for the rules.
Vremena goda, 48 Kutuzovski Ave, ☎ (495) 644-48-48. 10-22. Vremena Goda (Времена года) is a luxury shopping centre located in Moscow hosting international stores like Chanel, Porsche and Cartier, VIP cinema, trendy restaurants, spas and much morehigh. edit
Generally, you can find different sized fully featured malls near almost every metro station, especially in residential areas.
There is a online shopping aggregator, Yandex Market, where it is possible to find lots of other goods.
Most tourists will find that going out to eat in Moscow is quite expensive. It does not have to be that way, it's just that the options most visible for the foreigner generally are.
There are a number of American franchise restaurants, such as McDonald's and TGI Friday's; it's a familiar, if boring meal at a reasonable price.
A huge and quickly growing range of restaurants, with a matching range of prices, has developed in Moscow. The average cost per person for a middle to top class restaurant will be USD30-200 (more if one goes for vintage wines). A quick 'canteen' style meal in a 'Stolovaya' can cost about USD3 and is generally underground, near famous monuments and subway stations. These large food courts sometimes also contain a small mall. They will usually include toilets but be prepared to pay around USD1 to use them. Lately a lot of new "middle-class" restaurants have opened, filled with families on weekends. The omnipresent McDonald's have outlets near many metro stations.
Non-chain restaurants and cafes promising "European and Caucasus cuisine" are equally bad in either one most of the time; seek a specialist single-region venue instead (Georgian, Russian, Italian, French etc).
Many small restaurants within the Sadovoye ring are now offering Prix-fixe "business lunches" at around RUB200-250, for the teeming hordes of white-collars populating the neighbourhood during the day. These deals are valid in the middle of the day (12:00-15:00) and include a cup of soup or an appetizer, the main dish of the day (a smaller portion than if you order a la carte; sometimes there's even a limited choice), bread (no Russian eats anything without a slice) and a beverage (soda or coffee/tea; beer costs extra); it is a reasonably priced, freshly cooked quick meal in the middle of your wanderings which will tide you through to the evening.
Wait staff in Russia are not as dependent on tips for a big chunk of their pay as, say, in the US, so the expected amount is correspondingly less, and you generally will not be looked at with hidden malice even if you take all of the change brought back to you, but tipping is still encouraged. If your total is under RUB500, round it up to the nearest fifty; under RUB1000 - to the nearest hundred; from RUB1,000 to RUB1,500 a hundred-bill is appropriate. If you are going above that, 10% would be reasonably generous; in really swanky places, though, all bets are off. Don't tip in cafeteria-like settings, where you travel along the counter with a tray and pay at the cash register. Throw a couple of tens into the tip jar for baristas. Note: there is no way to leave a tip on the credit card - when you receive the slip for signature, there isn't a place to write the extra amount in, so keep enough small bills in your wallet.
Azerbaijani – Azerbaijani cuisine is probably the most popular in Moscow.You can find Azerbaijani restaurants everywhere in Moscow.It is strongly recommended if you want to try delicious food in Moscow.
Armenian - Similar to Turkish and Azerbaijani cuisine but with an exciting twist to it. Try out their mouth watering charcoal grilled kebabs and fish dishes. Many good restaurants available around Moscow and many of the chefs are actually natives from Armenia, which adds to the authenticity of the food. Try out Restaurant Gavan at the address: “ulitsa Rossolimo 7, gorod Moskva”. Take metro to Park Kul’tury station, also not far away from the famous Gorky Park.
Georgian – Besides Russian cuisine, one variety of ethnic food that is strongly recommended while in Moscow is Georgian. This cuisine is generally spicier than Russian food, and there are a number of reasonably priced Georgian restaurants in Moscow.
Japanese – Muscovites have been obsessed with sushi since late 1990s, and the boom is not over yet. Japanese restaurants are probably most popular among young Russian women, easily competing with Italian and French restaurants. The picture menus are a great help when ordering, and the names of items are basically just Japanese transliterated to Cyrillic. Don't expect a proliferation of raw fish, though; the most popular rolls contain cooked items.
Thai cuisine can be found only in few restaurants, and its authenticity is debatable.
Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines are not popular with Russians, but can be found if you search for it.
You can find "authentic" Chinese and Vietnamese food in Vietnamese/Chinese Markets, such as Izmalovo Market. You will need to do some exploring deep into the markets or maybe ask a few vendors to locate the restaurants. The vendors themselves eat at those places.
Viet Cafe - A modern fusion-like chain of cafes serves Vietnamese cuisine but for a slightly higher price. Normal meal will cost around 500 rubles per person.
Izumrudnaya Reka ("Emerald River") A nice place for Vietnamese food in the Savyolovskiy market, close to Savyolovskaya metro station.
Aromatnaya Reka ("Aroma River") Another warmly welcoming, simple and cosy restaurant that offers Vietnamese fare, situated in a quiet neighborhood between Kurskaya and Baumanskaya metro stations. Tokmakov pereulok, 11.
Kharbin (Харбин), Nizhnyaya Pervomayskaya ul. 66 (m. Pervomayskaya). Mon-Sun 11am-11pm. Well outskirts—but worth a dedicated trip. Non-Europeanized authentic Chinese restaurant. with therefore generous portions, each main can typically fill a couple. Both run entirely by and where 80% of clients are Chinese. Try turtle soup; eggplants in caramel sauce. Loud karaoke weekend evenings. No credit cards.1000 rubles per person for a filling dinner w/o alcohol. edit
Free-standing street food is well represented with hot dogs/sausages, meat pastries and Doner kebab (shawarma) kiosks (dwindling in numbers, though, as part of the mayor's quest for limiting immigrant businesses under the guise of sanitary enforcement). The latter are tasty, if not entirely authentic, but can be risky; pack Pepto-Bismol and keep in mind that the quality of kebabs depends on the stand's location. A stand in the historical center of the city, often inspected by authorities, is likely to be safe; kebab from the city narrows, however, may contain mystery meats of the most unappetizing origins including dog and cat.
There are also several chains of outdoor stand-up food vendors, usually located in clusters around Metro stations. A few to look for are:
Kroshka-Kartoshka – These green kiosks sell stuffed (butter, sour cream or bacon) microwave-baked potatoes, as well as toasted sandwiches and a few drinks. Hot and filling, but rather expensive for what is basically just a hunk of root vegetable.
Riksha Ivan ("Ivan the Rickshaw") – Quick Chinese-like cuisine; fried rice with meat to go.
Teremok – These brown-colored kiosks sell large blinchiki, or Russian crepes that come with a variety of fillings. Very tasty and authentic. Make sure to try the Kvass - a traditional Russian drink made from rye bread.
Muscovites are also fond of their ice cream, consumed in any weather, even (proudly) in the dead of winter, cheap and usually of superior quality; kiosks can be found all over the center and near all Metro stations.
In these you take a tray, move along a counter with food (either taking the dishes yourself or asking the staff to give you a bowl of soup, a plate of vegetables etc.) and pay at the cash register at the end of the counter. By far, this is the best choice of eating out on a budget in Moscow. You eat fresh healthy food (and not hamburgers or any other fast food), you don't have to ponder how much tips is enough (because there's no one to tip, you just pay a fixed price at the cash register) and you don't need to be starving for 40 minutes while the chef is cooking your food (everything is cooked already).
Moo-Moo (Му-Му), . 30+ restaurants of this chain offer decent canteen food, with English menus. Typical open hours are 10:00-22:00, but they differ in different restaurants of the chain, and a couple of them work virtually round clock (with only a break from 03:00 to 05:00). A soup is RUB75-85 (USD2.5-3), many mains are less than RUB100 (USD3.5, but do look at the price tags -- there are much more expensive dishes as well). If your are wise enough not to drink (drinks are relatively more expensive here) and to look at the price tags, you will be full for RUB200-250 (USD7-9). The author of these lines has lived in Moscow for 15 years, and eats in Moo-Moo himself when too lazy to cook at home (which is often), usually leaving around 200 rubles for a dinner without a drink.edit
Grabli (Грабли), . A chain opened in July 2006 aims to compete with Moo-Moo.edit
Another cheap option is fast food, a growing trend in Moscow. The likes of McDonald's and KFC are seen near almost every shopping mall. In particular, there is an underground mall just outside the Red Square area (entrance by Alexander Gardens) that has a large food court full of affordable Western (Sbarro, Subway, etc) and Russian options.
There are several chains of restaurants that are now very widespread, and again are usually located near metro stations. The 1990 opening of McDonalds was an international event, and now it has over 70 outlets in Moscow.
Yolky Palky – This chain restaurant offers Russian style food. You can take all-you-can-eat plate for RUB300.
Kruzhka – This is a chain of "beer restaurants" which serves cheap food and, as its name suggests, mugs of beer. It can be found in 20 locations around Moscow. The menu is relatively simple, consisting mainly of types of kebab and shawarma, with fries. Sport events are on often shown on televisions or big screen.
Prime Star – A chain of fast-food restaurants specialized in hand-made, natural food. Most is cold (sandwiches, salads etc.) but some hot dishes are available. Around RUB400 for a cold soup, salad and beverage.
Dyadya Vanya – Pushkinskaya/Chekhovskaya. Literally 'Uncle Ivan's', this place also showcases a nostalgic interior of the inter-war period.
Darbar - Leninsky Prospect, 38 (Hotel "Sputnik"), metro station "Leninsky Prospect", ☎ +7 495 930-2925; +7 495 930-2365, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is situated a bit aside from the city centre, but has a very good location with a panoramic view over the city. The cuisine is authentic; arguably it's the best Indian restaurant in Moscow. Average bill for two people is RUB2,500. Staff speak English. Also a great place to watch the salute away from the crowds.
Hard Rock Cafe – On Old Arbat Street. Serves the same menu it does worldwide for reasonable prices. They are open for breakfast at 06:00 and serve traditional Western breakfasts for what works out to be about USD8 per person. Fresh squeezed orange juice and hash browns are a highlight here. You can eat outdoors and watch the endlessly fascinating parade of characters that walk the street all day and all night.
Korchma Taras Bulba – Petrovka 30/7 near metro Pushkinskaya/Chekhovskaya. Pyatnickaya St. 14 near metro Novokuznetsckaya. Ukrainian chain restaurant with a interior decorated like a Ukrainian house. Dinner costs USD25 for two people.
Lavash – Cuisine from the Caucus region. Large menu with pictures, good choice of Russian beer and vodka at reasonable prices. Looks more expensive than it is. Conveniently located 100m south of the Nikulin circus on Tsvetnoi Bulvar. Come out of Tsvetnoi Bulvar, turn right, walk 2 minutes.
Mi Piace – A chain of Italian restaurants. Relatively inexpensive but quite popular among locals and expatriates working in Moscow. Addresses are: 22 Chayanova (250-0893); 13/9 B. Ordynka (951-52-50, 953-96-65); 20 Tverskaya (650-7575); 20 Sadovaya-Samotechnaya (694-0001); 16/16 Pokrovka (623-4411); 7, 1st Tverskaya Yamskaya (970-1129)
The Old Tower (СтараяБашня), Teatralnaja ploščad 5/1 (Театральная площадь, д. 5, стр. 1), ☎ +7 (495) 698-4008, . Russian cuisine with some unusual dishes such as bear and elk, in a medieval setting. Has a huge beer menu which, however, seems not to be always available.edit
Oprichnik (Опричник). 2, Pyatnitsky pereulok (987-10-05). Ancient dishes of Russian cuisine including game.
Ragout (Рагу). Trendy place for 30-year-olds and up; one of the most moderate-priced French cuisine places. Very friendly to children: weekend drawing classes etc with proficient mentors.edit
George Best, Rybniy Pereulok, 2 (Gostinyi dvor) (M. Ploshchad' Revolyutsii, M. Kitay-gorod), ☎ +7(495)201-30-93, . Gastropub named after the legendary Manchester United footballer & playboy is trying to satisfy adult hipster sport fans with high quality food, wide range of beers and cocktails, broadcasts and weekend techno/house parties. Located inside Gostiny Dvor, the medieval trading area turned contemporary mall just east of the Kremlin, the 19th century exposed-brick interior has three floors, and a variety of atmosphere.edit
Soup (Суп), 1st Brestskaya, 62/25, bldg. 3 (M. Belorusskaya), ☎ 251 1383. More than a dozen of soup varieties.edit
Starlite (Старлайт), . 24H. A small chain of American-style diners, where you can still try Russian borsch or pelmeni. Popular among Moscow expats as almost first places run by foreigners; among Moscow middle-class crowd for quality food and fast service.$$. edit
Carré Blanc (Metro Novoslobodskaya) – French restaurant with an attached and much cheaper bar/cafe which also serves good food. Good wine list. French/English/Russian spoken.
Chemodan (Suitcase) (Metro Arbatskaya, Kropotkinskaya) Gogol Boulevard, Building 25, page 1. phone="+7 (495) 695 3819" – it's specifically a Siberian restaurant, with a menu featuring the freshest river-fish from Siberia's vast rivers and lakes, game dishes from the riches of the taiga forests, pickles and preserves featuring mushrooms and berries. Good food, good service.
Expedition – Northern cuisine was really excellent though this is really expensive place.
Krasnaya ploschad dom 1 (1 Red Square) – In the heart of Moscow, in the historical museum building on the Red Square to the right hand if you are looking at the Lenin Mausoleum. Quite expensive, but worth visiting; dinner is about $70-80 per person.
Ne dal'nii vostok ("Not far East")  Tverskoy Blvd, building 15. Overall, it's a real splurge but definitely worth the indulgence.
Pushkin, (Metro: Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya). Has a cafe and restaurant (cafe is cheaper). A fake 19th century mansion (built in 1999) that pretends to be a tourist attraction, not just a place to eat. The legend goes that so many foreigners were asking for the restaurant with this name that they finally opened one. With a stretch of imagination the food might pass for what it purports to be, the aristocratic Russian cuisine from the Czarist times.edit
Riviera – Painfully slow white glove service but it's a beautiful restaurant with a harpist playing throughout the meal and expertly prepared authentic French dishes. Expansive wine list.
Roberto, Rozhdestvensky blvd, 20 bldg. 1 (M. Chistiye Prudy / Tsvetnoy Blvd). Genuine Italian restaurant frequented by Italians.Risotto 400+ R, salads 350+ R, pasta 350+ R, soups 300+ R, mains 450+ R. edit
Vogue Cafe – Situated right across the street from TSUM on Kyznetski Most Street building 7/9, the restaurant is a great little find but do not be fooled by the word cafe. It is quite trendy inside and can be busy in the evening. The prices are on the lower end of expensive (fish dishes range between 800-1300 rubles) and the wine list is extremely under-priced by Russian standards - like at least 4000 rubles per bottle. Overall, the food is absolutely delicious.
White Rabbit, 3, Smolenskaya Square (Metro: Smolenskaya), ☎ +7 (495) 66 33 999, . Astonishing interiors in fusion style. Combining an old fireplace with fretted designer furniture and an active bar in the middle of the hall with a 360 degree panorama view of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukraina hotel. You get an outstanding view on the Garden Ring, the New Arbat and the river Moscow through the windows.edit
There are several bars in central Moscow worth visiting.
Tema Bar – Located near Chistye Prudy Boulevard (Potapovsky pereulok, 5). It boasts quite a long cocktail list, including all-time favorites like Screwdrivers, Cosmopolitans and Manhattans. The bar is packed on Fri and Sat nights.
Fabrique –  This club has nothing to do with the London club, but it is no less happening and lively. Beware of "face control" (Russia's way of letting only the chosen into the club). Mid-priced drinks, shots of vodka are ~200 rubles and mixed drinks are more expensive. Great club atmosphere with generally fantastic dj's.
Gogol' Bar – This bar is on the posh Stoleshnikov pereulok. The street houses deluxe brand shops such as Chanel, Burberry, and Cartier. The entrance to the bar is between Vivienne Westwood and the Lancel boutique. The interior, menu and drinks are quite simple. Musical performances every weekend. During the winter, the small yard is used as a skating rink. There are also Gogol' Bars on Arbat and Maroseika St. No entry for non-europeans.
Krizis Zhanra, in a house at the corner of Pokrowski Bulvar and Ulica Pokrowska, enter the house from the backside. See website to see a small map . In the day it offers mediocre Italian-themed Russian cuisine. Cocktails and desserts are on the menu for mid-range prices (300-350 rubles). They play alternative music and on weekends the restaurant is turned into a small rock club (at about 11PM the tables are taken out). The place is popular with students with money but who are not elitny.
Propaganda, Bol. Zlatoustinsky, 8 (M. Kitay Gorod), ☎ +7(495)624-5732, . 11:30AM-6AM Mon-Sun. A great alternative bar with lots of cheap drinks (vodka is 100 rubles and beer is 150 rubles). With great music, a hip and funky crowd, as well as a relatively relaxed door control. Propaganda is a great place to dance all night and have fun. Also very good value-for-money place to eat.edit
Kruzhka, cheap beer restaurant (75 rubles per half litre) with numerous locations around the city.
Yan Primus, Miklukho-Maklaya, 27A (M. Belyaevo, Vityaz cinema), ☎ (495) 336-5755, . 10AM-6AM Mon-Sun. Belgian beer restaurant, a rare women-friendly beer place. Offer table games for large companies. Parking; outdoor terrace (open until 11PM; booking required).edit
Beer Market, Butyrskaya 69 (M. Dmitrovskaya), ☎ +7(495)967-1519, . noon-midnight Mon-Sun. Probably the widest choice of beers in the city in the regular menu, plus seasonal extra beer listings, new region every season.edit
Bobby Dazzler Pub (пабБоббиДэззлер), Kostyanskiy pereulok 7/13 (M. Turgenevskaya, M. Chistye Prudy), ☎ +7 495 6080383 (email@example.com, fax: +7 495 6080477), . 11:00-0:00 Mon-Thu, 11:00-3:00 Fri, 13:00-6:00 Sat, 13:00-0:00 Sun. Pub in british style. Wide choice of UK beers. The cousine menu is large as in a restaurant. Beers and food are reasonable priced.edit
English pub Albion (АнглийскийпабАльбион), Manezhnaya Ploshchad 1 (M. Aleksandrovsky Sad, M. Okhotny Ryad), ☎ +7 495 6080383, . 12AM-2AM Mon-Sun. First English pub opened in Moscow, existing since 2003, is located in the heart of the city, but it is not so easy to find it, the entrance with the territory of the Alexander Garden, opposite to the eternal flame.edit
Simple Things-Nikitskaya (Простыевещи), B. Nikitskaya, 14, ☎ +7 (495) 629 34 94, . Great choice of wines and snacks in a cozy bazement right across Cofemania, with a special person who sit downs to talk (and recommend a drink or two) with you if you're alone.edit
Moscow has a good selection of tea saloons. Beyond them, high-quality infusion teas like Newby, are widely available in cafes, both packeted and loose.
Asking to add boiling water to the tea you ordered earlier is a practice that some cafes don't welcome, but normally it's acceptable. However, initiative from the waiter is really rare in this respect.
According to Vedomosti (March 2009), best coffee can be found in:
Coffeemania chain, . The most expensive coffee chain in Moscow. The cafe on Bolsaya Nikitskaya 13 next to the Moscow Conservatory serves great breakfasts and is excellent for people watching in the morning and pre-concert coffee in the evening as well.edit
Coffee Bean, Petrovka 18/3. Petrovka is most coffee-conscious place in the Coffee Bean chain (also Pokrovka, Pyatnitskaya, Leningradsky). Some of the Coffee Bean stores also provide free internet (eg. Pokrovka).edit
Volkonsky, Maroseika 4/2. For a late night nibble or a quick morning pick me up, Volkonsky is one of the better places in Moscow that doubles as a bakery/coffee shop. Great ambiance and a neighborhood feel.edit
Starbucks Cafe, Old Arbat Street, 19; Old Arbat 38; Mega-Khimki and Mega-Belaya Dacha; Moscow City; Sheremetyevo-3; Metropolis (M. Voykovskaya); Aeroport Gallery (M. Aeroport), . Starbucks has finally broken the wall into hard ground Russia. Promises to open another 10-20 stores by end of 2008.edit
Bulka, Pokrovka 19; Bolshaya Gruzinskaya 69; Park Sokolniki; «Otrada» shopping mall, . This bakery is known for its award-winning coffee. A great place to have a hearty breakfast, a delicious and reasonable priced «business lunch» or an outstanding dessert. Every spot provides free wi-fi and has a special menu for kids.edit
HM Hostel Moscow, Gogolevsky Boulevard 33, 4th floor (m. Arbatskaya), ☎ +7 (495) 778-85-01 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 13.00; checkout: 12.00. Located in the very centre, few steps to Arbat touristic street in the old building with large rooms and high seedlings. Free Wi-Fi internet, computer for guests, tea and coffee. *NOTE: HM Hostel provides invitations for the Russian Tourist visa.799 rubles per night in a dorm; 899 rubles per night in a female room for only 5 ladies; 1199 rubles per night in a male room for only 4 gentlemen. edit
Comrade Hostel, Maroseyka street 11, 3rd floor (m. Kitai-Gorod) (in courtyard, second archway left after you pass McDonald's), ☎ +7 (495) 628-31-26 (email@example.com), . checkin: 12.00; checkout: 12.00. A nice clean hostel, with an intimate atmosphere, located only 10 minutes walk from the Red Square. The owner Dennis is really helpful. Free Wi-Fi internet. *NOTE: Comrade Hostel can also provide an invitation for the Russian Tourist visa.650 rubles per night in a dorm; 2500 rubles per night in a large private double room; 2000 rubles per night in a single private room. edit
At Atelier, Sadovnicheskaya street 25 (m. Novokuznetskaya), ☎ +7 916 289-04-26, . checkin: 1 p.m; checkout: 12.00. Atatelier is not a hostel that you can usually find in Moscow. It is a small though quite comfortable apartment in the centre of the city. You can notice that the owners are obsessed with interior design, but they are also in love with architecture, fashion, music, ballet and all those things that make life even more beautiful. The hostel has a co-working space, so the atmosphere is calm and creative.25 $ per night in a dorm, 40$ per night in a dorm. edit
Backpacker Ecohostel, Starosadskiy pereulok 5 стр 6 (m. Kitai Gorod), ☎ +7 916 535-57-27, . checkin: 3 p.m; checkout: 12.00. Comfortable beds, shower, common kitchen and common area, free wi-fi (or a computer, if you don`t have your own). The hostel is equiped with recycling bins. The location is a very quiet area in the plenty downtown of Moscow.10-30$ per night. edit
Chillax Hostels, 2-y Kolobovskiy pereulok, 9 (m. Trubnaya, Tsvetnoi Bulvar), ☎ +7 (495) 620-59-59 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 3 p.m; checkout: 12.00. Chillax Hostels is the highest rated hostel in Moscow according to TripAdvisor and Hostelworld. Located in central Moscow right by the boulevard ring, Chillax Hostels is a cozy, clean, and a fun place to stay. All of the staff speaks English, with some speaking other languages too. What kind of Moscow experience would you like? Clubs? Discos? Bars? Parties? Museums? Galleries? Art-houses? Cultural festivals? Concerts? Restaurants? Lounges? Day or night - Chillax Hostels will inform you of the best events in town! *NOTE: Chillax Hostels can also provide an invitation for the Russian Tourist visa.9-20$ per night in a dorm. edit
Hostel Dom, Podsosenskiy per., 21 stroenie 5 (m. Kurskaya, Chkalovskaya), ☎ +7 (916) 671-01-20 (email@example.com), . checkin: 2 p.m; checkout: 12.00. Nice, clean and really cozy hostel located in a center of Moscow, just a 5 minute walk from Kurskaya or Chkalovskaya metro stations. It's located in the centre of the capital’s creative life with The British Higher School of Art and Design, the legendary Solyanka cafe and club, the art and design centres Artplay and Winzavod, Coffe Bean and Kofemania cafe with the best cofee in the Moscow *NOTE: Hostel Dom also provide an invitation for Russian Tourist visa.30$ per night in a dorm and 90$ in private double room. edit
Godzillas Hostel Moscow, Bolshoi Karetnyy 6 apt. 5 (first floor), ☎ +7 (495) 699-42-23 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 (495) 699-16-91), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. Pretty reasonable hostel with decent bathrooms and very friendly staff. It's in a convenient location. Only minutes away from local bars and restaurants and a 20-25 minute walk from the Kremlin. Small number of showers and internet terminals are the only downside.From 725 rubles per night in a dorm or at 1740 per night in a double room. edit
Host Families Association (HOFA) (From 22 eur. per night), 5 Tavricheskaya str., ☎ +7 (812) 275 1992 (email@example.com, fax: +7 (812) 275 1992), . Since 1990, HOFA provides visa invitations, homestays, apartment rentals, packages in friendly homes in 60 cities in Russia and CIS.From €22 per night. edit
Moscow Home-hostel, 2-y Neopalimovsky per., 1/12 (m. Park kultury), ☎ +7 (495) 778-24-45 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 1PM; checkout: 12 PM. Located in the picturesque quiet park zone within 5 minutes walk from metro station and 20 minutes walk to the Kremlin.Prices start at 550 rubles per night in a dorm or at 2000 rubles per night in a room for two. edit
Napoleon Hostel, Maly Zlatoustinskiy 2 (4th floor), ☎ +7 (495) 628-66-95 (email@example.com, fax: +7 (495) 624-59-78), . Good hostel with an excellent location in the quiet city center.Dorm prices start from 600 rubles per night. edit
Suharevka mini-hotel, Bolshaya Suharevskaya Ploshad 16/18, ☎ +7 (910) 420-3446 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Pleasant mini-hotel with nice location in the center. Private rooms are quite nice for the price (around €60).edit
TNT Hostel Moscow, 5 Zvonarskiy per., 3rd floor (located at Metro Kuznetskiy Most, on the Purple line. At the metro station Kuznetskiy Most platform between the trains, look for the sign that says 'Kuznetskiy Most'. The sign is in the middle of the platform hanging from the ceiling and is quite small. Follow this sign toward Rozhdestvenka Street and exit the metro station taking the escalators. At the top of the escalators walk through the glass doors, then pass throught the any of two ARCs, turn right and walk about 2 min till you see a 'Lilienthal Bar' from right hand. Turn left to Zvonarskiy side street and walk downwards till you see building 5 (Dom in Russian). Building 5 is next after the Bank UNICOR. The door entry code is ''1 2 3 4'' (or can be not locked at all). Hostel is on the third (pls note, Russian numbering) floor of that building, left door.), ☎ +7 (495) 973-05-01 (email@example.com), . checkin: 1PM; checkout: noon. Hostel located in the one of the safest places in Moscow, on a small side street within the Central Bank of Russia and Federal Guard Service buildings.430 rubles; privates 990 rubles(per person/night). edit
There is a big need for mid-range accommodations in Moscow, and the curious traveler can find some good ones -- with a little diligence.
Flamingo Bed & Breakfast, 2-Yamskaya Tverskay-Moscow, ☎ +79197724002 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The closest Bed and Breakfast to the Kremlin, Flamingo Bed and Breakfast is in the art and cultural area, only 30 meters away from Tverskaya Street and Chekov Theater.edit
Dorothy's Bed and Breakfast, Fadeeva street, house 7/3, apartment 114 125047, ☎ +79266644118 (email@example.com), . Located in the art and cultural area, providing a comfortable atmosphere and and personal service.edit
Samovar Bed and Breakfast, Staropimenovskiy lane 16, flat 54 127001, ☎ +79266644118 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located in the art and cultural area. The decor is a fusion of fresh IKEA design meets Soviet kitsch.edit
Artel Hotel, Teatralniy proezd, bld.3/3, ☎ +7 495 626 90 08, . Each room at Artel Hotel has been handed over to a local artist, some already well-known and some up-and-coming. No two rooms are alike. Some of its amenities include free Wi-Fi access, airport transfer, and laundry service.Best rates on official website start at RUB 3100. edit
Aquamarine Hotel Moscow, Ozerkovskaya, 26, ☎ +7 (495) 580 28 28, . 159 exquisite rooms and suites are equipped with the latest multi-media technology and offer state-of-the-art business services. edit
Hotel Bulvar, 1 Sretenka, ☎ 7 (495) 7767276, . Hotel Bulvar offers cozy hotel accommodations, all of which have air-conditioner, a plasma TV with cable, a telephone, and private toilet and shower. Some of its amenities include high-speed Internet access, dry cleaning/laundry, and massage service.Best rates on official website start at RUB 2800. edit
Hotel Cosmos, Prospekt Mira 150, ☎ +7 (495) 646-0155 (email@example.com, fax: +7 (495) 646-0155), . Rooms from RUB 5,000. The hotel is right outside metro station VDNKh and next to the All-Russian Exhibition Centre .edit
Elegant Hotel, 8 Pokrovka str., 32, ☎ +7 (495) 625-98-32, . All rooms have air-conditioning, a cable TV, and an en-suite toilet and bath. Some of its amenities are restaurant and bar, a business center, and a beauty parlor.Best rates on official website start at RUB 2860. edit
Ermitage Pokrovka Hotel, Durasovsky per 7, ☎ 007 (495) 9171919, . It offers aptly furnished rooms, all of which have a cable TV, a mini-bar, and a telephone. Some of its amenities are dry cleaning/laundry, high-speed Internet access, and room service. While staying here you can visit some tourist spots like The Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, and The Bolshoy Theater.Best rates on official website start at RUB 2,195. edit
Hotel Izmailovo Alfa, Izmailovskoe shosse 71a, ☎ +7 (495) 646-0155 (fax: +7 (495) 646-0155), . The hotel is right outside Partizanskaya metro station with a direct connection to the Ploshchad Revolyutsii metro station in about 15 minutes. On Sat and Sun there is a Vernisazh market with attractive art and handmade crafts within a five minute walk from the hotel. The hotel is built on the site of the old village "Izmailovo", which was the suburban estate of Russian Tsars (and some medieval buildings still stand there, about 15 min walk from the hotel). Peter the Great spent there his childhood. "Alfa" was built in 1980 for the Olympic games. The project authors were awarded with the State prize. The rooms reveal a panoramic view of the Park and Petrovskii lakes.Prices start at 3,300 RUB. edit
Hotel Izmailovo Gamma-Delta, Izmailovskoe shosse 71, ☎ +7 (495) 646-0155 (fax: +7 (495) 646-0155), . The hotel is right outside Partizanskaya metro station with a direct connection that takes you to Ploshchad Revolyutsii metro station in about 15 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday there is a Vernisazh market with attractive art and handmade crafts within a 5 minute walk from the hotel. *Note: this hotel cannot issue visa support documents, make sure you have another way to get your Moscow visa voucher.Prices start at RUB 2,300. edit
Petrovka Loft, Petrovka 17/2, 41 (Teatralnaya, Pushkinskaya and Tverskaya metro stations.), ☎ +7 (495) 626-2210 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 (495) 626-2209), . Luxury budget hotel located ten min stroll from Red Square.R3000/dbl. edit
Proton Hotel, 22, Novozavodskaya st., ☎ 7 (495) 797-33-00, . A/C rooms equipped with tv with satellite channels, free high-speed internet access and shower with bathtub. Some of its facilities and services are business center, bar, restaurant, conference room and fitness room/gym.From RUB 4,400. edit
Silky Way, 45 Lenina Street, pos. Oktyabrskiy, Lyuberetskiy District, ☎ 7 (495) 225 20 02, . Silky Way proudly stands in an area that was once part of the Great Silk Road. It offers cozy rooms, all of which have air-conditioner, cable TV, mini-bar, and refrigerator. Some of its amenities are restaurant and bar, fitness room/gym, and high-speed Internet access.Best rates on official website start at RUB 3,500. edit
Soyuz, Levoberezhnaya. St. 12, ☎ (495) 956-29-99, . The hotel complex “Soyuz” is located in a wood-park zone which is only a 15-minute ride equally distant both from the international airport “Sheremetievo-2” and the centre. The hotel's accommodation facilities encompass 29 single rooms, 119 two-person and 10 two-room luxe, All of them are nicety furnished with Italian furniture and equipped with satellite TV.Best rates on official website start at €90. edit
Hotel Ulanskaya, Ulanskiy pereulok 16, bld.1A, ☎ +7 (495) 632-9695, . Hotel Ulanskaya is located along quiet and picturesque Ulansky Lane. It offers guestrooms, all of which have LCD TV with local and international channels, Internet access, and IDD Telephone. Some of its amenities are airport and city transfers, restaurant and bar, and room service.Best rates on official website start at RUB 5,500. edit
Hotel-Vintage, Leningradskoe shosse 297, ☎ 007 (495)943—76-59, . Located in a 19th-century building. Just 5 km away Sheremetievo Airport. Free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a private bathroom with toiletries is included in each room at the Hotel-Vintage. Some have a separate bedrooms and living room. A continental breakfast is available on request in the Vintage’s breakfast room. Room service is available and packed lunches can be organised for day trips. A tour desk offers advice on what to see and do in Moscow. Other facilities include a 24-hour reception, safety deposit box and free newspapers. Sheremetievo Airport is 5 km away. Crocus Expo Exhibition Centre is 35 km from the Vintage Hotel.Best rates on official website start at RUB 2,100. edit
Hotel Voskhod, Altuf'evskoye shosse 2, . Relatively cheap and modest accommodation in the outskirts of the city. Located near Vladykino metro station (grey line, seven stops to the city center, 20-25 minutes).Price starting at RUB 1,800 per double room. edit
Baltschug Kempinski, ul. Balchug, 1, ☎ +7 (495) 230 5500 (+7 (495) 230 6500, email@example.com, fax: +7 (495) 230 5502), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Hotel is located facing the Red Square and St.Basil's Cathedral. It features spacious rooms, good service and a buffet-breakfast.edit
Golden Apple Hotel, 11 Malaya Dmitrovka, ☎ +7 (495) 980 7000, . 92 individually decorated rooms and suites. Cable&satellite TV channels, and WiFi. Sauna and jacuzzi, laundry, dry-cleaning and valet services, and 24 hours room service. from at RUB 5,500. edit
Golden Ring, Smolenskaya ulitsa, 5 (short walk to Arbat Street and the Foreign Ministry building), . Disappointing service for a 5 star hotel, although the amenities and breakfast served daily are commendable. Views from the rooms are fantastic, and the hotel is located near all the main tourist sites. Free Wi-Fi access. edit
Le Royal Meridien National, 15/1, bld. 1 ul. Mokhovaya, ☎ +7 (495) 258 7000 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 (495) 258 7100), . Traditional Art Nouveau-style hotel located in city centre next to the Red Square. Rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable, with plasma TV's, minibars and more. Internet use is extremely pricey though at 16 rubles a minute.edit
Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka, Pokrovka st 40, bld 2, ☎ +7 495 229 57 57 (email@example.com, fax: +7 495 229 57 75), . checkin: 15.00; checkout: 12.00. Located in historic downtown Moscow, a boutique hotel designed in Art Deco is the right choice for demanding quests. Spa by Algotherm, indoor pool, sauna and Turkish baths. Award-winning restaurant "Numbers". Spacious rooms, 84 suits. Suitable for weddings. Winner of Trip Advisor´s Travelers´ choice 2012 and 2013.14 000 – 77 000 RUB per double room. edit
The Ritz-Carlton, Tverskaya ulitsa 3/5. For one of the top hotels in one of the world's most expensive cities, be prepared to pay at the Ritz Carlton. Although completed in 2007, the 19th century styling looks authentic with an old world style, look and feel. The staff are fluent in English and are helpful and professional. The astonishingly high rates for this hotel though, do not feel justified.
Radisson Blu Belorusskaya, No. 26, 3rd Street of Yamskogo Polya, ☎ +7 495 660 6306 (Reservations.Belorusskaya@Radissonblu.com, fax: +7 495 660 6307), . Standing out among Moscow hotels, this accommodation provides a central capital city location near the Kremlin and the main thoroughfares to Sheremetyevo International Airport.edit
Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, Kosmodamianskaya nab., 52 bld.6 (Paveletskaya, Taganskaya), ☎ +7 495 787 9800 (+7 495 787 9881, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +7 495 787 9898), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Top notch hotel. A stunning bar on the 34th floor has a complete 360 view of Moscow and the cocktail and wine list is extremely impressive.edit
Moscow historically enjoyed a low crime rate (though this is not entirely the case). However, Moscow is a booming metropolis, so common sense should be used. Avoid dark alleys - like you would anywhere else. Check the advice from your Foreign Office for entry requirements, health, safety, local laws and customs.
Do keep in mind, that while traveling in Moscow, as in the rest of Russia, you must always have your passport with you. If you look non-white, your papers may get checked more often than usual.
Keep an eye out for pickpockets on metro; avoid going on dark deserted streets at night.
Usually, the police will demand to see your papers to check if you have been registered within seven business days (used to be three business days up to March 25th, 2011) of your arrival into Moscow. Always remember that if you stay in a hotel then you are automatically registered and will be handed a confirmation paper at a time of check-in, so no worry in this case. Most policemen do not speak a word of English, but they will let you know if your papers are not in order and you must go with them to the police precinct. In any case, if you are a decent looking person (regardless of race and nationality) odds to be asked to show documents are minuscule, and the police are usually looking for migrants from Central Asia.
Also note that in winter months, streets in Moscow can get very slippery. Take a pair of grippy shoes or, even better, boots (to prevent twisted ankles) and a waterproof raincoat. Take care as ice patches are often hard to spot, even when they appear to have been cleared or melted. Wearing non-grippy shoes could result in injury.
Downtown Moscow is very brightly lit, and a lot of the wide roads have underground pedestrian walkways. Those are well lit too - so you shouldn't worry about going down inside them. But of course, like anywhere else, do use common sense, and keep an eye out for pickpockets. Use the pedestrian crossings to cross the street, as traffic can get pretty crazy often times. Furthermore, racism and homophobia is prevalent in Moscow and other major cities.
In Moscow there are three main GSM operators (MTS, Beeline, Megafon), and they often have offers that give you a SIM card for free or at least very cheap. If you are planning to stay a while and to keep in touch with Russian people, then you should consider buying a local pay-as-you-go SIM card instead of going on roaming. Since in Russia, like in other countries of both Europe and Asia, GSM 900/1800 standard is used, almost any European phone, and those from the U.S. which work on a GSM network (T-Mobile, or AT&T), carry the "tri-band" or "World phone" designation and had been unlocked, should work on the Russian standard (if yours is not one of those, a basic new candybar will still run you considerably less than $40 without a contract). If you buy a SIM card from a shop you'll need your passport for identification. It only takes five minutes to do the paperwork and it will cost less than $10. You will receive a number in the "mobile" area code, starting with 9, which has more expensive rates for calls to and from landlines (and from abroad; in compensation, the tariffs for calls to phones on the same network are usually reduced), and your card will be preloaded with a small initial minute allowance. Incoming calls are free. Top off at the stores of your chosen company, at shops selling phones, or at newer automated kiosks which accept utility payments (they look like short, squat ATMs with large touchscreens, and display, among others, logos of the mobile operators); the latter charge a small commission fee and accept cash or (rarely) credit cards. Be careful when entering the number: it is possible to add airtime to any phone, not only your own.
For calls abroad there are different inexpensive pre-paid cards (e.g. Arktel), which you can find at many shops and kiosks throughout the city or in any post office.
Beeline Wi-Fi (former Golden Wi-Fi, acquired by Beeline) is the largest network of Wi-Fi access points, available almost everywhere within a Third Ring Road and a Garden Ring, less frequently outside it. Most of them are free (paid by the venue, e.g. a cafe or mall) - whenever you are at a cafe, ask your waiter for a free Wi-Fi pass slip if your device doesnt connect automatically. Very few require an account. Rates are 50 rubles for an hour, 100 rubles for 24 hours, 500 rubles for 30 days; if you have a credit card, it's a fairly simple process completed entirely online - you are presented with the payment choice screen as soon as you connect. All Moscow airports have free Wi-Fi. Almost every park in Moscow also has free Wi-Fi access points.
McDonalds, Starbucks, Shokoladnitsa, Coffeehouse and others have free Wi-Fi in nearly every other of their locations in the city – also operated by Beeline Wi-Fi.
Look out for "Free WiFi" sign in most of the malls. At least one free-for-all WiFi spot is located in "Respublika" bookstore on Tverskaya near Mayakovskaya metro - you can use it without limits as long as you're about 15 meters from the store's entrance. Benches are provided and often packed with people.
Free Wi-Fi is also available in the Moscow metro.You should to connect the MosMetro_Free Wi-Fi net and enter the any site in your browser. If it fail to open the identification website, enter the http://auth.vmet.ro. Then you should sent your phone number and get the password by SMS. After the identification you can enter the Wi-Fi net without such difficulties by only one click.
The Wi-Fi signal is available only in train cars.
In addition to the 3G (HSDPA), all Moscow GSM operators (Beeline, MegaFon, MTS, Yota) offer LTE (4G) services. You can buy USB modem in almost every outlet selling mobile phones (Euroset, Svyaznoi etc.) as well as in any computer related store. The price of the common 3G/4G modem is around 1000 rubles. Unlimited 3G/4G data plan costs about 500 rubles per month. 
Since Moscow is the biggest transportation centre in Russia and one of main the points of entry for the foreign tourists, it is a convenient starting point for exploring much of European Russia. Even travelling through Moscow to Ukraine and some Caucasian and Central Asian countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan etc.) could be cheaper than direct flights from Europe/North America. Travel deals to Moscow are not rare and ticket prices are often pretty low within the former USSR.
Saint Petersburg - 13 different overnight trains leave Moscow for the 7 hr (or thereabouts) journey, arriving the next morning. You can either take the sleeper trains, which is a very interesting experience. Russians have a "train" culture, so it's very possible that you will meet your bunk mates and have a meal and drink with them. You can also take the high-speed Sapsan trains - they take about 4 hours, and the vistas rushing by are very lovely. You might even consider paying the extra money for a first class sleeper cabin which has two comfortable beds. Included in the price is a small snack for supper and breakfast. There is also an attendant for each carriage who is willing to make tea in classic metal and glass tea glasses. Very civilized way to travel.
Arkhangelskoye - One of the finest of Moscow Oblast's usadbas (estates) is only a short elektrichka ride away from Moscow and makes a fine day excursion.
Golden Ring - Old cities and towns rich in historical buildings, situated in the heartland of Muscovy Russia. There are many tourist companies organizing guided tours, but travellers with rudimentary knowledge of Cyrillic alphabet can do it independently. Many guidebooks are available in English.
Kubinka Tank Museum - One of finest armour collections in the world. About one hour west of the city, accessible by local train (eletrichka) or REKS express train (blue trains with Dachshund on the train cars), and take cab (200 rubel for one way) or marshrutka N59 to the "Tankoviy Muzey" bus stop(only 30 rubles but after the arriving to the bus stop you should to walk 600 meters on foot along the road until you reach museum checkpoint)from the train station. Earlier access was restricted, previously visitors had apply for a permit. Currently (August 2013), only a photocopy of the visa and the passport is required for the entrance (at least for EU citizens). The fee is 1500 rubel + 300 rubel for foto for foreigners.Entrance for kids under 6 years old is free. Definitely worth the bother for any self-respecting tank buff.
Leninskiye Gorki - An old country estate, expropriated by the Communist authorities after 1917 and used by V. Lenin as his country residence when he became ill. Large museum, although pretty decrepit now.
Borodino battlefield - This is the site of the famous Battle of Borodino. Museum and national historic site . Commuter trains from Belorussky Station; 2-3 daily, travel time about 2 hours.
Klin - A small town in Moscow Region hosting the House-Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Peredelkino - a dacha complex just southwest of Moscow with museum-houses of many prominent Russian poets and writers (e.g. Pasternak, Yevtushenko, Okudzhava, Chukovsky)
New Jerusalem Resurrection Monastery - A monastery-fortress (male, working) with a number of museums inside and next to the walls: Wooden architecture museum, local history museum, Art and History museum etc. The monastery was founded in 1656 by Tzar Alexis II and Patriarch Nikon (his "cell", a three-storey house stands in the park outside the monastery walls) to resemble the original Jerusalem. The place is roughly between Novoierusalimskaya (15 min on foot) and Istra (15 min by bus) elektrichka stations, around 60 km from Moscow.
Savvino-Storozhevskiy monastery - A beautiful monastery with interesting history, closely connected to Russian Tzars. Commuter trains from Belorussky station to Zvenigorod, several daily; travel time about an hour, but the terminus of the elektrichka is 2 miles from the town, which boasts a number of historically significant churches itself, and about 3 miles from the monastery, which is on a nearby hill.
Dmitrov - A town about 65 km North from Moscow (trains from Savelovsky station, several daily, travel time 1 1/2 hours), on Moscow Channel, with old churches, interesting sculptures in the streets and a number of museums. Hot air balloon flights over Dmitrov area are possible.
Snegiri - Settlement about 40 km from Moscow (Volokolamskoe hwy) that boasts a monument to the Defense of Moscow during WW2, with a good collection of tanks, and a museum. Trains from Rizhsky Station, several daily, travel time about an hour.
Smolensk - A very worthwhile day trip to one of the oldest Russian cities with an ancient fortress. Buses and trains leave from Belorussky Railway Terminal several times a day, cost from 800 RUB and take about 5.5 hours.
Balakovo - about a 1000 km south-east from Moscow, a jewel on Volga river with nice natural sceneries, wonderful and cheap food, warm and hospital people. 21hrs train will take you directly from Moscow to Balakovo. Many Moscow inhabitants prefer to spend summer camping on the island Pustynniy Ostrov near Balakovo to enjoy warm beaches, fresh fish and vegetables, as well as to get rest in a quiet place after noisy Moscow life.
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