Moscow

Welcome to Moscow

Chaotic, fast-paced, unpredictable and colourful, Moscow is a buzzing city in a state of constant change as it hectically sheds the legacy of its Soviet past. With one foot in the past and one firmly in the future, the city’s architectural landscape mixes sparkling golden domes with imposing Soviet monoliths, and crumbling medieval palaces brush shoulders with glass fronted skyscrapers, producing a strangely beautiful skyline full of conflicting images.

After new waves of grass-roots political protest swept the city in early 2012, conspicuous wealth and VIP clubs have begun to go out of fashion as Muscovites embrace green issues and political activism. Nowadays the coolest clubs hold post-protest parties, while the rich and beautiful throng to organic farmers markets for lunch.

The Russian capital does still live up to some of its most timeless stereotypes however. Vodka is cheap, the women are beautiful, the red tape is endless and cash is indeed king. The enigma of the inexplicable Russian soul is also alive and well and still has the power to confound and amaze.

To really get to grips with such a contradictory city it needs to be explored from all angles. Start by tackling the medieval past in the Kremlin, before examining Moscow’s Soviet heritage at the Cold War Museum. Take a stroll in the infamous Gorky Park, before delving into Russia’s deeply spiritual side by visiting one of the many colourful churches and monasteries. Finally top it all off by basking in the buzz of the new and dancing until dawn in the hip bars of the Red October Factory area.

True, Moscow is not the easiest city to travel in, but it's the perfect place for adventurous travellers looking to get beyond the cliche stereotypes about Russia to see what's really happening in this 21st century capital with a medieval heart.

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Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in Russia:
    142 million
  • Inhabitants in Moscow:
    11.5 million
  • Official language
    Russian
  • Currency
    Ruble RUB
  • Time zone
    GMT +4
  • Emergency number
    01 Fire, 02 Police, 03 Ambulance
  • Constitution
  • Country phone code
    +7
  • Country code
    RU
  • Local transportation
    Bus, tram, monorail, taxi, train