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Russia's enthusiastic embrace of capitalism is more evident in Moscow than in any other city. Though wide avenues lined with government buildings nod to the country's past, Moscow is replete with things new-- and Russians are loving it. Couture shops can’t stock the merchandise fast enough, restaurants serve countless hungry Muscovites and travelers, and nightclubs pulse with a sleepless beat. Partaking of essential sights is easy with a gorgeous subway system and taxis that offer negotiable prices. Brush up on your Russian or ask for a private guide and visit this ever-expanding city.
Lavrushinsky Pereoulok 12
This is one the greatest musuems in the world. Feast your eyes on Russian art from the 11th to 20th century. The eclectic collection of more than 130,000 works includes paintings, sculptures and graphics, and is filled with newly discovered masters.
Metro: Ploshchad Revolutsii
Indulge in Russia’s fascinating history, politics and religion inside the red brick walls of this grand fort. Four cathedrals, three palaces and two museums-- not to mention the President’s residence and an Armory – await the educated visitor who is prepared with comfortable shoes to see it all.
Moscow House of Photography
Ulitsa Ostozhenka, 18
Located in the same neighborhood as the NB Gallery. The building is unremarkable but whats inside is not. If your into photography the shows here rival anything found in New York or Paris.
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Ulitsa Volkhonka, 12-14
Tel. 203.95.78 or 203.74.96
An institution in Moscow, the museum is noted for its huge collection of French Impressionist artists. Monet, Renoi, Pissarro, Degas, Cezanne and Chagall are all here.
State Historical Museum
Red Square, 12
This permanent exhibition is not to be missed. It traces Russian history through displays of personal items. Objects used in daily life such as jewelry belonging to Czars.
1 Teatralnaya Place
Tel. 495.292.9986 or 495.250.7317
Marvel at the detail of the ornate set and costume designs as you take in a show by one of the world’s premier ballet and opera companies, both named after the theater. Chandeliers, gold stucco decorations and plush velvet make buying a ticket worth even one glimpe inside this breathtaking venue, but order early-- shows sell out fast
14 Neglinnaya, buildings 3-7
This is Moscow's most beautiful bathhouse.
Ekaterina Cultural Foundation
Kuznetsky Most 21/5 (enter Bolshaya Lubyanka, 5)
Moscow's first private space dedicated to contemporary art, Ekaterina Cultural Foundation opened in 2007 to support and house the work of Russian artists. Along with Russian artists, they also host exhibitions from foreign artists as well, guaranteeing a true sense of eclecticism.
Moscow Multimedia Art Museum
The brainchild of Olga Sviblova, the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum has been making a case for photography as an art form in Russia since it first opened. While featuring Russian photographers, the museum also aims to introduce foreign photographers to Russians as well, all housed in Moscow's first contemporarily designed museum.
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
In the courtyard of this fantastically built 18th century building rest monumental statues including part of a stairway by Gustave Eiffel and Don Quixote and the Virgin Mary by Zurab Tsereteli. Inside, the exhibitions trace the history of Russian avant-garde art in the 20th century.
Museum of the History of the Gulag
The Museum of the History of the Gulag covers the history of the forced labor camps that were staple under Stalin's regime. The courtyard is full of tall barbed-wired fences and watch towers which give a truly authentic feel to the museum. The first floor contains a reproduction of a gulag hut based on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. The second floor displays objects owned by gulag inmates and contains a map marking the locations of all the gulags in Russia.
Shusev State Museum of Architecture
Shusev State Museum of Architecture is located in an appropriately spectacular late 18th century building done in the classic Russian style. The museum itself hosts many temporary exhibits which are normally housed in one of two rooms: the so called “Palace of Apothecaries”, a 17th century style room with vaulted ceilings, and the Ruyna (“ruin” in Russian) which was gutted by a fire leaving the timberwork and brick exposed.
Novodevichy Monastyr (New Maiden's Convent)
1 Novodevichy proyezd, Moscow, Russia
Tel. 495.246.8526 or 495.246.2201
Escape the constant bustle of the city and retreat to New Maiden's Convent's red and white crenellated walls and golden domes, visible for miles around. Moscow’s most famous-- and possibly Russia’s most beautiful-- convent is a must-see. Built in 1524, the grounds are steeped in royal history, as the convent served as a retirement for noble women and a residence for daughters and relatives of nobility.
13 km east of the city center
The quintessential 18th-century Russian estate, the Kuskova Estate belong to the Sheremetyev family, which had 200,000 serfs. Make sure you come during good weather so that you can fully enjoy the expansive French style garden, where on Tuesday and Thursday you can enjoy classical music concerts. The Palace itself is filled with drawing rooms, bedrooms, and an incredible ballroom known as the Hall of Mirrors. On the grounds, they also have a museum with pre-revolutionary Russian porcelain.
Oktyabrskaya str. 14
Home to Leo Tolstoy, Yasnaya Polyana is only a few hours south of Moscow. The estate itself is sprawling and beautiful and many people come to see where the great Russian novelist lived. Simply a chance to walk in his footsteps is enough to bring people here. The easiest days to get there are on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m., where a train from Kurskiy station takes you straight to the estate.
Tverskoy Bulvar, 26a
Tel. 7.495.229.5590 or 7.495.229.9411
This well know classic restaurant is located in 19th century town house facing Pushkin Square. Serious business lunches go down here, but it's also elegant enough for the classiest of ladies. Very theatrical setting and ambience that does not outshine the food that is completely Russian.
Strastnow Bul'var 8A
Anotoly Komm is said to be Russia's most creative and innovative chef. He introduced molecular cuisine to Russia by adding his very own cultural twists to this new approach to food. His restaurant is considered to be one of the 50 top dining establishments in the world.
Ulitsa Usacheva 2
Chef Isaac Correa, a former New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent is no stranger to Moscow as he's spent the past 20 years in the Russian capital. His two other restaurants, Upside-Down Cake Company, a dessert place and Corner Burger, are well known by Muscovites. The place gets mixed reviews from the MoscowTimes but certainly is worth a drop by. Yes, there is no website (we hate that) so if you find one please let us know.
Resembling a chic dungeon, this restaurant was recently featured in a Russian edition of Gourmet magazine. Traditional Russian dishes like Beluga caviar with cranberry sauce are served on white linen. If you have one traditional Russian dinner in Moscow, make it at Kitezh.
Pretrovka 3/6, building 2
An incredibly theatrical setting, Bolshoi is elegant in its presentation, with tall windows, beautiful chandeliers, and 19th-century salon style chairs. The fare ranges from traditional dishes such as beef Stroganoff to French-influenced specialties like pigeon stuffed with foie gras and mushrooms. Be sure to try their kvas, the traditional Russian peasant drink made from fermented rye.
GUM. Red Square 3, Krasnaya Ploshchad, 3
Located in the heart of Red Square, this café is perfect during the summer, where you can sit under a parasol and taste the delicate Italian styled fish and meat salads. They also offer incredibly tasty petit fours as well, and provided the only chance to look upon the Red Square when it is closed.
Cristal Room Baccarat
Nikolskaya, 19/21, 1st floor
A gorgeously renovated pharmacy, Cristal Room Baccarat offers classic French cuisine made with only the freshest produce delivered daily. The décor is magnificent with a marble staircase, a chandelier in the entrance, and a giant crystal chair in the dining hall. Along with the fine French food, they have an excellent sommelier with a fine cellar offering vintage wines and champagnes.
Started by chef Ivan Shishkin who also helped organize Moscow's first Omnivore Food Festival, Delicatessen offers unique and creative dishes such as an “upside down” ratatouille, though the menu changes frequently so it's not always offered. However, the penne is always fresh and the food is always delicious.
Helmed by ex food critic Svetlana Kessoyan, Dodo offers some of the most unique dishes available in Moscow. Along with tuna or duck salad with avocado, they offer kasha and blinis, the traditional Russian breakfast, all day. On Wednesday and Friday their menu focuses on fresh fish brought to Moscow that morning.
Gagarinksy Pereulok, 15/A
Set in a beautiful two story house, Elardzhi offers authentic Georgian cuisine in a quaint and cozy setting. Along with the traditional khatchapuri (cheese bread) and kutabi (Georgian crepes), they make shashliks with almost every meat imaginable. The baklava is also incredible and oozes with honey.
Pevchesky Prereulok, 6
As the name suggests, the cuisine and décor of this restaurant are adventurous. Every year, the heads of this restaurant travel to Siberia to be inspired by the native cuisine and to bring back more recipes. Their offerings include marinated fish, game cooked in sauce and herbs from the taiga, crab from Kamchatka, in season mushrooms, and wild berry deserts. Along with the wooden chairs for dining, the lower floor of the building contains a shop where numerous outdoor gear can be purchased.
This restaurant is affiliated with one of the biggest seafood importers in Russia, so you know that their fish is always fresh. Headed by Tunisian chef Zitouni Abdesattar, the dishes include a Mediterranean twist with such offerings as seafood risotto, various a la blancha dishes, as well as sea bass cooked in sea salt.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 2A
Located in an elegant Moscow building with a giant crystal chandelier lighting the dining room, Gusyatnikoff honors classic Russian cuisine in an incredibly refined environment. One of their features is the “Olivier” salad, which was given its more common name of Russian Salad in France after the October Revolution. Visiting Gusyatnikoff also provides the chance to try the makovyi tort, a delicious poppy-seed cake. During the evening expect to be serenaded by Russian melodies or, Thursday through Saturday, by gipsy singers.
Spiridonyevsky Pereulok, 10a
Located in a quaint, eclectically decorated apartment, Mari Vanna offers a retro environment for the traditional Russian dishes they offer. Borscht, kotlety (fried breaded meatballs), and gretchnevaya kash, a traditional buckwheat porridge all make the menu here, along with biarozavy sok, a beverage made from birch sap. Be sure to finish off you meal with a slice of traditional Napoleon cake.
GUM (State Department Store)
3 Red Square
Elite Russian shopping is at its zenith at GUM, which is the Russian acronym for “State Department Store." Built in the late 1800’s, this huge structure features hundreds of stores, has beautiful ornate railings, glass ceilings and a central fountain. The Russkaya Vodka shop offers 70 varieties of vodka.
Devoted entirely to the art and production of honey, Dom Mioda provides everything related to this liquid gold. Along with the various honeys, labeled by plant source and region, the store also sells bees wax, candles, and beekeeping supplies.
Built in the 19th century, Eliseevskiy remains one of the most luxurious grocers in all of Europe. Under the coffered ceiling and crystal chandeliers you will find an incredible assortment of fine goods from France and Italy as well as Russian goods such as molossol gherkins, buckwheat grain, eggplant and zucchini puree, and savory pastries. Truly a fantastic place with fantastic products.
Alexander Terekhov got his start in the fashion world when he first sowed a dress for his mother at age 10. After winning the “Russian Silhouette” contest in 1999, he worked in France as an intern for Yves Saint-Laurent. He finally started his label in 2004 and ever since he has been creating fantastic ready to wear clothes for women. Stylish and sexy, you are sure to fine something you'll like to wear out on the town.
Nikitsky Bulvar, 17
Located across two floors of an apartment, each one of Mood Swings four rooms has a particular theme matching the clothes on display. For instance, tartan skirts are displayed in a wood-paneled room while their minimalist Japanese dresses are shown in a clean white space. Though each room is different, they all have the hottest designers ensuring that the selection is sensible and eclectic.
Winzavod, 3rd floor.
4th Syromyatnichesky Pereulok, 1, building 6.
A sparsely decorated showroom with exposed brick walls and ceiling beams houses Svetlana Tegin's fine collection of ready to wear clothes. Though she designs a new line every season, the real reason to visit this store is the incredible cashmere products that she has become known for. Available in a wide range of shades, the sweaters, jackets and two-sets are all made with cashmere from Mongolia, which is known for its strict quality control when it comes to this fabric.
Malaya Bronnaya, 24.
After studying fashion in London, Victoria Chamis put her incredible eye for haute-couture history to good use with these fine selections of vintage clothing. The suits and dresses are from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and sport such labels as Dior, Chanel, and Lanvin, all displayed with the reverence of an art piece. Come here and you will be guaranteed to find something unique.
41 Zamorenova Ul.
Tel. 7.495.362.3536, 7.495.361.1747
A trip to Moscow would not be complete without vodka, would it? Cristall is Russia’s oldest and biggest Vodka producer. Pick and choose from more than 10 distinct brands of vodka, or go for inexpensive bottles of real Stolichnaya.
Note: Half or more of all Vodka sold on the market is counterfeit of established brands. Your best bet is to buy from outlet stores or distilleries, not kiosks. Quality is not ensured in fakes, and alcohol poisoning could occur.
Moscow's metro, opened in 1935 is like no other in the world. Even if your not a fan of public transortation this is a must to see. Some of the stations are abosulutey beautiful. ie.Ploshchad Revolyutsy houses 36 bronze statues.
21 Verhnaya Radischevskaya 21
Catch some of the world’s best jazz, funk, and blues at Le Club. Winton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane and other jazz greats have passed through here. Dress code is strictly enforced.
Ultisa Presbensky Val 6
Based on the British pub tradition, 16 Tons combines a brewery, restaurant and night club all in one. It was also the first concert hall in Moscow to host rock bands. Though music is played, they make sure to keep the volume levels reasonable as to not stop conversation. Sit back with one of their three original beers and enjoy the fare.
China Town Cafe
Lubyansky Proyezd 25/12
Doubling as a Chinese restaurant, this exposed brick candle lit environment also plays host to local rock bands. Come enjoy the Chinese food and then listen to some local Moscow rock music.
Three Monkeys (Tri Obeziany)
71 Sadovnicheskaya Ul., Bldg. 2
Tel. 7.495.951.1563, 7.495.953.0909
This well-established gay club spins with the city’s best DJs, while a mostly young crowd - including plenty of women - writhe to the beat.
3 Karetny Ryad
Novaya means “new,” which describes the cutting-edge expressions found with this Opera, which is quickly rising to international prominence. The theater views both traditional and modern scores as “springboards for interpretation,” rather than performing them in the traditional way. See your favorite opera in a new light.
Moscow's bar for cocktail connoisseurs. Bartender Marat Saddarov has become somewhat of a celebrity mixologist in the city. All the fantastic drinks are served in a white tile bar with crystal chandeliers dangling overhead.
Kuznetsky Most, 7
With an interior meant to invoke an Alpine cabin, its always Christmas at Courchevel. Stockings and a giant Christmas tree set the mood, while people take turns singing karaoke and ordering drinks. They certainly don't take themselves too seriously here, with items on the menu spelled phonetically, but it's a jolly good time for those seeking some casual, silly fun.
Bolshaya Pirogavskaya, 27/1
A lightbulb factory during the Soviet regime, Luch now serves as a bar and a contemporary art gallery. Comfortable English armchairs line the gallery so you can enjoy the best of Moscow's new artists. The bar is no less impressive than the artwork, with an extensive cocktail list featuring the Oldboy, a spicy cocktail made with vodka and strawberry juice.
Savvinksaya Naberezhnaya, 12
This restaurant, bar and nightclub reside in a former silk factory on the Moskva river, where it's 1,400 square meters provide more than enough space to contain the blaring music. During the summer, the restaurant has an open-air terrace, while the bar offers 130 different cocktails. With cocktail recipes from Cuba, Bahai, as well as more local mixes, Soho rooms has become an unparalleled success