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Moscow (English)
Москва (Russian)
-  Federal city  -
Moscow montage.jpg
Top: Spasskaya Tower of Moscow Kremlin, Ostankino Tower and Saint Basil's Cathedral,
Upper middle: Red Square with the monument to Minin and Pozharsky
Lower middle: Moscow State University building, Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Moscow Kremlin
Bottom: Moscow International Business Center skyline
Coordinates: 55°45′06″N 37°37′04″E / 55.75167°N 37.61778°E / 55.75167; 37.61778Coordinates: 55°45′06″N 37°37′04″E / 55.75167°N 37.61778°E / 55.75167; 37.61778
Coat of Arms of Moscow.svg
Coat of arms
Flag of Moscow.svg
Federal city Day The first Saturday of September[citation needed]
Political status
Country Russia
Political status Federal city
Federal district Central[1]
Economic region Central[2]
Official language Russian[3]
Population (2002 Census)[4] 14,126,424 inhabitants
- Rank within Russia 1st
- Urban[4] 100%
- Rural[4] 0%
- Density 13,068 /km2 (33,800/sq mi)[5]
Population (1 September 2009) 10,535,100 inhabitants[6]
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[7] 1,081 km2 (417.4 sq mi)
- Rank within Russia 83rd
Established Before 1147[8]
License plates 77
ISO 3166-2:RU RU-MOW
Time zone MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)
Mayor[9] Yury Luzhkov[9]
Legislature City Duma[10]
Charter Charter of Moscow
Official website

Moscow (pronounced /ˈmɒskoʊ/ in British English or /ˈmɑskaʊ/ in American English; Russian: About this sound Москва , tr. Moskva, IPA [mɐˈskva]; see also other names) is the capital and the most populous city and the federal subject of Russia. It is also the largest metropolitan area in Europe,[11] and ranks among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and transportation center of Russia and the world, a global city. It is also the seventh largest city proper in the world, a megacity. The population of Moscow (as of 1 September 2009) is 14,535,100.[6]

It is located by the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Moscow sits on the junction of three geological platforms.[12] Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union, Russian Empire, Tsardom of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the World Heritage Sites in the city, which serves as the residence of the President of Russia. The Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also sit in Moscow.

Moscow is a major economic centre. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system that includes four international airports, nine railroad terminals, and the world's second busiest (after Tokyo) metro system which is famous for its architecture and artwork. Its metro is the busiest single-operator subway in the world.

Over time, the city has earned a variety of nicknames, most referring to its pre-eminent status in the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), Whitestone (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков).[13]

A person from Moscow is called a Muscovite in English or Moskvich[14] in Russian.



Moscow clad in snow - Moscou sur la neige - Москва в снежном убранстве - Москва в снегу (1908), noaudio.ogv
Moscow (Russian Empire) in 1908

The city is named after the river (old Russian: гра́д Моско́в, literally "the city by the Moskva River"). The origin of the name is unknown, although several theories exist. One theory suggests that the source of the name is an ancient Finnic language, in which it means "dark" and "turbid". The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to "come to me, brother, to Moscow."[8]

Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy of Rostov ordered the construction of a wooden wall, which had to be rebuilt multiple times, to surround the emerging city.[15] After the sacking of 1237–1238, when the Mongols burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants, Moscow recovered and became the capital of the independent Vladimir-Suzdal principality in 1327.[16] Its favorable position on the headwaters of the Volga River contributed to steady expansion. Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous principality, known as Grand Duchy of Moscow, for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia.

Under Ivan I of Moscow the city replaced Tver as a political center of Vladimir-Suzdal and became the sole collector of taxes for the Mongol-Tatar rulers. By paying high tribute, Ivan won an important concession from the Khan. Unlike other principalities, Moscow was not divided among his sons but was passed intact to his eldest. However, Moscow's opposition against foreign domination grew. In 1380, prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow led a united Russian army to an important victory over the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo which was not decisive, though. Only two years later Moscow was sacked by khan Tokhtamysh. In 1480, Ivan III had finally broken the Russians free from Tatar control, allowing Moscow to become the center of power in Russia.[17] Under Ivan III the city became the capital of an empire that would eventually encompass all of present-day Russia and other lands.

Monument to the city's founder, Yuri Dolgoruki

In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin.[18]

In 1609, the Swedish army led by Count Jacob De la Gardie and Evert Horn started their march from Veliky Novgorod toward Moscow to help Tsar Vasili Shuiski, entered Moscow in 1610 and suppressed the rebellion against the Tsar, but left it early in 1611, following which the Polish-Lithuanian army invaded. During the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618) hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski entered Moscow after defeated Russians in the Battle of Klushino. The 17th century was rich in popular risings, such as the liberation of Moscow from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders (1612), the Salt Riot (1648), the Copper Riot (1662), and the Moscow Uprising of 1682.

The plague of 1654–1656 killed half the population of Moscow.[19] The city ceased to be Russia’s capital in 1712, after the founding of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great near the Baltic coast in 1703. The Plague of 1771 was the last massive outbreak of plague in central Russia, claiming up to 100,000 lives in Moscow alone. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Muscovites burned the city and evacuated, as Napoleon’s forces were approaching on 14 September. Napoleon’s army, plagued by hunger, cold and poor supply lines, was forced to retreat and was nearly annihilated by the devastating Russian winter and sporadic attacks by Russian military forces.

French invasion of Russia in 1812, Fire of Moscow, painting of Smirnov A.F., 1813

In January 1905, the institution of the City Governor, or Mayor, was officially introduced in Moscow, and Alexander Adrianov became Moscow’s first official mayor. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, on 12 March 1918[20] Moscow became the capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and of the Soviet Union less than five years later.[21] During World War II (known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War), after the German invasion of the USSR, the Soviet State Defense Committee and the General Staff of the Red Army was located in Moscow.

Red Square, painting of Fedor Alekseev, 1802

In 1941, sixteen divisions of the national volunteers (more than 160,000 people), twenty-five battalions (18,500 people) and four engineering regiments were formed among the Muscovites. That November, the German Army Group Center was stopped at the outskirts of the city and then driven off in the Battle of Moscow. Many factories were evacuated, together with much of the government, and from 20 October the city was declared to be under siege. Its remaining inhabitants built and manned antitank defenses, while the city was bombarded from the air. Joseph Stalin refused to leave the city, meaning the general staff and the council of people's commissars remained in the city as well. Despite the siege and the bombings, the construction of Moscow's metro system continued through the war, and by the end of the war several new metro lines were opened.

Map of Moscow, 1784

On 1 May 1944, a medal For the defense of Moscow and in 1947 another medal In memory of the 800th anniversary of Moscow were instituted. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, on May 8, 1965, Moscow became one of twelve Soviet cities awarded the title of Hero City.

In 1980, it hosted the Summer Olympic Games, which was boycotted by the United States and several other Western countries due to the Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan in late 1979. In 1991, Moscow was the scene of the failed coup attempt by the government members opposed to the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev. When the USSR was dissolved in the same year, Moscow continued to be the capital of Russia.

Since then, the emergence of a market economy in Moscow has produced an explosion of Western-style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles. In 1998, it hosted the first World Youth Games.

A panoramic view of Moscow in 1867. Click here to see image with notes.

Geography, time and climate


Satellite image of Moscow and suburbia

Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows for just over 500 km through the East European Plain in central Russia. 49 bridges span the river and its canals within the city's limits. Elevation of Moscow in VVC, where situated head Moscow weather station, is 156 m (512 ft). The highest point is Teplostanskaya highland at 255 m (837 ft).[22] The width of Moscow city (not limiting MKAD) from west to east is 39.7 km (24.7 mi), and the length from north to south is 51.7 km (32.1 mi).

Moscow's road system is centered roughly around the Kremlin at the heart of the city. From there, roads generally radiate outwards to intersect with a sequence of circular roads ("rings").

The first and innermost major ring, Bulvarnoye Koltso (Boulevard Ring), was built at the former location of the sixteenth century city wall around that used to be called Bely Gorod (White Town).[16] The Bulvarnoye Koltso is technically not a ring; it does not form a complete circle, but instead a horseshoe-like arc that goes from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior to the Yauza River. In addition, the Boulevard Ring changes street names numerous times throughout its journey across the city.

The second primary ring, located outside the bell end Boulevard Ring, is the Sadovoye Koltso (Garden Ring). Like the Boulevard Ring, the Garden Ring follows the path of a sixteenth century wall that used to encompass part of the city.[16] The third ring, the Third Transport Ring, was completed in 2003 as a high-speed freeway.

The Fourth Transport Ring, another freeway, is under construction to further reduce traffic congestion. The outermost ring within Moscow is the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (often called the MKAD from the Russian Московская Кольцевая Автомобильная Дорога), which forms the approximate boundary of the city. Outside the city, some of the roads encompassing the city continue to follow this circular pattern seen inside city limits.


Time zones of Europe

Moscow serves as the reference point for the timezone used in most of western Russia, including Saint Petersburg. During winter the areas operate in what is referred to as Moscow Standard Time (MSK, МСК) which is 3 hours ahead of UTC, or UTC+3. During the summer, Moscow Time shifts forward an additional hour ahead of Moscow Standard Time to become Moscow Summer Time (MSD), making it UTC+4.

Moscow Time (UTC+3), Moscow Summer Time (UTC+4)


Moscow has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm, somewhat humid summers and long, cold winters. Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around 23 °C (73 °F), but during heat waves (which can occur between May and September), daytime high temperatures often top 30 °C (86 °F) - sometimes for a week or a two at a time. In the winter, temperatures normally drop to approximately −10 °C (14.0 °F), though there can be periods of warmth with temperatures rising above 0 °C (32 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded was 36.8 °C (98.2 °F)[23] in August 1920, and the lowest ever recorded was −42.2 °C (−44 °F) in January 1940. Snow cover (present for 3–5 months a year) typically begins at the end of November and melts by mid-March.

Monthly rainfall totals vary minimally throughout the year, although the precipitation levels tend to be higher during the summer than during the winter. Due to the significant variation in temperature between the winter and summer months as well as the limited fluctuation in precipitation levels during the summer, Moscow is considered to be within a continental climate zone.

The average annual temperature in Moscow is 5.4 °C (41.7 °F), but for the last two years (2007–2008) the annual temperature has averaged above 7 °C (45 °F)[24]. In contrast, during the first half of the 20th century, Moscow experienced light frost during the late summer months.[24]

On average Moscow has 1731 hours of sunshine per year, varying between a low of 8% in December to 52% in May–August.[25] In 2004–2008, the average was between 1800 and 2000 hours[26]

Climate data for Moscow (1971–2000), records (1879–the present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.6
Average high °C (°F) -4.9
Daily mean °C (°F) -7.5
Average low °C (°F) -10.3
Record low °C (°F) -42.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 46
Sunshine hours 33 72 128 170 265 279 271 238 147 78 32 18 1,731
% Humidity 83 80 74 67 64 70 74 77 81 81 84 85 77
Source: [25][27][28]

Government and the administrative divisions

View from the Seven Sisters in Kudrinskaya Square. The mayor's highrise office (the former Comecon headquarters) is to the left, the Russian government building to the right


Moscow is the seat of power for the Russian Federation. At the center of the city, in Central Administrative Okrug, is the Moscow Kremlin, which houses the home of the President of Russia as well as many of the facilities for the national government. This includes numerous military headquarters and the headquarters of the Moscow Military District. Moscow, like with any national capital, is also the host of all the foreign embassies and diplomats representing a multitude of nations in Russia. Moscow is designated as one of only two Federal cities of Russia (the other one being Saint Petersburg). Among the 83 federal subjects of Russia, Moscow represents the most populated one and the smallest one in terms of area. Lastly, Moscow is located within the central economic region, one of twelve regions within Russia with similar economic goals.

Administrative divisions

Administrative okrugs of Moscow: 1. City of Zelenograd 2. Northern 3. North-Eastern 4. North-Western 5. Central 6. Eastern 7. Southern 8. South-Eastern 9. South-Western 10. Western

The entire city of Moscow is headed by one mayor (Yury Luzhkov). The city of Moscow is divided into 10 administrative okrugs and 123 districts.

The Russian capital's specific town-planning development began to show as early as the 12th century, when the city was founded. The central part of Moscow grew by consolidating with suburbs in line with the medieval principles of urban development, when strong fortress walls would gradually gird along the circle streets of adjacent new settlements. The first circular defense walls set the trajectory of Moscow's rings, laying the groundwork for future town-planning of the Russian capital.

The following fortifications served as the city's circular defense boundaries at some point in history: the Kremlin walls, Zemlyanoy Gorod (earthwork town), the Kamer-Kollezhsky Rampart, the Garden Ring, and the small railway ring. The Moscow Automobile Ring Road (MKAD) has been Moscow's boundary since 1960. Also in the form of a circle are the main Moscow subway line, the Ring Line, and the so-called Third Automobile Ring, which was completed in 2005. Hence, the characteristic radial-circle planning continues to define Moscow's further development. However, contemporary Moscow has also engulfed a number of territories outside the MKAD, such as Solntsevo, Butovo, and the town of Zelenograd.

All administrative okrugs and districts have their own coats of arms and flags, some districts also have elected head officials. Additionally, most districts have their own cable television, computer network, and official newspaper.[citation needed]

In addition to the districts, there are Territorial Units with Special Status, or territories. These usually include areas with small or no permanent populations, such as the case with the All-Russia Exhibition Center, the Botanical Garden, large parks, and industrial zones. In recent years, some territories have been merged with different districts. There are no ethnic-specific regions in Moscow, as in the Chinatowns that exist in some North American and East Asian cities. And although districts are not designated by income, as with most cities, those areas that are closer to the city center, metro stations or green zones are considered more prestigious.[citation needed]

Moscow also hosts some of the government bodies of Moscow Oblast, although the city itself is administratively separate from the oblast.[29]


House on Embankmemt by Boris Iofan
The Shukhov Tower in Moscow. Currently under threat of demolition, the tower is at the top of UNESCO's Endangered Buildings list and there is an international campaign to save it.
Dushkin's tower. One of Stalin's skyscrapers.
Triumphal arch on Kutuzov Avenue
Ostankino Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in Europe (540.1 m (1,771.98 ft).

Moscow's architecture is world-renowned. Moscow is also well known as the site of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters.

For a long time, the view of the city was dominated by numerous Orthodox churches. The look of the city changed drastically during Soviet times, mostly due to Joseph Stalin, who oversaw a large-scale effort to modernize the city. He introduced broad avenues and roadways, some of them over ten lanes wide, but he also destroyed a great number of historically significant architectural works. The Sukharev Tower, as well as numerous mansions and stores lining the major streets, and various works of religious architecture, such as the Kazan Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, were all destroyed during Stalin's rule. During the 1990s, however, both the latter were rebuilt amid criticism due to the high costs and lack of historical perspective.[30]

Architect Vladimir Shukhov was responsible for building several Moscow landmarks during early Soviet Russia. The Shukhov Tower, just one of many hyperboloid towers designed by Shukhov, was built between 1919 and 1922 as a transmission tower for a Russian broadcasting company.[31] Shukhov also left a lasting legacy to the Constructivist architecture of early Soviet Russia. He designed spacious elongated shop galleries, most notably the GUM department store on Red Square,[31] bridged with innovative metal-and-glass vaults.

Stalin, however, is also credited with building the The Seven Sisters, comprising seven, cathedral-like structures. A defining feature of Moscow’s skyline, their imposing form was allegedly inspired by the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York City, and their style–with intricate exteriors and a large central spire–has been described as Stalinist Gothic architecture. All seven towers can be seen from most elevations in the city; they are among the tallest constructions in central Moscow apart from the Ostankino Tower which, when it was completed in 1967, was the tallest free-standing land structure in the world and today remains the world’s third-tallest after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the CN Tower in Toronto.[32]

The Soviet policy of providing mandatory housing for every citizen and his or her family, and the rapid growth of the Muscovite population in Soviet times, also led to the construction of large, monotonous housing blocks, which can often be differentiated by age, sturdiness of construction, or ‘style’ according to the neighborhood and the materials used. Most of these date from the post-Stalin era and the styles are often named after the leader then in power (Brezhnev, Khrushchev, etc) and they are usually ill-maintained.

The Stalinist-era constructions, usually in the central city, are massive and usually ornamented with Socialist realism motifs that imitate classical themes. However, small churches–almost always Eastern Orthodox–found across the city provide glimpses of its past. The Old Arbat Street, a popular tourist street that was once the heart of a bohemian area, preserves most of its buildings from prior to the twentieth century. Many buildings found off the main streets of the inner city (behind the Stalinist facades of Tverskaya Street, for example) are also examples of bourgeois architecture typical of Tsarist times. Ostankino Palace, Kuskovo, Uzkoye and other large estates just outside Moscow originally belong to nobles from the Tsarist era, and some convents and monasteries, both inside and outside the city, are open to Muscovites and tourists.

Attempts are being made to restore many of the city’s best-kept examples of pre-Soviet architecture. These revamped structures are easily spotted by their bright new colors and spotless facades. There are a few examples of notable, early Soviet avant-garde work too, such as the house of the architect Konstantin Melnikov in the Arbat area. Many of these restorations were criticized for their disrespect of historical authenticity. Facadism is also widely practiced.[33] Later examples of interesting Soviet architecture are usually marked by their impressive size and the semi-Modernist styles employed, such as with the Novy Arbat project, familiarly known as “false teeth of Moscow” and notorious for the wide-scale disruption of a historic area in central Moscow involved in the project.

Plaques on house exteriors will inform passers-by that a well-known personality once lived there. Frequently, the plaques are dedicated to Soviet celebrities not well-known outside of Russia. There are also many "house-museums" of famous Russian writers, composers, and artists in the city.

Moscow's skyline is quickly modernizing with several new towers under construction.

In recent years, the city administration has been widely criticized for heavy destruction that has affected many historical buildings. As much as a third of historic Moscow has been destroyed in the past few years[34] to make space for luxury apartments and hotels.Other historical buildings, including such landmarks as the 1930 Moskva hotel and the 1913 department store Voyentorg, have been razed and reconstructed anew,with the inevitable loss of every historical value.Critics also blame the government for not applying the conservation laws:in the last 12 years more than 50 buildings with monument status were torn down, several of those dating back to the seventeenth century.[35] Some critics also wonder if the money used for the reconstruction of razed buildings could not be used for the renovation of decaying structures, that include many works by architect Konstantin Melnikov[36] and Mayakovskaya metro station.

Some organizations, such as Moscow Architecture Preservation Society and Save Europe's Heritage, are trying to draw the international public attention to these problems.[37]



The Bolshoi Theatre during an April 2005 performance

One of the most notable art museums in Moscow is the Tretyakov Gallery, which was founded by Pavel Tretyakov, a wealthy patron of the arts who donated a large private collection to the city.[38] The Tretyakov Gallery is split into two buildings. The Old Tretyakov gallery, the original gallery in the Tretyakovskaya area on the south bank of the Moskva River, houses the works of the classic Russian tradition.[39] The works of famous pre-Revolutionary painters, such as Ilya Repin, as well as the works of early Russian icon painters can be found in the Old Tretyakov Gallery. Visitors can even see rare originals by early-fifteenth century iconographer Andrei Rublev.[39] The New Tretyakov gallery, created in Soviet times, mainly contains the works of Soviet artists, as well as of a few contemporary artists, but there is some overlap with the Old Tretyakov Gallery for early twentieth century art. The new gallery includes a small reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin's famous Monument to the Third International and a mixture of other avant-garde works by artists like Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky. Socialist realism features can also be found within the halls of the New Tretyakov Gallery. Destroyed on 2/25/10

Another art museum in the city of Moscow is the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which was founded by, among others, Marina Tsvetaeva's father. The Pushkin Museum is similar to the British Museum in London in that its halls are a cross-section of world civilisations, with many plaster casts of ancient sculptures. However, it also hosts famous paintings from every major Western era of art; works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso are all sampled there.

The State Historical Museum of Russia (Государственный Исторический музей) is a museum of Russian history located between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection numbers in the millions. The Polytechnical Museum,[40] founded in 1872 is the largest technical museum in Russia, offering a wide array of historical inventions and technological achievements, including humanoid automata of the 18th century and the first Soviet computers. Its collection contains more than 160,000 items.[41] The Borodino Panorama[42] museum located on Kutuzov Avenue provides an opportunity for visitors to experience being on a battlefield with a 360° diorama. It is a part of the large historical memorial commemorating the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 over Napoleon’s army, that includes also the Triumphal arch erected in 1827. There is also a military history museum not to be missed, it includes statues, military hardware, along with powerful tales of that time.

Moscow is also the heart of Russian performing arts, including ballet and film. There are ninety-three theatres, 132 cinemas and twenty-four concert-halls in Moscow. Among Moscow’s many theatres and ballet studios is the Bolshoi Theatre and the Malyi Theatre as well as Vakhtangov Theatre and Moscow Art Theatre. The repertories in a typical Moscow season are exhaustive and modern interpretations of classic works, whether operatic or theatrical, are quite common. State Central Concert Hall Rossia,[43] famous for ballet and estrade performances, is the place of frequent concerts of pop and rock stars and is situated in the soon to be demolished building of Hotel Rossiya, the largest hotel in Europe.

Moscow International Performance Arts Center,[44] opened in 2003, also known as Moscow International House of Music, is known for its performances in classical music. It also has the largest organ in Russia installed in Svetlanov Hall.

There are also two large circuses in Moscow: Moscow State Circus and Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard[45] named after Yuri Nikulin.

Soviet films are integral to film history and the Mosfilm studio was at the heart of many Soviet classic films as it is responsible for both artistic and mainstream productions.[46] However, despite the continued presence and reputation of internationally renowned Russian filmmakers, the once prolific native studios are much quieter. Rare and historical films may be seen in the Salut cinema, where films from the Museum of Cinema[47] collection are shown regularly.

Parks and landmarks

Tsaritsino park and palace.
Ascension church in Kolomenskoye, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
"Stone flower" fountain in All-Russia Exhibition Center.

There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow, including 4 botanical gardens. There are also 450 square kilometers (174 sq mi) of green zones besides 100 square kilometers (39 sq mi) of forests.[48] Moscow is a very green city if compared to other cities of comparable size in Western Europe and America. There are on average 27 square metres (290 sq ft) of parks per person in Moscow compared with 6 for Paris, 7.5 in London and 8.6 in New York.[49]

The Central Park of Culture and Rest, named after Maxim Gorky, was founded in 1928. The main part (689,000 square metres / 170 acres)[49] along the Moskva river contains estrades, children's attractions (including the Observation Wheel water ponds with boats and water bicycles), dancing, tennis courts and other sports facilities. It borders the Neskuchniy Garden (408,000 square metres / 101 acres), the oldest park in Moscow and a former Emperor's residence, created as a result of integration of three estates of XVIII century. The Garden features the Green Theatre, one of the largest open amphitheatres in Europe and able to hold up to 15 thousand people.[50]

Izmaylovsky Park created in 1931 is one of the largest urban parks in the world along with Richmond Park in London. Its area of 15.34 square kilometers (5.92 sq mi) is six times greater than that of Central Park in New York.[49]

Sokolniki Park, named after the falcon hunting that occurred there in the past, is one of the oldest parks in Moscow and has an area of 6 square kilometers (2 sq mi). From a central circle with a large fountain radiate birch, maple and elm tree alleys. A labyrinth composed of green paths lies beyond the park's deer ponds.

Losiny Ostrov National Park ("Elk Island" National Park), with a total area of more than 116 square kilometers (45 sq mi), borders Sokolniki Park and was Russia's first national park. It is also known as the "city taiga", where elk can be seen.

Entrance to the Moscow Zoo.

Tsytsin Main Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences, founded in 1945 is the largest in Europe.[51] It covers territory of 3.61 square kilometers (1.39 sq mi) bordering the All-Russia Exhibition Center and contains a live exhibition of more than 20 thousand of different species of plants from different parts of the world as well as scientific research laboratory. It also contains a rosarium with 20 thousand rose bushes, a dendrarium, and an oak forest with average age of trees exceeding 100 years as well as a greenhouse on more than 5000 square meters.[49]

Lilac Park, founded in 1958, is known for its permanent sculpture exposition and a large rosarium.

Moscow has always been a popular destination for tourists. Some of the better known attractions include the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site, Moscow Kremlin and Red Square,[52] which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries.[53] The Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, which dates from 1532, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another popular attraction.[54]

Other popular attractions include the Moscow Zoo, home to nearly a thousands species and more than 6,500 specimens.[55] Each year, the zoo attracts more than 1.2 million visitors.[55] The long days will also afford one more time to cover the immense wealth of historical, cultural or simply popular sites in Moscow.


Moscow possesses a large number of various sport facilities and over 500 Olympic champions lived in the city by 2005.[56] Moscow is home to sixty-three stadia (besides eight football and eleven light athletics maneges), of which Luzhniki Stadium is the largest and the 4th biggest in Europe (it hosted the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, 2007–08 UEFA Champions League finals,and the 1980 Summer Olympics). Forty other sport complexes are located within the city, including twenty-four with artificial ice. The Olympic Stadium was the world's 1st indoor arena for bandy and hosted the Bandy World Championships twice.[57] Moscow will again be the host of the competition in 2010.[58] There are also seven horse racing tracks in Moscow,[48] of which Central Moscow Hippodrome,[59] founded in 1834, is the largest.

Moscow was the host city of the 1980 Summer Olympics, although the yachting events were held at Tallinn, in present-day Estonia. Large athletic facilities and the main international airport, Sheremetyevo Terminal 2, were built in preparation for the 1980 Summer Olympics). Moscow had also made a bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. However, when final voting commenced on 6 July 2005, Moscow was the first city to be eliminated from further rounds. The Games were finally awarded to London.

Grand Sport Arena of Luzhniki Stadium, as seen from Sparrow Hills.

The most titled ice hockey team in the Soviet Union and in the world, HC CSKA Moscow comes from Moscow. Other big ice hockey clubs from Moscow are HC Dynamo Moscow, which was the second most titled team in the Soviet Union, and HC Spartak Moscow.

The most titled Soviet, Russian, and one of the most titled Euroleague clubs, is the Basketball club from Moscow PBC CSKA Moscow. Another strong Basketball club from Moskow is MBC Dynamo Moscow.

Moscow had more winners at the USSR and Russian Chess Championship than any other city. Some of them were the best players in the world.

The most titled Volleyball team in the Soviet Union and in Europe (CEV Champions League) is VC CSKA Moscow.

Central Moscow Hippodrome facade.
The Khodynka Arena ice palace, built in 2006.

In Football, FC Spartak Moscow won more championship titles in the Russian Premier League than any other team, and were second only to FC Dynamo Kyiv in the Soviet Union. PFC CSKA Moscow was the first Russian football team to win an UEFA title. FC Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Dynamo Moscow are the other professional football teams based in Moscow.

Because of Moscow's cold local climate, winter sports have a large following as well. Many of Moscow's large parks offer marked trails for skiers and frozen ponds for skaters.

Moscow also hosts the annual Kremlin Cup, a popular tennis tournament on both the WTA and ATP tours. It is regarded as a very prestigious tournament and is one of the ten Tier-I events on the women's tour and a host of Russian players feature every year.

Slava Moscow are a professional rugby union club, competing in the national Professional Rugby League. Moscow recently became home to the offices of the Rugby Union of Russia, formerly located in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

Moscow is the home of one club in the Russian Championship of rugby league, RC Lokomotiv Moscow. They often participate in the Challenge Cup the most prestigious knockout competition in rugby league.

In Bandy one of the most successful clubs in the world is Dynamo Moscow.

One of the best Futsal clubs in Europe, is the club MFK Dinamo Moskva.

Fountain in Moscow's Square of Europe, lit at night

Night life

There is a vibrant night life in Moscow. The major and one of the most popular nightlife areas is around Tverskaya Street.

The southern part of Tverskaya Street near the Manege Square and the Red Square area is known as an area with many expensive, luxurious bars and restaurants, and is considered to be a playground for New Russians and celebrities.

Tverskaya Street is also one of the busiest shopping streets in Moscow.

The adjoining Tretyakovsky Proyezd, also south of Tverskaya Street, in Kitai-gorod, is host to upscale boutique stores such as Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Armani, Prada and Bentley.[60] Nightlife in Moscow has moved on since Soviet times and have today many of the worlds largest nightclubs.

Education and science

There are 1696 high schools in Moscow, as well as 91 colleges.[48] Besides these, there are 222 institutions offering higher education in Moscow, including 60 state universities[48] and the Lomonosov Moscow State University, which was founded in 1755.[61] The university main building located in Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) is 240 meters (787 ft) tall and when completed, was the tallest building outside the United States.[62] The university has over 30,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students, who have a choice of twenty-nine faculties and 450 departments for study. Additionally, approximately 10,000 high school students take courses at the university, while over two thousand researchers work. The Moscow State University library contains over nine million books, making it one of the largest libraries in all of Russia. Its acclaim throughout the international academic community has meant that over 11,000 international students have graduated from the university, with many coming to Moscow to learn the Russian language.

Moscow is a financial center of Russian Federation and CIS countries and well-known for its business schools, among the best are Finance Academy under the Government of RF; Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics; New Economic School; The State University of Management, and State University - Higher School of Economics. They offer undegraduate degrees in management, finance, accounting, marketing, real estate and economic theory as well Masters programs and MBA with varied concentrations. Most of them have branches in other regions of Russia and countries around the world.

Bauman Moscow State Technical University, founded in 1830, is located in the center of Moscow and provides more than 18,000 undergraduate and 1,000 postgraduate students with an education in science and engineering offering a wide range of technical degrees.[63] Since it opened enrolment to students from outside Russia in 1991, Bauman Moscow State Technical University has increased its international enrolment to up to two hundred.[64]

The Moscow Conservatory,[65] founded in 1866 is a prominent music school in Russia, whose graduates included Sergey Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin, Aram Khachaturian, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Alfred Schnittke.

The Gerasimov All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography, abbreviated as VGIK, is the world's oldest educational institution in Cinematography, founded by Vladimir Gardin in 1919. Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and Aleksey Batalov were among its most distinguished professors and Mikhail Vartanov, Sergei Parajanov, Andrei Tarkovsky, Nikita Mikhalkov, Eldar Ryazanov, Alexander Sokurov, Yuriy Norshteyn, Aleksandr Petrov, Vasily Shukshin, Konrad Wolf among graduates.

Moscow State Institute of International Relations, founded in 1944, remains Russia's best known school of international relations and diplomacy, with six different schools focused on international relations. Approximately 4,500 students make up the university's student body and over 700,000 Russian and foreign-language books — of which 20,000 are considered rare — can be found in the library of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.[66]

Among other prominent institutions are the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, also known as Phystech, Moscow Aviation Institute, Moscow Motorway Institute (State Technical University), and the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology has taught numerous Nobel Prize winners, including Pyotr Kapitsa, Nikolay Semyonov, Lev Landau and Alexander Prokhorov, while the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute is known for its research in nuclear physics.[67] The highest Russian military school is the Combined Arms Academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Although Moscow has a number of famous Soviet-era higher educational institutions, most of which are more oriented towards engineering or the fundamental science, in recent years Moscow has seen a significant growth in the number of commercial and private institutions that offer classes in business and management. Many state institutions have expanded their education scope and increased their student enrolments. Institutions in Moscow, as well as the rest of post-Soviet Russia, have begun to offer new international certificates and postgraduate degrees, including the Master of Business Administration. Student exchange programs with different (especially, European) countries also have become widespread in Moscow's universities, while many schools within the Russian capital will also offer seminars, lectures, and courses for corporate employees and businessmen.

The headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Moscow is known as one of the most important science centers in Russia. The headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences are located in Moscow as well as numerous research and applied science institutions. The Kurchatov Institute, Russia's leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy, where the first nuclear reactor in Europe was built, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Kapitza Institute for Physical Problems and Steklov Institute of Mathematics are all situated in Moscow.

There are 452 libraries in the city, including 168 for children.[48] The Russian State Library,[68] founded in 1862 is the national library of Russia. The Russian State Library is home to over 275 kilometres of shelves and forty-two million items, including over seventeen million books and serial volumes, thirteen million journals, 350,000 music scores and sound records, and 150,000 maps, making it the largest library in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Items in 247 different languages comprise approximately twenty-nine percent of the collection.[69][70]

The State Public Historical Library, founded in 1863, is the largest library, specialising in Russian history. Its collection contains four million items in 112 languages (including 47 languages of the former USSR), mostly on Russian and world history, heraldry, numismatics, and the history of science.[71]



Airport Vnukovo underground Railway Station

There are five primary commercial airports serving Moscow: Sheremetyevo International Airport, Domodedovo International Airport, Bykovo Airport, Ostafyevo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport. Sheremetyevo International Airport is the most common entry point for foreign passengers, handling sixty percent of all international flights.[72] Domodedovo International Airport is the leading airport in Russia in terms of passenger throughput, and is the primary gateway to long-haul domestic and CIS destinations and its international traffic rivals Sheremetyevo's. The three other airports particularly offer flights within Russia and to and from states from the former Soviet Union.[73] Moscow's airports vary in distances from MKAD beltway: Bykovo is the farthest, at 35 kilometres (21 mi); Domodedovo is next at 22 kilometres (13.7 mi); Vnukovo is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi); Sheremetyevo is 10 kilometres (6.25 mi); and Ostafievo, the nearest, is about 8 kilometers (5 mi) from MKAD.[72]

There are also several smaller airports near Moscow, such as Myachkovo Airport, intended for private aircraft, helicopters and charters.[74]


Moscow also has two passenger terminals, (South River Terminal and North River Terminal or Rechnoy vokzal), on the river and regular ship routes and cruises along Moskva and Oka rivers, which are used mostly for entertainment. The North River Terminal, built in 1937, is also the main hub for long-range river routes. There are also three freight ports serving Moscow.


Kiyevsky Rail Terminal, as seen from the Moskva River embankment

Moscow employs several train stations to serve the city. Moscow's nine rail terminals (or vokzals)  are:

They are located close to the city center, but each handles trains from different parts of Europe and Asia.[75] There are also many smaller railway stations in Moscow. As train tickets are relatively cheap, they are the mode of preference for travelling Russians, especially when departing to Saint Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city. Moscow is also the western terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which traverses nearly 9,300 kilometres (5,800 mi) of Russian territory to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast.

Suburbs and satellite cities are also connected by commuter elektrichka (electric rail) network. Elektrichkas depart from each of these terminals to the nearby (up to 140 kilometres (87 mi)) large railway stations.


Moscow Metro, January 2010
Moscow Metro, Vystavochnaya metro station

Local transport includes the Moscow Metro, a metro system famous for its art, murals, mosaics, and ornate chandeliers. When it first opened in 1935, the system had just one line. Today, the Moscow Metro contains twelve lines, mostly underground with a total of 180 stations. The Metro is one of the deepest subway systems in the world; for instance the Park Pobedy station, completed in 2003, at 84 metres (276 ft) underground, has the longest escalators in Europe. The Moscow Metro is one of world's busiest metro systems, serving more than nine million passengers daily.[76] Facing serious transportation problems, Moscow has wide plans of expansion of Moscow Metro.


Moscow Monorail

There is also a short monorail line, operated by the Moscow Metro company. The line connects Timiryazevskaya metro station and Sergeya Eisensteina street, passing close to VVTs. The line opened in 2004.

Bus & Trolleybus

As Metro stations outside the city center are far apart in comparison to other cities, up to 4 kilometres (2.5 mi), an extensive bus network radiates from each station to the surrounding residential zones. Also Moscow has a bus terminal for long-range and intercity passenger buses (Central Bus Terminal) with daily turnover of about 25 thousand passengers serving about 40% of long-range bus routes in Moscow.[77]

Every large street in the city is served by at least one bus route. Many of these routes are doubled by a trolleybus routes. Also every large street of Moscow has trolley wires over it.


71-619К tram of route № 17. Not far from All-Russia Exhibition Center

Moscow has an extensive tram system which first opened in 1899. Its daily usage by Muscovites is low (approx. 5%) although it still remains vital in some districts for those who need to get to the nearby Metro station.


In Russia and Moscow, the difference between hailing a cab and simply hitchhiking is blurry. It's an old Russian tradition for drivers to offer rides to strangers, for a fee. Generally, wherever you are, at any time of day or night, you can get a 'cab' in a matter of minutes or seconds by holding out your hand. Commercial taxi services are also available. Besides this route taxi is also wide spread.


MKAD interchange in northeastern Moscow

There are over 2.6 million cars in the city on a daily basis.[48] Recent years have seen the growth in the number of cars, which have caused traffic jams and the lack of parking space to become major problems.

The MKAD, along with the Third Transport Ring and the future Fourth Transport Ring, is one of only three freeways that run within Moscow city limits. However, as one can easily observe from a map of Moscow area, there are several other roadway systems that form concentric circles around the city.



Building of Sberbank Rossii in Moscow
GUM department store exterior facing Red Square

Moscow is one of largest city economies in Europe and it comprises approximately 20% of Russian GDP. As of 2008 Moscow economy reached 8.44 trl roubles [78] ($340 bln or $459 bln PPP adjusted [79]).

In 2006, Mercer Human Resources Consulting named Moscow the world's most expensive city for expatriate employees, ahead of perennial winner Tokyo, due to the stable Russian ruble as well as increasing housing prices within the city.[80] Moscow also ranked first in the 2007 edition and 2008 edition of the survey. However, Tokyo has overtaken Moscow as the most expensive city in the world, placing Moscow at third and behind Osaka at second.[81]

A significant portion of Russia's profits and development is concentrated in Moscow as many multi-national corporations have branches and offices in the city. The plush offices and the lifestyles of the typical corporate employee in Moscow are often indistinguishable from any Western European city, although the average salary for the Muscovite is a bit lower.[82] Since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, various business sectors in Moscow have shown exponential rates of growth. Many new business centers and office buildings have been built in recent years, but Moscow still experiences shortages in office space. As a result, many former industrial and research facilities are being reconstructed to become suitable for office use.

The upper trading rows at GUM near Red Square

However, while the overall stability has improved in the recent years, crime and corruption continue to remain a problem hindering business development.

Paveletskaya Tower business center

The Cherkizovskiy marketplace is the largest marketplace in Europe with daily turnover of about thirty million dollars and about ten thousand sellers[83] from different countries (including China, Turkey, Azerbaijan and India). It is administratively divided into twelve parts and covers a wide sector of the city.It is closed from 1 July 2009.

In 2008, Moscow had 74 billionaires with average wealth of $5.9 billion, which placed it above New York's 71 billionaires. However, in 2009, there are only 27 billionaires in Moscow compared with New York's 55 billionaires. Overall, Russia lost 52 billionaires during the recession List of Russian billionaires by net worth [84]. Topping the list of Russia's billionaires in 2009 is Mikhail Prokhorov with $9,5 billion, ahead of the more famous Roman Abramovich with $8.5 billion, in 2nd place. Prokhorov's holding company, "ОНЭКСИМ" group, owns huge assets in hidrogenium energy, nanotechnology, traditional energy, precious metals sector, while Abramovich, since selling his oil company Sibneft to Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom in 2005, has bought up steel and mining assets. He also owns Chelsea F.C.. Russia's richest woman remains Yelena Baturina, the 45-year-old second wife of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Oleg Deripaska, the 1st of this list in 2008 with $28 billion, in 2009 is only 10th with $3.5 billion.

The nouveau riche, also called the "New Russians", often pejoratively, have a reputation for flaunting their wealth; the avenues for doing so, and subtly, have also increased in recent times — a sense of fashion and self-consciousness has instilled itself through the many haute couture and haute cuisine spots in Moscow.


Primary industries in Moscow include the chemical, metallurgy, food, textile, furniture, energy production, software development and machinery industries.

The Moscow Skyline as seen from Sparrow Hills

The Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant is one of the leading producers of military and civil helicopters in the world. Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center produces various space equipment, including modules for space stations Mir, Salyut and the ISS as well as Proton launch vehicles and military ICBMs. Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Mikoyan, Tupolev and Yakovlev aircraft design bureaus also situated in Moscow. Automobile plants ZiL and AZLK, as well as the Voitovich Rail Vehicle plant, are situated in Moscow and Metrovagonmash metro wagon plant is located just outside the city limits. The Poljot Moscow watch factory produces reliable military, professional and sport watches well known in Russia and abroad. Yuri Gagarin in his trip into space used "Shturmanskie", produced by this factory. The Electrozavod factory was the first transformer factory in Russia. The Kristall distillery[85] is the oldest distillery in Russia producing various vodka types, including "Stolichnaya" while a wide assortment of wines are produced at several Moscow wine plants, including Moscow Interrepublican Vinery.[86] The Moscow Jewelry Factory[87] and the Jewellerprom[88] are important producers of jewellery in Russia; Jewellerprom used to produce the famous and exclusive Order of Victory, awarded to those aiding the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II. There are also many other industries located just outside the city of Moscow, as well as many microelectronic industries in Zelenograd.

Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company, has head office also in Moscow, as well as many other oil, gas and electricity companies.

ZiL water cart in Moscow

Moscow also hosts headquarters of various software development companies, including such as:

  • 1C Company – business software and games producer
  • ABBYY software house – developer of text recognition and translation software,
  • Akella – game developer company
  • Kaspersky Lab – worldwide-known producer of anti-virus software,

Despite the economic growth experienced in Moscow since the dawn of the twenty-first century, many industries have undergone various crises in recent years. Some of them have been sold to foreign investors, such as OTIS and British American Tobacco, and others have been closed down to make room for new buildings constructed as business centers.

Additionally, some industry is now being transferred out of Moscow to improve the ecological state of the city. Nevertheless, the city of Moscow remains one of Russia's major industrial centers.

Living costs

Triumph Palace—Europe's tallest residential building
Patriarshy ponds, one of the most prestigious places in Moscow
Residential buildings under construction

During Soviet times, apartments were lent to people by the government according to the square meters-per-person norm (some groups, including people's artists, heroes and prominent scientists had bonuses according to their honors). Private ownership of apartments was limited until the 1990s, when people were permitted to secure property rights to the places they inhabited. Since the Soviet era, estate owners have had to pay the service charge for their residences, a fixed amount based on persons per living area.

Due to the current economic situation, the price of real estate in Moscow continues to rise. Today, one could expect to pay US$4000 in average per square meter (11 sq ft) in the outskirts of the city[89] or US$6,500–$8,000 per square meter in a prestigious district. The price sometimes may exceed US$40,000 per square meter in a flat.[90][91][92] It costs about US$2500 per month to rent a 1-bedroom apartment and about US$1500 per month for a studio in the center of Moscow.

A typical one-bedroom apartment is about thirty square meters (323 sq ft), a typical two-bedroom apartment is forty-five square meters (485 sq ft), and a typical three-bedroom apartment is seventy square meters (753 sq ft). Many cannot move out of their apartments, especially if a family lives in a two-room apartment originally granted by the state during the Soviet era. Some city residents have attempted to cope with the cost of living by renting their apartments while staying in dachas (country houses) outside the city.

In 2008, Moscow ranked top on the list of most expensive cities for the third year in a row.[93]

As of 2006, there are 8.47 million Muscovites able to work. 1.73 million are employed by the state, 4.42 million are employed by private companies, and 1.99 million are employed by small businesses. There are 74,400 officially registered unemployed working age, of which 34,400 are eligible for unemployment benefits.[48]

Future development

The "Moscow International Business Center" (Moscow-City) is a projected new part of central Moscow. Geographically situated in Presnensky District, located at the Third Ring, the Moscow-City area is under intense development.

The goal of MIBC "Moscow-City" is to create a zone, the first in Russia, and in all of Eastern Europe,[94] that will combine business activity, living space and entertainment. It will be a city within a city. The project was conceived by the Moscow government in 1992.

The construction of MIBC "Moscow-City" takes place on the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment. The whole project takes up 1 square kilometer (247 acres). This area is the only spot in downtown Moscow that can accommodate a project of this magnitude. Today, most of the buildings there are old factories and industrial complexes.

The Federation Tower, now being built is to be completed in 2009, will become the tallest building in Europe when completed.

At overall completion the plan is to have one of the tallest buildings in the world; the Russia Tower is planned to be completed by 2012 at a height of 612,2 meters (2009 ft), second only to the Burj Khalifa.[95] Also to be included in the project are a waterpark and other recreational facilities; trade and entertainment complexes, numerous prestigious office and residential buildings, the transport node and the new site of the Moscow government. The construction of four new metro stations in the territory has already been completed, of which two have already opened and two others are reserved for future metro lines crossing MIBC, some additional stations were planned. A rail shuttle service, directly connecting MIBC with the Sheremetyevo International Airport is also planned.

A Fourth Ring freeway (in addition to Moscow Automobile Ring Road, Garden Ring and the Third Ring) has been designed and is being built around Moscow. It is to be completed by 2012 and will have total length of 61 kilometers (38 mi).[96][97][98]

In March 2009 the Russian business newspaper "Kommersant"[99][100][101][102] reported that because of the Worldwide Economic Crisis, which started in 2008 and spread globally, many of the construction projects in Moscow (especially in the "Moscow International Business Center") are frozen and may be cancelled altogether—like the ambitious "Russia Tower" in "Moscow-city". Many of yesterday's monstrous development groups are now in a near-bankrupt state like—Mirax-group or AFI Development.



Population of (1350—2009)

According to the 2002 Census the population of the city was 10,382,754, however, this figure only takes into account legal residents. Latest estimate—10,524,400 (1 June 2009).[103] Population of Moscow with Moscow region is 17,001,292 (as of the 2002 Census).

For centuries Moscow has been the largest city in Russia and/or the Soviet Union, however the collapse of the latter has led to a decline in Siberian as well as many other Russian cities, so that Moscow's growth and dominance over Saint Petersburg and the rest of the nation has become even more pronounced.[citation needed]

It is a highly ethnically homogeneous city, with 86,4% being Russian (as of the 2002 Census).

Due to a low birth rate[104] and high mortality rate, the population of Russia has been declining by approximately 700,000 persons per year[105] since the fall of the Soviet Union. In 2003, the number of deaths exceeded the number of births by approximately 49,400. Whilst the birth rate has risen in more recent years, the average age of Moscow's population continues to increase.

Substantial numbers of internal migrants mean that Moscow's population is still increasing, whereas the population of many other Russian cities is in decline. Migrants are attracted by Moscow's strong economy which contrasts sharply with the stagnation in many other parts of Russia. In order to help regulate population growth, Moscow has an internal passport system that prohibits non-residents from staying in the capital for more than ninety days without registration.[citation needed]

Moscow is a very unfriendly place for gays and lesbians to be themselves. The city government does not permit gays to hold “gay pride parades,” gay couples cannot show affections openly without fear of harm, and the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov is thought be to be “one of the most homophobic politicians” in Russia. [106] [107]


Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, demolished during the Soviet period, was reconstructed from 1990–2000.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the city, of which the Russian Orthodox Church is the most popular by virtue of being the country’s traditional religion and is deemed a part of Russia's "historical heritage" in a law passed in 1997.[108] Moscow is also Russia's capital of Orthodox Christianity. The Patriarch of Moscow serves as the head of the church and resides in the Danilov Monastery. Moscow was called "city of 1600 churches" (ru: "город сорока сороков церквей"city of forty forties churches) prior to 1917. In 1918 Russia became secular state and religion lost its position in society. After disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991 many of the destroyed churches have been restored and traditional religions are gaining popularity.

In Moscow there are other religious societies besides Orthodoxy: Muslims (Moscow is home to 1.5 million people of Muslim backgrounds or more than 15%, many from countries previously a part of the Soviet Union), Protestants, Old-believers, Single-believers, Judaism and various cult buildings of those religions.[109]

The New Age movement has also led to emergence of some "non-traditional" religions in large cities of Russia. Polls indicate that around 1% of population of Moscow and St. Petersburg self-identify as Buddhists. Many of these are Slavic and have no ethnic connection to Buddhism.


Moscow and Saint Petersburg have often served as the capital for auto theft in Russia, this crime in particular dramatically increased during the early 1990’s. Pick-pocketing is frequent in Moscow, as well as burglary from vehicles. Organized crime in Moscow and Russia in general, have often been involved with drug trafficking, cyber crime, prostitution, and financial crimes. Robbers in the city tend to pose as police officers, it is recommended to not travel alone and to use caution outside of Metro stations.[110] Moscow has historically had a high murder rate per capita. For the year of 1998, Moscow had a murder rate of 18.1 killings per 100,000 residents[111] and was the most dangerous European city.[112] A new study says nearly 60% of black and African people living in Russia's capital Moscow have been physically assaulted in racially motivated attacks .[112]


TV-center in Ostankino

Moscow is the headquarters of nearly all Russian nationwide television networks, radio stations, newspapers and magazines.


English-language media include The Moscow Times and Moscow News which are, respectively, the largest[113] and oldest English-language weekly newspapers in all of Russia. Expert, Kommersant, and Gazeta are Russian-language media headquartered in Moscow. Expert and Kommersant are among the country's leading and oldest Russian-language business newspapers.

TV and radio

Other notable media of Moscow include the Echo of Moscow (Эхо Москвы), the first Soviet and Russian private news radio and information agency, and NTV, one of the first privately owned Russian television stations.

Moscow television networks (Russian-language):

Moscow radio stations:

  • "Russkoye Radio"
  • "Yevropa Plus"
  • "DFM"
  • "NRJ"
  • "Maximum"
  • "Radio Dacha"
  • "Nashe Radio"
  • "Radio 7"
  • "Umor FM"
  • "Retro FM"
  • "Radio Rossiya"
  • "Radio Podmoskovye"
  • "Radiocompany Moscow"
  • "Yunost"
  • "Mayak"
  • "Orphey"
  • "Echo of Moscow"
  • "Radio Jazz"
  • "Classic Radio"
  • "Vesti FM"
  • other

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Moscow has many twin cities. In order to find source on the cities, it is found on the sister city's page.

See also




  • Caroline Brooke. Moscow: A Cultural History. 2006 (Oxford University Press)
  • William Craft Brumfield. A History of Russian Architecture (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2004) ISBN 9780295983943
  • Karel Neubert. "Portrait of Moscow". 1964
  • Albert J. Schmidt. The Architecture and Planning of Classical Moscow: A Cultural History. 1989
  • Kathleen Berton. Moscow: An Architectural History. St. Martin's, 1991
  • Marcel Girard. "Splendours of Moscow and Its Surroundings", trans. from French. 1967
  • John Bushnell. "Moscow Graffiti: Language and Subculture". Unwin Hyman, 1990
  • S.S. Hromov et al. (eds.). "History of Moscow: An Outline", trans. from Russian. 1981
  • Galina Dutkina. "Moscow Days: Life and Hard Times in the New Russia". Trans. Catherine Fitzpatrick. Kodansha America, 1995.
  • "Mosca 1990-1993" by Giuseppe D'Amato in Il Diario del Cambiamento. Urss 1990 – Russia 1993. Greco&Greco editori, Milano, 1998. ISBN 88-7980-187-2 (The Diary of the Change. USSR 1990 – Russia 1993) Book in Italian.


  1. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000).
  2. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. ^ According to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia, Russian is the official language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. Article 68.2 further stipulates that only the republics have the right to establish official languages other than Russian.
  4. ^ a b c Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  5. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2002 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the Census (2002).
  6. ^ a b "Population of Moscow (city proper) 1 September 2009. The Moscow City Government". Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  7. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  8. ^ a b Comins-Richmond, Walter. "The History of Moscow". Occidental College. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  9. ^ a b "The Moscow City Mayor". Government of Moscow. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Thomas Brinkoff, Principal Agglomerations of the World, accessed on 2009-03-12. Data for 2009-01-01.
  12. ^ "Underground Roads, Boulevards and Malls To Be Built Underneath Moscow". 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  13. ^ In old Russian the word "Сорок" (forty) also meant a church administrative district, which consisted of about forty churches.
  14. ^ "Muscovite" (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  15. ^ "Russia Engages the World: The Building of the Kremlin, 1156–1516". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
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  18. ^ Moscow — Historical background
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  24. ^ a b " (data), see article "Средняя (average)"" (in Russian). Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  25. ^ a b "2008 was the warmest year in Moscow history (in Russian)". Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  26. ^ "Sunshine hours in 2007 (in russian)". Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  27. ^ "" (in Russian). Retrieved January 8, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Average monthly Sunshine hours (see russian "Норма (часы)")" (in Russian). Retrieved February 21, 2009. 
  29. ^ According to Article 24 of the Charter of Moscow Oblast, the government bodies of the oblast are located in the city of Moscow and throughout the territory of Moscow Oblast. However, Moscow is not officially named to be the administrative center of the oblast.
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  31. ^ a b "Memorial". Melnikov Institute. Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
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  33. ^ "Moscow Architecture Preservation Society". 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  34. ^ "Appetite for destruction". New Statesman. 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  35. ^ "– Art of Russia>>The third bulletin of the Moscow Architectural Preservation Society (MAPS)". 2004-07-13. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  36. ^ Close. "Tom Parfitt tracks down Moscow's last utopian architecture | Art and design |".,,1580263,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  37. ^ "[Russia: Moscow's Architectural Heritage Under Threat] – [Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2008]". 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  38. ^ See also: The Official Site of the Tretyakov Gallery Retrieved on 2006-07-08.
  39. ^ a b "About The State Tretyakov Gallery". The State Tretyakov Gallery. Retrieved 2006-07-10. 
  40. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Polytechnical Museum Retrieved on 2006-07-23. ((English) English version)
  41. ^ "The Museum Collections". Polytechnical Museum. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  42. ^ See also: The official site of Borodino Panorama museum
  43. ^ See also: The Official Site of the State Central Concert Hall "Rossia". Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
  44. ^ See also: The Official Site of the Moscow International Performance Arts Centre. Retrieved on 2006-08-09.
  45. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Moscow Nikulun Circus. Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
  46. ^ "History of the Mosfilm concern studios foundation". MosFilm. Retrieved 2006-07-10. 
  47. ^ See also: The Official Site of the Museum of Cinema. Retrieved on 2006-07-22.
  48. ^ a b c d e f g (Russian) "СТОЛИЦА РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ В ЗЕРКАЛЕ ЦИФР, ФАКТОВ И СОБЫТИЙ". Moscow government. Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  49. ^ a b c d (Russian) Green dress of Moscow
  50. ^ (Russian) Neskuchniy Garden
  51. ^ (Russian) The Official Site of the Main Moscow Botanical Garden. Retrieved on 2006-07-18.
  52. ^ UNESCO considers the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square to be part of a single World Heritage Site. See also UNESCO's profile on this site.
  53. ^ "Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow". World Heritage List. UNESCO. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  54. ^ "Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye". World Heritage List. UNESCO. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  55. ^ a b "General Information". Moscow Zoo. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
  56. ^ BBC Sport: The mood in Moscow
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Central Moscow Hippodrome
  60. ^ "Go Magazine". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  61. ^ "MSU History". Moscow State University. Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  62. ^ Templeton, John Marks (1997-10-01). Is Progress Speeding Up?: Our Multiplying Multitudes of Blessings. p. 99. ISBN 1-890151-02-5. 
  63. ^ Fedorov, I.B.. "General (English)". МГТУ им.Н.Э.Баумана ((Bauman Moscow State Technical University). Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  64. ^ "International Relations". международная деятельность МГТУ (Bauman Moscow State Technical University). Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  65. ^ See also: The Official Site of the Moscow Conservatory. Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
  66. ^ " "Facts and Figures". MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations).{7F81DBB2-6EEE-4796-B2DF-7230433C5C41}". Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  67. ^ "Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI)". International Centre for Relativistic Astrophysics. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  68. ^ See also: The official homepage of the Russian State Library
  69. ^ (Russian) "Краткая статистическая справка". Russian State Library. 2006-01-01. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  70. ^ "Stacks". The Russian State Library. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  71. ^ (Russian) Official site of the State Public Historical Library
  72. ^ a b "Moscow Airports". Go-Russia. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  73. ^ "Getting to Russia: Arriving by Plane". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  74. ^ (Russian) Airport Myachkovo changed the owners
  75. ^ "Getting to Russia: Arriving by Train". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  76. ^ (Russian) "Московский метрополитен". Retrieved 2006-07-04. 
  77. ^ See also: (Russian) [1] Realty news. Retrieved on 2006-07-22.
  78. ^ "Moscow Gross Regional Product". RosStat. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  79. ^ "Russia GDP and PPP conversion rate". IMF Russia Economy. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  80. ^ Sahadi, Jeanne (2006-06-23). "World's most expensive cities". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2006-07-04. 
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  82. ^ "Average monthly salaries". Federal Service on State Statistics. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  83. ^ (Russian) Aleksandrov, Yuri (2005-12-11). "Новые лимитчики". New Times. Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  84. ^ "Russia’s billionaires hit by financial crisis".’s-billionaires-hit-by-financial-crisis/. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  85. ^ See also: The Official Site of the Moscow Cristall distillery. Retrieved on 2006-07-08.
  86. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Moscow Interrepublican Vinery. Retrieved on 2006-07-07.
  87. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Moscow Jewelry Factory. Retrieved on 2006-07-07.
  88. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Experimental Moscow Jewelry Atelier Jewellerprom. Retrieved on 2006-07-07
  89. ^ US$4,500 for a Square Meter of Apartment Space. The Moscow Times
  90. ^ (Russian) The absolute record of realty cost is broken
  91. ^ Humphries, Conor (2006-06-20). "Dividing the Spoils of the Boom". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2006-07-14. 
  92. ^ (Russian) Costs of realty in Moscow (2006)
  93. ^ World's most expensive cities - Buy a House: MLS Listings & Home Buying Tips - MSN Real Estate
  94. ^ ""Москва-Сити" начинается строительство "Города столиц"" (in Russian). December 23, 2005. Retrieved May 24, 2009. 
  95. ^ Russia Tower Retrieved 6 January 2007.
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  98. ^ Plan of the Fourth Transport Road
  99. ^ "Издательский дом «Коммерсантъ»". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  100. ^ "Ъ-Санкт-Петербург - Девелопер на перепутье". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  101. ^ Ольга Ъ-Сичкарь. "Ъ - Mirax Group проявила дар убеждения". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  102. ^ "Ъ—ПИК построил меньше, а AFI Development получила убыток". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  103. ^ "Population of Moscow (city proper) 1 March 2009. The Moscow City Government". Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  104. ^ Heleniak, Timothy (June 2002). "Russia's Demographic Decline Continues". Population Reference Bureau. Retrieved 2006-07-04. 
  105. ^ "Численность населения". Федеральная служба государственной статистики. 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  106. ^ Reuters,, Dec 4, 2008,
  107. ^ Spiegel, Gay activists risk violence to hold parade, May 12, 2009,
  108. ^ Bell, Imogen. Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  109. ^ "Moscow Today". 02 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  110. ^ "OSAC - Russia 2008 Crime & Safety Report: Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  111. ^ Best, Ben. "Death by Murder B". Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  112. ^ a b "The United States of murder". BBC News. August 19, 1998. Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  113. ^ "Advertising Information". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
  114. ^ Almaty official site
  115. ^ "Twin Towns". Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  116. ^ "Sister Cities of Manila". © 2008–2009 City Government of Manila. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  117. ^ "Prague Partner Cities" (in Czech). © 2009 Magistrát hl. m. Prahy. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  118. ^ Moscow and Rejkjavik sister cities. . Retrieved on 2008-03-11
  119. ^ "Twinning Cities: International Relations" (PDF). Municipality of Tirana. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  120. ^ Twinning Cities: International Relations. Municipality of Tirana. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
  121. ^ "Cooperation Internationale" (in French). © 2003–2009 City of Tunis Portal. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  122. ^ "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". Biuro Promocji Miasta. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 

External links

Official sites

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Moscow Oblast : Moscow
For other places with the same name, see Moscow (disambiguation).
St. Basil
St. Basil

One of the world's greatest cities, Moscow [1] is the capital of Russia and has played an important role in Russian history and continues to pave the way as Muscovites move into the 21st century. Moscow also recalls Russia's past, with the Kremlin and St Basil's cathedral based here. It's a city best explored, and easy to explore on foot, with lavish palaces and world class museums to enjoy.


Moscow is the financial and political center of Russia and its biggest city. The city has a population of around 13 million, and covers an area of around 1080 km². It is the European city with the highest population as one-tenth of all Russian residents live there. Moscow is in UTC+3 time zone.


Moscow is a large metropolis located on the Moskva River, which bends its way through the city. Most of the main sites are 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 centuries walls used to be. It runs from the Christ the Savior 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 curently 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 boundary of Moscow in the 18th-early 20th century. The outer edge of Moscow is largely defined by the Moscow Ring Road (widely known by its abbreviation: MKAD-Moskovskaya kolcevaya avto doroga), a motorway which is 108 km long and encircles the entire city (similar to London's M25 and Paris' Périphérique). Finally, a Fourth Ring is due to be built between the Third Ring and the Moscow Ring Road in the next years, using in places the right-of-way of the freight rail loop.

Get in

As elsewhere in Russia, strict visa requirements apply. See Russia#Get in for details.

By plane

Moscow (IATA: MOW) has four main airports:

  • Sheremetyevo International Airport, (IATA: SVO) +7 495 232-65-65 [2].
  • Domodedovo International Airport (IATA: DME) +7 495 933-66-66 [3].
  • Vnukovo International Airport (IATA: VKO) Tel: (Head Office) +7 495 436-71-9 [4].
  • Bykovo Airport - the smallest one (IATA: BKA) +7 495 558-47-38.

Moscow is by far the main air traffic hub of Russia and will continue to be as both Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo are undergoing major development plans.

In 1980-1991 all international flights to Moscow landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport, commonly called Sheremetyevo II and soon to be renamed "Terminal B". The home base of Aeroflot, Sheremetyevo II was built for the 1980 Summer Olympics. Sheremetyevo I is actually Terminal I of the same airport; however, it is located across the (only) runway from Sheremetyevo II (to get from one to the other you have to drive around the field) and for all practical purposes is a separate airport. Sheremetyevo I handle mainly domestic flights and flights to Belarus. The new Terminal C located a minute's walk from Sheremetyevo I handle regular flights to Ukraine, Israel, Germany, Kazakhstan and a number of traditional charter flight destinations like Egypt and Turkey. A new Sheremetyevo-III ("Terminal A") is under construction due for completion sometime in 2009.

In recent years, Sheremetyevo has been eclipsed by Domodedovo, which has undergone a recent renovation and has always had a direct commuter rail link to the city. Many international carriers, including British Airways and Lufthansa, have switched to Domodedovo and since 2005 it has catered to more passengers than Sheremetyevo. Aeroflot's biggest competitors S7 (Sibir) and Transaero, along with a slew of minnows, are based at Domodedovo.

If you prefer to go to the airport by car, it is best to call a taxi agency and book a cab. There are many agencies that can provide this service, and the cost ranges from €30-50 or more. Be sure to check the list of official taxi operators on the official websites of airports. [5], [6]. With telephone or online pre-booking you will be able to get a taxi for a cheaper price. All airports also have taxi kiosks where you can get yourself a driver at a fixed price, but a bit higher than if you book taxi online or by phone in advance. Don't listen to people jumping at you in the terminal as soon as you clear customs with offers of a taxi in several languages - at best it will get you a major rip-off, and may be unsafe to boot. For public transportation see below:

Sheremetyevo (1, 2, 3, C)

Get in

Sheremetyevo, north of the city centre, is the closest airport to downtown Moscow but the major thouroughfare leading to it, Leningradskoye Shosse, is one of the busiest in the city and is normally a giant traffic jam most of the day.

The surest way to get to Sheremetyevo in time is to take a non-stop Aeroexpress [7] train from Savyolovsky Railway Terminal (see below). These depart from a dedicated terminal (facing the railway station, turn left and round the corner) on the hour from 7AM - to 11AM and from 2PM - 10PM, with an extra service at 1PM on weekends, and now connect directly to SVO2, with a shuttle bus service to SVO1/C. The journey takes 35 minutes and costs 250 rubles one-way. The service has been extended to the Belorussky Railway Terminal as well.

It is also possible to reach Sheremetyevo from Metro (subway) stations Rechnoi Vokzal or Planernaya, the northwest termini for the green and purple line respectively. This route, though recommended by major English-language guidebooks, however only makes sense if you start your journey somewhere in the north of Moscow or have to be at the airport when the train is not running (see schedules above). There are slower buses (#851 from Rechnoy Vokzal, #817 from Planernaya) and faster shared, fixed-price route taxis (called Marshrutka; a noxious-yellow passenger van seating about a dozen people) from both stations. Buses depart very regularly (about 15-30 minutes). Without traffic jams (a very rare occasion) the trip takes about 30-40 minutes and costs 20-50 RUB, depending on which one you take and the amount of your luggage. If you have plenty of bulky luggage, you should not take Marshrutka; there's precious little space inside even for the passengers' legs. Be careful because either of the bus/Marshrutka routes goes to both terminals, the only difference being which one it visits first; if you take the wrong one, you'll still get where you are going, but your ride will spend an extra 20 minutes navigating the dilapidated pavement around the airport grounds. During the rush hour the Planernaya route can be slightly less prone to traffic jams, as it partially avoids the busy roads.

For leaving a car near the airport for the length of your trip outside Moscow, there are numerous (non)official parking lots between SVO1 and SVO2; rates start from 200 RUB/day and up.


Apart from a handful of airlines operating out of the new Terminal C (next door to Sheremetyevo I), most international flights depart Sheremetyevo II.

A new Terminal 3 is being constructed next to Sheremetyevo II. All Aeroflot flights (including domestic destinations currently operated out of SVO1) as well as other SkyTeam carriers (Delta, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Korean Air) will relocate there after its completion which is due in summer 2009.

Sheremetyevo II

Most flights from/to Sheremetyevo II are operated either by Aeroflot or by its partner international carriers, mostly members of the SkyTeam alliance. Check-in starts two hours before departure time (three hours for US-bound flights).

If you fly economy and there are several people in your group, for check-in it's better to have someone to stand in business class queue, especially if you arrive before registration starts: business-class clerk opens first and may take on economy class passengers if there's none (or at least not too many) business-class customers.

Ground-floor is the arrivals level, with departures being one level above.

Driving in to Sheremetyevo II area (going behind toll bar) is hugely overpriced and should be avoided whenever possible. In addition to entry charge of 100RUR/hour (rounded up to next hour), after entering toll bar there's extra charge taken, from 100RUR/hour to 300RUR/hour, depending on distance from entrance and comfort of parking--with an unofficial option of unlimited-time stay for 300RUR.

In the pre-check-in area on the departures level, there's only TGI Friday plus six to eight no-name cafes/bars/coffee shops. TGIF can make your coffee to go, but charges about 360RUB for mid-sized latte and serves it in Coca-Cola-branded paper cups. They also have free Wi-Fi which can be used outside of the restaurant as well. The TGIF serves the same menu as in America, which may come in handy on your way out if you have grown tired of salty smoked fish and warm drinks. There's a cheap self-service cafeteria two levels up (use the elevator or the stairs), where all the airport workers eat, and a more formal 1980's Soviet-retro-chic restaurant above it. Both have nice view of the tarmac.

Most cafes and restaurants beyond passport control are faceless and overpriced. Club Bar boasts Ronnefeldt teas and decent pancakes however. Note that you have to clear customs before check-in so there's practically no going back after you check-in to the cafeteria or the restaurant upstairs.

The airport has banking and currency exchange offices, and ATMs are available in both the arrivals and departures areas. Remember to change your rubles into Euros or USD before departing Moscow, as almost no other country will cash in your rubles for you. Duty-free shops operated by Aerofirst Moscow Duty Free [8] cover a large space, but merely repeat the same choice in five or six outlets. As elsewhere, only the most popular local souvenirs are sold, still with a huge margin. This terminal also has a hairdresser, pharmacy and a medical office as well as at least two travel agencies. Business and first class lounges are in upstairs.

The information desk is in the main hall and sometimes you are lucky enough to get someone who speaks reasonably good English. The number is +7 (495) 956 4666. You can also call an Intourist representatives (available in Terminal 2) who can provide tourist information at +7 (495) 578 5971.


Domodedovo is south of the city center and is most conveniently reached by AeroExpress [9] train from Paveletsky Train Station (near a metro of the same name). The trip takes about 40 minutes and takes you directly into the airport. Trains leave every hour starting at 6AM (every 30 minutes in peak hours) and cost 250 rubles. At Paveletsky station, you take the well-signposted entrance no.2, up some steps into the station proper, then down another flight of steps to the left and left along a corridor. The ticket office is on the right. The platform is reached after passing through another room offering various check-in desks for domestic flights. Keep your paper ticket for the whole of the AeroExpress journey. It will be checked on the train and you will need to scan the barcode on it when exiting Domodedovo Airport station. From Domededovo, several trains a day reach Kurskaya metro station. In late 2006, another express to Belorusskaya station was launched, giving Domededovo another edge against Sheremetyevo.

When catching a train from DME to the city, note that there are both regular old suburban trains and dedicated non-stop services from the same platform. The regular commuter train service costs less (72 rubles), but the trip will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes and the carriages are less comfortable. Alternatively, you can go to the Domodedovskaya metro station and catch a bus 405 or a shuttle from there. Shuttle operates 24 hours, but nighttime schedule is differ [10].

There is an express bus connection between Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports, which departs about every 90 minutes. Note that Domodedovo is the farthest airport from the center and cab fares are particularly high. If you arrive after the trains stop running, you'll pay through the nose for the privilege of being transported to downtown Moscow.


Vnukovo is located southwest from the city centre. Take the bus 611 or Marshrutka to/from metro station Yugo-Zapadnaya. Buses depart about every 15 minutes with a trip time of about 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take an express train [11] from Kievsky Train Station, which departs every 60 minutes in peak hours (with intervals of about four hours for off-peak hours). There is an express bus connection between Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports, which departs about every 90 minutes.


Bykovo is a regional airport located southeast from city centre. It only serves a few short-haul domestic flights due to its short runway. Take the "elektrichka" commuter train from Kazansky Train Station. It takes about 50 minutes and runs every 15-20 minutes. Get off at the Bykovo Station. Bykovo Airport is about 400 meters away.

St. Basil

Moscow lies at the western end of the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing, Ulaanbaatar and Vladivostok. You can reach here from almost anywhere in Europe and Central Asia. Moscow is also the main railway hub of Russia; it is often easier for a person going cross-country to change trains in Moscow, even if it's a little out of the way, as the choice of direct trains is limited compared to the ones going to the capital. This means, unfortunately, that main train stations are always crowded with transients, and are generally about the most unsafe places in the city.

This said, and even with proliferation of large and small air carriers in the post-Soviet Russia and the price of plane tickets coming down considerably (and the price of rail tickets creeping up year after year, as the government monopoly establishes new tariffs), train travel still remains the predominant mode of middle- and even long-distance transportation for the majority of Russians. In a day and a night (the price of budget sleeper accommodation, in the descending order of comfort roughly equivalent to T2, T4 and T6 arrangements on the European rail networks, is not that much more than that of a seat in a coach car) a traveler based in Moscow can cover a significant part of the Eastern Europe; two nights and the intervening day will find you the second morning as far south as the Black Sea and as far East as Ural Mountains. Some train routes are even stretched, usually by means of extra stops, to last through the night (for example, one of the two trains to Orel, about 350 km south of Moscow, departs Kursky Station at 6PM and arrives at 10:39PM, making 2 stops, while the other one departs at 10:22PM and arrives only at 6:27AM the next morning, with 10 stops along the way), so the train ticket is often a moving bed as well, eliminating the need for the extra night in a hotel.

Most trains to Saint Petersburg (13 in all) are in service overnight; only 4 depart Moscow between 2AM and 8PM - and the same is true the other way, making Saint Petersburg a viable, albeit a little bleary-eyed, one-day excursion. In December 2009, Russian Railway will begin operating the high-speed Sapsan trains, shrinking the Moscow-to-St. Petersburg trip to 3h 45min.

You can now (finally) buy tickets to any long-distance train on the Internet from the Russian Railways JSC Russian Railways [12], but you still need to validate yours before the start of your trip in manned booths within the stations ("kassa").

Moscow has nine train stations, 8 of them offering long-distance and local train services (Savyolovsky Station offers local train service only). All are located relatively in the center of Moscow and have metro stations nearby.

  • Belorussky Railway Terminal: Serves Smolensk, Minsk, Vilnius, Kaliningrad and, through the border crossing at Brest in Byelorussia, Warsaw, Berlin and most of the Central and Northern Europe. Metro: Belorusskaya.
  • Savyolovsky Station. Commuter trains only, to the northern suburbs and beyond. Metro: Savyolovskaya.
  • Rizhsky Railway Terminal: Relatively small; serves only Riga and other Latvian destinations. Metro: Rizhskaya.
  • Leningradsky Railway Terminal: Trains for northwestern and northern destinations. Serves Novgorod, Pskov, Saint Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Murmansk, Tallinn, and Helsinki. Metro: Komsomolskaya.
  • Yaroslavsky Railway Terminal: Starts out going through northeastern suburbs but then turns east. Serves Rostov Veliki, Sergiev Posad, Yaroslavl, Vologda, but mainly functions as the primary gateway for the Trans-Siberian Railway, serving several destinations in Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, and China. Metro: Komsomolskaya.
  • Kazansky Railway Terminal: Southeastern direction. Serves Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Kazakhstan, Ulyanovsk and Uzbekistan. Metro: Komsomolskaya.

These last three 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.

  • Kursky Railway Terminal: Actually two directions at one terminus. Southeastern branch serves Vladimir and Nizhny Novgorod, but most trains go south, through Tula, Orel, Kursk and eastern Ukraine to the Black Sea and beyond, including Adler/Sochi, the Crimea and the Caucasus. Metro: Kurskaya/Chkalovskaya.
  • Paveletsky Railway Terminal: Serves Voronezh, Astrakhan, and other destinations to the South. Metro: Paveletskaya.
  • Kievsky Railway Terminal: Southwesterly direction. Serves Kiev, other destinations in central and southern Ukraine and, through the border crossing at Chop, the Southern Europe destinations such as Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, and Sofia. Metro: Kievskaya.

By car

The direct way to drive from Germany, Poland, or Belarus is along the E30 road. However EU or American citizens have to get Belarussian visas to pass through Belarus, so it could be more convenient to go via Latvia (the nearest border crossing between EU and Russia on this direction) using the E22 which starts in Riga.

Easy access from Finland through St. Petersburg and Novgorod is along the E18 road. This route is also known as Russian Federal Highway M-10. Traffic on the M-10 is heavy and driving less relaxing.

Foreign cars – especially expensive ones – might attract unwelcome attention, and there is cumbersome paperwork involved.

Many entry points to Moscow - that is, the overpasses carrying the major highways over the Ring Road and into the city - feature rotating roadblocks, where teams of traffic police stop all vehicles not featuring Moscow plates. You will be stopped and questioned; in most, but not all cases, you'll be allowed to proceed.

Intercity busses to Russian and some former Soviet Union cities depart from the intercity bus station (автовокзал) at Shelkovskaya Metro station (the last station of the dark blue line, in northeast Moscow). This is the only place in Moscow from which public transportation is available directly to Suzdal. Also, some intercity buses depart from Komsomolskaya, Tushinskaya, Yugo-Zapadnaya, Vykhino, and Domodedovskaya Metro stations.

By ship

Moscow used to be served by regular passenger ships. 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". There is no scheduled passenger traffic anymore on any of these routes.

There are 2 river terminals in Moscow, on each end of the series of major bridges over the river; these are not capable of being drawn up, and not all of them are of sufficient height to allow large ships to pass. The North Station, in Khimki neighborhood, provides berths for cruise ships to Saint Petersburg, as well as Astrakhan, Rostov-on-Don and other cities along the Volga. The South Station (closest Metro: Kolomenskaya) ceased to be used commercially, since the Oka River, of which the Moskva is a tributary, has silted to the point of being impassable.

The Metro in Moscow

Central Moscow is best to be explored on foot, but as the distances are huge, it's easiest to use the famous Metro system [14]. It is comprehensive, boasts some great architecture, and is relatively cheap. As of January 2010, a single trip costs 26 RUB. Payment does not derend on the length of the trip. The tickets are sold at manned booths within the stations ("kassa")only. Some stations are equipped with the tickets vending machines. Avoid purchase of tickets from private sellers. A convenient way to avoid queuing is to buy a multi-trip RFID card for 5, 10, 20 or 60 trips (10 at 200 RUB) valid for 45 days, or a monthly pass for up to 70 trips; the latter costs almost the same as 60x pass, but is valid for a calendar month, not the 30 days from the date of purchase. There are no day tickets or similar offers tailored to visitors. For those who do use Metro really often and for an extended period of time (90 trips per month or more), there is a rechargeable unlimited trips smart-card (small refundable deposit is required), which can be recharged for a period from one month up to one year. However, if you lose it, you will not get any refund or replacement card! The station you need you can easily find on the map.

The Metro is open from 5:30AM - 1AM. Stations close at 1AM so your journey must be completed by then (more precisely, at 1AM the last train starts from the end stations, the entrances and transfers between lines are locked and the escalators are stopped - if you caught the train, you'll be able to exit at any stop on the way, but it might be a long slog up the steps). Before 7AM and after 9PM, the metro is rarely busy. Between these times on work days it can be a real squeeze, especially within the ring. Some escalators are a two minute ride as the stations in the city center are very deep. On the escalators stand on the right.

It's important to know that colors in the underground's signs don't necessarily correspond to the ones on the maps, so the green line is not necessarily indicated by a green sign (that could be the sign for the gray line). It's less confusing to refer to the numbers, e.g. line 3 is line 3 whatever color is on the sign. There are no English signs inside so have your itinerary ready beforehand or learn to read Cyrillic, which is possible. Anyway, you can use a Russian-English plan while you moving inside a Metro train. Don't let yourself be intimidated by the huge masses of jostling, rushing, cross people. The Russians also take their time to study the tiny signposts to see where to change trains or which exit to take. Don't use the metro if you are claustrophobic as the air is thick especially at rush hour.

The most interesting stations in terms of decor are Komsomolskaya and Novoslobodskaya on the ring line, Kropotkinskaya on the red line, and Mayakovskaya on the green line (watch out for the mosaics on the ceiling). The last one is also one of the deepest; this allowed it to be used as a makeshift assembly hall for a Party meeting marking the anniversary of the Revolution during the Nazi bombardments in the winter of 1941.

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; you don't want to be the only passenger in a car with a gang of inebriated teenagers looking for an excuse to beat someone up. Walk up the platform and get in the first car, near the driver; the cabin of the last car or the one in the middle of the train are not occupied by a conductor, like they are in New York. 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. They might not understand you, but they will know there's trouble and will pass the info ahead. At the next stop someone (could be even the on-duty policeman, if he's bored) might check in on the commotion.

By bus & trolleybus

Every large street in the city is served by at least one bus route. Many of these routes are doubled by the trolleybus routes. Also every large street of Moscow has trolley wires over itMoscow buses and trollebuses go since 5:30 AM till 1:00 AM. The average distance between the bus-stops is about 150 metres or 500 feet. [15] As Metro stations outside the city center are far apart in comparison to other cities, up to 4 kilometers (2.5 mi), an extensive bus network radiates from each station to the surrounding residential zones. Buses and trolleybuses don't seem to operate on a fixed schedule, but there are always plenty of them around. One trip costs 28 rubles, if you pay to a bus (or trolleybus) driver. However it is more convenient and cheaper to buy it in the booths, located at the bus-stops or near the Metro stations. In this case it costs 24 rubles. It is also possible to get a multi-ride card in those booths, and each trip would be cheaper. How much the do the tickets cost

By tram

In early 1900s Moscow had an extensive electric tram system, which had firstly been opened in 1899. However as Metro was opened (May, 1935) and the trolleybus appeared (November, 1934), the tram network was radically reduced and the most of the tram rotes became to be served by the trolleybuses. In particular, the B-tram-route to run around the Garden Ring, was changed by the B-trolleybus-route. Now tram daily usage by the Muscovites is low (approx. five percent), although it still remains vital in some districts for those who need to get to the nearby Metro station. The tram routes and their time-table.

By Marshrutka

Marshrutka is a Jitney-like mode of transport that falls between private transport and conventional buses. The role of the modern Russian marshrutka is basically similar to the minibus in other countries. It is sumilar to German Sammeltaxis, Mexican Peseros and American dollar vans. One tripr costs 25 rubles ($0.84). You give money to the driver just having entered the minibus. If you need to take it off, you have to cry: "Остановите здесь!" (Ostanovite zdes, means "Stop here!")[16]. You should shout it as loudly as it is possible, because the motor roar and the music sounding from the driver’s audio system muffle the passengers' voices. Sometimes the marsrutkers hang out an inscription: "Тише скажешь – дальше выйдешь", meaning the more silently you cry, the further you leave the Marshrutka. You should cry it in Russian, because none of the Marshrutka-drivers speak any other language and even Russian they speak very bad.

Unlike the buses, the marshrutkas goes much faster. As faster, as it sometimes becomes dangerous.

By taxi

In Russia and Moscow, the difference between hailing a cab and simply hitchhiking is blurry. It's an old Russian tradition for drivers to offer rides to strangers, for a fee. For many Russians, it's like a second job. Generally, wherever you are, at any time of day or night, you can get a 'cab' in a matter of minutes or seconds by holding out your hand. Hold your hand out low by your hip, not up high as they hail cabs in American films. Normally, you tell the driver where you're going and negotiate an amount with you naming the first price. For many locations, giving the closest Metro stop is the best plan of attack. If you don't like the amount one guy is charging, you'll doubtlessly find another driver in a minute or two. Sometimes when you tell the driver where you're going, he'll decide he's not going in that direction and drive off. Keep in mind, though, that very few drivers will speak English.

You should be able to get between most destinations within the Garden Ring for 200RUB or less, unless it's a national holiday or hours when metro doesn't work. For example, a typical charge for a New Year Eve is 500RUB.

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 250RUB no matter the distance. It is however possible to negotiate the price with them as well. The driver will basically switch off the meter and pocket the fare.

You can call a cab over the phone, too, but most Muscovites will only do it during the night or to get to an airport. Do not take these, although they are registered, legitimacy means nothing, and you will find yourself feeling extorted when the meter reads 2,000RUB for a 10-minute drive.

If you not good in Russian, there are several english speaking taxi services operating in Moscow for example Lentaxi - [17].

By car

If you do use a car to arrive in Moscow, don't even think about driving 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 "Lada"s 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. If you manage to get to your destination, you'll find that there is nowhere to park, or worse, that a space which looked OK to you is either illegal or "belongs" to someone (or both); this would mean finding upon return a smashed-in windshield or slashed tires, to teach you a lesson, or your car being towed ("evacuated"). Any serious altercation on the Moscow roads means dealing with GIBDD, the road police, the most notoriously corrupt institution in the city. Park as soon as you can at a safe place (your hotel, for example) and use public transit.

But if you drove in Rome or Athens before, and have succeeded, 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 8 hours in traffic jams. In the middle of the day it may take as long as 2-3 hours to cross the city (and 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:

  • during the weekends;
  • on July and August;
  • during first decade of January.

Anyway, before planning the car trip in Moscow, it's always recommended to check one of the many traffic jam information websites. This way you can immediately see if it worth going by car or if it's better to use a metro. The most popular ones are Yandex Probki and Rambler Probki.

By ship

The famous "Raketa" speed ferries, departing to destinations at the suburban beaches, were unfortunately decommissioned following the 2007 season.

There still exists the "river bus" system, in the fashion of the Venetian vaporetti - in the warmer months, of course, since the river is ice-bound most winters. The only regular route has 7 stops [18], from the quay near the Kievsky rail station, downstream through the center, terminating at Novospassky bridge (about half a mile from Proletarskaya Metro), and back. Ferries (passengers only) depart about once hourly, every day; the fare is RUB400 [19]. The ride is a pleasant diversion on a hot summer day, as you float past the Kremlin walls and under the bridges, but don't rely on it for transportation.

Other means of public transportation

There is also a short monorail line, running from VDNKh to Timiryazevskaya, one of the mayor's pet projects. A ticket costs the same as Metro, but the gates don't accept standard Metro multi-trip cards. The Moscow monorail is slow, accident-prone, does not run as frequently as the Metro (every six minutes at peak hours and around 16 rest of the time), opens later, and closes earlier. The main problem, however, is that it essentially goes nowhere and is of interest only to the residents of the immediate neighborhood.

A convenient way to get around the center is the newly opened (2008) Hop On Hop Off tour bus service operating in the historic city center of Moscow. Buses go every 30 minutes in a loop around Moscow and stop in front of most of the major hotels. Live English speaking guides on board will answer all your questions. Price is 750 for a ticket valid for 24 hours, board and disembark at any stop along the route as many times as you like.[20]

Red Square
  • 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".
  • Lenin Mausoleum – Walk past the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin (who actually did not want any monuments to be built for him) and join the debate if it is still him. You must leave all cameras, phones and bags in the luggage office. Free admission. Open 10AM-1PM closed Mondays and Fridays. Enter by Manezh Square near Metro Ploshad Revolutsii.
  • St Basil Cathedral – 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[21] 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 700RUB to visit the armory and 350RUB to visit everything else. Arrive early as tickets go on sale 30 minutes (10AM tour) or 1 hour (12, 14:30, & 16:30 tours) before scheduled tours. There are also rotating exhibitions which cost 200RUB entry. The ticket office is closed Thursdays. Large bags must be left at a luggage office (60RUB). Amateur photography and videotaping is prohibited. Metro: Ohotnii Ryad, Ploschad Revolutsii.
  • Old Arbat Street – Walk down this kitschy street 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, Arbatskaya (Light Blue).
  • Bolshoi Theatre – Sit in front of the famed theater near the fountain, or catch a show inside if you can. The theatre is currently under renovation. Tickets start at around 1000RUB. Metro: Teatralnaya.
  • 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.
(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 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.
Soviet Union Statue in Gorkey Park

Less essential sites, but very worthwhile if you have the time, include:

  • 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 (Light Blue).
  • 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: Tetralnaya, Tverskaya/Pushkinskaya, Mayakovskaya, Belorusskaya (depending on what part you want to exit at).
  • Gorky Park – Easily the most well known of Moscow's many parks, Gorky Park is packed with a number of theme park rides, cafes, places to stroll, and a quaint-looking pond, all straddled alongside the Moskva river. Gorky Park is a very popular place for Muscovites of all ages. 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).
  • Kolomenskoye – 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. Kolomenskoye is in the south-east of Moscow near a metro station of the same name. Metro: Kolomenskaya.
  • 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.
  • VDNKh, aka VVTs. The Russian acronym "VDNKh" stood for "Exhibit of the People's Economic Achievements". It has been since renamed "All-Russian Exhibition Center" ("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. You can also visit the adjacent Botanical Gardens. Main gates of the VDNKh are a short work down the alley from the Metro station of the same name.
Christ the Savior Cathedral
Christ the Savior Cathedral
  • Christ the Savior Cathedral – This cathedral, the tallest Orthodox church in the world (the largest being the Temple of St. Savain 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 meter 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 [22] — 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.


Moscow has many attractions, but most of them are not friendly to a non-Russian-speaker. English-language newspapers like The Moscow Times [23], Element [24], Moscow News and others can help to 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 200RUB, 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 double 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 7PM. Tickets are normally available from 200RUB. Ticket office is open from 12PM-3PM and then again from 4PM-7PM.

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).

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 glamourous 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.

  • MiGs over Moscow, +41 44 500 50 10 (), [25]. This great adventure started after the end of the USSR, due to the lack of money in the army. In the beginning flights in MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 started from Zhukovsky Airbase. Today this base is closed for passenger flights, but flights in MiG-29 Fulcrum and L-39 Albatros jets are still possible from other airbases near Moscow. starting at under €2000 for a flight including transfer from Moscow, interpreter services and all preparations.  edit
  • Kva-Kva Water Park, Gostinichnaya str., 4/9, + 7 495 788 72 72, [26]. 10.00-22.00. Water Park affiliated with Maxima Hotels (discounts for guests). There are 7 high trills (90-120 meters length) and a pleasant surprise for extremers – Tsunami trill – unique in Russia. There are also 4-line trills – 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. Night discos take place every weekend, with free admission for Maxima Hotel guests. 225-745 RUB.  edit
  • Hot air balloon ride (high), Suburban Moscow, [27]. 4400-5000 RUB.  edit
  • Park Sokoloniiki, Metro Sokolniki (Go on the red line of the metro to sokolniki metro sation. Once you get out find the huge lehgthy red alley follow it down across the street the the gates which are the main entrance.). The place to go to experince the russian nature without going far away from the center. THIS is the place to experince Shashlik (russian/geogeian kebab) at a very low price (comapred with other places) they can be found selling under huge tents all over the park. The park has an amusment park for the kids so they don't get bored. Forthe 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 orest 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.  edit

You could also pay attention to the Patriarshi ponds area (address="Metro Mayakovskaya " directions="Go on the green line of the metro to Mayakovskaya metro sation. Go aground to the Sadovoye Kol'zo and walk along Teatr Satyri, Teatr Mossovota till the Bronnaya Street. Turn to the left." There is only one pond left, but it is squared with buildings so it is quite peaceful here despite hectic Sadovoye Kol'zo 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 Bulgakov Master 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 sit on a banch with their back to Malaya Bronnaya street, as it is a reference to the novel.

Moscow State University

Moscow remains the educational center of Russia and the former CIS. 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 centered around a specific field. This is a hold-over from the days of the USSR, when Sovietwide there were only a handful of wide-spectrum "universities" and a large number of narrow-specialization "institutes" (mostly in Moscow & St.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.

  • Lomonosov Moscow State University, +7 (495) 939 10 00 (, fax: +7 (495) 939 01 26), [28]. The largest school in Moscow (nearly 50 000 students). Mostly liberal arts & the sciences. Courses only in Russian, except:  edit
  • LMSU Center for International Education, [29]. 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 Institute of Physics and Technology, [30]. The most prestigious sciences university in Russia.  edit
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations(MGIMO), [31]. On of the most prestigious foreign relations universities in the world, this school of 5000 has trained over two thirds of Russian government officials and many others in the CIS. Courses only in Russian.   edit
  • Moscow Aviation Institute (State University of Aerospace Technologies), [32]. Specializes in Aviation-related science & engineering. Courses in Russian, but the school has "Pre-school" Russian courses & a tolerance for some English.   edit
  • Bauman Moscow State Technical University, [33]. Engineering/Technology. Offers courses only in Russian.  edit
  • Russian State Medical University, Ul. Ostrovityanova, Dom 1 (M. Yugo-Zapadnaya or M. Kon'kovo), [34]. Otherwise referred to as Pirogov institute, it recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. It has a huge campus for an exclusively Medical faculty. Presumably Russian-language only.  edit
  • Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, [35]. As the name suggests, this school offers Medical & Pharmacological degrees exclusively. Courses in Russian, but Russian courses for English-speakers offered.  edit
  • People's Friendship University of Russia. Comparable to an American public university, this school offers everything from French to Engineering to Hotel Management. It has European accreditation & specializes in teaching foreign students. Courses in Russian, but offers many Russian-language courses.  edit
  • Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, [36]. World-renowned music conservatory open only to postgraduate study.  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 to you.


Credit cards 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 5000 or 1000 RUB 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 Euros, 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 (USD1000 and up), while a less favorable one is in effect for smaller ones. Don't forget to check the change returned to you (the commonest 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. 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 although the performing bears at the entrance of the market suggest that it is a tourist trap. Walking out in the middle of a bargaining session will most likely NOT get you the price you want. Instead insults will be hurled towards you.

  • 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.
  • 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 – 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 subject to be closed for "renovation", which will probably kill the remnants of architectural and historical attraction of this building, equalling it to regular malls like Evropeiskiy or MEGA. Nevertheless, "Detskiy Mir" extended its network to almost Soviet-era scales, having outlets of different size (but vast choice of childrens' goods anyway) in many malls in Moscow and other major cities of Russia. (Temporaly closed for reconstruction)
  • 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.
  • Sunrise Pro - Computer, hi-tech and consumer electronics hypermarket, offering advanced automated buying process for the customer who knows what exactly he wants - you have almost no chance to see things before paying for them. Return process/warranty is complicated. Pricewise this is probably the best place in Russia to buy anything working from the electric plug. Credit card payment process is quite complicated, so you need rubles in cash. Metro: Savelovskaya then walk about 15 minutes, or marshrutka from Dmitrovskaya.

Generally, you can find different sized fully featured malls near almost every metro station, especially in residential areas.

Russian borsch

Most tourists will find that eating out 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 eat at a reasonable price.

Great American-style breakfasts can be had at either of the American Bar & Grill locations; also serving thick juicy cheeseburgers.

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 $30 to $200 (more if one goes for vintage wines). A quick 'canteen' style meal in a 'Stolovaya' can cost about $3 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 $1 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).

Lifetime of an average restaurant or cafe in Moscow is 2 years -- in 2 years the quality decreases, or it changes ownership, name and/or format.

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 neighborhood during the day. These deals are valid in the middle of the day (12-3 PM) 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.

Ethnic food

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 – Moscovites 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 well arguable.

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 Cherkizovskaya or Izmalovo Markets. 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 cafe on Ulitsa Namiotkina (metro: Noviye Cheriomushki) serves Vietnamese cuisine but for a slightly higher price. Normal meal will cost around 500RUB per person.
  • A nice place for Vietnamese food is the "Izumrudnaya Reka" ("Emerald River") in the Savyolovskiy market, close to Savyolovskaya metro station.
  • Kruzhka[37], cheap beer restaurant (50 roubles per half litre) with numerous locations around the city.
  • 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 [38]. This bar only serves small beers (300ml) for around 120 roubles. 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.

Outdoor Stand Up

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. An undertaking to counter with "native" food under the trade mark of "Russian Bistro" (blini, piroshki and so on) seems to have flopped, as very few of them remain (you can still get a taste of the menu on Tverskaya st. near Pushkinskaya Metro station; in summer be sure to ask for a cold mug of kvass, a malted rye soft drink, if they have it on tap).

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.

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.

Fast Food

Another cheap option is fast food, a growing trend in Moscow. The likes of McDonald's and Rostiks are seen near almost every shopping mall. While McDonald's and Sbarros Pizzas serve quite a filling serving for a reasonable price (approx. 150RUB for McDonald's and 200RUB for Sbarros), most other fast food outlets including the local fast food chains will not fill you up in one serving. A potato topped with three choice toppings will cost you 145RUB which is almost $6. Contrary to most countries, whereby ketchup and various sauces are given for free, you are usually charged 5RUB for a packet of ketchup.

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. Rostiks is a Russian Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, so it specializes in fried chicken.

  • Yolky Palky – This chain restaurant offers Russian style food. You can take all-you-can-eat plate for 300RUB.
  • Grabli [39] – A chain that opened in July 2006 aims to compete with Moo-Moo. While new, it offers better quality than Moo Moo. It's hard to predict how long it quality standards will live.
  • prosp. Mira, 99 (M. Alexeevskaya), 9-23
  • Pyatnitskaya 27 (M. Tretyakovskaya / Novokuznetskaya), 10-23
  • Evropeyskiy mall (M. Kievskaya), 10-23
  • Kruzhka [40] – 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.
  • Moo-Moo – This chain restaurant offers adequate quality canteen food, with English menus, for around $10 per person.
  • Dyadya Vanya – Pushkinskaya/Chekhovskaya. Literally 'Uncle Ivan's', this place also showcases a nostalgic interior of the inter-war period.
  • Darbar [41] - Leninsky Prospect, 38 (Hotel "Sputnik"), metro station "Leninsky Prospect", tel. +7 (495) 930-2925; +7 (495) 930-2365, email: It is situated a bit aside from the city-center, 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 RUB 2 500. 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 6AM and serve traditional Western breakfasts for what works out to be about $8 USD 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 $25 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 100 metres south of the Nikulin circus on Tsvetnoi Bulvar. Come out of Tsvetnoi Bulvar, turn right, walk 2 minutes.
  • Mi Piace [42] – A chain of Italian restaurants. Relatively expensive 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)
  • Oprichnik [43] (Опричник). Here you will find ancient dishes of Russian cuisine including game. Addresses are: 2, Pyatnitsky pereulok (987-10-05).
  • Soup (Суп), 1st Brestskaya, 62/25, bldg. 3 (M. Belorusskaya), 251 1383. More than a dozen of soup varieties.  edit
  • Krasnaya ploschad dom 1 (1 Red Square) – Situated 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.
  • 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. Still, it's probably the only place in Moscow to try true Russian cuisine, as it's cooked at home (at least, it's quite difficult to find another of the same quality).  edit
  • Carré Blanc [44] – French restaurant with an attached and much cheaper bar/cafe which also serves good food. Good wine list. French/English/Russian spoken. Metro Novoslobodskaya.
  • Expedition [45] – Northern cuisine was really excellent though this is really expensive place.
  • Riviera – Maybe the finest French food outside of France. 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.
  • Vogue Cafe [46] – 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 800RUB - 1300 RUB) and the wine list is extremely underpriced by Russian standards. Of course, keep in mind that it's still in Russia, so you will end up paying 4000+RUB per bottle. Overall, the food is absolutely delicious.
  • Ne dal'nii vostok [47] – The name of the restaurant means, "Not far East." Overall, this restaurant is a real splurge but definitely worth the indulgence. It's located on on Tverskoy Blvd buliding 15.
  • 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
Nightclub in Moscow

There are several bars in central Moscow worth visiting.

  • Fabrique[48] 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 ~200RUB and mixed drinks are more expensive. If you're foreign, you're very likely to get in and mingle with the sexy Russian dames that graze in the club. 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.
  • 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.
  • Propaganda[49] A great alternative bar with lots of cheap drinks (vodka is 100RUB and beer is 150RUB). 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 potentially meet some interesting people.
  • 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), [50]. 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. +7(495)967-1519.  edit
  • Simple Things-Nikitskaya (Простые вещи), B. Nikitskaya, 14, +7 (495) 629 34 94, [51]. 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, [52]. 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

Other places:

  • 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), [53]. Starbucks has finally broken the wall into hard ground Russia. Promises to open another 10-20 stores by end of 2008.  edit

Dispose bodily wastes

The Russians are very constraining. They avoid to speak and write about the toilets, and it is consequently difficult for the foreign visitor to find their location in the city. A plastic outhouse is the most widespread type of the Moscow public restrooms. Most of them are painted in blue, and you can see them around the most of the underground stations. A visit to an outhouse for one person costs since 15 till 25 rubles. Besides, they are considered unhygienic. Therefore many Muscovites, both men and women, prefer to communicate with nature behind the fences and between the garages. Nevertheless it is cold to pee outdoor in the winter, especially for women. Unlike women in Africa or Asia, the majority of Russian women are not skillful in peeing while standing, and p-mates are not sold in the Russian drugstores. Thus, having to pee out door, they have to bare extensive sites of their bodies. Therefore, they have to urinate in a pod'ezd (подъезд) – a doorway of a multistoried building. However recently the pod'ezds have been equipped with coded locks, because the pod'ezds always were the very popular places to have a pee in. Thus, one to have to dispose one’s bodily wastes in the winter, dials up a number of any apartment and says to the on-door speakerphone: “I am a post-officer and need to distribute the newspapers among the post-boxes.” You also can visit the nearest McDonald’s. However, the Moscow McDonalds' are too large (one of them is the largest McDonald’s in the world [54]), but the restrooms in them are too small for such number of visitors. Therefore you could wait in a long queue. The same queues also occur in the department stores’ restrooms especially in the women’s rooms. The restrooms in the hypermarkets are available for the personnel only. Fortunately there are 263 free stationary restrooms in Moscow. Unlike outhouses, stationary restrooms named Сортир (from the French verb "sortir", which means "to go out") are separated by sex and many of them are free. Men's public restroom are designated with the letter M (Do not mix with Metro), which means мужской (men’s), while women's public restrooms are designated with the Russian letter Ж which means женский (women’s). Many public restrooms are equipped with squat toilets. However even if they are equipped with standard western pedestal toilets, it shold be better to use a toilet in squat or hovering position. Some restrooms are not equipped with toilets and urinals. Instead of them there are holes in a floor and a trench for urine drains. [55]. See the location of the Moscow free restrooms on the map.

  • Godzillas Hostel Moscow, Bolshoi Karetnyy 6 apt. 5 (first floor), +7 (495) 699-42-23 (, fax: +7 (495) 699-16-91), [56]. 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. Prices start at 725RUB per night in a dorm or at RUB1,740 per night in a double room.  edit
  • Napoleon Hostel, Maly Zlatoustinskiy 2 (4th floor), +7 (495) 628-66-95 (, fax: +7 (495) 624-59-78), [57]. Good hostel with an excellent location in the quiet city center. Dorm prices start from 800RUB per night.  edit
  • Suharevka mini-hotel, Bolshaya Suharevskaya Ploshad 16/18, +7 (910) 420-3446 (), [58]. Pleasant mini-hotel with nice location in the center of Moscow. Private rooms are quite nice for the price (around €45).  edit
  • Comrade Hostel, Maroseyka street 11, 3rd floor (m. Kitai-Gorod) (in courtyard, second left after you pass McDonalds), +7 (495) 628-31-26 (), [59]. 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 internet. *NOTE: Comrade Hostel is not registered to issue Russian Tourist visas. They may issue you an invitation, but it will not be accepted at the Russian Consulate. 700 RUB per night in a dorm.  edit
  • Moscow Home-hostel, 2-y Neopalimovsky per., 1/12 (m. Park kultury), +7 (495) 778-24-45 (), [60]. 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 550RUB per night in a dorm or at RUB2,000 per night in a double room.  edit
  • CapitalHostel, Malaya Ordynka street, 5/6, 1st entrance, 3rd floor (Tretyakovskaya metro station), +7 (495) 959 13 47 (, fax: +7 (495) 959 14 82), [61]. checkin: 12PM; checkout: 12PM. A great central location, 15 minutes away from the Red Square. Perfect for all public transportation & walking distance to the State Tretyakov Gallery. A clean, funky hostel with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Prices start at 800 RUB (22 euros) per night in a dorm or at 2000 RUB (55 euros) per night in a double room.  edit
  • Host Families Association (HOFA) (From 22 eur. per night), 5 Tavricheskaya str., +7 (812) 275 1992 (, fax: +7 (812) 275 1992), [62]. Since 1990, HOFA provides visa invitations, homestays, apartment rentals, packages in friendly homes in 60 cities in Russia and CIS. from 22 EUR per night.  edit
The Bogoyavlensky Monastery
The Bogoyavlensky Monastery

There is a big need for mid-range accommodations in Moscow, but nevertheless the curious traveler can find some useful accommodations.

  • Maxima Panorama Hotel, Masterkova str., 4 (Moscow, Russia), +7 (495) 788 72 72 (), [63]. Maxima Panorama it is a brand new, modern hotel with 123 rooms. Quality accommodation and friendly services , located in Moscow's business district and offering secure on-site parking. Just a few metres from the metro station and 10 minutes away from Red Square. It is a convenient base for business and leisure travellers alike. Free wireless internet. Prices start from 4,500 RUB per room per night.  edit
  • Aquamarine hotel Moscow, Ozerkovskaya, 26 (Moscow, Russia), +7 (495) 580 28 28, [64]. The 159 exquisite rooms and Suites are equipped with the latest multi-media technology and offer state- or- the-art business services.  edit
  • Artel Artistic Hotel, Teatralniy Proezd, 3, +7 (910) 420-3446 (), [65]. Moscow's first art concept hotel. Located across the street from Red Square & The Kremlin, you will be amazed by their location! Artel hotel is new, opened in the summer 2009 and fully renovated. Atrel is in the historical former Central Bath House of Moscow, built in 1891. There are 3 floors in the complex – the first floor is the upscale bar “Barbarello”, the second floor is the bohemian art club “Masterskaya” which has live concerts 3 to 4 nights per week. The hotel occupies the third floor. The rooms of the hotel have been completely renovated and designed by a different Russian artist, so each room is unique. Each room has it’s own individual bathroom and is rather spacious, about 20 m2. You can select from either either 2, 3 or 4 bed private rooms. The club Masterskaya on the floor below the Hotel offers wonderful couches and chill-out areas which function as a common room. Here you will be able to mix with many young Russians as well as hotel guests. Hotel guests receive preferred access to Masterskaya club events. Room prices start at €110.  edit
  • Petrovka Loft, Petrovka 17/2, 41, +7 (495) 626-2210 (, fax: +7 (495) 626-2209), [66]. Luxury budget hotel located ten minutes' stroll from Red Square. Located near Teatralnaya, Pushkinskaya and Tverskaya metro stations. R3000/dbl.  edit
  • Hotel Cosmos, Prospekt Mira 150, +7 (495) 646-0155 (, fax: +7 (495) 646-0155), [67]. Rooms from RUB 5,000. The hotel is right outside metro station VDNKh and next to the All-Russian Exhibition Centre [68].  edit
  • Hotel Izmailovo Alfa, Izmailovskoe shosse 71a, +7 (495) 646-0155 (fax: +7 (495) 646-0155), [69]. 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 RBU per room per night.  edit
  • Hotel Izmailovo Gamma-Delta, Izmailovskoe shosse 71, +7 (495) 646-0155 (fax: +7 (495) 646-0155), [70]. 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 per room per night.  edit
  • Hotel Voskhod, Altuf'evskoye shosse 2, [71]. 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
  • Flamingo Bed & Breakfast, 2-Yamskaya Tverskay-Moscow, +79197724002 (), [72]. The closest Bed and Breakfast to the Kremlin, Flamingo Bed and Breakfast is in the art and cultural area of Moscow, 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 (), [73]. Located in the art and cultural area of Moscow, providing a comfortable atmosphere and and personal service.  edit
  • Samovar Bed and Breakfast, Staropimenovskiy lane 16, flat 54 127001, +79266644118 (), [74]. Located in the art and cultural area of Moscow. The decor is a fusion of fresh IKEA design meets Soviet kitsch.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre, 12 Krasnopresnenskaya emb., +7 495 258 2222 (, fax: +7 495 258 2323), [75]. Located downtown and within walking distance tothe historical heart. Newly renovated. Especially good for the business traveller. Features spacious rooms, friendly staff and wide range of dining options.  edit
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Tverskaya ulitsa 3/5, Moscow. For one of the top hotels in one of the world's most expensive cities, be prepared to pay at the Ritz Carlton. Although only completeed 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.
  • Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow, ul. Balchug, 1, +7 (495) 230 5500 (+7 (495) 230 6500, , fax: +7 (495) 230 5502), [76]. 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
  • Le Royal Meridien National, 15/1, bld. 1 ul. Mokhovaya, +7 (495) 258 7000 (, fax: +7 (495) 258 7100), [77]. Traditional Art Nouveau-style hotel located in city center ideally located 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
  • Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, Kosmodamianskaya nab., 52 bld.6, +7 495 787 9800, [78]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Top notch hotel with a stunning bar on the 34th floor. The bar offers a complete 360 view of Moscow and the cocktail and wine list is extremely impressive.  edit
  • Golden Ring Hotel, Smolenskaya ulitsa, 5, Moscow 119121 (short walk to Arbat Street and the Foreign Ministry building), [79]. Dissapointing 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. However, as the large majority of their clientele are business travelers, they would do well to implement Wi-Fi access, (no free wifi at the hotel).  edit

Stay safe

Moscow enjoys a lower crime rate and is much safer than the second biggest city in Russia, St. Petersburg. However, drunk people and the police can cause some problems. Some policemen are corrupt and it's best to avoid them. While traveling in Moscow, as well as the rest of Russia, you must always have your passport with you. If you look non-white, your papers may get checked often.

Usually the police will demand to see your papers to check if you have been registered within three business days of your arrival into Moscow. Most policemen do not speak a word of English. They will, however, let you know your papers are not in order and you must go with them to the police precinct. It may be possible to bribe the police with about 500RUB and they may leave you alone. If you are reasonably sure your papers are in order, get out your mobile phone and call your embassy helpline. Most corrupt policemen will be frightened enough to let you go before you dial the number. Do not carry large sums of money as it may be taken by pick-pocketers or the police.

Non-white people should be especially vigilant since violent attacks have occurred, and most minorities are likely to be stopped for document checks by the police.

Women should take caution walking alone late at night, since they may receive unwanted attention from drunk men. Women should also stay clear of large companies of men in front of bars, restaurants, etc. It is best to walk with a friend if possible.

Also note that in winter months, streets in Moscow can get very slippery. Take a pair of grippy shoes, ideally boots (to prevent twisted ankles) and waterproof. Take care as the ice patches can be hard to spot, even when they have appeared to have been cleared or melted. Wearing non-grippy shoes could result in injury.



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. Almost any European phone, and those from the US 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 $50 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 (or at least are supposed to be, by law; some companies are trying to find ways around it). 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.

Wireless Internet

BeelineWiFi ( former GoldenWiFi, 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. Some of them are free (paid by the venue, e.g. a cafe), but others require an account. Rates are 50RUB for an hour, 100RUB for 24 hours, 500RUB 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. Airports are flooded with the paid access, so as to drown the (few) free choices. In some places, pre-paid cards can be acquired at the cashier's desk (e.g. Starbucks).

McDonalds has free (as in a 30-minute voucher with every meal) Wi-Fi in nearly every other of their locations in the city (and in most of them within a Garden Ring)--operated also by BeelineWiFi.

Get out

Since Moscow is the biggest transportation center in Russia and one of main the points of entry for the foreign tourists, it is a convenient starting point for exploring much of the 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 former USSR.

  • Saint Petersburg - 13 different overnight trains leave Moscow for the 7-hour (or thereabouts) journey, arriving the next morning. Don't try to save on sleeper accommodations; you won't like the coach car unless you aren't counting on getting any sleep at all (but in this case, you'd be better off taking one of the 4 daytime trains - they are a bit faster, including a bullet train making the run in 4 hours, and the vistas rushing by on the other side of the window are 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 civilised 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 Muskovy 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 [80] - One of finest armour collections in the world. About one hour west of the city. Access is restricted, visitors must apply for a permit [81], but it worths the trouble 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 Battle of Borodino . Museum and national historic site [82]. Commuter trains from Belorussky Station; 2-3 daily, travel time about 2 hours.
  • Melikhovo (Chekhov's country house south of Moscow)
  • Sergiyev Posad - Famous old Orthodox monastery (Troitse-Sergieva Lavra). Commuter trains from Yaroslavsky Station, several daily; travel time about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Kolomna - A nice medieval town (about 2 hrs from Moscow) with a number of very interesting churches and monasteries
  • Yasnaya polyana (Tolstoi's country house close to Tula)
  • 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
  • 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.
Routes through Moscow
END  W noframe E  VladimirYekaterinburg
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  • (RP) IPA: /ˈmɒskəʊ/, SAMPA: /"mQsk@U/
  • (US) enPR: mäsʹkou, mäsʹkō, IPA: /ˈmɑskaʊ/, /ˈmɑskoʊ/, SAMPA: /"mQskaU/, /"mQskoU/

Proper noun




  1. The capital city of Russia.
  2. The government of the Soviet Union or Russia.

Derived terms


See also

Simple English

File:Flag of
File:Coat of Arms of
Coat of arms
Moscow is here
Coordinates: 55°45′8″N 37°37′56″E / 55.75222°N 37.63222°E / 55.75222; 37.63222
Founded 1147
 - Head Vladimir Resin (deputy)
 - Total 1,081 km2 (417.4 sq mi)
Elevation ( 156 m (512 ft)
Population (1 June 2009)[1]
 - Total 10,126,424
 Density 9,367.6/km2 (24,262/sq mi)
Time zone Moscow Time (UTC+3)
 - Summer (DST) Moscow Summer Time (UTC+4)

Moscow (Russian language: Москва, Moskva) is the capital city of Russia. 10.5 million people live there (since 1 June 2009), so it is Europe's biggest city[2]. It is also the seventh biggest city in the world. Moscow is an important political, cultural, economic, religious,financial and transportation center. That makes it a global city, a city important in the economic infrastructure of the region. Moscow was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki in 1147.

In the middle of the city there is an ancient walled city called the Kremlin. There are important government buildings, museums and churches in the Kremlin. Many of the buildings in Moscow, like St. Basil's Cathedral and Spasskaya Tower, are very beautiful and famous. There are also modern buildings there. There are many art galleries, and the collection of art there is so big that it could take three years to go around.

Moscow has many scientific and educational buildings, as well as some sports complexes,built for when it was the host of the 1980 Summer Olympics.Moscow also has a complex transport system. It is made out of 4 international airports, 9 railroad stations and the second busiest (after Tokyo) metro system in the world, which is famous for its artwork.

Over time, the city has earned a variety of nicknames, most referring to its pre-eminent status in the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), Whitestone (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков.)[3]

A person from Moscow is called a Muscovite in English, or a Moskvich[4] in Russian.



It is by the Moskva River in the Moskva Oblast, in the European part of Russia. Moscow sits on the center of three three parts of Earth's crust.[5] It was once the capital of the past Soviet Union (1918-1991), Russian Empire, Tsardom of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Moscow (1480-1703). It is the place of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the World Heritage Sites in the city, which is the home of the President of Russia. The Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council of Russia|Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also are in Moscow.


Moscow has a large economic infrastructure. It is home to the most billionares in the world. ;[6] in 2008 Moscow was named the world's most expensive city for not Russian workers for the third year in a row.[7] In 2009, however, Moscow went down to third after Tokyo and Osaka came in first and second. [8]


The city is named after the river (old Russian: гра́д Моско́в, which means "the city next to the Moskva River"). The beginning of the name is not known, but some people have a few ideas. One idea says that the name might be a very old Finnic language, in which it means "dark" and "cloudy". The first Russian reference to Moscow is from 1147 when Yuri Dolgoruki called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski (North Novgorod) to "come to me, brother, to Moscow."[9]

Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuri Dolgoruki ordered the building of a wooden wall, which had to be redone many times, to go around the growing city.[10] After the attack of 1237–1238, when the Mongols burned the city to the ground and killed its people living there, Moscow grew back and became the capital of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality (an amount of land ruled by a prince) in 1327.[11] Its good place on the start of the Volga River helped the city to grow slowly bigger and bigger. Moscow turned a peaceful and rich principality, known as the Grand Duchy of Moscow, for many years and a large number of people from across Russia moved to live there.

Under Ivan I the city replaced Tver as a political center of Vladimir-Suzdal and became the only collector of taxes for the Mongol-Tatar rulers. By paying high taxes, Ivan worked out an important deal with the Khan. Unlike other principalities, Moscow was not divided among his sons but was passed whole to his oldest. However, Moscow's did not like the Mongol rule. In 1380, prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow led a Russian army to an important victory over the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo. Only two years later Moscow was raided by the Khan Tokhtamysh. In 1480, Ivan III finally broke the Russians free from Tatar control, allowing Moscow to become the center of power in Russia.[12] Under Ivan III the city became the capital of an empire that would eventually include all of Russia and other countries.

In 1571, the Crimean Tatars raided Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin.[13]

In 1609 the Swedish army, led by Count Jacob De la Gardie and Evert Horn, marched from Veliky Novgorod toward Moscow to help Tsar Vasili Shuiski. They entered Moscow in 1610 and stopped the revolution against the Tsar, but left early in 1611. After that the Polish invaded. During the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618) hetman (army commander) Stanisław Żółkiewski entered Moscow after he defeated the Russians in the Battle of Klushino. The 17th century had lots of revolutions, such as the Salt Riot (1648), the Copper Riot (1662), and the Moscow Uprising of 1682.

The plague of 1654–1656 killed half the population of Moscow.[14] The city stopped being Russia’s capital in 1712, after the building of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great near the Baltic coast in 1703. The Plague of 1771 was the last big plague in central Russia, killing 100,000 people in Moscow alone. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Muscovites burned the city and ran away, as Napoleon’s army was coming near to the city on 14 September. Napoleon’s army, which was very hungry and cold had leave and was nearly destroyed by the freezing Russian winter and some attacks by the army.

[[File:|left|thumb|Monument to the city's founder, Yuri Dolgoruki]]

File:Fire of Moscow
French invasion of Russia in 1812, Fire of Moscow, painting of Smirnov A.F., 1813

In January 1905, Alexander Adrianov became Moscow’s first mayor. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, on 12 March 1918[15] Moscow became the capital of the Soviet Union.[16] During World War II (known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War), after the German invasion of the USSR, the Soviet State Defense Group and the commanders of the Red Army were placed in Moscow.

File:Red Square in Moscow (1801)
Red Square, painting of Fedor Alekseev, 1802

In 1941, 16 groups of the national volunteers (more than 160,000 people), twenty-five battalions (18,500 people) and four engineering regiments were created among the Muscovites. That November, the German Army Group Centre was stopped at the edge of the city and then driven off in the Battle of Moscow. Many factories were moved away, and much of the government was too, and from 20 October the city was declared to be under siege. Its people who stayed built and used antitank defences, while the city was bombed from the air. Joseph Stalin (the leader of Russia) did not to leave the city, meaning the general staff remained in the city as well. Even though there was a siege going on, the building of Moscow's metro system continued through the war, and by the end of the war a few new metro lines were opened.

File:Map of Moscow
Map of Moscow, 1784

On 1 May 1944, a medal For the defence of Moscow and in 1947 another medal In memory of the 800th year of Moscow were given to Moscow. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, on 8 May 1965, Moscow became one of twelve Soviet cities awarded the title of Hero City.

In 1980, Moscow hosted the Summer Olympic Games, which the United States and several other Western countries did not go to because of the Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan in the end 1979. In 1991, Moscow was the scene of the failed overthrow attempt by the government members opposed to the rules of Mikhail Gorbachev. When the USSR ended in the same year, Moscow continued to be the capital of Russia.

Since then, the beginning of a market economy in Moscow has made an explosion of Western-style stores, services, architecture, and lifestyles. In 1998, it hosted the first World Youth Games.

Sister cities

Moscow has many sister cities:


  1. "Moscow metropolitan area population". Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  2. Thomas Brinkoff, Principal Agglomerations of the World, accessed on 2010-02-15. Data for 2009-01-01.
  3. In old Russian the word "Сорок" (Forty) also meant a church district, which made up out of about forty churches.
  4. "Muscovite" (in Russian). Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  5. "Underground Roads, Boulevards and Malls To Be Built Underneath Moscow". 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  6. "Moscow becomes world's billionaire capital — Forbes". RIA Novsoti. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  7. Mercer's 2008 Cost of Living survey highlights
  9. Comins-Richmond, Walter. "The History of Moscow". Occidental College. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  10. "Russia Engages the World: The Building of the Kremlin, 1156–1516". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  11. "Along the Moscow Golden Ring" (PDF). Moscow,Russia Tourist Information centre. Retrieved 2006-07-05. 
  12. Vogel, Michael. "The Mongol Connection: Mongol Influences on the Development of Moscow". Indiana University South Bend. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  13. Moscow — Historical background
  14. Genesis of the Anti-Plague System: The Tsarist Period
  15. LENINE’S MIGRATION A QUEER SCENE, The New York Times, March 16, 1918
  16. "Geographi". The Russian Embassy. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  17. Almaty official site
  18. "Twin Towns". Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  19. "Sister Cities of Manila". © 2008–2009 City Government of Manila. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  20. "Prague Partner Cities" (in Czech). © 2009 Magistrát hl. m. Prahy. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  21. Moscow and Rejkjavik sister cities. . Retrieved on 2010-02-15
  22. "Twinning Cities: International Relations" (PDF). Municipality of Tirana. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  23. Twinning Cities: International Relations. Municipality of Tirana. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  24. "Cooperation Internationale" (in French). © 2003–2009 City of Tunis Portal. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  25. "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". Biuro Promocji Miasta. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
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