During any season, any hour of day, Moscow thrills visitors with its artistry, history and majesty.
Kremlin & Red Square
The very founding site of the city (and arguably, the country), the Kremlin and Red Square are still at the heart of Moscow – historically, geographically and spiritually. Feel the weight of this significance as you wander within the walls of the ancient fortress, marvel at the mind-boggling magnificence of St Basil's Cathedral, and pay your respects to the revered leader of a now-defunct state. Moscow will move you. She'll tantalise your senses, soothe your spirit, and boggle your mind; and it all starts right here.
The remains of the Soviet state are scattered all around the city. Monuments remember fallen heroes and victorious battles, while museums attempt to analyse and synthesise the past. See Lenin and Stalin – off their pedestals – at the whimsical Art Muzeon. Step into the Socialist Realist fantasy at VDNKh. Descend into the depths of the Soviet system at Bunker-42 Cold War Museum. And remember the millions who suffered at the Gulag History Museum. Nowadays, many fun or clever retro clubs and cafes give their guests a taste of the Soviet experience. You can even try your hand at Soviet-era arcade games (beyond Tetris).
What is more thrilling than watching a nimble ballerina defy gravity, as she leaps and spins across the stage at the glittering Bolshoi Theatre? Or feeling the force of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, just a few blocks away from where it premiered more than a century ago? Or oohing and aahing as circus performers soar under the big tent? The classical performing arts in Moscow are still among the best in the world. Nowadays, even the most traditional theatres are experimenting with innovative arrangements, reviving lost favourites and hosting world premieres. Whether you appreciate the classics or experiment with the contemporary, the capital's performing arts are sure to impress.
People like to talk about 'the city that never sleeps,' but they should talk about Moscow. You don’t have to be a high-heeled glamour girl or a deep-pocketed man about town to enjoy the capital by night. Moscow has a club or a cafe for everyone, from nostalgia-rich retro to rocked-out indie, from contemporary-cool art cafes to let-loose dance clubs. And no matter where you spend the evening, all are invited to gather in the wee hours to watch the sunrise over Moscow’s golden domes and silver skyscrapers.
Why I Love Moscow
By Mara Vorhees, Author
The Russian capital never ceases to inspire, confound, disgust or delight me in some unexpected way. This time I was thrilled to discover the capital's new obsession with 'park life'. Not just summer cafes – I've always appreciated that – but also bike paths, ping-pong clubs, outdoor theatres and dance parties. It's hip to be outside and active; and the city has accommodated with gorgeous green spaces. The Park of Culture and Leisure (aka Gorky Park) has finally come into its own – along with a new generation of health-conscious, hopeful Muscovites.