Moscow is the capital city of Russia, the largest country on the planet. Even though Moscow is often portrayed as a dark and dingy place in Hollywood movies, the city is actually spectacular. With amazing architecture dating back to the 14th century, the city of Moscow consists of things which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. The Russian capital is full of cultural high points, from galleries and parks to its restaurants and bars. Although there are many reasons to visit Moscow, here are a few as experienced by travellers:
- Attractions – Leaving the usual attractions such as the Kremlin, Dostovesky, etc; Moscow has a thriving art culture. The Tretyakov Gallery with its new wing opened to public houses some of the best pieces of 20th century Russian avant-garde work. As long as we’re on the topic of art, theatre cannot be left behind. Moscow has some great theatre, but most of it is off-limits to non-Russophone visitors for obvious language reasons. Gogol-Center, run by director Kirill Serebrennikov, has English subtitles for many of its performances. Moscow also has four opera houses and a chance to see something on the stage of the Bolshoi (if you can get a ticket) is an “out-worldly” experience. Even the other three are also worth checking out.
- Food – Russia is known as a culinary paradise and, of all the different national cuisines, Georgian is the best and Moscow has some of the best Georgian food outside Tbilisi. Sahli is one of the top places to try it; it’s not the cheapest, but worth every rouble. Non-intrusive live music on some evenings adds to the family atmosphere and cosy surroundings. Food is an essential part of the Russian lifestyle and they like to eat.
- Getting around – It can sound really bad but the transport situation is as bad as it’s depicted in the movies. Although the subterranean train system does work it might just be too overwhelming for a visitor. Usually, hotels have concierge desks that can arrange for transportation from the hotel itself however, there are cheaper options available such as KiwiTaxi. KiwiTaxi expertise in ferrying travellers across Moscow city comfortably, safely and without being ripped off. A little precaution can go a long way in prevention of unforeseen circumstances.
- Tips – When planning a trip to Russia, please remember that both Napoleon and Hitler lost to the Russian weather. Avoid autumn as that is when the heavens open up with rip-roaring power and then get accumulated into icy puddles on the streets; the spring also sees a slush of a different kind as the snow starts to melt and turns into puddles of mud. Best time to visit would be summer months of extreme winter months.
– Do not expect service with a smile. It is best to keep the courtesy and manners at home in Moscow. – Learning a few phrases in Russian would go a long way and help not getting ripped off. Moscow is one of the most expensive cities, so plan accordingly.
– Try to avoid any mixers with vodka (it might be offensive to people), instead opt for a snack along with the shot.