Things to do in Moscow

Things to do in Moscow

Traditionally, Moscow is known for its performing acts, especially ballet and classical concerts. Just to visit the Bolshoi Theatre and enjoy one of the famous ballets is worth a City Break Moscow. However, Moscow is modernizing really fast and has a better party scene than most European cities, which changes on an almost weekly basis.

If you are looking for a culinary fest, you will definitively enjoy your City break Moscow. Here you can find everything; whether you are looking for a cheap borsch (famous Russian soup), blinies (small pancakes) with caviar or a ten-course top-notch dinner. Enjoy the Russian kitchen!

Restaurants Moscow

The Russian kitchen is a farmer’s kitchen, with simple but alimentary dishes. Traditionally, ingredients such as grains and buckwheat were often used, since these were grown by the local farmers. These are still the ingredients of some of the popular dishes, such as blinies (buckwheat pancakes, sometimes stuffed with meat of cream) or pastries. The Russian Orthodox church has had a large impact on the Russian kitchen, during the Lent people were only allowed to eat mushrooms, fish and vegetables. These are still widely used ingredients in the modern Russian kitchen, try for example the ‘borsch’, a traditional Russian soup made from beetroot (giving it it’s deep-redden colour), and other vegetables and herbs, finished with some sour cream.

In Moscow, you will be able to find any kitchen you want. However, do check the menu before you go in, Russian restaurants can be very expensive. Fortunately, Moscow offers plenty of affordable alternatives, so be aware.

Shesh Besh - Azerbeidjan kitchen
Shesh Besh offers a walking buffet as well as a menu with Kaukasian dishes such as shashlik, khutabo (bread stuffed with meat or cheese) and kharcho (spiced lamb) and good, affordable wines, and is absolute worth going to. It is conveniently located just north of the Stary Arbat.
Adress: Novy Arbat 24; metro: Arbatskaya of Smolenskaya

Grably – Affordable Russian buffet
This is where the locals go for dinner, especially for Grably’s great soups and salads. Grably is a chain restaurant and you can find them all over Moscow. It is a traditional Russian bistro that serves its dishes fresh and sizzling hot. There is one establishment near the Tretyakov gallery, with a sun terrace.
Address: Pyatnitskaya Ulitsa 27; metro: Novokuznetskaya or Tretyakovskaya

For a bite of the Russian nightlife, you can go for dinner at Etage. This large restaurant (four floors) has a live DJ and an English menu and is mainly visited by local youth and tourists. On Friday and Saturday, the lower floors are used as a club with mainly club-trance music.
Address: Tverskaja-street, building 14; metro: Tverskaja

Another attractive option is to go to a Stolovaya, and old Russian cafeteria. Here you can find authentic Russian food, simple, tasteful and not too expensive. This is an excellent place to meet the locals! Try for example the Stolovaya 57 on the 3rd floor in the GUM, which is surprisingly inexpensive and offers authentic Russian food.

Nightlife Moscow

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the nightlife of Moscow developed itself into one of the most sensational scenes in the world. You will find everything here, from old bars with (drunken) locals drinking vodka and smokey jazz cafes, to uber-hip lounge bars and clubs. However, the scene is changing on an almost weekly basis, so check the internet for the hottest spots and the newest clubs.

Vodka Bar
You cannot visit Moscow without drinking some vodka and the best place to do so is (surprise surprise) the Vodka Bar. Besides vodka shots, they also serve great cocktails.
Adress: Lva Tolstovo ulitsa 18B

If clubbing is your thing and you are a lady, make sure you are taking your highest heels and sexiest dress with you! There is a shortage of men in Moscow and doormen use a stringent face-control policy. Women in Russia tend to dress themselves much more seductive then Western women (not only in clubs, also when they go shopping, walking the dog, etc), so adjust yourself to local standards! It is advisable to pick one club and stay there for the night, since entrance fees are being asked. To be sure you pick the club that is hot that week, pick up a free English club guide, the Moscow Times or The Exile, you can find them in most hotels and restaurants.

As the scene is changing fast, its difficult to name the best clubs to go to, but you will probably have a good time in the Propaganda, Bolshoi Zlatoustinksy pereulok 7 (, one of Moscow’s first clubs and mainly visited by students and tourists. If you are into techno, visit Gaudi Arena, Skladochnaya ulitsa 1 (, this place attracts top international DJs so check their website before you go to see who will be on stage. The B2, Bolshaya Sadovaya ulitsa 8 (, a big palace of fun, offers something to everyone, from karaoke to dance music, spread over four floors.

If you are a jazz-lover, Moscow will not disappoint you. One option is the homely authentic Forte (bol. Bronnaya 18,, which is one of the oldest bars in town that is allowed to play live music. Or go to Le Club (Verhnaya Radishchevskaya 21,, which is much more fancy and has a New Yorkish atmosphere.

Theatre Moscow

Russia is famous for its performing arts, such as opera and ballet, so if you are a lover of these sorts of art, you have to visit Moscow at least once in your life. The most famous theatre is the Bolshoi Theatre, but with ninety-three theatres and twenty-four concert-halls in the city, there is definitely more choice than that.

The Bolshoi theatre is the most famous ballet and opera theatre of Moscow, and maybe even the world. Some of the world’s most famous ballets have premiered here (for example Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake). However, the theatre has been closed since 2005 for restoration and will not be opened in the near future. Next to the Bolshoi theatre is the New Bolshoi Theatre, which is a good alternative for those who want to enjoy some amazing Russian ballet or opera. Since the Bolshoi is a popular touristic site, entrance fees are relatively expensive, but it is absolutely worthwhile going there during your City Break Moscow! You can book tickets online or through a travel agency. Be sure you are on time because shows can be sold out early.
Address: Teatralnaya sq., 1. Metro: Okhotny Ryad; Teatralnaya

The Moscow Operette Theatre
If you prefer something lighter than the shows offered at the Bolshoi, the Moscow Operette Theatre is a good alternative and is more appealing to a younger audience.
Address: Ulitsa Bolshaia Dmitrovka 6; Metro: Teatralnaia and Okhotnyi Ryad

Children’s Musical Theatre
If you want to impart some Russian culture to your children during your City Break Moscow, the Children’s Musical Theater is the place to be! The theatre offers newer versions of old fairy tales, as well as child-proof version of ‘adult’ musicals. The performers are often quite young and very talented and you will probably see them back in the Bolshoi at a later stage of their lives.
Address: Prospekt Vernadskogo 5; Metro: Universitet

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