привет, people! Prepare to embark on a 3 hour-flight (from Bucharest, at least), to the Russia`s grandiose capital, Moscow. After an exquisite flight service, one of the most amazing, to be honest, the long wait at the airport customs, where extremely vigilant officers will check your travel visa countless times, and an infernal traffic on the way to the city centre, which cannot be more fluidised, despite the 6 lanes highway (on each side), you will get to what seems the forbidden spot. Your hotel. And then the adventure begins.
There is no doubt Russians like big things. I do not know if this rule really applies to everything, but when it comes to building edifices, blocks and basically everything, they for sure do not hesitate to go big. In the end, it`s the biggest country in the world, with a population over 140 million and about 20% of it is concentrated around Moscow, which houses, along with its metropolitan area, 25 millions people. Everything here is taken to a bigger scale, so forget the more or less usual crowded cities from the rest of Europe. What to do, see and eat in such a place, though? I got you covered:
How to get around:
The metro network here is one of the biggest in the world and gets you basically everywhere. However, just like when it comes to the overground public transport, little or no information in English is provided. The public transport comes at an extremely cheap price, just like the ridesharing and taxi services. If you want to make sure you do not get scammed taking a taxi, order one using the YANGO app, or Uber.
Moscow is now definitely one of my favourite shopping destinations! The city has something for every budget, but people! When it comes to luxury fashion, they got everything covered.
- Gum Shopping Mall: situated in the Red square, the heart of Moscow, this luxury shopping centre is the oldest in the country and represented a paradise for myself. Its flamboyant architecture makes it also the perfect backdrop for shooting your outfits and if your looks are put together with garments bought from the luxury boutiques occupying the huge shopping area, even better.
2. Tsum Shopping Mall: Russia`s largest department store, situated in Moscow next-doors to Bolshoi Theatre is the no. 1 destination for getting your hands on literally the latest and, in some cases, most futuristic fashion. Opened from 10AM till 10PM, and having broad sections of fashion, beauty and accessories split on its 5 floors, for sure this store wont disappoint you either.
3. The Arbat street: an extremely fancy outdoor-kind-of-mall. This street and actually its surroundings as well, are a huge shopping area for both luxury and on-the-budget fashion passionates. Extremely luxurious fashion houses have their headquarters located right here: from Chanel to Valentino, Dior and Margiela, you got `em.
Where to eat glamourously:
Russia has an incredibly rich and delicious cuisine; and the restaurants can hardly disappoint you on this. Down here are my favourite restaurants in Moscow that I got to go to during the 3 days I staled there:
- White Rabbit: This award-winning restaurant, which nailed down to the 15th spot in 2018`s World`s Top 50 Restaurants welcomes you with a cozy, yet extremely class ambient. Also, as they claim on their website, this is Russia`s first restaurant that features a menu tasting experience. Situated right across the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the 17th floor of a department store and office building, precedented by long corridors and an exchange of 2 elevators, the restaurant indeed seems like a place of mystical and secrecy. The service is undoubtedly impeccable, whereas the menu, featuring Russian and Mediterranean fine dishes enchants the gastronomy lovers.
2. Dr. Zhivago: another top restaurant in the Moscow high-life scene, this is the go-to spot for the most authentic Russian dishes. Enjoy a traditional Moscow borsch and a baked sturgeon in the close proximity of Kremlin and top your visit with some Beluga Caviar pancakes.
3. Cafe Pushkin: one of Moscow’s oldest eateries, this one has a long history behind its beautiful, 19th century walls. Situated in what seems like being a little old house, the cafe, actually one of the finest restaurants, is always packed with tourists- better make a reservation. With a menu featuring especially traditional Russian cuisine, but also haute French dishes, a meal here doesn’t come cheap. But if you want to taste from the 19th century aristocratic way of living, you wont be disappointed. It is open 24/7, being one of Moscow’s legends.
Bars with a view and a rich overview:
- The O2 Lounge ate the Ritz Carlton: situated just above the Red Square, this one is the pace to get the ultimate Russian glamour. Having a very posh ambient and serving easy dishes, as well as one of the most exquisite cocktails, you’ll also get the chance to explore the city from above. Metro station that gets you here: Okhotny Ryad.
- Bar sixty, in the Federation Tower: this was the first place I went to after I arrived in Moscow, as I needed a good cocktail after the flight and the ordeal traffic jam I was stuck into for 3 hours on the way to the hotel. Bar Sixty is, as the name suggests, situated at the 60th floor of the sleekest and highest skyscraper in Europe, the restaurant itself being the highest in Europe. Come here for extremely classy vibes and priceless panoramas of the city. Metro station that gets you here: Mezhdunarodnaya.
- Mercedes Bar: situated at the 31st floor of a historical building, the Radisson Royal Hotel, one of Stalin’s “Seven sisters”, this bar, situated on the banks of the Moscow river offers extremely creative cocktails. Get your Moscow mule here! Metro station: Kievskaya.
Cafeterias around the city:
- Stolovaya no.57 is an emblematic canteen right in the heart of the city centre, at the 3rd floor of the legendary Gum mall. Eat like a local for only a few bucks.
- Bez Zabot: Fresh ingredients and cheap food meet together at this canteen-style place. Not really crowded and practical.
I followed the rbth.com eat “Cheap and tasty” guide. You can find more info there.
What to visit:
- The Tetryakov Galleries: if you’re a fan of art and discover a certain culture through its art, then head to this gallery.
- The state history museum: a immersion into Russia`s archaeological past, from prehistory to present times, situated right in the Red Square.
- Kremlin and its cathedrals: The famous fortress, former house of tsars and nowadays the diplomatic centre of the country is opened to the public if thickets are bought in advance.
- St. Michail`s cathedral: recently re-built and back to its glory, this cathedral, built by Napoleon, is the biggest in Moscow. Its grandiosity will amaze you, for sure.
- Metro stations: the Moscow underground is THE most beautiful in the world. The mastery of the decorations that you’ll find in the underground is breathtaking.
Tip: To enter Russia, you will need a visa. During high-peak times of the year, the process of obtaining one can take up to 2 weeks. The visa is only valid for the duration of your stay.
Last modified: October 10, 2019