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Basic information

  • Area: 1,081 km² (417.4 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +7
  • Currency: Russian Ruble (RUB)
  • Population (EST): 10,563,038
  • Language: Russian
  • Time Zone: MSK (UTC+3)

Moscow – Overview

Radiating from the banks of Moskva River, are the bright lights of Moscow, Russia’s exuberant heartland. Having shaken off its heavy history, the city has become something of a capitalist wonderland, oozing an alluring mix of contemporary glitz and old world glamour. This multidimensional megacity boasts everything from billionaires to babushkas and best of all provides adventurous visitors with an endless playground of places to explore.

Fashionistas can find their fix at GUM, one of the capital’s glossiest designer malls, or for kitsch souvenirs take an early morning trip to the bustling stalls of Izmailovsky Market. For culture vultures museums and monuments abound and for a real feel of the avant-garde hot foot it down to the wonderful art galleries of Winzavod. Finally to satisfy those with a morbid curiosity, nothing could be more macabre than a visit to Lenin’s mausoleum.

Having undergone its own booming revolution, modern day dining is less about boiled beetroot and belinis and more about Sashimi and Caesar Salads. For the hungry visitor, Moscow now heaves with countless restaurants offering an array of cosmopolitan cuisine. Literary lovers who can blow the budget and want a taste of traditional fare should head to Café Pushkin, Moscow’s ultimate eatery. Spread over three floors the restaurant brims with a vast collection of old books, perfectly preserved antiques and a heady aristocratic atmosphere.

Moscow accommodation can be notoriously pricey, but the city still offers a range of options from bed and breakfasts and homely hostels to self catering apartments and luxurious 5 star hotels. If it’s somewhere uber stylish you are seeking then take a bite of the Golden Apple, Moscow’s hippest place to stay. Located in the buzzing downtown district, this sleek boutique hotel’s historic façade conceals its cool and contemporary heart. Assuredly ultramodern, designer suites feature an abundance of Philippe Stark fixtures and funky furnishings.

Moscow has a humid continental climate which results in some extreme seasonal weather. Winters can be fearsome, when temperatures fall to -10°C and snowfall is heavy. To survive the bitter cold whilst sight-seeing, visitors must pack a plentiful supply of warm clothes, boots and most importantly - moisturizer. Summers on the other hand can be hot and sunny, with temperatures soaring to 30°C in July and August. Have an umbrella at the ready as thunderstorms are frequent, but provide a welcome break from humidity.

Moscow has many of the conveniences needed for easy trip, including numerous ATM machines, foreign exchange booths and post offices. The city doesn’t however have a central source for tourist information, however helpful hotel staffs are always quick to offer guidance, book tickets and provide maps for visitors. The currency used is the Russian Ruble.