The traditional and modern worlds exist side-by-side in Moscow, the latest Communist features next to signs of commercial boom. There are few other cities where the contrasts within Russia are as clear to see.
Magnificent buildings and broad boulevards define the cityscape. Elegantly dressed women in death- defyingly high heels stroll along the enormously wide streets like the Tverskaya. The beauty of the orthodox churches is hard to beat, especially St. Basil's Cathedral, with its colourful towers in Red Square. At night an atmosphere takes over the city that's hard to describe. You simply have to experience it yourself, preferably from above with a view of the illuminated buildings. The perfect place to do so is the O2 Lounge in the luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel.
The city is awash in superlatives. It's not a place that you'd want to try exploring on foot but that's not a problem because even the metro stations are worth seeing. The Muscovites do not wait in dark, grey tunnels; theirs are gleaming halls with stuccoed ceilings and murals on the walls. Moscow is proof of beauty in enormity. As you explore the city, you'll stumble time and again across awe-inspiring monuments, historical buildings and radiant churches. It's a city that seems strange at first yet later becomes surprisingly familiar.
Capital of Russia
About 12 million
About 2,511 km²
- Public transport
Excellent bus, tram and metro network.
Damp continental climate with humid summers and long, cold winters.
- Best time to visit
The ice-cold Russian winter sets in deeply from November to March. The temperatures are more comfortable in spring and early autumn.
- Good to know
A rudimentary understanding of the Cyrillic alphabet can be very helpful. The H stands for N, the P is a rolled R sound and the F looks like a line with two ears.
- Nice to know
Moscow has more billionaires than any other city. Their numbers reached 84 in 2013.
Moscow Domodedovo Airport, about 35 km southeast of the city centre.
For budget travelers, the Express Bus costs only 1.50 Dollars and leaves every 15 minutes non-stop between the airport and Domodedovskaya metro station. The ride takes 25 - 30 minutes.
You can take the Aeroexpress for a non-stop ride to Paveletsky Station in the city centre. The ride takes 40 - 50 minutes.
The taxi ranks are outside the Arrivals Hall. The trip to the city centre usually takes an extremely long time due to the heavy traffic. You should count on more than 1 hour 30 minutes.