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A Moscow city guide – stylish shopping, world class ballet, and diverse 24-hour nightlife

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Moscow has shrugged off its drab Soviet reputation and is now an exciting global city that relishes burning the candle at both ends. The Russian capital offers a break stuffed with history, striking architecture and plenty of stiff drinks. Discover an enticing metropolis that delights at every corner, whether you want to explore ancient cathedrals, witness a famed ballet performance, or shop ‘til you drop on a historic Moscow street. 

Natalia Orel

My Destination local expert on


24-hour nightlife


Moscow is a city that never sleeps. It’s famed for a buzzing nightlife scene that is fast becoming one of the world’s most notorious and diverse. Most bars and clubs double up as a restaurant, casino or cinema; in a vast metropolis such as this, venues like to provide a one-stop shop for partyers, staying open 24 hours. Moscow is the perfect city whatever your taste in bars; although the city’s nightlife may sometimes be tricky to get the hang of – many clubs run loosely defined door policies – its revelry ranges from glamorous cocktail bars to scruffy hidden pubs.


Russian decadence


Moscow may have a reputation as one of the world’s priciest cities, but thankfully that also means it should be your first choice if you want to splash some cash. The Russian capital boasts more billionaires than any other city in the world, so for a holiday experiencing the high life, Moscow is hard to beat. For a truly decadent feeling, the city offers unrivaled luxury, from unbelievable five star hotels to clubs and restaurants that attract royalty. Moscow is also a revered destination for shopaholics – head to Tverskaya Street for world class department stores and luxury brands spilling from a variety of stylish fashion boutiques.


World famous architecture


Many cities have memorable buildings or monuments that are recognized around the world, but Moscow can boast some of the most striking architecture to exist anywhere. From the soaring pinnacles of cathedrals to the classical soviet towers of Moscow State University, this city both shocks and enchants with its bricks and mortar. History has made its mark on this facet of Moscow; the Stalin era saw unique churches destroyed – which are now being rebuilt – and the construction of the Seven Sisters, a group of stately Russian Baroque skyscrapers. Beautiful architecture is visible in surprising places too; some of the city’s most impressive interiors can be seen in its Metro stations.


Performing arts


Moscow is known to be one of the world’s greatest cities for theatre and performing arts. With the country’s impressive history of classical composers – think Tchaikovsky and the ‘Russian five’ – and world famous ballet dancers such as Vaganova, its capital has remained one of the biggest assets of the global performing arts scene. In fact, Moscow’s ballet schools are credited with greatly improving and shaping the art, with other global academies following suit. Witnessing a performance while here is a must; the theatres themselves are worth a visit whether or not you’re a ballet fan – the Bolshoi Theatre in particular is a very famous and lavish venue.