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    Moscow: The Russian beauty

    The capital of Russia has seen some tumultuous times in its 1,000-year history: the rise and fall of tsars, usurpers and sieges, empires and revolution. All this history has left an indelible mark on the city by the Moskva River. In the centre, the onion domes of Orthodox churches jostle for space with Russian baroque department stores and austere Soviet towers.

    But Moscow is no musty museum piece – behind the history is a fast-paced modern metropolis, with shopping, nightlife and dining to rival any European capital. Start the day at the Kremlin and finish the night with champagne and caviar and tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet. Mixing leisure with culture is the Russian way.

    Flight and accommodation


    Top 10 sights in Moscow


    The Kremlin

    Krasnaya ploshchad
    109012 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 695 3776
    Show on map

    Opening times: Fri-Wed 1000-1700

    Moscow’s most famous sight is almost a city within a city. Behind the towering walls of the Kremlin are elegant cathedrals, stately palaces and museums dripping with unimaginable riches, as well as the offices of the Russian government.

    Red Square

    Red Square, (Krasnaya Ploshad)
    103012 Moscow
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    The vast size of Red Square only becomes apparent when you step out onto the cobbles. Even towering St Basil’s Cathedral looks like a paperweight in this expansive setting. Come in May for bombastic military parades, or just join the promenading crowds.

    St Basil’s Cathedral

    4 Krasnaya Ploshchad
    103012 Moscow
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    Opening times: Daily 1100-1900 (summer); 1100-1700 (winter)

    Looking more like a wedding cake built by an eccentric sweet-maker, Russia’s most famous place of worship has pride of place in Red Square. The exterior is topped by fantasy towers and candy-colour domes, while the interior is adorned with lavish frescoes.

    Novodevichy Convent & Cemetery

    Novodevichy proezd 1
    119435 Moscow
    Tel: (499) 246 8526
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    Opening times: Wed-Mon 0900-1700

    The cemetery attached to this UNESCO-listed convent is the final resting place of some of Russia’s most famous citizens, including Anton Chekhov, Nikita Khrushchev and Boris Yeltsin. As well as famous graves, don’t miss the ornate frescoes inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Smolensk.

    Pushkin Fine Arts Museum

    Volkhonka ulitsa 12
    119019 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 697 9578
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    Opening times: Tue-Wed and Fri-Sun 1000-1900, Thurs 1000-2100

    Showing great art in a grand setting, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum has Russia’s premier collection of European art. Amongst the collection are works by Monet, Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Van Gogh.

    Bolshoi Theatre

    Teatralnaya ploshchad 1
    125009 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 455 5555
    Show on map

    Opening times: Tours on Mon, Wed and Fri at 1210

    Even if you fail to secure tickets for a live show, touring the Bolshoi Theatre, the official home of the legendary Bolshoi Ballet Company, is almost mandatory when visiting Moscow. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and see the stage where Swan Lake premiered in 1877.

    Tretyakov State Gallery

    Lavrushinsky pereulok 10
    119017 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 953 1051
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    Opening times: Tue-Wed and Sat-Sun 1000-1800, Thurs-Fri 1000-2100

    Pre-Revolutionary art is the focus at this famous gallery, which preserves the world’s finest collection of Russian Orthodox icons. Also on display is work from the groundbreaking Peredvizhniki movement, pioneers of Russian realism.

    Gorky Park

    Krymsky Val ulitsa 9
    119049 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 995 0200
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    Less menacing than the spy novels would have you believe, this sprawling park is a favourite summer hangout for Muscovites, with cafés, bars, shady walkways, gaudy fairground rides and calming river views.

    Sanduny Baths

    Neglinnaya ulitsa 3-7 14
    107031 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 625 4631
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    Opening times: Daily 0800-2200

    The grandest place in Moscow to take a bath, this elegant banya (bathhouse) was constructed in 1808, and the steam baths still pull in daily crowds. Celebrities from Alexander Pushkin to Roman Abramovich have all come here to let off steam.


    4-y Syromyatnichesky pereulok 1
    105120 Moscow
    Tel: (495) 917 4646
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    Opening times: Tue-Sun 1200-2000

    Moscow’s answer to the Meatpacking District, this dynamic modern art centre sprawls across seven vast industrial buildings. Inside the hanger-like halls are artists’ studios, galleries, cafés and bars, and some of Moscow’s most atmospheric exhibition spaces.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Russia is at once breathtaking, baffling and stunningly beautiful. Monumental in every respect, it’s a land where untamed wilderness sits alongside bustling urban centres, and adventure lurks around every corner. From imperial splendour to icy Siberian tundra and from time-worn Soviet-era monuments to über-hip urban culture, Russia is a land of contradiction and superlatives.

    For the first time in its history, Russia is now wide open for foreign visitors to experience, and exploration beyond Moscow and St Petersburg is well advised. The Golden Ring, a collection of ancient gems, transports the traveller back to a bygone age.


    The Russian Federation covers almost twice the area of the USA, and reaches from the enclave of Kaliningrad in the west over the Urals and the vast Siberian plains to the Sea of Okhotsk in the east. The border between European Russia and Siberia (Asia) is formed by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River and the Manych Depression. All in all Russia has 16 international borders with countries including Finland, Lithuania, USA, Japan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and China.

    European Russia extends from the North Polar Sea across the Central Russian Uplands to the Black Sea, the Northern Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. Siberia stretches from the West Siberian Plain across the Central Siberian Plateau to the Lena River and takes in the Sayan and Yablonovy ranges in the south.

    East of Siberia stretches the Russian Far East, a region almost as big as Siberia itself, running to the Pacific coast and including the vast Chukotka and Kamchatka peninsulas.

    Given the vast size of the country, Russia’s terrain is hugely variable. From the Siberian tundra to the mountains of the Urals, the beaches on the Black Sea coast, and the plains of western Russia, such variable geography means one can experience many different Russias.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 142500482

    Population Density (per sq km): 8

    Capital: Moscow.


    Russian is the official language, although there are over 100 other languages. English is widely spoken by younger people as well as some educated older people.


    Rouble (RUB; symbol руб) = 100 kopeks. Notes are in denominations of 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 kopeks.


    220 volts AC, 50Hz. Russia uses a standard two-pin European plug.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 1000-1800, with a lengthy lunch break, usually from 1200-1400, during which no work is done – even telephones are left unanswered.

    Public Holidays

    Listed below are the public holidays for the period January 2020 to December 2021.


    Nowogodnije kanikuly (New Year): 1 to 6 January 2020
    Roschdestwo Christowo (Orthodox Christmas Day): 7 January 2020
    Den saschtschitnika Otetschestwa (Defender of the Fatherland Day): 23 and 24 February 2020
    Meschdunarodny schenski den (International Women’s Day): 8 and 9 March 2020
    Prasdnik Wesny i Truda (Spring and Labour Day): 1 May 2020
    Den Pobedy (Victory Day): 9 and 11 May 2020
    Den Rossii (Russia Day, Republic Day): 12 June 2020
    Den narodnowo jedinstwa (Unity Day): 4 November 2020


    Nowogodnije kanikuly (New Year): 1 to 6 January 2021
    Roschdestwo Christowo (Orthodox Christmas Day): 7 January 2021
    Den saschtschitnika Otetschestwa (Defender of the Fatherland Day): 23 February 2021
    Meschdunarodny schenski den (International Women’s Day): 8 March 2021
    Prasdnik Wesny i Truda (Spring and Labour Day): 1 May 2021
    Den Pobedy (Victory Day): 9 and 10 May 2021
    Den Rossii (Russia Day, Republic Day): 12 June 2021
    Den narodnowo jedinstwa (Unity Day): 4 November 2021

    All information subject to change.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    The most atmospheric way to explore the Russian capital is on the Moscow Metro (tel: (495) 688 0293;; fares are cheap, trains run to every corner of the city and the marble and chandelier-filled stations are works of art in themselves. Tickets are sold in stations; buy a multi-ride smart card to avoid the queues. Above ground, buses, trams and marshrutka (shared minibuses) zip between the suburbs and the centre, but routes can be confusing; buy tickets from the driver, from metro stations, or from ticket booths at bus stops.


    Taking a taxi in Moscow can be an expensive business, and that’s before you consider Moscow’s notorious traffic jams. It’s best to phone ahead for an official taxi, rather than taking your chances in Moscow’s vast fleet of unofficial taxis; reputable companies include Welcome Taxi (tel: (499) 553 0158) and New Yellow Taxi (tel: (495) 940 8888). Locals generally do not tip.

    Flight and accommodation


    Nightlife in Moscow


    It’s easy to track down some evening entertainment in Moscow – and easiest of all in the city’s bars and big hotels. Even the upmarket, less conventional ones are child’s play to spot by the lines of people waiting outside the door.

    There are usually bouncers on the door to make sure guests meet the required standard of sartorial elegance. If that all sounds too much to you, head for one of the many cafés and bars that also stay open late but are a little relaxed – and not only in matters of style.


    Bolshaya Sadovaya 8/1
    103379 Moscow
    Show on map

    This huge club is a five-story event center with a restaurant. For disco music, head to the 1980s-style second floor or to the fifth floor, where the motto is “Disco 2000.” If you’re into jazz, the fourth floor’s for you; there’s also a lounge and a summer veranda.

    Sixteen Tons

    Presnensky val 6/1
    123022 Moscow
    Show on map

    This two-level concert club has a stage and a dance floor and hosts live gigs, mostly featuring guitar bands, some of them from abroad. Done out entirely like an English pub, it has its own brewery, which produces the house label, 16 Tons (obviously), but also serves a selection of other beers.


    Bolshoy Zlatoustinskiy pereulok 7
    109472 Moscow
    Show on map

    The admission policy is not nearly as strict at this café club, which first opened in 1997, as in other places around Moscow. It opens at 12 noon, when it serves good, reasonably priced food and drink, but in the evening lays down a changing evening program that may be devoted entirely to soul, house or techno – the club’s taste in music is eclectic.

    City Space

    Kosmodamianskaya naberezhnaya 52/6
    115054 Moscow
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    This panorama bar on the 34th floor of the Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy City closely resembles a UFO that’s just arrived from outer space. Located 140 meters above the ground, the City Space has a 360° glass facade of floor-to-ceiling windows offering a breathtaking view. Cocktails ranging from classic to molecular complete the spacey experience.

    Club Petrovic

    Myasnitskaya ul. 24, Building 3
    101000 Moscow
    Show on map

    The USSR of the 1950s and ’60s has survived here, both in terms of the decor and the menu. Here, guests tuck into blini and hearty soups amid everyday objects and memorabilia dating from that era. There’s live music in the evenings and dancing on the weekend. The Petrovich is officially a “members only” club, so it’s a good idea to book a table before you go.

    Flight and accommodation


    Restaurants in Moscow


    Only members of the older generation still recall the “minimalism” of Soviet-era restaurants; young Muscovites, on the other hand, are accustomed to an ever-growing number and broad selection of eating places.

    Each of the Russian Federation’s many ethnicities has established its country’s cuisine in Moscow, which also boasts a number of international restaurants. Cafés also serve hot food, and you will find stalls selling street food, such as chebureki (pastries with a savory filling), blini (thin pancakes) and pirozhki (savory filled dumplings), on almost every street corner.

    Café Pushkin

    Tverskoy bulvar 26A
    103009 Moscow
    Show on map

    Price: luxurious

    This classy restaurant opened on Tverskoy Boulevard in 1999. The building is Baroque, but the interior is in 19th-century style. Whether you prefer the pharmacy hall, the library or the fireplace room is a matter of taste. The Pushkin serves traditional Russian dishes with an original French twist. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Café Pushkin confectionery right next door.

    White Rabbit

    Smolenskaya ploshchad 3
    121099 Moscow
    Show on map

    Price: luxurious

    Chef Vladimir Mukhim serves up modern Russian creations with Asian and Mediterranean influences on the 17th floor of the Smolensky Passage Center. The White Rabbit has a delightfully whimsical interior and counted among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017.


    Neglinnaya ulitsa 29
    109012 Moscow
    Show on map

    Price: moderate

    The building dates from the late 19th century and has a long tradition of hospitality. Originally a tavern, then a café, it later housed an officers’ mess. Since 1997, the Uzbekistan has been serving Azerbaijani, Arab and Uzbek specialties in an Oriental ambience. The emphasis is very much on traditional preparation here, which is why all dishes are cooked over an open flame or in the tandoor.

    5642 Vysota

    Bol. Cherkassky per. 15-17 bldg.1
    Show on map

    Price: moderate

    The western peak of Mount Elbrus in the Russian part of the Greater Caucasus is 5642 meters high, making it the tallest mountain in all of Russia. Like the name of the restaurant, the dishes on its menu are largely Caucasian inspired, and include Georgian specialties, such as chakhokhbili (chicken) and kharcho (beef soup with rice).

    Ludi kak Ludi

    1/4 Solyanskiy tupik, Kitay Gorod
    109240 Moscow
    Show on map

    Price: budget

    There are plenty of small cafés in Kitay-Gorod, but few as popular as this one, which is crowded right into the early-morning hours with people enjoying its very reasonably priced and delicious pastries, sandwiches, homemade bread and smoothies.

    Flight and accommodation


    Calendar of events

    Russian Orthodox Christmas

    January 7, 2020

    Venue: Various locations around Moscow

    Celebrated according to the Julian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Christmas falls on 7 January and is a huge celebration for Orthodox Christians across Russia. Events begin on the eve of the holiday with a special televised speech by the president. Many attend Christmas religious services which are held in churches throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Midnight Mass service on Christmas Eve in the restored Christ the Saviour Cathedral near the Kremlin is one of the main services.

    Maslenitsa (Blini Day)

    February 24 – March 1, 2020

    Venue: Various locations around Moscow

    Maslenitsa is a blend of pagan beliefs and Christian traditions and is the Russian equivalent of Mardi Gras – the last period for feasting before the fasting of the traditional Lent season. Blini are a type of Russian pastry or doughnut which is frequently eaten smothered in jam, honey or other sweet foodstuffs. Maslenitsa lasts for up to one week ending on Shrove Tuesday or ‘Blini Day’. Many Muscovites visit the Blini Village in Red Square which is a great place to soak up the unique flavour of this popular cultural and religious celebration.

    Women's Day

    March 8, 2020

    Venue: Throughout Russia

    International Women’s Day (IWD) is an internationally recognised celebration of women and their social, economic and political achievements. In Russia, the demonstrations that marked International Women’s Day created a sea of change that kick-started the Russian Revolution of 1917. To commemorate the day’s historic importance it is now a public holiday in Russia. However, rather than staging political protests the day has a more sentimental slant, with husbands and sons showing their love for the ladies in their lives.

    Paskha (Easter)

    April 19, 2020

    Venue: Churches across Moscow

    The main holiday of the Russian Orthodox Church, when Russians end 40 days of fasting with midnight church services and a feast of special cakes.

    Moscow International Film Festival

    April 18 – 25, 2020

    Venue: Cinemas across Moscow

    Muscovites celebrate more than 100 years of Russian cinema with screenings of new and classic films at theatres all over Moscow.

    Victory Day

    May 9, 2020

    Venue: Red Square

    Each year on 9 May Russia celebrates Victory Day which commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The German army signed the surrender terms on 8 May 1945 with peace officially taking effect the following day on 9 May. But peace did not come without huge loss of life on both sides and the day is also a way of remembering the many people that lost their lives during the conflict. Known as VE Day in most of Europe, Victory Day is celebrated in a grand way in Moscow with lavish ceremonies and a military parade in Red Square. The ceremony is usually attended by several prominent world leaders and the occasion closes with a fireworks display.

    White Nights Festival

    May – July 2020

    Venue: Throughout the city

    This festival is a must for ballet, opera and classical music amateurs. It takes its inspiration from the short summer season when the sun never sets, and offers a world-class programme of concerts.

    Russian Independence Day

    June 12, 2020

    Venue: Red Square

    Russia declared its sovereignty on 12 June 1990 as a way of distancing itself from the crumbling Soviet Union. The following year when the Soviet Union was formerly broken up, Boris Yeltsin came to power and declared 12 June Russian Independence Day and a national holiday. But it was not until over a decade later in 2003 under the presidency of Vladimir Putin that the day became a grand parade. Now each year on 12 June there is a big celebration and parade at Moscow’s Red Square.

    Moscow City Day (Den' Goroda)

    September 2020

    Venue: Various locations around Moscow

    Held over the first weekend in September, Moscow celebrates the birth of the Russian capital with a series of parades and entertainment events. The celebrations begin on the Saturday with a procession of floats and city officials along Tverskaya Street and finishing at the Kremlin. Other celebratory events taking place over the weekend include fun fairs, street entertainers, sports contests and live music; and there are plenty of food and drink stalls lining the streets. The city parks are also popular places to celebrate the occasion with many families choosing to enjoy a picnic in one of the beautifully maintained parks. Moscow’s City Day was introduced by the former Russian president Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) in 1986 when he was the Secretary of the Moscow City Committee.

    Kremlin Cup

    October 17 – 25, 2020

    Venue: Olympic Stadium

    Russia’s answer to Wimbledon captures the city’s attention for nine days in October.

    Day of National Unity

    November 4, 2020

    Venue: Throughout the city

    Communists come out of the woodwork to parade and flag-wave to commemorate the October Revolution.

    Russian Winter Festival

    December 2020 – January 2021

    Venue: Izmaylovsky Park, Pushkinsaya ploschad, Red Square and other venues

    Muscovites get into the Russian winter spirit with all sorts of special events and rides in troikas (sleighs drawn by three horses). Ice sculpture competitions, and even ice chess, also take place in the city.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Flight and accommodation


    Hotels in Moscow


    Bargains are sparse in über-expensive Moscow, but grand hotels are in steady supply. The most prestigious addresses are close to Red Square and the Kremlin, where caviar and champagne breakfasts are de rigueur.

    For cheaper accommodation, head to the suburbs and commute to the centre on the Moscow Metro.

    Ritz Carlton

    Tverskaya ulitsa 3
    125009 Moscow
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    Category: Expensive

    Every imaginable luxury is on offer at this grand hotel, with lavish designer interiors and views across to the Kremlin from the rooftop terrace.

    Swissotel Krasnye Holmy

    Kosmodamianskaya naberezhnaya 52, Building 6
    115054 Moscow
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Rooms are sumptuous and views are to die for at this gleaming Moscow tower, looming above the Moskva River.

    Metropol Moscow Historical Hotel

    Teatralny proezd 2
    109012 Moscow
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    Category: Expensive

    An art nouveau beauty on glamorous Teatralny Proezd, overflowing with old-world charm and period details.

    Kitay Gorod Hotel

    Lubyanskiy proezd 25
    101000 Moscow
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A rare inexpensive find in the centre, offering small but comfortable rooms within walking distance of the Kremlin.

    Izmailovo Beta

    Izmailovskoe Shosse 2B- 71 Block
    105187 Moscow
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Simple, no-frills rooms and bargain prices are the main attraction at this tower hotel near the Ismailovo Market.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 21.10.2020 09:00 UTC




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    Climate and best time to visit Moscow

    It pays to consider the weather when planning a trip to Moscow. Winters are bitterly cold, and even a furry ushanka hat may not be enough to ward off the chill from November to February. In contrast, summers are warm and sultry, and many Muscovites escape to their dachas (summer houses) in the countryside. The ideal time to visit is spring or autumn, when the crowds are smaller and prices are lower. The cultural calendar, however, runs year round. Mid-winter sees ice sculptures in Red Square and sophisticated performances for the December Nights festival, while May is marked by dramatic parades for the Victory Day and May Day celebrations.

    Climate & best time to visit Russia

    As you’d expect Russia’s climate is hugely dependent on where in the country you find yourself. With temperatures known to hit a tarmac-melting 37°C (99°F) in the cities and fall to -30°C (-22°F) and lower during the Siberian winter, there’s no point generalising about Russia’s weather except to say, be prepared. The most favourable temperatures are found along the Baltic coast, where many Muscovites decamp for balmy summer holidays, whilst the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi, also doubles as a beach resort, due to its tropical climate, earning it the epithet ‘Florida of Russia’. Minus the overly tanned pensioners of course.

    While the notion of visiting a snow-blanketed Moscow or St Petersburg has a definite romance, most tourists prefer to come calling in the warm summer months of June, July and August. This means the “shoulder seasons” of April, May, September and October are good options for visitors keen to avoid the peak crowds – prices are generally lower from September to May, and tourist sites almost invariably less crowded. Spring is often characterised by slushy roads. And if your heart’s set on that winter wonderland? December’s the best bet. Seasonal climates apply elsewhere in Russia – Siberia can have devastatingly cold winters, while its summers are generally fairly pleasant, if a little rainy. The region of Russia near the Black Sea has mild winters, but again attracts a fair amount of rain.


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    year35 °C-38 °C9 °C1 °C78 %691 mm1224.7 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +7


    When dialling the Russian Federation from abroad, the 0 of the area code must not be omitted. Most Moscow hotels have telephone booths with IDD. For long-distance calls within the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), dial 8 then wait for the dial tone before proceeding with the call. Collect calls, calls placed using credit cards and calls from direct dial telephones in hotels can be extremely expensive. International calls can be made from phones in the street and phonecards are available from many shops and kiosks in the street. For enquiries regarding Moscow private telephone numbers dial 09; for businesses, dial 927 0009.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. All major cities are covered by at least one operator. Handsets can be hired from some companies and local SIM cards are easily purchased for use within Russia if you have an unlocked handset.


    Wi-Fi is available within most hotels in larger cities (although they may charge) and at internet cafes. Most connections will be either via dial up or broadband. Although Russia does not ostensibly censor the internet, there is an internet blacklist of sites which you will not be able to visit from inside Russia, which includes some independent news sites.

    Flight and accommodation


    Shopping in Moscow

    Key Areas

    Russians have a deserved reputation as shopaholics, and the city is awash with markets, department stores, boutiques and malls, including the iconic GUM shopping centre beside Red Square. In the centre, Tverskaya ulitsa is the most glamorous shopping strip, while the Arbat district is the place to pick up a souvenir matryoshka doll.


    Few people do the weekly shop at GUM. Instead, Muscovites flock to the city’s rynok (markets) for everything from fashions and food to Chinese thermos flasks and Central Asian carpets. Close to Partizanskaya metro station, Izmailovo Market sells everything from Soviet-era trinkets and fur ushanka hats to electronics and fishing rods. For delicious Russian foodstuffs, head to the bustling Dorogomilovsky Market (Mozhaysky ulitsa val) or Danilovsky Market (Mytnaya ulitsa).

    Shopping Centres

    Oligarchs and opera stars shop for glitzy brands at the famous GUM shopping centre next to Red Square, known as the State Department Store in Soviet times. For champagne, cigars, perfume and diamonds, visit TSUM (formerly Central Universal Department Store) on Teatralnaya ploshchad, or mingle with the millionaires on shimmering Tretyakovsky Proezd. For less ostentatious purchases, modern malls abound – try Metropolis (Leningradskoe shosse), Atrium (Zemlyanoy Val ulitsa 33) or Europeisky (Kievskogo Vokzala 2 ploshchad).

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    It is customary to shake hands when greeting someone, though never across a threshold. Company or business gifts are well received; if you’re invited to someone’s home do bring a token gift, but avoid clearing your plate when eating; leaving some food is considered as a good sign.

    Conservative wear is suitable for most places – women will need to cover shoulders and wear long skirts to enter an orthodox church – and the seasonal weather should always be borne in mind. Smoking and drinking is acceptable unless stated otherwise.

    Russian society is still highly patriarchal and hierarchical; this may be reflected in chivalrous acts (men holding doors open for women for example) but it may also mean that women are taken less seriously, and engaging in ‘unfeminine’ behaviour may be interpreted wrongly, although being a visitor may get you some leeway.

    Be careful with gestures – in Russia, giving the ‘thumbs up’ sign is an insult not an ‘OK’.


    It is prohibited to take photographs of any military installation and/or establishments or sites of strategic importance. Failure to abide by this could result in police arrest.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    In general, Russia does not pose any serious health risks when it comes to food. Use common sense and caution when deciding what might be safe to eat. Tap water is drinkable, although those with sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water. Similarly, some may want to make sure that water used for brushing teeth or making ice has been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Be mindful that eating salads may have vegetables washed in tap water; you may want to stick to well-cooked meals for the duration of your stay. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations are sometimes recommended for Japanese B encephalitis, meningococcal meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Popadeykin, Vladimir
    OOO Med Es
    4-th Lesnoy pereulok 4
    Office 512
    125047 Moscow
    Tel. +7-495663-80-01

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre

    Flight and accommodation