Moscow Nightlife

Classical culture – theatre, music, ballet – was always an important feature of Moscow life but far more hedonistic types of nightlife have also surfaced in the Russian capital in recent years. Modern Muscovites may now be free to enjoy the pleasures of a 24-hour city - but it comes at a price: going out in Moscow can be a very expensive business. Even with the necessary cash, most elite nightspots have very strict dress codes where even wearing the latest Prada may not get you past the ‘face control’ on the door. Moving considerably down market, there is a seedy side to city nightlife too, with plenty of shady lap dancing bars.

Moscow Out (www.moscowout.ru) is an excellent source of listings and information on cultural events in the capital. The Friday edition of Moscow Times also has a useful weekly entertainment supplement with listings. Advance tickets for cultural shows can be quite cheap but those purchased from ticket touts on the evening of the performance are usually expensive. Concert and theatre tickets can be purchased at the venues, at large hotels or more cheaply from kiosks on almost every main street in Moscow. Alternatively, book online at Top Bilet (tel: (495) 228 0987; www.topbilet.ru).

Bars in Moscow

Rosie O’Grady’s

One of several Irish theme pubs in the city, this is as good as any and serves as a popular meeting place for the Moscow expat community. Naturally, draught Guinness is available on tap, although it does not flow cheaply.

Address:
Znamenka ulitsa 9, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 545 1728.
Tinkoff

Moscow’s home base for this national microbrewery has large TV screens on the walls for watching sports and quality live acid jazz and funk at weekends. As well as offering a wide choice of beers, the menu includes all sorts of meaty treats that include enormously long sausages.

Address:
Protochny pereulok 11, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 777 4035.
Vodka Bar

This Moscow establishment does exactly what it says on the tin - it serves every type of vodka you could possibly hope to try and some you might wish you had not. If Russia’s native clear white spirit isn’t your thing then you might be better off sampling the bar’s cocktails, which are excellent.

Address:
Lva Tolstovo ulitsa 18B, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 246 9669.

Clubs in Moscow

Gaudi Arena

This lively club attracts all the top-flight international DJs and is committed to showcasing the best in techno and party nights. With the largest dance floor area in Moscow, Gaudi can accommodate up to 7,000 revellers on two storeys. There are also seven bars and a chill-out zone in the form of a woodland coppice.

Address:
Skladochnaya ulitsa 1, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 508 8060.
Propaganda

This bare brick Moscow institution has been around for years and is one of the city's great survivors. It's serves as a café by day and a warehouse club by night, although face control on the door may need some persuading to let you in.

Address:
Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky pereulok 7, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 624 5732.
The Most

With an appropriate name for this city of billionaires, this Moscow club is certainly highly exclusive and consequently very popular with the capital’s new money. With high prices, swanky décor and even swankier clientele, you should be aware that face control is going to be really tough here – this is no place for trainers or crumpled clothes.

Address:
Kuznetsky Most 6/3, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 660 0706.

Live Music in Moscow

16 Tons

Housed above an English-themed pub that brews its own beer, this venue hosts many visiting bands as well as Moscow’s home-grown rock talent.

Address:
Presnensky Val ulitsa 6, Moscow, Russia
Dom u Dorogi

Otherwise known as ‘Roadhouse’, this Moscow venue is an intimate club with live jazz and blues performances every night.

Address:
Dovatora ulitsa 8, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 697 6008.

Classical Music in Moscow

Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory

As well as being a venue for major concerts, this Moscow institution remains Russia's largest and most famous music school. Premieres of works by Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich have taken place here and the conservatory’s honorary founder, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, formerly taught here, although the composer died before public concerts started in 1898. One of the students who he commended for his thesis project was none other than Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Address:
Bolshaya Nikitskaya ulitsa 13/6, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 629 9401.
Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

Home base for Russia’s State Symphony Orchestra when not busy touring the world, this Moscow concert hall hosts a full programme of symphony and chamber concerts in addition to special festivals and performances of Russian national dance, organ and choral music. Naturally, the music of Tchaikovsky is a speciality here but the works of other Russian classical composers feature prominently in the programme too.

Address:
Triumfalnaya ploshchad 4/31, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 232 5353.

Theatre in Moscow

Maly Teatr (Small Theatre)

This attractive small Moscow theatre, founded in the early 19th century, has a history of staging plays of political and social satire. Some of Russia's most famous playwrights, including Nikolai Gogol, staged their first plays here. There are performances of mostly 19th-century classical works daily at 1900, but most plays are performed in the original Russian.

Address:
Teatralnaya ploshchad 1/6, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (499) 623 2621.
MKhAT imeni Chekhova (Moscow Art Theatre)

Named in honour of Anton Chekov, whose plays it first staged, this is Moscow's pre-eminent theatre company founded in 1898. It was here that drama was revolutionised in Europe, the theatre providing a venue for the method-acting techniques of Konstantin Stanislavsky. Now staging works that are generally more classically mainstream than avant-garde, it continues its fine tradition of method acting. English-language performances of Russian classics are sometimes staged by the American studio.

Address:
Kamergersky pereulok 3, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 629 8760.

Music and Dance in Moscow

Bolshoi Theatre

Perhaps the most renowned company in the world, the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera Company performances are staged here daily from 1700 from September to June, with weekend matinees at noon. The company, formed in 1773, took up residence at this Moscow theatre in 1824. Its international reputation was consolidated by theatre director Yuri Grigorovich, who led the company on a series of ground-breaking world tours between 1964 and 1995. The theatre itself is a striking neo-classical building, renowned for its size and the quality of the acoustics.

Address:
Teatralnaya ploshchad 1, Moscow, Russia
Telephone: (495) 455 5555.
Edited by Tina Banerjee
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