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Moscow Nightlife

Visitors to Russia are always struck by the Russian enthusiasm for classical art forms, particularly theatre, music and dance, and Moscow is one of the top places in the country to sample the glory of Russian ballet, opera and drama.

For those less classically inclined, the city also has all the nightclubs, bars and brew-halls you would expect from a modern European capital. However, 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 this season’s Prada collection 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 ( 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: +8 495 955 5037;, which also sells tickets to top sporting events and concerts.

Bars in Moscow

02 Lounge

Set beneath a geometric glass canopy, the rooftop bar at the absurdly ostentatious Ritz Carlton Moscow is an established stop for high fliers. The drinks list is spectacular, particularly when it comes to wine, champagne and prestige vodkas, and the sleek outdoor terrace offers remarkable views. The glamour isn’t cheap, so bring a well-stocked wallet.

Address: , Ritz Carlton Hotel, Tverskaya ulitsa 3, Moscow, 125009
Telephone: +7 495 225 8181.


Moscow’s first proper gastropub, Delicatessen is tucked away and hard to find, but well worth seeking out for its cosy atmosphere, cosmopolitan food menu and stellar cocktail list. Its line of fruit liqueurs are particularly tempting, though at Moscow prices, a long boozy evening can prove an expensive proposition.

Address: , Savodvaya-Karetnaya ulitsa 20, Moscow, 127051
Telephone: +7 495 699 3952.

Time-Out Bar

The house bar at the Peking Hotel is perched up on the rooftop, so you get the same stunning Moscow views associated with swanky establishments like the Ritz-Carlton’s O2 Lounge, but without the bankrupting drink prices. There’s an extensive cocktail menu, with some imaginative creations, and DJs add a suitably upbeat vibe.

Address: , Peking Hotel, Sadovaya ulitsa 5/1, Moscow, 125047
Telephone: +7 495 229 0180.

Clubs in Moscow


Rising from the rooftop of the former Red October chocolate factory, Gipsy is a hangout for the hip and happening, rather than the rich, so getting past face control is as much about style and attitude as the size of your wallet. Inside, it’s all urban and mismatched, with a quirky style that matches the eclectic DJ line up.

Address: , Building 2, Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya 3/4, Moscow, 119072
Telephone: +7 499 409 8693.


This bare brick Moscow institution has been around for years and is one of the city's great survivors. It serves as a café by day and a warehouse club by night, and it provides a loud and boisterous beano for people in the party mood. Face control on the door may need some persuading to let you in, though.

Address: , Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky pereulok 7, Moscow, 101000
Telephone: +7 495 624 5732.

Live music in Moscow

16 Tons

Housed above an English-themed pub that brews its own beer, this popular music hall hosts many visiting bands as well as homegrown rock talent. There's a long list of homemade beers too, from lagers to stouts, and a decent menu of Russian food, plus an eclectic line-up of guitar acts through the week.

Address: , Presnensky Val ulitsa 6, Moscow, 123022
Telephone: +7 499 253 1550.

Classical music in Moscow

Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory

This leading concert venue and Moscow institution also remains Russia's most famous music school. Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich have both premiered work here, while Pyotr Tchaikovsky taught here, though the great composer died before public concerts started in 1898. Expect a regular programme of concerts, recitals and competitions from the cream of Russian musical talent.

Address: , Bolshaya Nikitskaya ulitsa 13/6, Moscow, 125009
Telephone: +7 495 255 1994

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

Home to Russia’s State Symphony Orchestra, this 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 too.

Address: , Tverskaya St 31/4, Moscow, 125047
Telephone: +7 495 232 5353.

Dance in Moscow

Theatres in Moscow

Music and Dance in Moscow

Bolshoi Theatre

Perhaps the world's most famous dance company, the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera Company perform at this elegant 19th-century theatre daily from September to June, with matinees at weekends. Formed in 1773, the company took up residence on Teatralnaya ploshchad in 1824. The theatre itself is a striking neo-classical building, renowned for its size and acoustic qualities.

Address: , Teatralnaya ploshchad 1, Moscow, 125009
Telephone: +7 495 455 5555.

Culture in Moscow

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Featured Hotels


Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy

This eye-catching modernist hotel looms above the Moscow River. The most expensive rooms have sweeping views towards the Kremlin and the Seven Sisters, but they can be found from the hotel's rooftop bar too. There are 233 sleek rooms, all with flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi access. There's also a spa, pool, gym and an organic restaurant.

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski

Facing the Kremlin across the Moskva River, the opulent Baltschug Kempinski is elegance incarnate. Rooms are lavish, with flowing drapes, piles of soft linen and every imaginable convenience, but it's the views of domes and spires across the river that steal the show. There's a plush restaurant with a view of St Basil's, plus a swish spa too.

Izmailovo (Gamma-Delta)

Constructed to accommodate visitors to the 1980 Olympics, the concrete towers of the Izmailovo boast a staggering 8,000 rooms. Institutional in atmosphere, and located far out in the northern suburbs, the hotel is handy for the enormous Izmaylovo Market and has decent city centre links. There are several onsite restaurants and in-room Wi-Fi is available too.

Peking Hotel

Built in 1956 as a little sister to Stalin's Seven Sister skyscrapers, and intended as post-war headquarters for the secret police, Moscow's Peking Hotel is a heritage hotel with a small 'h', in a good location just northwest of the centre. Although slightly old-fashioned, its 130 rooms are comfortable enough, with satellite TV and en-suite bathrooms.

Warsaw Hotel

Although its location may not be one of Moscow's most picturesque, the Warsaw Hotel is convenient for Gorky Park. Considering the quality of the competition, this is one of the best cheap options in the city, with clean and comfortable rooms, albeit in a rather dated style. Wi-Fi is complimentary and the Oktyabrskaya Metro station is right next door.

Golden Apple

A boutique hotel on a refreshingly human scale, the Golden Apple offers imaginative styling and a personal touch that many 5-star hotels lack. Behind the baroque facade, its minimalist rooms are cosy, and there's an onsite restaurant and an open-plan bar too. Staff speak excellent English and there's Wi-Fi access, a gym and a sauna.