Things to do in Moscow
Bathe in the Moscow River
Don't be taken aback if any of Moscow's public pools insist on a spravka, or doctor's certificate, before they let you take to the water - it's not personal; everyone has to show one. Instead, take a dip in the Moscow River at Serebryany Bor, a popular beach spot 20km (12 miles) north of the city.
Enjoy a show at the Moscow Art Theatre
Confusingly, the city has two art theatres. Head to the city's preeminent space, Chekhova Moscow Art Theatre (tel: +7 495 629 8760; www.mxat.ru), named in honour of Anton Chekov, who premiered many works here. The American studio sometimes stages English-language performances of Russian classics, with seats a fraction of the price expected of such a world-renowned theatre.
Glide through Gorky Park
You can't escape the cold in the freezing winter months, so do as the Muscovites do and get your skates on. Follow the frozen paths of Gorky Park (www.park-gorkogo.com) through trees, around paths and under bridges. Multi-coloured LED lights beneath the ice will guide your way and food stalls are always ready with refreshments.
Indulge and immerse in a beautiful banya
For a truly authentic Russian experience, consider immersing yourself in a genuine banya (sauna) at one of Moscow's many bathhouses. The baths at Sanduny (tel: +7 495 782 1808; www.sanduny.ru) are considered to be some of the best in the country and can't be beaten for their opulent surrounds.
Wander the words Dostoyevsky with a literature tour
Although the History of Russian Literature Tour (www.viator.com) sounds as heavy as a thick Tolstoy tome, don’t let the title put you off. Lively and insightful, this walking tour brings to life the Moscow of Turgenev, Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, and it may just inspire you to finally finish War and Peace.