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Moscow | Lifestyle in the City of Contrasts

From its Soviet-era apartment blocks to opulent churches and government buildings, Moscow is a city of contrasts. Known as a city of romance and revolution, Moscow has an interesting lifestyle that takes some time to get used to.

Moscow is a vibrant metropolis bursting with energy and creativity. Not only is it Russia’s political and economic center, but it also forms the country’s cultural and artistic heart. There are plenty of shopping opportunities, eateries and a lively nightlife to enjoy. Although the cost of living may be exorbitant for some, there are plenty of pursuits to enjoy without breaking the bank.

Moscow shopping certainly caters for big spenders, but for those who don’t have the menas to shop like rich and famous, there are plenty of bargains to be explored. There are various malls and boutiques in the city center. Okhotny Ryad, at Manezhnaya Square, is an underground mall. Range of goods including high-street fashions, perfumes, electronic products and sporting goods can be found here. GUM is the most well-known and iconic department store where one can find a range of high-end brands and gourmet foods.

Local markets include the Izmailovsky Park market and the Cheremushinsky Rynok market. It is claimed that exclusive Eliseev Gastronome market sells the best caviar and vodka in the city.

The nightlife in Moscow is extraordinary, featuring everything from bars and clubs to bowling alleys, billiards rooms and casinos. The trendiest nightlife  areas are in and around Kitay-Gorod, Arbat, Khamovniki, Tverskoy and Presnensky.

With long winters, it’s no surprise that one turns to alcohol to forget about the cold. Alcoholic drinks are a normal part of social life in Moscow, particularly Russia’s famous vodka.

There is a variety of cuisine available in Moscow. International flavours are well represented in the city, from Eastern delights, to Western delicacies and fast-food joints. There are also plenty of local restaurants offering classic Russian cuisine.

Restaurants in Moscow can be expensive. Middle-range restaurants fill up quickly, so it’s best to book in advance. Some of the best restaurants in Moscow are in the Garden Ring around Kitay-Gorod and Red Square. Poklonnaya Hill and Kiyevsky Station Square are also popular dining areas.

For those with more refined tastes, the performing arts are alive and well in the city, particularly ballet and opera. There is no shortage of events in Moscow. Visits to the Bolshoi Theatre, Gogol Center and Stanislavsky Electrotheatre are highly recommended.

The city’s cold climate will appeal to winter sports enthusiasts. Ice-skating is an especially popular pastime that is enjoyed throughout the year but particularly the colder months. Moscow becomes a winter wonderland with outdoor skating rinks dotted around the city. The most well-known skating rink is in the Gorky Park.

Kayaking, running and football are other popular activities. There are a lot of runners in Moscow. It’s free and a great way to stay in shape. There are running clubs also, to run and exercise together.

All in all the city has everything a well-developed metropolis will have.

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