We’re so excited to have our friend Nori, who currently lives in Moscow, Russia, share her travel guide with you today! In the “Discover” series, we offer quick travel tips on things to do, what to eat and where to stay in cities throughout the world! If you’re interested in contributing to the series, send us an email at email@example.com. Enjoy!
Hello, Dose of Discovery readers! My name is Nori, and I met Bethany through an organization called Faith Quest several years ago. I am so excited to share my experience of living in Moscow! My fiancée and I moved to Moscow in November 2016, and we’ve experienced so much in a short time. Before we jump in, here’s a couple of quick notes on the culture if you’re visiting:
- Moscow is mostly a cash culture. I would recommend always having some cash on you – many places will not accept credit cards.
- Make sure to learn a few key Russian phrases before you come as most people don’t speak English. It’s probably best to pick up a Russian phrasebook or dictionary and carry it around with you on your trip. For the most part, Russians are very kind and friendly and appreciate any effort you make to speak Russian, even if you don’t speak it very well.
Do & Explore
First, let me say that the time of year that you travel to Moscow makes a HUGE difference in the available activities. Since I’ve only been here for the winter months so far, my recommendations will be based off of that. One thing that is a MUST is ice skating in Gorky Park. I don’t want to give away too much of the experience, but let’s just say you’re not skating in a circle. Think light shows, music, food stands and trails. During the week tickets are $3-$5 and weekends are $5-$10. Get there early and be prepared for lines!
The Great Patriotic War Museum is another great sight! We spent about two hours there but probably could have spent an entire day. There are so many interesting things to see. Make sure to check out the diorama paintings of key battles. They are incredible, and I swear I could just stare at them for hours if we weren’t limited on time. It was so interesting to get a different perspective on WWII.
Eat & Drink
When it comes to eating out in Moscow, it can be difficult to find English speakers. Usually there will be at least one person who can speak English, but be prepared with a few basic Russian phrases.
Khachapuri – This is a great Georgian restaurant with several locations around the city.
Mercedes Bar – Located in the Royal Radisson Hotel near downtown Moscow, this is a great place to have a drink and take in the views from the 31st floor. There are also several great restaurants in the Radisson.
Farsi Restaurant – Offers Iranian cuisine and a great view of the city and river.
Tatler Club – Check out this Russian restaurant during the warmer months – you can dine outside and enjoy the views!
I Like Wine – Located at Timura Frunze Street, this is a cute little restaurant that is cozy and casual.
Relax and Sleep
Expat Salon, located at Maly Patriarshy Pereulok 3, is a great place to relax and get a haircut or manicure/pedicure. Moscow also has many great parks where you can enjoy a picnic during the warmer months. Since I live in the city, I haven’t actually stayed in any hotels. Some of the historic hotels, such as the Hotel Metropol (you might recognize it from A Gentleman in Moscow), are also great places to relax and get a drink after a long day of sightseeing.
What NOT to do
This may sound simple, but make sure you don’t come to Moscow with any preconceived ideas about the city or the people. There are stereotypes about many cultures, but to get the most out of your Moscow experience the best thing to do is come with a blank slate and keep an open mind!
Living in Moscow for the past few months has been such a great experience for me! One of my favorite things about traveling is becoming familiar with different cultures and challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone. What are some ways that you have been forced out of your comfort zone when traveling to a foreign city?
If you’d like to read more about Nori’s time in Moscow, check out her blog Adventures in Moscow!