Moscow. It embodies the Russia of both yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As a bustling city of about 11 million, the city has cultivated the post-Communism capital spirit. Companies worldwide have taken notice. Just last year, for example, Morgan Stanley transacted the largest real estate deal at that time: the $1.2B purchase of the sprawling Metropolis Shopping and Entertainment Mall in Northwest Moscow.
Moscow now is an international financial center, and companies from other sectors have grown a strong branch presence there over the past two decades. It’s no wonder that Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport is the leading airport for international departures in Europe (according to Avinode Marketplace). Vnukovo is convenient to the city, and its runway capacity can handle 60 aircraft movements per hour—even in compromised, low-visibility weather.
The appeal of staying awhile
One of the world’s most expensive cities, Moscow nevertheless is well worth the visit—whether you travel there for business or pleasure. Moscow’s crown jewel is the Moscow Kremlin. Its architectural power matches its political significance in Moscow’s history books. A kremlin itself is any fortified central complex found in many cities throughout the Russian Federation, but the Kremlin is the pièce de résistance of them all. Conceived by Italian architects, it was brought to fruition in its present form by Russian craftsmen at the end of the 15th century.
Nearby, you’ll encounter the recognizable Red Square, where you’ll find Lenin’s Tomb and beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral, which Ivan the Terrible had constructed in the 16th century. The Red Square is most impressive in the evening hours when there are fewer tourists and that magical, colorful aura to St. Basil’s Cathedral dominates.
From famous Russian nesting (“matryoshka”) dolls, fur hats (“chapkas”) to jewerly, to exciting shopping surprises, the Izmaylovo Market has it all. Plan to be wonderfully overwhelmed! Head to the top floor to discover authentic antiques and folk art. It’s located near Izmaylovsky Park and easily accessible by metro.
The Russian greats of the art world
Perhaps Russia’s rich art world, encompassing all genres, best tells the story of Russia’s past. You can browse the Russian greats at both the State Tretrakov Gallery, which houses works by Kandinsky, Chagall, and many other well-known artists. A visit to the village of Peredelkino, 20 km southwest of Moscow, is worth placing on your itinerary to see Dr. Zhivago author Boris Pasternak’s estate. If you have time, add Leo Tolstoy’s estate/museum, Yasnaya Polyana, to your list. It’s a few hours south of Moscow by train.
And don’t overlook the Bolshoi Ballet and Conservatory for renowned productions by the best ballerinas and musicians in the world.
Winding down your day
When you’re ready to wrap up your day, relax with cocktails, sushi, and other fare at the O2 Lounge (the “Oh-Two” lounge), which is located on the 12 Floor of the Ritz-Carlton. You’ll be able to enjoy sublime views of Moscow from the balcony. Another option is the open-all-day Café Pushkin, which is within a building that replicates Pushkin’s aristocratic home circa 1825. Russian pancakes (“blinchiki”), caviar, desserts, and vodka are essential.
Prepare for your trip
Get ready for your trip by learning common Russian words (and their pronunciations), cultural insights, and travel tips.
http://www.russianpod101.com/russian-word-lists/ (with audio clips)
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