24 hours in Moscow

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Sitting on the junction of three geological platforms and founded in 1147, Moscow has long been the seat of Russian power. With over ten million people, it is the seventh largest city in the world.

When Constantinople (later known as Istanbul) fell to the Turks, the mantle of Byzantine’s supremacy over the Orthodox world passed to Moscow. A large number of the ornate, onion-domed churches were demolished by Stalin’s orders and their masonry used in building Moscow’s resplendent underground stations.

The change from austere times to the New Russia of ostentatious consumerism is prominent in Moscow. Posters proclaiming ‘The Communist Party is the Vanguard of the Working Class’ have given way to loud billboards advertising major capitalist brands. Moscow also embodies the stark contrast between the haves and have-nots, and reputedly has more billionaires than New York. The rich and well-heeled go club-hopping in their flashy cars past city-dwellers seemingly from a bygone era.

To experience liberated Moscow with the young and beautiful,
head to Propaganda, by day a chill-out cafe, by night a bustling nightclub with internationally known guest DJs.

Burn off a breakfast of blinis with honey
and coffee at Cafe Pushkin, then take in several literary landmarks with a walk along Tverskoy bul (boulevard) and Nikitsky bul.

Izmaylovo Market has the biggest range of matryoshka
(nesting dolls) and khokhloma (lacquered bowls), rugs from Caucasus, pottery, linen, jewellery, and fur hats on offer.

Don’t miss the President’s office,
Patriarch’s Palace, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and Armoury with Faberg? jewels in the Kremlin; and outside, the historic Red Square and iconic, St Basil’s.

On Red Square, GUM houses over 1,000 shops.
Lunch at Yolki-Palki on Novy Arbat ulitsa, where borscht, mushroom pies, or Mongolian grill go well with kvas or Klyukovka cocktails.

Stroll up ulitsa Arbat and Novy Arbat,
bustling with elegant boutiques, craft shops, buskers, street vendors, jugglers, and buskers. Lanes and alleys hark back to old times.

Relax with Muscovites in Gorky Park
on the banks of Moscow River. In winter, it is a vast ice skating rink with disco lights and music.

Sandunovsky, the oldest and opulent banya (sauna),
offers an exhilarating experience of beating with birch twigs in the steam room before diving into an icy pool.

Nedalny Vostok matches exquisite cuisine with tasteful interior.
It has seafood specials dominated by Kamchatka crabs, as well as pelmeni (dumplings) with a choice of fillings.

For night owls, Moscow is awash with nightclubs:
GQ bar with loaded New Russians, Bosco bar with a stunning city view, O2 Lounge atop Ritz Carlton, and Sorry Babushka.

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