Moscow is a city of extremes – from the weather to the people, this city is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It has much more to offer than its reputation of just bears and vodka, our bet is that Moscow will take your breath away.
Weather ranges from 30 degrees C in a summer heatwave to a -20 degrees C in the depths of winter. There are 4 distinct seasons, which can be very beautiful; a crisp, sunny winter day with the snow crunching under your feet – the same place will be almost unrecognizable in summer as people have picnics in parks enjoying the sunshine and long warm evenings.
Moscow is the capital of a vast country covering 9 times zones, and so it is not surprising that it is the biggest city in Europe, as well as the most expensive.
There are more millionaires in Moscow per square metre than in any other city in the world. This has lead to a big divide between the population with a relatively small middle class. You will see plenty of glitz and glamour, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be luxurious and high-end all the time. The cost of living is actually relatively low (one trip on the metro/subway is $0.90/£0.60, regardless on distance travelled), but can creep up depending on lifestyle, like in any other city.
The Moscow metro (subway) is the cheapest and easiest way to get around the city, and many stations are an architectural and historical point of interest in their own right. Expect to see high ceilings, chandeliers, lots of marble, statues, historical art on the walls and ceilings. Some say that more people ride the Moscow metro daily than in London and New York combined so be prepared for a tight squeeze during rush hour, despite trains arriving every couple of minutes.
The term urban jungle comes to mind when speaking of Moscow. Most of the city’s population live in high rise buildings (often with 3 generations living in the same apartment). Moscow’s sheer size certainly leaves an impression with 6 lane highways running through the city centre where you need an underground crossing to cross the road, something our Londoners take a while to get to grips with!
Russian people are known to be one of the most hospitable nations in the world. Although they may seem distant and wary at first (most likely due to their Communist cautious habits), once you are in their home you will be welcomed with a table struggling under the weight of all the dishes made for your arrival. You will be entertained with good company and even better anecdotes, something Russian people are known for, and very proud of!