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Planning Your Trip

Few destinations can compare with the romantic and cultural resonance of Russia, and especially its cosmopolitan capital, Moscow. Whether you’re following in the vaunted footsteps of Chekhov and Tolstoy or sampling the city’s dazzling dining scene, prepare to be swept off your feet — once you bring a few key essentials.

Night view of the colorful, ornate buildings in Moscow’s Red Square

Exploring the City

Like most world capitals, Moscow promises visitors plenty of time on their feet. Comfortable shoes, a visa and rubles (many establishments here are cash-only) are essential. You’ll also want the following.

 

  • In winter, you’ll want to bring your warmest clothes. In other seasons the weather can be temperamental, so pack plenty of layering pieces and a travel umbrella.
  • You won’t want to miss seeing the interiors of some of the world’s most spectacular churches. Women should bring a shawl or headscarf and avoid wearing miniskirts or shorts before stepping inside.
  • Carry your daily essentials — wallet, phone, camera, bottled water — in a tote, cross-body bag or backpack that leaves your hands free.  
Indoor pool surrounded by white columns, a fireplace and lounge chairs under a ceiling of twinkling lights

Weekend Getaway

A two- or three-day trip is not enough time to see everything, but you’ll certainly enjoy trying. Pack these items so you can concentrate on the perfect itinerary.

 

 

  • Pack basic layering pieces that can be mixed and matched together, with a few key accessories (sunglasses, a stylish handbag, a printed scarf or pocket square) to dress them up.
  • Rain is common in spring and summer — best to bring along a travel umbrella.
  • If you can, carry your luggage in a weekend bag with a shoulder strap rather than a rolling suitcase. It will be easier to navigate areas where escalators and elevators may not be available.
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Evening Chic

Moscow is famed for its legendary opulence, conjuring up images of dancing and sipping vodka or champagne over plates of Beluga caviar. Modern Moscow is evolved — and more beguiling than ever.

 

  • Moscow is a world-class fashion city, so don’t be afraid to overdress. Trends here are on par with what the global style set is wearing in New York, Paris and Shanghai, so go ahead and bring your A-game.
  • Muscovites are confident in their fashion choices, so do as they do and sprinkle some comfort into a high-wattage evening look. You’ll need a warm coat and hat in winter; it’s far more chic to wear them with your evening ensemble than to look unfashionably cold.
  • Bonus points for wearing a design from one of Russia’s fashion stars. Gosha Rubchinskiy, Ulyana Sergeenko and Vika Gazinskaya are some of the most important designers of the moment — one of their pieces would make a most fashionable souvenir.
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Don’t Forget:

If you’re traveling to Russia on business, keep a few cultural considerations in mind. Have your business card printed in both your native language and in Russian, and include your professional title as well as any advanced degrees or certificates relevant to your position. Allow plenty of time for business appointments, as Russians don’t tend to rush through meetings, though be sure to arrive on time. Learning at least some conversational Russian in advance, as well as asking informed questions about Russian culture, history and cuisine, are courtesies that will not go unappreciated.


Whether this is your first trip to Moscow or it simply has been a while, the city is bound to surprise and delight you with its diversity of adventures new and old. Your journey begins at the iconic Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, where the city’s highlights lie just moments from your suite.

Dining Reservations

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Long Russia’s food capital, boasting sumptuous dining to rival that of Paris, Moscow has undergone a culinary revival with a focus on local ingredients and modern creativity. Begin your epicurean odyssey at the see-and-be-seen Novikov Restaurant & Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, offering produce-forward Pan Asian cuisine, alfresco dining, a stunning black marble bar and a modern open kitchen. Among the city’s other hot tables are White Rabbit (no. 23 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), serving an upscale European menu with 360-degree views of the Moscow skyline, the elegant Café Pushkin, set in the house of an 18th-century Russian nobleman, and Grand-Café Dr. Zhivago, a sensory celebration of Russian food culture.

Spa Appointments

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A spa visit will do more than pamper you in Moscow; it’s a full-fledged cultural excursion (so feel no guilt about setting an out-of-office alert for the occasion). To experience an authentic banya, or Russian bath, head to Sanduny, the country’s oldest public bathhouse, whose Greek columns, spacious bathing pools and Rococo décor create an aristocratic ambience. For a modern take on Russian tradition, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Moscow is the first spa in Russia to collaborate with La Prairie. Reserve the Ultimate Rejuvenating Platinum Facial, a comprehensive anti-aging treatment that will leave you feeling radiant and restored from head to toe.

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

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You won’t need advance tickets for most of the key institutions, from the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral to stellar art museums such as Tretyakov Gallery and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. The exception is Russia’s foremost theater, the Bolshoi; check the organization’s website two to three months ahead for a schedule of performances and to purchase tickets. If you’re shopping inclined, do not miss a trip to GUM, the world-famous department store on Red Square; the insider designer edit at fashion-forward TsUM; or the mammoth Izmailovsky Market, which sells kitschy souvenirs alongside vintage peasant blouses and antique samovars (go on a weekend for the best selection).

Nightlife

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In as thrilling a city as Moscow, one is never quite sure how the day will end. Start the evening off right with a Grand Le Fizz — made with Grey Goose vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and club soda — from the dizzying heights of O2 Lounge, the stylish rooftop bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow. Other Muscovite favorites include Public Bar, a subterranean speakeasy known for high-concept cocktails, and Denis Simachev, which is as trendy as its fashion-designer owner. You can also head to the artsy hub of Red October island, where you can mingle at the many rooftop bars or check out an exhibition at Lumiere Brothers Photography Centre.

Moscow is a city so deeply entrenched in history and culture that it’s almost hard not to hear the whispers of Russian novelists as you stroll through the streets. Walking through Red Square alone shows the complexity of the city, with monuments, churches and department stores ringing the edge of the cobblestones. Take in the rich culinary traditions, which include indulging in delicacies like caviar and vodka. Steep yourself in the artistic heritage in world-class museums and theaters. Get ready to find something new to discover around every corner in Moscow. 


A Romantic Getaway

There is something romantic in just thinking about bundling up and walking arm in arm through the boulevards of Moscow. There are delights around every corner in the capital city these days, from inventive food in opulent settings to charming parks and gardens. Walk through leafy neighborhoods, explore underground architecture and so much more on a perfect weekend spent in Moscow.

 

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Cultural Treasures

The cultural history of Russia has flowed through painters, writers and poets, who all sought to create epic masterpieces honoring it. And it’s fair to say that Moscow is at the center of it, from the days of nobility to the times of revolutionaries. Spend several days exploring the past and the present of the capital city through squares, museums, churches and restaurants.

 

 

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