Although parts of Russia may remain firmly rooted in days gone by, the country's capital city has become a vibrant mix of past, present, and future. Explore the city's famous Soviet-built metro system, grab a cup of coffee in one of the world's best coffee shops, or discover the artists and designers of the future in this unique metropolis.
Fortunately, staying at our Radisson Blu Moscow, Sheremetyevo Airport will mean that you’re never far away from the action in Russia's capital. The Sheremetyevo shuttle train, Aeroexpress, leaves the airport approximately every half hour from 5:00am up until 12:30am, and will take you to Belorussky Rail Terminal in around 35 minutes. An adult round-trip ticket is 680 RUB (around £10.50) if you buy in advance, so take your time and set aside a full day to explore everything that's on offer, away from the major tourist sites.
1. Browse art at Winzavod
Winzavod is at the heart of Russia’s thriving arts scene, and its trendy setting inside a huge disused winery has been compared to the industrial buildings of New York’s Meatpacking District. Amongst the exhibitions and studios you’ll find Cara & Co., a concept store that displays the work of multinational designers, musicians and artists. There are plenty of trendy boutiques like Rabbit’s Hole, which sells unique homeware, jewellery and retro toys - you’ll probably spot a few famous faces at the fashion shows held here throughout the year too.
2. Take the metro
With their marble floors, swooping arches and intricate mosaics, it’s easy to see why Russia’s metro stations were known as ‘palaces for the people’ during the Soviet period. The bas-reliefs of Teatralnaya Station, the ’24-Hour Soviet Sky’ ceiling installation at Mayakovskaya Station, and the life-sized bronze statues at Ploshchad Revolyutsii all make taking public transport in this city a far richer experience than catching a cab.
3. Enjoy a traditional bath
The oldest banya or 'bath house' in Moscow is Sanduny, a temple to cleanliness where supermodel Naomi Campbell and oligarch Roman Abramovich have been known to relax. The Gothic and neoclassical architecture is truly impressive, and whether you choose the premium or second class treatment, you’ll be sure of a unique experience at the hands of the parilshchiki, 'bath attendants'. Quirks of the spa sessions involve the use of birch or oak twigs to improve circulation, and individual body scrubs made from ground coffee, cream, grated corn and honey.
4. Go shopping at GUM and TSUM
These twin palaces to commerce are among the most beautiful shopping malls in the world. GUM used to house the infamous Section 100 store, reserved for Communist Party officials, but now you’re more likely to find high-end fashion outlets like Guess, Swatch and Burberry. It’s ideally located just off Red Square, while TSUM at nearby Karl Marx Place, built to rival GUM, also houses the likes of Gucci, Prada and Jimmy Choo.
5. Sip an espresso at Coffee Mania
Award-winning coffee, delicious cakes, and fashionable clientele earned this Moscow hotspot a place on Condé Nast Traveller’s ‘Best Places in the World to Drink Coffee’ list. Their ‘Original Irish Coffee’ won gold in the international Coffee in Good Spirits Competition, and if you need a winter warmer, you can always enjoy your drink with a steaming bowl of homemade sorrel soup. If it happens to be theatre night, you