With Mercedes Benz Fashion Week winding down today in Moscow, now is the perfect time to look at some of the most fashionable things to do in the city all year round. Hey, you may not have been invited to the catwalk shows, but you can still be a trendsetter here, even without a designer budget or an oligarch on your arm.
Whether you’re more high end or high street, here’s your ultimate guide to experiencing the most stylish parts of the city.
What to do
- Small Change: Look out for cool street art. The Moscow Street Art Festival has been running since 2012 and gives creative types the chance to make their mark. To see great examples of Moscow artwork, head to Myasnitskaya, the streets around Babushkinskaya Metro Station and the Krasnopesnenskaya sugar factory. Aside from these spots, you may find the Russian equivalent of Banksy, called P183, adding his designs to locations around the city.
- Saved Up: Get to know the underground a little better with a Moscow Metro Tour, which costs 550-950 RUB and takes you through the best Metro stations on the network. You’ll find out loads of quirky facts and you’ll see distinctive décor that would otherwise pass you by. Some of the most photogenic stations are Mayakovskaya (boasting marble walls and floors), Kievskaya (lined with paintings) and Elektrozavodskaya (beautifully lit up).
- Spending Spree: Treat someone special to drinks or a traditional Russian meal at Café Pushkin (26a Tverskoi Bulvar) – book up in advance to secure a table at this very posh venue loved by Russia’s elite. Open 24 hours a day, this is a five star experience worth pushing the boat out for.
Where to shop
- Small Change: Izmaylovo Market (Izmaylovskoye Shosse) is your best bet for affordable souvenirs and gifts, including the famous Russian Matryoshka dolls, painted in bold patterns. It’s also a treasure trove of antiques and vintage pieces, from homeware and paintings to clothing and books. There are plenty of food stalls as well, so you can eat on the go as you browse.
- Saved Up: Freak Frak (25 Shabolovka Street) is one of the city’s best vintage stores, with a really strong collection of pre-loved designer and branded clothing, from Levis to Yves Saint Laurent; fact fans may appreciate that this was Moscow’s first ever vintage shop. For alternative options, check out Vintage X (3/7 Ulitsa Zabelina).
- Spending Spree: GUM is the State Department Store and can be found on Red Square, just across from Lenin’s tomb. It’s bursting with designer brands from around the world, including Dior, Louis Vuitton and Burberry, so don’t expect to emerge with much spare change if you’re looking to make a purchase.
Where to eat and drink
- Small Change: Vozkal (21 Sushchevskaya Street) is a restaurant with bargain basement prices and a vintage railway station theme, right down to the uniforms worn by its waiters and waitresses. Feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you enjoy a meal here. The menu blends Russian and European dishes, with something for even the fussiest eaters.
- Saved Up: Color of Night (12/2 Bolshoi Kozihinskiy Lane) is a restaurant but also a club, making it the perfect place to enjoy an evening meal and then a few drinks. The menu is mainly Italian-based and the restaurant also holds a busy events program, including concerts and film nights. This is definitely somewhere to Instagram your dinner!
- Spending Spree: The Vogue Café (7/9 Kuznetsky Bridge) feels like an obvious choice, but fashionistas will be in their element, with photo shoots lining the walls and an eclectic menu to enjoy – think sushi, steak and traditional Russian food. Meanwhile, guys may want to be spotted at the GQ Bar, another magazine-based project wowing both locals and tourists in Moscow.
Are you tempted to experience a taste of style, whatever your budget, in Russia? Leave a comment below, or find loveholidays on Twitter and share your views.
[Image credit: Color of Night – A-A-Ah.com guide].