New nightclubs and discos continue to open across town, and thankfully the days of disco dominance are gone, with plenty of smaller, intimate clubs to offer variety. And there’s a wealth of live music of all genres.
Some places are very expensive, and a large number of others have strict face control – style counts in Moscow, which slavishly keeps up with the fashion in Europe and the US. Places come in and out of fashion fast and furiously, and it’s hard even for the locals to keep up. But there are less pretentious clubs with comfy sofas tucked into dark basements with good music in a relaxed atmosphere, and maybe the odd chess player in the corner ignoring it all.
In a word, Moscow has it all and, since the rubles rapid fall in August 1998, at a very affordable price (unless you drink imported booze).
And of course theres Moscows rich cultural life. Classical music, opera and ballet are strongly represented with a busy schedule of concerts and performances throughout the year, sometimes held in the citys palaces, churches or – in summer – parks and gardens. Even if you don’t speak Russian, the circus transcends language barriers, while several cinemas show films in their original language. The American House of Cinema at the Radisson-Slavyanskaya Hotel (tel 095/941 87 47) shows films in English and there’s a discount for students.
Pyatnitskaya ul. 4., Moscow, Russia
This bohemian bar has ridiculously cheap drinks and weird arty techno music, not to mention the chess and videos.
Ulitsa Znamenka 9, Moscow, Russia
This is a centrally located Irish pub that is often packed in the evenings. Irish Guinness and other drinks.
Profsoyuznaya ul. 27/1, Moscow, Russia
Since "svalka" is Russian for "rubbish dump" you ought to guess this is a grunge club. The music is good – if you like grunge.
, Moscow, Russia
Ballroom dancing under the stars in the summer.
Pushechnaya 9, Moscow, Russia
Be warned: The Hungry Duck, where live rock reigns, is not for the fainthearted! It is, however, unforgettable, even after a few minutes exposure. On Tuesday and Friday nights, only women are permitted before 9 pm, and all drinks are free. Then the men are let in, and carnage ensues. Often hard to get a drink because the place is full of girls dancing. Loud, sweaty and hormone charged. Popular with expats.
Entrance, cover is 35 rubles (50 rubles on Tuesdays and Fridays).
At Ostrovskovo Pereulok 22/4 ., Moscow, Russia
A small cellar bar with good folk music. Very European coffeehouse feel, with good prices and a gentle, friendly atmosphere.