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The biggest city in Europe, Moscow is, in a word, wild. Expensive, fast, brash, it can leave you feeling pretty tired out, but is a thrilling place. Home to around 10 million people, the Russian capital is one of the most vibrant places around. The city has had a huge makeover in the last decade, and is a world away from its former identity as the grey, soulless capital of the USSR.

There is so much to see in Moscow – wonderful museums that are very cheap to visit, traditional sites like the Kremlin and Red Square, boat rides on the Moskva river, world-class cultural stuff like the Bolshoi Theatre. Just riding on the metro, which must be the most beautiful and statuesque form of public transport in the world, is an eye-opener.

Moscow’s racy nightlife includes all sorts of music, bars and discos, and some pretty jaw-dropping girls on the town .. Even the restaurants are very good nowadays, and you can find anything you want. Cheap, it isn’t, but a few days spent in Moscow needn’t cost that much if you use public transport and stay out of expensive bars. Some of the parks are nice to stroll in, and are a sight in themselves.

Good value things to do are the museums and art galleries, boat rides (April-September, weather permitting), sports events, theatre, and taking in the sights. There are a few good places you can see outside town on a day trip too, like Sergeyev Posad’s huge monastery, or some of the old estates at places like Kuskovo or Abramtsova.

Howard Gethin

Now resident in Moscow, Howard works as an editor and still makes occasional forays into places where men carry guns and mountains are nearby.