What to do:
Locals jokily refer to Moscow as not a part of Russia as the capital has a large population that have moved there from other regions, notably President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who both hail from St. Petersburg.
In Moscow, the top tourist spots you can visit include the Red Square, the Kremlin (go inside, you won’t regret it!) and St. Basil’s Cathedral. It’s also worth stopping by Lenin’s Mausoleum, situated in Red Square, where the communist revolutionary was laid to rest.
One of the best views of the Kremlin is from the Greater Stone Bridge (Bolshoy Kamenniy Most) from where you can also see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, where punk band Pussy Riot sang their famous Putin protest song.
Don’t forget to check in at the famous Central Gorky Park, which the Scorpions sang about in their song ‘Wind of Change’ (Ulitsa Kryimskiy Val, 9s32), and which was opened by the former partner of Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea FC.
If you are interested in Soviet and Russian football, why not pop into the Moscow Museum, where the House of Football will be exhibiting during the World Cup (Zubovskiy bulvar., 2).
Where to eat/drink:
We definitely recommend trying out Soviet-era cuisine at Stolovaya No 57 (Krasnaya square, 3), a cafe on the third floor of the GUM department store on Red Square. This is where the Soviet elite used to go for meals, and today their dishes are just as delicious as they were back in the 1950s.
Evenings are the perfect time for the young and fashionable to visit the Noor Bar (Tverskaya St. 23/12), before heading up to the Time Out Bar (Ulitsa. Bolshaya Sadovaya, 5, floor13), on the rooftop of the Pekin Hotel – another Stalin-era building. Here you can have a nice meal and good drink while enjoying the view of Moscow – mainly Maiakovsky Square, which was named after the poet Vladimir Maiakovsky who shot himself after the Russian Revolution.
Where to watch the games:
The large sports bar, LigaPapa (Ulitsa Bolshaya Lubyanka, 24/15), is open 24/7 and is a great place for football fans. The two rooms can stream up to seven games at the same time in such a way that the fans of different teams don’t bother each other.
For LGBT fans:
Central Station (Ulitsa. Leninskaya Sloboda, 19, korp. 2) is a large club with great entertainment: live shows, go-go dancers and foam parties. We also recommend Voda, a gay spa (Ulitsa. Leninskaya Sloboda, 19, korp. 2) with themed nights.