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Moscow: ‘A perfect layover in’

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On a recent 36-hour layover in Moscow, I ignored the jet lag and boarded a train to the city center to experience the best of this enigmatic and historical metropolis. If you only have limited time in Moscow, here’s how to make the most of it. Focus on the biggies – the Kremlin and Red Square, wander the surrounding neighborhoods, jump on a riverboat cruise, then take a soak at a Russian bath. Grab a traditional Russian meal with vodka to wash it down, then head back to the airport!
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Multiple boarding locations; Recommended near Kievskaya Metro station If you want to get away from the noise and congestion of the city streets, or simply want to expand your view beyond the main tourist sights, hop on a boat and float along the...
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First opened in 1808, this traditional Russian bathhouse (‘banya’) delivers the goods in both the beauty of the building itself and the cleansing you’ll receive. With 5 different bathing rooms, multiple lounge areas, swimming pools, steam rooms,...
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This former chocolate factory was refurbished in 2010 into an arts and entertainment complex to suit the modern tastes of today’s Muscovites. On an island across from the Kremlin, the red brick complex houses art galleries, restaurants, shops,...
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Лубянскй проезд, 25 стр. 1, Moskva, Russia, 101000
The streets and narrow lanes of this ancient neighborhood northeast of Red Square can yield wonderful shopping discoveries. Take a stroll and keep your eyes peeled. Try Vologda Linen for fabrics, the GUM department store for modern outlets, or the...
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This fancy-yet-affordable dining option sits near Red Square and makes a perfect spot to re-energize after a morning exploring the Kremlin. Decorated like an old-style Soviet cafeteria, it specializes in traditional fare such as borscht (beetroot...
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The Kremlin - with its colored spires and ornate buildings housing captivating museums - does not disappoint. Climb the Ivan the Great bell tower for great views over Moscow, or simply meander the expansive grounds and soak in the atmosphere of...
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Red Square, Moskva, Russia, 109012
Made famous through countless books, films, and news broadcasts, Red Square is more than just a city plaza in the center of Moscow: it’s the beating heart of Russia. With cotton candy colored domes of Saint Basil’s Cathedral as a backdrop, Lenin’s...
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This romantic and elegant restaurant offers classic food done right. The service is impeccable and the food itself is top rate. Try the various fish options – including appetizers and main entrees – to really get a taste of Russia. Reservations...
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This awesome bar concept for Moscow’s hipsters makes it feel like you’re simply in someone’s apartment, other than the staff and multiple seating options. The proprietors often sit at the piano and belt out jazz and rock standards, and the vodka...
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Ulitsa Malaya Dmitrovka, 11, Moskva, Russia, 127006
Looking for a boutique hotel with a sense of history? This 5-star option near the Bolshoi opened in 2004 in a building built in the late 1800’s. It makes a wonderful option if you’ve got the cash and seek a bit of character to go with your...
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Teatral'nyy Proyezd, 2, Moskva, Moskovskaya oblast', Russia, 109012
For over a century, the Hotel Metropol has hosted the world’s elite. Whether you’ve got the dough for a night in the Presidential suite, or simply want to splurge on a Sunday brunch – it’s the hotel of choice in downtown Moscow. At the very least,...