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Russian Essentials

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Tverskaya St, 3, Moskva, Russia, 125009
O2 Lounge atop the Ritz Carlton has a great view of Red Square. After a day on your feet, it is nice to go up, have a drink and talk about all that you experienced during the day and planning your night’s activities.
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Moscow, Russia, 103073
The Kremlin, an old Moscow standby, is an old, old fortress. Within it's walls, I was surprised to find among its communist, star-studded, structures, the old monastery and churches where the Orthodoxy and tsars walked. Sunlight lit up these...
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Zamoskvorechye District, Moscow, Russia
Some of Moscow's subway stations are to be found in guide books. No wonder. In some of them you feel like inside a museum or palace.
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Voznesenskiy Pereulok, 7, Moskva, Russia, 125009
You will be hard pressed to believe this is a grocery store if you look up the walls and the ceiling. Not only you will get a great assortment of food and drinks here but you will be surrounded by art and artsy things (not sure how original or...
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Yakimanka District, Moscow, Russia
We visited various sights in Moscow. The guide we had hired took us to an out of the way park where this memorial had been placed for the victims of Stalin's many pograms. It was quite striking but perhaps even more so, as at the same park were...
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Tverskoy Boulevard, 26А, Moskva, Russia, 125009
Chef Andrey Makhov of Cafe Pushkin recently contributed to AFAR, and opened his second location in New York. But if you are in Moscow, you will want to check the original out. Open 24 hours, with a great vibe. You may want to ask for Dmitri, a...
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Chistoprudny Blvd, 3, Moskva, Russia, 101000
One of the highlights of my visit to Moscow was taking a leisurely walk along the boulevard ring. Lots of nice restaurants and bars to the either side to stop at, but many locals are just hanging on the benches, drinking beer, listening to music...
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Palace Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
Affectionately called the "Venice of the North" by some of its citizens, this vantage point hints at why. St. Petersburg is a city full of canals. Look for the Japanese Embassy just due east of the Hermitage and you'll find this place.
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Kronshtadt, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Russian pies. Why in the world do people not talk more about these things. We unknowingly stepped into this wonderful smelling cafe and of course, ended up ordering almost every single type of pie they had to offer. Salmon, rabbit, egg with green...
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Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
Late summer is the time to explore the 42 islands that make up St. Petersburg. Daylight stretches past 11 p.m., and a burgeoning arts and nightlife scene keeps locals on their toes well into the bright nights. On July 31, the party hits the port...
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Theatre Square, 1, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
One of the great things to do in St. Petersburg Russia is to spend an evening enjoying the opera at the historic Mariinsky Theater. They also have ballet and musical theater but we chose Boris Godunov (without Natasha- LOL) during the White Nights...
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Kronshtadt, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 197760

By Nick Marmet

Swanky Dom Byta, above, (12 Razyezzhaya) has a name that means fix-it shop. Throwback teapots and ashtrays, not to mention spinning disco balls, evoke the ’70s.

Its name means lighthouse, but spotting Kafe Mayak (20 Mayakovskaya) is...