WATCH: What do Russians get up to in Moscow after dark?

2018-11-22 22:00
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Russians just love bright twinkling lights – maybe it has to do with the long dark winters there, where for about three months the sun sets in mid-afternoon.

After work, many Moscowites like to take a stroll downtown, especially on Nikolskaya Street.

SEE: #AfriTravel: Fly to Moscow with Ethiopian Airlines' new route

“In Moscow, it starts getting interesting in the evening, that’s when buskers always play on Nikolskaya Street,” says one resident.

“Moscow by day and Moscow by night are two completely different cities. If you don’t like Moscow by day, you absolutely have to see the city by night,” adds a jovial busker.

An essential part of Moscow evenings, at least for the kids, is a performance of the famed Nikulin Circus, just a short walk from the Kremlin. Its Russia’s oldest circus, founded in 1880.

A somewhat quieter way to enjoy Moscow evenings or nights is a voyage on one of the many excursion boats on the Moskva. Many serve gourmet meals and fine wine to go with the view. A good place to disembark is near the Kremlin.

QUICK GUIDE: Plan your trip to Mother Russia 

“I always go for walks here in the city centre. I like the atmosphere on Red Square, I like the way the people interact, all the different nationalities," explains another resident.

Red Square is not only the heart of Moscow, but symbolically of all Russia. Its most recognisable landmark is the over 450-year-old St Basil’s Cathedral, built to commemorate a victory over the Tatars.

Stalin had seriously considered tearing it down in the 1930s, because it stood in the way of his military parades. Fortunately, it never happened and now it’s a major attraction for tourists and locals alike.

Another place to relax is one of the myriad hairdressers – many of them stay open till late in the evening.

“My working day usually goes to 22:00, but if it’s crowded we can work through to midnight,” says a tired hairdresser.

One customer says that he comes in whenever, and enjoys the relaxation that comes with a haircut, or even a manicure or pedicure.

And of course, there are countless beauty salons in Moscow, many of which are open 24/7, even on holidays.

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The shops along the Arbat District also keep long hours. This is a popular boulevard in central Moscow, and a desirable residential address making the apartments in the area even more expensive.

Not far away is Zaryadye Park, a futuristic city park that opened in 2017. It stands for the new Moscow. The floating bridge reaches out over the river Moskva, but doesn’t cross it. The park’s glass-covered amphitheatre can seat up to 2 500 people. Even when no performances are planned, it’s worth a visit – the view is breathtaking.

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