|Moscow Travel Guide|
The night life of Moscow amazes by various opportunities for leisure
"Tastes differ", - this is what we like to repeat again and again, and your Russian friends will definitely take you to their favourite places. We may only recommend you to visit some places, which are especially popular with the foreign citizens living and working in Moscow. These are the Night Flight Club (Tverskaya Street, 17), Irish Pubs Rosie O'Gradys (Znamenka Street, 9/12) and Shamrock Bar at the Irish House (Novy Arbat, 19 or 21).
Hotel "Metropol" invites to respectable night shows staged in its wonderful variety theatre (tel.: 927-6091). There is also a casino in the hotel.
The night bar "Hungry Duck" follows the best traditions of rock-clubs. (The bar is located on the ground floor of The Central House of Artistic World.) You may enjoy rock 'n' roll music from 10 p.m., daily, but try to come at the time of opening, otherwise all night you will have to stand leaning towards the wall or at the bar counter. Admission is free and, most probably, this fact attracts many people.
On the whole, "live" music is played at night in many places. As usual, all music performances start at 10 p.m. and go on up to 1 a.m.
"Arbat Blues Club" is considered a "Citadel" of the Moscow's jazz. The club is open on Fridays and Saturdays. It is located in the building of the theatre-studio called "Na Starom Arbate" (Aksakov Per., 11, tel.: 291-1546). Tex-Mex bar "Armadillo" (Khrustalny Per., 1) sticks to the music styles of "country" and "reggae". You may also play billiards and darts in the same bar, enjoy Mexican cuisine and fine Mexican beer. The club bearing a specific name "Bednye Lyudi" ("Poor People") welcomes you to Bolshaya Ordynka Street, 11/6 to listen to very interesting rock 'n' roll and jazz programs. The prices in this club are considered rather moderate. Similar environment attracts visitors to another club, called "Krizis Ghanra" (Crisis of Genre) (Pereylok Ostrovskogo Street, 22/4).
If you don't feel like moving from place to place along the night streets of Moscow, there are night restaurants and bars and many places of entertainment in practically all biggest hotels or close to hotels. This is where you may enjoy your night time.
Back in the '90s Moscow's clubs teemed with balding, bellied foreigners
whose grasp of Russian barely stretched to ordering a "gin i tonic,
pozhalusta," with American or English accents thick enough to curdle
It is with a glint in their eyes that ex-pats living in Moscow since the '90s recount nights spent cavorting erotically on the bar in the notoriously riotous Hungry Duck.
"I was there when it really was worth being there," a friend recounted amidst tales of Olympic-scale debauchery.
Do these places still exist? In the Boarhouse (a less than salubrious joint opposite Kursky Vokzal) a babbling Babel of tawdry chat-up lines and obnoxious drunken slurring hums all night. Russian girls, topped up with cocktails that their parents could not even dream of, line the bar flashing unsubtle glances, waves and winks at anything with a foreign accent.
But here is the main difference. Hit the Karma Bar, Fabrique, Prognoz Pogody, Propaganda or countless other trendy names, and you will find not the forest of foreign flab that would have greeted you a few years ago, jigging repellently on the dance floor, but Russians, even young Russians.
This new demographic, until recently muscled out by dollar-wielding foreigners, has found its niche. Trussed up in designer duds, Moscow 20-something club-goers have dragged the nightlife scene into a new generation of western hipness.
Why? Well firstly, they can afford it now. Young so-called "new professionals" have spare cash to splash, and although they are not yet as rich as their grossly nouveaux riches predecessors, they are just as committed to enjoying themselves.
Secondly, the death knell of the ex-pat nightlife wildness was first sounded with the economic collapse of 1998, when many of the clubs catering solely for foreigners closed down.
Whereas before all that was needed to get past the notoriously unpredictable Muscovite "face control" was to speak English in an obnoxiously loud voice, now the formidable mountains of humanity that work as bouncers around the capital are just as likely to take offence at foreign faces as they are at native ones.
With the subsequent explosion of affordable, but chic bars and clubs (such as Kult, Kruzhka, Probka, etc.) that have blossomed to cater for the new demands of the Moscow night life scene, and the newfound sense of youthful vibrancy, few people are really lamenting the passing of the ex-pat experience.
Even Mark Ames, former editor of the seamlessly grubby publication The eXile, a bible for the lunatic fringe of the ex-pat community, isn't upset.