Russia’s capital Moscow is known for a number of things; history, culture, nightlife, and crazy architecture.
But with over 100 distinct neighborhoods spread amongst 12 main districts, figuring out where to stay in Moscow can be a bit tricky. While Moscow does have an extensive public transport system, it’s best to stay in an area of Moscow that suits your interests.
This guide will break down the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Moscow, as well as the top things to do in each. That way, you’ll be able to find somewhere that suits your travel style and budget.
- Top 3 Recommendations for Where to Stay in Moscow
- Moscow Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Moscow
- 1. Kitay-Gorod – Where to Stay in Moscow for your First Time
- 2. Presnensky – Where to Stay in Moscow on a Budget
- 3. Tverskoy – Where to Stay in Moscow for Nightlife
- 4. Arbat- The Coolest Place to Stay in Moscow
- 5. Basmanny – Where to Stay in Moscow for Families
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Moscow.
For more information on hostels, check out our post: best hostels in Moscow.
Best Hostel in Moscow: Godzillas Hostel
Godzillas is Moscow’s largest and most famous hostel. In the heart of Tverskoy, this three-story hostel is a short walk from the city’s major sights and attractions. With comfortable beds and modern amenities, you won’t find a better hostel in the city.
Best Hotel in Moscow: Loft Hotel H11
Loft Hotel H11 is the coolest hotel in Moscow. Conveniently located on the borders of Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod, this hotel is a short walk Moscow’s major attractions as well as several metro stations.
Best Airbnb in Moscow: Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow
Modern and cozy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin and Red Square. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow, no question!
Kitay-Gorod is the neighbourhood at the heart of Moscow. Home to the city’s most famous attractions, Kitay-Gorod is the place to stay on your first visit to Moscow.
Travelling on a budget is difficult, but not impossible in Moscow. The best place to stay to get the most value for your money in the Presnensky neighbourhood.
North of Kitay-Gorod is the hip, trendy and lively neighbourhood of Trverskoy. This centrally located neighbourhood is not only home to a number of amazing attractions, but it is within walking distance to the city’s main landmarks.
The neighbouring districts of Arbat and Khamovniki are one of the best places to stay in Moscow for trendiness. Home to luxury shops, unique boutiques, and outstanding museums, Arbat/Khamovniki are where bohemian flare and modern creativity meet.
If you’re travelling with children, Basmanny is the best place to stay in Moscow. A calm oasis in the heart of the city, Basmanny is a neighbourhood known for its relaxed atmosphere, clean streets, and lush surrounding scenery.
Moscow is an impressive city, to say the least. Covering more than 2,500 square kilometres, Moscow is the home to nearly 12 million people.
Thanks to its rich and complex history, thousands of travellers flock to Moscow each year. From iconic sights and unique Russian fare to its vivid nightlife or cultural attractions, there’s so much to see and do in Russia’s capital.
The oldest section outside of the Kremlin, Kitay-Gorod is located at the heart of the city. Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral are located within walking distance of this neighbourhood. It’s one of the best places to stay for getting to know the area, making it our top pick for first-time visitors.
If you’re traveling on a budget, Presnensky is an affordable and convenient location to stay in. Close to Moscow Zoo and within walking distance to other attractions, accommodation here is generally cheaper than other areas.
Tverskoy is home to Moscow’s best nightlife scene. It’s a luxurious and trendy neighbourhood, home to clubs, bars, and world-class restaurants.
Arbat is a very hip district, and one of the coolest places to stay in Moscow. The area attracts many young professionals, and is full of trendy cafes and rustic restaurants.
Basmanny sits in the east of the city. With its laidback atmosphere, Basmanny is a great place to experience the slower side of Moscow life. It’s our top pick for families visiting Moscow, as it’s a peaceful base from which to explore the city.
Still not sure where to stay in Moscow? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on for a more detailed breakdown of each area.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Moscow
Each of Moscow’s neighbourhoods offers something special to visitors. Whether you’re looking for an all-night party or to immerse yourself in the city’s dynamic history, there’s a neighbourhood that will cater to you.
Kitay-Gorod lies at the heart of Moscow. Home to the city’s most famous attractions, staying here is the best way to discover the city. It’s walking distance from many major attractions, including Red Square, the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Church.
The area is also home to impressive architectural masterpieces, an exotic restaurant scene, and fascinating museums. Whether you’re interested in the arts, architecture, or seeing the sights, there’s something for everyone in Kitay-Gorod.
Top Things to do in Kitay-Gorod:
– Walk through the iconic, impressive and imposing Red Square.
– Explore Moscow’s Kremlin, the epicentre of Russia’s political power and fortified complex in the centre of the city.
– Marvel at a myriad of Russian treasures, imperial arms, jewellery and more at the Armoury.
– See the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its colourful spires and patterned façade.
– Line up at the western corner of Red Square to enter Lenin’s Mausoleum, where you can see the embalmed body of Soviet Russia’s infamous leader.
– Visit Grand Kremlin Palace, the official residence of the Russian president.
– Climb 137-steps to the top of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and take in one of a kind views of Moscow.
– Visit the Moscow GUM Department Store, a lively shopping mall with hundreds of shops and restaurants.
Best Hostel in Kitay-Gorod: Napoleon Hostel
Less than one kilometre from Red Square, this hostel is best in Kitay-Gorod. This trendy old town is where you’ll find Moscow’s most famous attractions. Enjoy a comfortable stay, and an amazing location at an unbeatable price.
Best Hotel in Kitay-Gorod: Hotel Nikolsky Red Square
Less than five minutes walk to the Kremlin and Red Square, this hotel is ideal for first timers in Moscow. With its warm interiors, modern amenities, and close proximity to the metro, restaurants and more, there’s no better place to stay in Kitay-Gorod.
Best Airbnb in Kitay-Gorod: Cozy Apartment in Moscow
Modern and bright, this cosy apartment in the heart of Kitay-Gorod is the perfect home base for your time in Moscow. It’s situated within walking distance of Red Square, the Kremlin Complex and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Close to transit, shops, restaurants and so much more!
Budget travel can be difficult, but definitely isn’t impossible in Moscow. Located on the north side of Boulevard Ring, Presnensky (or Presnya) is home to numerous attractions, restaurants and top literary sites.
With affordable hotels, hip nightlife and impressive architecture, Presnensky has a lot to do for even the tightest of budgets.
Top Things to do in Presnensky:
– Enjoy a traditional Russian meal of blinchiki, caviar, and vodka at the iconic Café Pushkin.
– Spend an afternoon learning about space, the stars and beyond at the Moscow Planetarium, one of the city’s most popular museums.
– Sit back and relax in Patriarch’s Pond, a favourite haunt of Moscovites of all-ages.
– See the stunning works of Russia’s impressionist artists at the city’s newest museum, the Museum of Russian impressionism, located in a former Bolshevik chocolate factory sugar silo.
– Explore the remarkable Gorky’s House (Ryabushinsky Mansion, the art nouveau mansion of famed writer Maxim Gorky.
– Marvel at the immense Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic Church in Russia.
Best Hostel in Presnensky: City Hostel
Clean and cosy, this is the best hostel in Presnensky. Conveniently located, City Hostel is close to major attractions as well as many shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. Enjoy modern amenities and comfortable beds at City Hostel.
Best Hotel in Presnensky: Invite City House
Presnensky Hotel is a great choice for people travelling on a budget. Enjoy comfortable rooms, private bathrooms and a delightful continental breakfast just a short subway ride from the city centre. This boutique hotel also boasts an open-air garden bar and restaurant.
Best Airbnb in Presnensky: Deluxe Room in Moscow City, with Wifi
Perched high above the city on the 41st floor, this Airbnb offers breathtaking views of the city. Close to shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes, this deluxe and stylish room is the best Airbnb in the Presnensky neighbourhood.
North of Kitay-Gorod is the hip, trendy and lively neighbourhood of Trverskoy. This centrally located neighbourhood is not only home to a number of amazing attractions, but it is also within walking distance to the city’s main landmarks.
Home to luxury boutique and upscale restaurants, Tverskoy is a neighbourhood where history and elegance mesh seamlessly with modern amenities and opulence. If hitting the town is a key aspect of your Moscow itinerary, then Tverskoy is the place to be.
Top Things to do Tverskoy:
– Enjoy cheap beer, table games, and Russian techno tunes at Gogol, one of Moscow’s oldest and most popular clubs.
– Night Flight is a world renowned venue. It’s expensive af, however if you can afford to head on over then it’s absolutely worth it.
– Spend an evening enjoying the ballet or an opera at the Bolshoi Theatre: the heart and soul of Moscow’s arts and culture scene.
– Enjoy art, festivals, food and fun at Hermitage Park, a charming garden and one of the most popular and trendiest places in the city.
– Visit VDNKh, a Stalinesque theme park featuring gilded statues, grandiose pavilions, and thrilling rides.
– See an impressive collection of 20th-century paintings, sculptures and other works of art by famous Russian and foreign artists at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
– Enjoy luxury boutiques and upscale restaurants as you walk along the lively and grand Tverskaya Street.
Best Hostel in Tverskoy: Godzillas Hostel
Godzillas is the largest and best hostel in Moscow, and for good reason. Situated in the heart of Tverskoy, this three-story hostel is a short walk from the city’s major sights and attractions. With comfortable beds and modern amenities, you’ll have everything you need for an awesome stay.
Best Hotel in Tverskoy: ARIUM Hotel
ARIUM Hotel is a great choice for travellers interested in culture and fun. The hotel is central to Moscow’s nightlife scene, located just minutes away from all of the city’s hottest clubs.
Best Airbnb in Tverskoy: Tverskaya 2 Room Apartment with Fireplace
Located right on Tverskaya St, this recently renovated flat is just minutes from Tverskoy’s hottest restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. The apartment also hosts a sauna and hot tub, where you can wind down after a big day (or night).
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Home to luxury shops, unique boutiques, and outstanding museums, Arbat is where bohemian flare and modern creativity meet.
Moscow’s former warehouse and factory district, Arbat now attracts numerous Moscow elites. From advertising to tech execs, young professionals flock to Arbat to enjoy its world-class restaurants, stylish bars and irresistible cafes.
Top Things to do in Arbat:
– See priceless works of art at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Moscow’s premier foreign-art museum.
– Enjoy some of the best seafood in the city at Rico one of Arbat’s best-kept secrets.
– Be amazed by the magnitude and magnificence of the historic and ostentatious Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
– Immerse yourself in history at Park Pobedy, a green space filled with fountains, monuments and statues commemorating the sacrifices and triumphs of war.
– Sample retro Russian fare at Varenichnaya No 1, an old-school style restaurant with delicious food and amazing prices.
– Climb to the top of the Sparrow Hills lookout and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding city and scenery.
– Take a stroll down Arbat Street, a 1-kilometre long pedestrian boulevard and enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of this lively neighbourhood.
Best Hostel in Arbat: Jedi Hostel
With incredible views and an amazing location, Jedi Hostel is the best place to stay in Arbat. Enjoy comfortable and private capsule-like rooms at this clean and safe hostel. The hotel is less than 20-minutes away from the city centre, and is close to metro stations and grocery stores.
Best Hotel in Arbat/Khamovniki: Hotel Grafskiy
Modern amenities and an unbeatable location make Hotel Grafskiy the best hotel in Arbat. A 10-minute walk to the city centre, Hotel Grafskiy is close to restaurants, bars and attractions. You’re guaranteed a comfortable and relaxing stay at Hotel Grafskiy.
Best Airbnb in Arbat/Khamovniki: Stylish, modern apartment on Arbat street
Stylish, spacious, modern and conveniently located, there’s no better Airbnb in Arbat. Close to a myriad of restaurants and the Moscow metro, you’ll feel at home in this apartment in the heart of Arbat.
If you’re travelling with children, Basmanny is the best place to stay in Moscow. A calm oasis in the heart of the city, Basmanny is known for its relaxed atmosphere, clean streets, and lush surrounding scenery.
Well situated to the east of the city-centre, Basmanny is a short walk or subway ride to Moscow’s main attractions. Within this charming neighbourhood, there’s plenty of activities for travelers of any age.
Top Things to do in Basmanny:
– Rent paddleboats in the summer or ice skates in the winter and enjoy Chistye Prudy, a clean, quiet and quaint pond in that runs along the Boulevard Ring.
– Step back in time and see Lubyanka, headquarters of the infamous Russian KGB.
– Hop on a bike and enjoy the crisscrossing paths through Sokolniki park, home to a manicured rose garden, cool places to eat, and an open-air swimming pool.
– Enjoy Russia’s biggest toy store, Central Children’s Store, located just west of the Basmanny neighbourhood.
– Head 60m underground and explore Bunker-42 Cold War Museum, a 700 square meter museum housed in a defunct Cold War communications centre.
– Slow down and smell the roses and ornamental flowers at Aptekarsky Ogorod, Moscow’s pleasant and pretty botanical garden.
Best Hostel in Basmanny: Good News Hostel
Comfortable beds, free wifi and a decent location, this hostel has it all! Good News Hostel is close to a myriad of cafes, bars, and noteworthy attractions. It even offers bike hire if you’d prefer to skip the metro and explore the city on two wheels.
Best Hotel in Basmanny: Loft Hotel H11
Conveniently located just over a mile from the city center, this hotel is a short walk Moscow’s major attractions and several metro stations. Enjoy a continental breakfast each morning, before heading out to enjoy all awesome things that Moscow has to offer.
Best Airbnb in Basmanny: Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow
Modern and cosy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin, Red Square and many of Moscow’s most famous attractions. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Moscow
Moscow is full to the brim with awesome neighborhoods and places to visit. It’s simple to travel across the city, but staying in a neighborhood that suits your travel style is the best way to make the most out of your trip.
If you’re still undecided, we recommend Godzillas Hostel for their top location and modern amenities. If you’re after a private room, check out Loft Hotel H11. Located centrally, you’re sure to have a comfortable stay.
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