5 AMAZING Neighborhoods and Areas in Moscow (2019)

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We've broken down the top neighborhoods in Moscow, and our favorite hostels and hotels, to help you decide where to stay in Moscow this year!Moscow is known for a lot of things. Should you visit Russia’s capital Moscow, you will experience unique cultural attractions and sights, and a vibrant nightlife.

You can visit the Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Church and more, gawk at architectural masterpieces, and get lost in museums.

Ah, but where to stay in Moscow?

With over 100 distinct neighborhoods spread amongst Moscow’s 12 main districts, there are so many places to choose from! It can be a bit difficult to narrow down the best area to stay in Moscow!

This guide will break down our picks for the five best neighborhoods in Moscow, based on the best things to do in Moscow, and your personal interests.

We have also covered the can’t miss experiences in each neighborhood, complete with our top picks for hostels, hotels, and apartments!

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Moscow

  • Where to stay in Moscow first time – Kitay-Gorod
  • Where to stay in Moscow on a budget – Presnensky
  • Best area to stay in Moscow for nightlife – Tverskoy
  • Coolest place to stay in Moscow – Arbat/Khamovniki
  • Best neighbourhood in Moscow for families – Basmanny

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

Kitay-Gorod
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.
Places to Visit:
  • 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
  • Visit Grand Kremlin Palace, the official residence of the Russian president

 

Top 3 Recommendations for Where to Stay in Moscow

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 tourist attractions. With comfortable beds and modern amenities, you won’t find a better hostel in Moscow.

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Best Hotel in Moscow: Loft Hotel H11

Loft Hotel H11 is the best hotel in Moscow. Conveniently located on the borders of Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod, this hotel is a short walk Moscow’s major tourist attractions as well as several metro stations.

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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!

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Moscow Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Moscow

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Kitay-Gorod

  • 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.
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Presnensky

  • 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.
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Tverskoy

  • 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.
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Arbat/Khamovniki

  • 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.
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Basmanny

  • 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.
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Moscow is an impressive and imperial city. Covering more than 2,500 square kilometres, Moscow is the home to nearly 12 million people.

Thanks to its rich and complex history, each year thousands of travellers flock to Moscow. From iconic sights and unique Russian fare to its vivid nightlife or cultural attractions, there are lots to see, do and explore in Russia’s capital.

The city of Moscow is divided into 12 administrative districts, which are subdivided into more than 100 distinct neighbourhoods. With so many areas, it can be hard to narrow down which exactly you’ll want to explore. To help you plan your trip, this guide will break down the top five neighbourhoods by interest, highlighting the main attractions and can’t miss experiences.

The oldest section outside of the Kremlin, Kitay-Gorod is where you’ll find the heart of the city. Most major tourist attractions, including Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral, are located within walking distance of this neighbourhood. It’s nice, central and a good base for your Moscow Itinerary.

Heading north, you’ll find yourself in the centre of Moscow’s nightlife scene. Tverskoy is a luxurious and trendy neighbourhood, home to nightclubs, bars, and world-class restaurants.

Continue north and cross over the Boulevard Ring road to Presnensky where you’ll find the Moscow Zoo, delicious restaurants, and affordable accommodations.

South of Presnensky, and west of Kitay-Gorod, is one of Moscow’s hippest areas. Arbat and Khamovniki are neighbouring districts that attract young professionals with their trendy cafes and rustic restaurants.

Head east across the city to peaceful Basmanny. With its laidback atmosphere, Basmanny is a great place to experience the slower side of Moscow life.

Still not sure where to stay in Moscow? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered!

 

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Check out this post to read our full review!

 

5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Moscow

Although Moscow is best explored on foot, the sheer size of it can make that almost impossible. Thankfully, the city boasts an efficient and extensive metro system. Easy to navigate, you’ll have no trouble exploring Moscow’s top five neighbourhoods, no matter where you make your base.

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.

Read on to find out our 5 picks for the best areas to stay in Moscow.

 

1. Kitay-Gorod Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Moscow for first-timers

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. One of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, Kitay-Gorod is walking distance from many major tourist attractions, including Red Square, the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Church and more.

The area is also home to impressive architectural masterpieces, an exotic restaurant scene, and fascinating museums. Whether you’re interested in arts, architecture, or seeing the sights, there’s something for everyone in Kitay-Gorod.

Kitay-Gorod, Moscow

 

Top Things to do in Kitay-Gorod, Moscow

– Walk through the iconic, impressive and imposing Red Square, a 400m by 150m area of cobblestones located outside the northeastern wall of the Kremlin.

– 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 amazing and one of a kind views of Moscow.

– Visit the Moscow GUM Department Store, a lively shopping mall with hundreds of stores and restaurants, an impressive façade and a revolutionary design.

 

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.

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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.

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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!

Also, make sure to check out our Airbnb post for a 35% discount!

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2. Presnensky Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Moscow on a Budget

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. Located on the north side of Boulevard Ring, Presnensky (or Presnya) is home to tourist attractions, restaurants and top literary sites.

With affordable hotels, hip nightlife, and impressive architecture, there’s lots to see, do, experience and explore in Moscow’s Presnya neighbourhood.

Presnensky, Moscow

 

Top Things to do in Presnensky, Moscow

– Visit the Moscow Zoo and see exhibits of your favourite animals, including monkeys, birds, big cats, and polar bears.

– 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.

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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.

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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.

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3. Tverskoy Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Moscow for the Best Nightlife

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.

Home to luxury boutique and upscale restaurants, Tverskoy is a neighbourhood where history and elegance mesh seamlessly with modern amenities and opulence. If you’re looking to enjoy Moscow’s famous nightlife and club scene, then the Tverskoy (or Tverskaya) neighbourhood is the best place to stay.

Tverskoy, Moscow

 

Top Things to do Tverskoy, Moscow

– Enjoy cheap beer, table games, and Russian techno tunes at Gogol, one of Moscow’s oldest and most popular clubs.

– Dance the night away with Moscow’s most-beautiful and wealthiest people at the world-renowned (and very expensive) club, Night Flight.

– 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 Moscow’s largest and most famous hostel and for good reason. In the heart of Tverskoy, this three-story hostel is a short walk from the city’s major tourist attractions. With comfortable beds and modern amenities, you won’t find a better hostel in Moscow.

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Best Hotel in Tverskoy: ARIUM Hotel

ARIUM Hotel is a great choice for travellers interested in culture and fun. At the epicentre of Moscow’s nightlife scene, this hotel is just minutes from all of the city’s hottest clubs as well as it’s most famous attractions.

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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 boasts also a sauna and Jacuzzi – perfect for relaxing after a night at the club.

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4. Arbat/Khamovniki Neighborhood – The Coolest Place to Stay in Moscow

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.

Moscow’s former warehouse and factory district, Arbat/Khamovniki now attracts Moscow’s elite. From advertising to tech execs, young professionals flock to Arbat/Khamovniki to enjoy its world-class restaurants, stylish bars and irresistible cafes.

Arbat/Khamovniki is the place to stay if you’re looking for an area that is constantly on the move.

Arbat Khamovniki,Moscow

 

Top Things to do in Arbat/Khamovniki, Moscow

– 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/Khamovniki’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 the 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/Khamovniki: 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. Less then 20-minutes to the city centre, this hostel is close to metro stations, grocery stores, and Arbat’s most famous attractions.

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Best Hotel in Arbat/Khamovniki: Hotel Grafskiy

Modern amenities and an unbeatable location, Hotel Grafskiy is the best hotel in Arbat. A 10-minute walk to the city centre, Hotel Grafskiy is close to restaurants, bars, and attractions, like Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Enjoy a comfortable and relaxing stay at Hotel Grafskiy.

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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.

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5. Basmanny Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Moscow for Families

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.

Well situated to the east of the city-centre, Basmanny is a short walk or subway ride to Moscow’s main attractions. Enjoy cultural cafes, kid-friendly exhibits, and unique and awe-inspiring attractions in this glorious and charming neighbourhood.

Basmanny, Moscow

 

Top Things to do in Basmanny, Moscow

– 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 one of the most feared sites in all of Russia at 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.

– Feel like a kid in a candy store at 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.

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Best Hotel in Basmanny: Loft Hotel H11

Modern and comfortable, Loft Hotel H11 is the best hotel in Basmanny. Conveniently located, this hotel is a short walk Moscow’s major tourist attractions as well as several metro stations. Enjoy a continental breakfast each morning before you head out to enjoy all awesome things that Moscow has to offer.

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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.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Moscow

There are plenty of things to see and do within Moscow for a few days.

With over 100 diverse neighborhoods to choose from, deciding where to stay in Moscow can be overwhelming. That’s why we created this guide. Remember, Kitay-Gorod is where you’ll find the heart of the city. Arbat and Khamovniki are the trendiest places to stay in Moswos, Tverskoy has all the glitz and glam at night, and Basmanny is our top recommendation for families!

Still not sure?

We rate Godzillas Hostel as the best hostel in Moscow! And if you are looking for a private room, check out Loft Hotel H11. It’s our top pick for hotels in Moscow.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email hostels@thebrokebackpacker.com to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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We've broken down the top neighborhoods in Moscow, and our favorite hostels and hotels, to help you decide where to stay in Moscow this year!

1 Comment

  • Avatar Dan says:

    Good tips, this is one of those cities where you want to be as close to the center as possible, even if it isn’t the cheapest option.

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