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Get Much More From Your Trip to Moscow
See – on a budget

From the point of view of the budget traveler, the best thing about Moscow is the remarkable architecture that lines the city's streets. Not many cities can boast such a collection of imposing structures, and few are the places where the weight of history sits so heavily. The result is a wonderfully evocative travel destination.

Everywhere you turn in this city, rousing sights and iconic images abound: the Red Square, St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin come together to contribute to one of the world's most dramatic skylines. And, of course, the great thing about wandering the streets is that it's free.

Moscow also has a couple of attractive parks and gardens: Alexandrovsky Garden, Neskuchniy Garden and Gorky Park (made famous by Martin Cruz Smith's novel). These can be particularly attractive in winter, when, covered in snow, they capture the city's stark beauty perfectly.

Sleep – on a budget

As for places to stay: Moscow hostels are not necessarily quite as cheap as you might have imagined. They are, however, of reassuringly good quality.

Nova Hostel, a short stroll from the Red Square is one of the better regarded budget accommodation options. Napoleon Hostel and Happy Home Hostel are also attractive options.

Eat – on a budget

Eating cheaply in Moscow is not the easiest thing to do. Of course, the city now has all the chic, international eateries that it was deprived of for so many years. But they don't come cheap, and for the traveler on a budget, fast-food is probably the best option.

For something quick and wholesome Moscow-style, head for the green Kroshka Kartoshka stalls that are dotted around town. Here you can get a piping hot jacket potato stuffed with pretty much whatever you can think of.

Another quick and cheap option are the Teremok Pancake Stalls which serve up delicious blinchiki, (essentially Russian crepes). For a sit-down meal of sorts, the cheapest place available is probably Kruzhka, a down-to-earth beer and bar food sort of place that has a number of premises across the city.

Moscow also has a couple of other places to look out for, where it's possible to eat well (for not too much). These include Rostik's (American-style cuisine), Russkoe Bistro (cheap traditional fare) and the amusingly cow-themed and ever popular self-service place, Moo-Moo, which has a branch on Stary Arbat.

Party – on a budget

In keeping with a city that seems in a constant state of reinvention, Moscow's nightlife is incredibly unpredictable. When setting out for a night out, it's hard to tell exactly what's going to happen. And that's half the fun of it!

But along with eating out, drinking is the one thing that's going to really knock your budget out of sink. Clubs in the city tend to be pretty expensive, and Moscow's cocktail bars seem to be competing with those of Paris or London for the prize for 'Most Ludicrously Priced Drink'.

If avoiding the hangouts of the super-rich in Moscow is half the battle, the other half is not getting ripped off in a lap-dancing bar which are both popular, and difficult to distinguish from the outside.

Should you manage to do this, however, Moscow's reputation as one of the world's harder-drinking, harder-living cities can unfold before your eyes in gloriously hazy Technicolor. The Arbat is the city's time-honored artsy, bohemian quarter. In recent years, however, its narrow streets and charming old bars and cafés and become more heavily touristed.

Much of the city's nightlife is to the north of the city center in the district of Pushkinskaya. Other bars, (and even the odd club) that won't break the bank can be found in the Khamovniki quarter, an area which, particularly on weekends, is rammed with young revelers.

For an even cheaper alternative, Moscow is a city that doesn't mind standing out and drinking under the stars... whatever the weather! Even in the dead of winter you can see crowds of people, ordering strong drinks (to fight off the cold!) from shabby looking kiosks, chatting and generally having a great time.
About the Author
Ben Cooper is a copywriter for HostelBookers.com. On his extensive travels, he's traveled Russia on a tight budget a couple of times, and stayed in a few Moscow hostels.
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