Moscow is a huge city home to over 12 million inhabitants and covering over 2,500km2. It’s a good idea to choose where you’ll be staying as it’ll help you get the most out of your time there.
You can get your bearings from the Boulevard Belt (Tverskoy Boulevard to the west, Chistoprudny Boulevard to the east) which surrounds the city centre and the Garden Belt which delineates Historic Moscow. However, we recommend that you only search for accommodation within the Garden Belt.
Let’s look at the different neighbourhoods and districts in Moscow.
Staying in the Centre of Moscow
Moscow is a sprawling city so it’s difficult to choose where to stay if you’ve never been. If it is your first time, we recommend staying in a district as close to the centre as possible as you’ll spend less time needing public transport.
Of course, the centrally-located hotels, hostels, and holiday apartments are more expensive but you’ll save time visiting the best the city has to offer. You'll be free to wander around the centre of the city as a large number of the main attraction are in a central location less than 20-minutes apart.
The Garden Ring encircles the historic centre of the city and is arguably the most dynamic part of the city.
The Kremlin is the very centre of the city and the Teatralnaya metro station is just next to Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre. Don’t hesitate to mark this on your map when looking for central hotels in Moscow.
Which Hotel Should You Choose?
- Veliy Otel' Mokhovaya Moscow: Around £50 a night. A comfortable hotel a short distance from the Kremlin.
- PEOPLE Red Square Hotel: This hotel on the banks of the Moskva River has a nice view of the Kremlin and Moscow.
Staying Near Tverskaya Street
Tverskaya Street is Moscow’s main street. It’s also one of Moscow’s nicest streets and starts near the Kremlin. Here you can walk along Stoleshnikov Lane and Kouznetski Most.
This is the neighbourhood where you’ll find the Bolshoi Theatre and the city’s modern art museums. Pushkinskaya Square is home to plenty of concerts. This is a young and festive area and it’s great if you want to have a few nights out in Moscow.
The main downside is that it’s always busy and it's unlikely that you'll be the only international here.
Which Hotel Should You Choose?
- D-Hotel Tverskaya: For less than £50 a night, you can get a double room overlooking Tverskaya Street.
- Stoleshnikov Boutique Hotel: For £70 a night, the hotel is in a calmer part of the neighbourhood on a pedestrianised street less than a mile from Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
Staying in Kitay-Gorod
The Kitay-Gorod neighbourhood is the city’s cultural crossroads where traditional Soviet architecture melts into modern art. Here you can visit the Holy Trinity Moscow, which dates back to the 17th century, Varvarka Street, and Zaryadye Park.
This is a good compromise between being in the dead centre of the city and less central neighbourhoods. There are plenty of Russian cafés where you can get breakfast for a good price if you don’t get a hotel breakfast or don’t fancy it.
Where Can You Stay Kitay-Gorod in Moscow?
- Aroom Hotel: 8 minutes on foot from Kitay-Gorod metro station and 20 from Red Square, you can double rooms from between £30 and £50 a night. The hotel is on a quiet street.
- Kitay Gorod Hotel: Right next to the Kitay Gorod station, this hotel offers double rooms for around £50 a night.
Finding Hotels in the Chistye Prudy Neighbourhood
To the northeast of the centre of Moscow by the Garden Belt, Chistye Prudy is a nice and dynamic neighbourhood.
There are fewer hotels but it’s often quieter than the dead centre without being too far from the attractions, making the accommodation is more accessible.
Hotels in Chistye Prudy
- Leon Art: A hotel with glowing reviews and rooms for less than £50 a night. You’re less than a couple of miles from the Kremlin and less than half a mile from the nearest metro station.
- Bouchee Mini Hotel: A great choice. For £30 a night for a double room, this is a nice hotel with a view of a park. You’ll be 30-minutes on foot from the Kremlin and a great choice if you’d like to walk around the city.
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The Arbat District
Not far from the historic centre, you can stay in this touristy neighbourhood around Arbat Street. Arbat Street and the Arbat District is to the southwest of the Kremlin.
Old Arbat was home to Pushkin and Okudzhava. Not far from the Kremlin, this neighbourhood is full of history. While it’s touristy, it’s also home to plenty of people from Moscow and around Russia and as you walk around, you'll still hear locals discussing the news.
Finding accommodation in this area can be difficult as the proximity to Kremlin makes hotels and youth hostels very popular. You’ll find that even though there are plenty of restaurants, the locals tend to avoid them as they find them too touristy or expensive.
Which Hotel Should You Choose?
- Guest Room Arbatskaya: You can stay in the old town for £40 a night.
- Miracle Apartment Old Arbat: If you want something more luxurious, this hotel costs around £120 a night.
If you want some quiet, consider looking around Patriarch Ponds, an area to the northeast of the centre but still within the Garden Belt.
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This is a cute and picturesque part of the city and great for walking around but it does take around half an hour to get to Red Square from Patriarch Ponds.
The accommodation prices are more reasonable here and you'll appreciate the quiet, especially if you’re travelling as a family. You can relive scenes from The Master and Margarita here.
Where to Stay in the Neighbourhood
- Marco Polo Presnja Hotel: Right by Patriarch Ponds, this hotel has double rooms for around £60.
- Art Hotel Sofit: You can get rooms for around £60.
Advice for Choosing Accommodation
- Check the reputation of your hotel through popular sites. You don’t want to get ripped off. Check reviews left by similar tourists to you or other Brits as they're likely to have similar expectations or be a good frame of reference.
- Check whether or not breakfast is included. Some are very cheap but others can cost as much as £15 per person. If you don’t fancy hotel breakfast, you can find plenty of cafés offering something to eat in the morning.
- Choose a hotel with nearby metro stations so you can get around the city easily, especially if you’re not near the city centre.
- Book early. Popular hotels fill up fast. You’ll also need time to sort out your visa, which can require a hotel booking.
- Check your budget. There aren’t many youth hostels and private holiday rents can be difficult to organise if you don’t speak any Russian. Staying in hotels is probably your best option.
- Check the nearby attractions.
Whether you stay in a hotel, a hostel, or a private holiday apartment, choosing the right property for your travels will ensure you get the most out of your trip to Russia!
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