What can you expect from almost 900 year-old capital of Russia?
Is it the Kremlin complex in the center of the city loaded with symbolism and history? Architectural gems from the time of the Soviet Union? Or Tretyakov Gallery full of icons and many of the most famous pieces of Russian artists like Ilya Repin? I know. Maybe famous Bolshoi Theatre comes to your mind with its ballet, opera, and classical music performances?
Hah, enough questions for you, right?
Surely, all these places are worthy to draw your attention, but I am here to show you another side of the coin (I mean, of the city) – modern, vibrant and technological. The city that you will not want to leave once you’re there. By the way, you can ask Moscow locals to help you plan and organise your trip – just click on the orange button and leave your request.
So, here is my list:
Garage museum of contemporary art
Perhaps, the Garage is the main center of alternative art in Moscow.
It is the permanent home of an expanding collection of modern and contemporary art and it also features special exhibitions throughout the year.
They bring fresh worldviews to Moscow by introducing major international artists to local public and presenting Russian artists in the global context. The centerdefinitely should not be missed as it prioritizes creating exhibitions that involve public engagement and interaction, as well as projects that reveal underrepresented aspects of Russian cultural life in relation to the rest of the world.
It is a design factory (or, actually, it is better to say “a creative hub”), which is located in the building of a former factory that used to manufacture flacons and vials some time before. Now the dour place has been revitalized with offices of magazines and marketing agencies, shops with clothes made by young designers, cinema, lecture halls, exhibition areas, open air cafes and much more. Co-working space is also available here.
There is a lot to explore, so you can definitely make a day of it. There are film festivals, big fairs, celebrations, lectures, concerts with music and dances and master classes.
Come here to see with your own eyes what modern Russian culture is really like. :)
You can find the website here (only in Russian).
There are four branches of MMOMA – the Moscow Museum of Modern Art – and you need just one ticket to visit them all. Given that they are situated within the walking distance from each other, you can get a good walk through the center of Moscow with immersion in the art of the XX and XXI centuries. For all the information click here.
Winzavod is one of the first and biggest private contemporary art centers in Russia located in a complex of seven industrial buildings from the late 19th century including the former brewery.
Leading Moscow contemporary art galleries, workshops of artists, designers and photographers, cafes, show rooms, studios for kids, a bookstore, and many other facilities populate it – so be ready to spend here at least several hours.
You should not even check the calendar of events in advance, as every day there will definitely be something interesting! However, if you look for something in particular, here is the link.
Gogol Center stage performances are based on the screenplays of famous foreign films. However, there are options for fans of classics, too – for example, “Dead Souls” in a modern interpretation.
The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre was founded more than a century ago, but was reopened recently – the full-scale reconstructed interior looks quite impressive in an old building. A stage-transformer, exhibition area, a good cafe and a steep stereo sound are the components of your very pleasant evening.
Winter is usually off-season for all the performances, but in summer you will be able to catch some interesting events.
Afisha Picnic – biggest outdoor music and lifestyle festival – gathers about 50,000 Muscovites annually to listen to bands and performers of different styles – from rap, rock, and funk to straight-up pop music. Come early to browse the market and try out the entertainment, which includes mini-trampolines, virtual travel, a wind tunnel, and so much more. Or come here just to enjoy the beautiful riverside park.
Faces and Laces is another cool street sub-culture fest held in Gorky Park. It unites sub-cultures, street fashion, street sports, and brings everyone together in one big show.
The main participants of the exhibition are singers and musicians, local and international clothing brands, distributors, retailers, designers, artists, DIY enthusiasts and creative enterprises.
This is where you’ll find skaters and roller-skaters performing, break-dancers, and pretty much anyone you can imagine! Big brands like Nike also create installations here, engaging people with brands in real life. Have I mentioned that this biggest open-air party is free of charge?
As you can see, Moscow is quickly becoming a thriving cultural and art scene. Incomers are drawn to it by increasing numbers of good restaurants, bars and local market, as well arts events, fests, theatres and parties. So, my last question is: “will you be one of them”?
P.S. For a complete plunge into the life of modern part of Russian’s capital, book the apartment in one of the skyscrapers of Moscow City, for example, in Europe’s tallest building – the Federation Tower. And – have fun!