Europe yet not so European, big, it houses a large number of billionaires (larger than New York, for instance), with a world-famous long winter and a surprisingly warm summer. Moscow is above all a fascinating and unique environment, with a strong international soul.
Once at the very heart of the Communist power, the Moscow you’re likely to experience is the economic and cultural centre of Russia, with more than 11 million inhabitants.
It has been rated one of the most expensive expatriate cities for ten years. Housing being one of the highest invoices, we would recommend taking that into consideration when accepting a job in the city.
Where to live in Moscow.
There are entire areas of the city which are more o less dedicated to expats. Usually they offer housing in 24 hours guarded compounds. The two most popular are Pokrovsky Hills and Rosinka International Residential Complex, but while the first one is still inside of Moscow, the latter is recommended only if your job is located in the western part of the city. Both the compounds can count on a medical centre, supermarkets and an international school.
If you rather live in the city centre, which is most popular among young expats, the area you’re looking for must be the one that starts with the Red Square and develops around Tverskaya Street: perfect if you are looking for nightlife opportunities.
Quieter but also central areas are between Arbat Street and Kropotinskaya Street, where the atmosphere is Bohemian and fascinating.
Another fascinating place, loved by expats and Muscovites as well is the Garden Ring (Sadovoye Koltso): parks, smaller shops, cafés and restaurants dot this part of the city.
Before moving to Moscow, take your time to learn some basic Russian, or at least learn how to read Cyrillic.
The city counts on a very famous metro transport system, which is efficient and surprisingly beautiful: some of the stations are definitely works of art.
The traffic can be unbearable, so that many expats prefer to hire a driver.
Muscovites are very friendly, though not everyone speaks English. Everyone stresses the fact that this can be a very expensive city, even if first and third world meet here everyday, so that you have to get used to this swinging: the very rich and the very poor are equally part of the city.