As well as having plenty of picturesque spots that will make your Instagram followers jealous, plus a range of great free things to do, Moscow is also well-known for its brilliant nightlife offerings. Here’s where you shouldn’t be missing out on in the Russian capital.
The name Kamchatka literally means ‘a sea of beer’ and that’s exactly what you’ll get here. The interiors are modelled after a Soviet beer house of the ’70s and ’80s and the hops are flowing on the first floor with its self-serve system. With “Two beer or not two beer?” scrawled across the wall, that is the only question you need to ask yourself here.
Set in the space of a former textile factory at the Artplay Design Center, Fassbinder is a cinema bar and cafe which hosts music and film nights, plus art festivals, making it one of a kind in the city. Part of the Tasty Project, people come from all over to experience the unique and comfortable venue.
Part of the ArtPlay, a converted factory, Edward’s is accessible through a passageway which is great for people watching. The small venue channels a British pub with signs to London streets in the adjacent alley.
The wine bar, which replaces the word “Like” in its logo with a Facebook-style thumbs-up sign, is part of a chain including I Like Wine, I Like Grill and Beer&Brut. Created by restaurateur Vladimir Perelman – he even has his own Perelman People brand of sparkling grape juice on offer. I Like Wine 2.0 serves up five-star food under its corked ceiling; other special touches include beds to lounge on in the window sills and colourful veranda.
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This speakeasy is accessible via a little restaurant named Lucky Noodle. Visitors can’t make table reservations or get on a guest list to enter, and there isn’t even a bouncer at the door, but people must pass strict face control to get into this exposed brick venue. Mixologists specialise in absinthe-based cocktails which people sip during the weekdays to the sounds of piano music and live jazz, or techno and deep house on weekends.
It may look like a spare parts shop for bicycles and motorcycles, but inside this courtyard, the venue is a chilled out bar where customers lay back in beach chairs outdoors and enjoy the weather when it’s warm. The colourful drinking hold hosts regular dancing and film nights, serving ale on tap alongside big bites.
7. La Boule
There’s no better combination than drinking and games, so visitors to La Boule will love the 12 petanque lanes. Based inside Gorky Park, beverages are served up alongside live music on the veranda and people playing boules. The outdoor venue is a great pick for the warmer seasons.
One of the World’s Top 50 Bars, Delicatessen is famed for its fruity liquor cabinet and artsy culinary constructions. The reward starts with just being able to locate the place, which involves looking out for a green door in a courtyard archway. You’ll be greeted with the words – “Thank you for finding us” – above the entrance.
32.05 is popular no matter the weather, with guests drinking on the greenhouse-style veranda when it’s cold and on the lawn of Hermitage Gardens when the weather is warm. With lockers to charge your phone in, you can spend the whole night partying without having to worry about running out of juice. It’s not the only throwback to school you’ll get – signs at the bar read “School bus stop ahead”.
Let bearded men in plaid shirts serve you up a drink or two at this American-themed bar. Staff don suspenders as they make whiskey cocktails in this laid-back and friendly establishment. Name badges and their scruffy appearances make it popular with hipsters in the city.
Overlooking the Moscow River, Strelka Bar attracts local students and artists and is based inside the Strelka Institute, which it funds. The interior fuses Art Deco elements with Italian and Scandinavian ’60s and ’70s design; there’s an extensive drinks menu, as well as seasonal dishes using local ingredients.
Half of the venue is a private club situated underground, which plays Soviet hits all night long. It’s full of regulars of all ages but new punters can join in the fun if they have dinner in the restaurant beforehand. Look out for grey doors in the courtyard – finding the place is all part of the festivities.
13. All Your Friends
Don’t let the lack of seating put you off from entering All Your Friends, the first craft beer place in the city. The bar only has a few tables but most of the punters here sit on cushions on top of kegs or boxes, plus many people sit on the ground outside while they drink until 6am. Enter through the gift shop.
This bar is located inside a huge white house with the setup continuing out onto a lawn veranda where quirky illustrations, fairy lights and canopies decorate the exterior. People come to dance the night away to rock bands and munch on burgers and beers in a cool and relaxing environment.
Based inside a mansion, this private club is known internationally as one of the coolest bars in Moscow. Solyanka serves up dishes from Asian to Mexican early in the day and turns into a trendy nightlife venue in the evening. Guests enjoy its laid-back vibe with second-hand furniture and exposed lightbulbs decorating the place.
– TEXT BY LEAH SIMPSON
PHOTOS: FASSBINDER/ARTPLAY FACEBOOK, PERELMAN PEOPLE, INSTAGRAM, ENTHUSIAST FACEBOOK, LA BOULE FACEBOOK, LUMBERJACK BAR FACEBOOK, EDWARD’S PUB FACEBOOK, POWERHOUSE MOSCOW FACEBOOK, SOLYANKA FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.