The city has been letting the rest of the world know for some time that it has more to offer than just football stadiums and the domed Red Square skyline. In addition to the classic destinations for cultural disciples such as the Pushkin Museum, the long list of world-class museums is expanded by new sensations almost every year.
Moscow has internalized the trend to transform former industrial sites into meeting places for contemporary art. Red October, Winzavod, Flakon and Artplay are all old factories that have transformed artists and designers, along with cool cafes and clubs. There is also a new wind blowing through Moscow's streets when it comes to museums: for example, the Garage Museum, one of the outstanding museums of modern art, was founded by Roman Abramovich's wife Dasha Zhukova and moved to a new location in Gorky Park in 2015. Or the brand-new Museum of Russian Impressionism, which displays a huge collection of Russian art from the 19th century in an old confectionery factory.
Those who only stay a short time in Moscow must not miss one thing: Red Square! Because here - between the Kremlin and the GUM department store, with the Basilius Cathedral in front of you - lies Moscow's heart. The square is particularly impressive in the dark when the Kremlin and GUM are illuminated. For those who have more time, a visit to the Kremlin is recommended, including a visit to the palace and the cathedral square with its churches and onion towers. Take the metro, because whoever misses this was not in Moscow. The Moscow metro rightly enjoys the reputation of the most beautiful metro in the world. It is an example of the synthesis of different types of art: architecture, sculpture, stuccowork and mosaics work together and complement each other harmoniously. Many stations are decorated with wall panels made of Florentine mosaic. This technique dates back to the Italian Renaissance, was brought to Russia and experienced its heyday here thanks to the variety of precious and semi-precious stones for which Russia is famous. Every 40 seconds there is a metro. There is no faster or cheaper way to get around the city of traffic jams. The maps with the coloured lines are relatively clear. For orientation on the ring line, there's a little tip: A male voice explains the stations in the clockwise trains, and a female voice explains the stations in the trains of the opposite direction. Or stroll along the boulevard ring, which runs through the centre like a belt for 9 km - a wide park strip with trees, benches and playgrounds. A river trip on the Moskva is also recommended - between May and September the boat passes the most beautiful sights of the metropolis, including onion towers and magnificent buildings. A stroll along the Arbat, Moscow's pedestrian zone, where you can find everything your heart desires, is worthwhile for a shopping stroll: souvenir dealers have set up their stalls and the choice is difficult to find the most beautiful matryoshka, portrait painters are waiting for customers, antique shops and cafés invite you to see and be seen. And of course, a visit to the legendary GUM - Shopping until you drop - which stands for the new Russia, but in centuries-old architecture, should not be missed.
Those who are tired of the hustle and bustle should take a trip to the Holy Trinity Sergios Monastery just outside Moscow: the heart of the Russian Orthodox Church. The place of pilgrimage is 70 km away from the capital and can be easily reached by train from Yaroslavl station in 80 minutes.
My favourite place in Moscow is the O2 Lounge in the Ritz Carlton - on the 12th floor of the hotel you will find Moscow at your feet. When you sink into the comfortable sofas, the Kremlin towers and golden domes of the churches seem to be within reach. Whether a small sushi menu at lunchtime, a cappuccino in the afternoon or a sundowner in the evening, the atmosphere on the huge terrace is simply unbeatable.
How you get there:
Nonstop from Zurich with Swiss
How you get around:
With the Metro
How long should I go:
3 - 4 days
Best travel time:
Red Square with Kremlin, GUM and Basilius Cathedral
O2 Lounge Ritz-Carlton
Ararat Park Hyatt