Saturday, October 25, 2014

Moscow Lodging Bargains

I never thought I would be able to write the above headline, but it is true. Hotels and apartments in Moscow are cheaper this winter than I have ever seen them, at least in this millenium. In many cases they are cheaper than hotels in North America or Western Europe, quite a turnaround from 2007 when Moscow was one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit.

If you are seeking an apartment for a short stay, Trip Advisor ( has a number of listings for under $150 per night. A one-bedroom, one-bath place within walking distance of Red Square called the Kremlin Suite Apartment goes for $128 per night. A two-bedroom, one-bath place called the Rezident Hotel Timirzskaya can be rented for as little as $106 a night. Unfortunately, the description is in Russian only, though the agent supposedly speaks English.

Willing to share an apartment with the owner to save money? Then a listing near Tverskaya Street in central Moscow may be of interest. A bedroom that can sleep two goes for $57 per night, and the place gets a good review written in Italian.  One thing about the reviews on Trip Advisor, you get to practice different languages.

Some hotels are also amazingly inexpensive. I checked random dates in early November and found that a room at the five-star Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya costs as little as $108 Canadian, just under $100 U.S. This hotel is next to the Garden Ring and is one of the famous Seven Sisters, the Stalinist Gothic buildings that stand out in Moscow. The interior, however, is totally modern.

Even cheaper are the Courtyard by Marriott Moscow City Centre at $69 Cdn., about $60 U.S., and the Vega Hotel near the Izmailovo Park and market at the same price. The Vega is one of a group of hotels in this area, all built for the 1980 Olympics. I stayed in the Alfa a few years ago and enjoyed the retro vibe--the rate then was about $100 U.S. per night.

This is also a good time if you want to splash out on a beautiful, amazingly well-located hotel like the historic Metropol, right on Red Square. The rate is about $210 U.S., considerably lower than normal.

The ruble has dropped by about a third in the past three years, which means prices for food, meals and tours are also likely to be cheaper. The drop in the currency's value is attributed to falling oil prices, sanctions, and the unpopularity among foreigners of the Russian government.

Pictured above is a building whose colour I liked--it's right next to Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.


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