Monday, October 06, 2014

Moscow on the Cheap

If you are interested in Russia, you have no doubt heard stories about how expensive Moscow is. The Russian capital recently was known as the world city with the most billionaires, and it doesn't take long in the city centre to realise that the rich are indeed numerous. Luxury cars, designer boutiques and fashionable people are everywhere.

But in fact most Muscovites are not rich, and they manage to enjoy their city's attractions without spending much money. An article in the Los Angeles Times from 2010 tells how the writer, a Russian expat, spent three weeks in the city on an entertainment budget of less than $20 per day.

He took the Metro everywhere and spent a lot of time in the city's public gardens and parks, so I suspect the trip must have been in summer. He managed to find inexpensive places to eat in these locations, and a theatre ticket for $15. He was especially fond of the Patriarshy Pond near the Mayakovsky Metro station, named for a Stalin-era poet.

At Winzovod, a huge art complex behind the Kursky Metro station, he wandered through the galleries and enjoyed the music for free. He bought inexpensive gifts at farmer's markets, and with friends visited a place where you are guaranteed to catch a fish. He visited a lot of churches.

Of course, he had advantages over the average tourist. Russian is his native language and he is used to the Metro and the geography of the city. To read the whole story, go to

I used to recommend a Website called, but when I tried to access it today I was unable to do so. I knew the site's founder had moved out of the city, but it still contained a lot of useful listings and information, so I hope it will re-appear. For more information on ways to save in the Russian capital, please consult my small e-book, "Budget Travel Tips for Russia."


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