Where to Stay in Moscow – 10 Best Areas

If you are planning a trip to the Russian capital and are wondering where to stay in Moscow for first-time tourists, it would be no surprise if you are feeling overwhelmed. Moscow is a huge city, one of the largest in the entire world, so there is a massive range of choices as far as areas to stay.

In today’s article, we will be narrowing down the best areas to stay in Moscow to get the most out of your visit. By the end of this article, you will feel more familiar with the best places for tourists, nightlife, budget, and near the airport.

Read more: Is Russia Part of Europe or Asia?

With so many areas to choose from, it helps to narrow it down to which suits some basic and common needs and preferences. Before we get into the meat of the article, I have a few quick suggestions of which areas you might want to consider first.

Where to stay in Moscow?

The best areas to stay in Moscow are Kitay-Gorod, Tverskoy District, Basmanny District West, Basmanny District East, Arbat District, Presnensky District East, Presnensky District West, Yakimanka District, and Ostankino District – VDNKh.

If you are visiting for the first time, or planning a shorter trip, the central neighbourhood of Kitay Gorod would be an excellent choice. You will be staying within a short walk of Moscow’s most iconic attractions including the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Kitay Gorod can be expensive though. If you are trying to keep costs down, then nearby Presninsky might be the better choice. You will still be close to the central attractions, but without the premium rates for accommodation.

For Moscow’s best nightlife you should head to the vibrant Tverskoy district. This is where you will find the best bars and nightclubs in the city. You will still be staying just a short walk from the top attractions in the city.

It is worth remembering that Moscow has an excellent and extensive public transport and metro system. If you are worried that the attractions you most want to visit are in areas out of your price range, you will still be able to easily visit them via the Moscow Metro

Generally speaking, as long as you stay within the Central Administrative District, you will be able to travel between all the top attractions in just minutes.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Kitay-Gorod
💎 Best luxury hotel:Savoy 
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Hitrovka Hotel
💰 Best budget hotel:Red Brick Hotel Kitay Gorod

10 Best areas to stay in Moscow for tourists:

1. Kitay-Gorod


We will start with Kitay Gorod, a neighbourhood right at the centre of Moscow, located north of the Moskva River. Staying here will have you just a short walk away from some of Moscow City’s most famous attractions. 

As one of the oldest areas in Moscow, Kitay Gorod is full of history. The streets here have a particular historic charm and character that is hard to find amongst the skyscrapers and modern buildings throughout the rest of the city.

If you are planning a romantic city break, this is an excellent location. There are so many beautiful buildings and pretty streets to walk down. The area is also known for chic bars and higher end restaurants, so you will have plenty of date venues to choose from. 

One of the most defining tourist attractions of the Kitay Gorod district is Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Saint Basil’s Cathedral is probably the most iconic building in all of Russia. The unique architecture makes this building instantly recognisable to visitors from across the globe.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is actually made up of several smaller churches or chapels. In fact, each of the beautiful domed roofs represents a different chapel. Visitors are able to enter the cathedral for a small fee, although it’s free for children under sixteen so makes for a great attraction to visit with family.

Just across from Saint Basil’s is the Moscow Kremlin. The fortified citadel is well known for being a major seat of Russian governance for centuries. The Kremlin houses numerous historic buildings, including the president’s residence and the Grand Kremlin Palace, often used to host dignitaries.

Although some areas are off limits due to security reasons, visitors are able to tour the grounds and enter various buildings within the Kremlin. The Armoury Chamber is a popular area for tourists to visit.

Located in the Armoury Tower at the south-west of the Kremlin, visitors can view various artefacts from Russia’s military history. From weapons, uniforms and armour, to even jewellery, there is plenty to look at here. 

Surrounding the Kremlin are the Alexander Gardens. The beautiful, landscaped parks wind around numerous historic towers. Some of these gates and towers date back to the 14th-century. The south park stretches along the north bank of the Moskva River, making it a lovely area for a walk.

The Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral are both located just off of the Red Square. One of the most famous and historic squares in Europe, Red Square is a popular meeting place.

Lenin’s Mausoleum is a somewhat morbid but endlessly popular tourist attraction located at the Red Square. Visitors can view the embalmed body of the Bolshevik leader, which has been laying in state since his death in the 1930s.

On the opposite side of the district is Zaryadye Park. The park is home to the Zaryadye Concert Hall. If you enjoy live, instrumental music, it would be well worth checking their programme for any events taking place during your stay.

Zaryadye Park also boasts the Floating Bridge. A unique platform that extends out over the river, the ‘bridge’ is popular with tourists and locals looking to get a beautiful view of the water.

Being such a popular and central location, this area is better suited to those with a more generous budget. Kitay Gorod is better known for more luxurious hotels. You must also expect to pay a premium if you want a room with views of the historic landmarks of the district.

Best hotels to stay in Kitay Gorod:

Best luxury hotel: Savoy This 5-star hotel offers luxurious rooms with Italian-style furniture, orthopedic mattresses, anti-allergic pillows,marble bathrooms, free wifi, and indoor pool. It’s located within easy walking distance from main tourist attractions such as the Kremlin, GUM Department Store, and Red Square. Don’t miss out on Bolshoi restaurant and Vogue Cafe.

Best mid-range hotel: Hitrovka Hotel This 4-star hotel offers rooms with air conditioning, decorated in a classic style, a desk and a TV, a private bathroom with a bathtub or a shower stall. It’s just a few minute’s walk from the Kitay-Gorod Metro Station, and a short ride from Belorussky Train Stations which offering a direct link to Sheremetyevo Airport.

Best budget hotel: Red Brick Hotel Kitay Gorod This accommodation is set in a historic 18th-century building, it provides rooms with a TV, blackout curtains, a kettle, slippers, free toiletries, and a hairdryer.


Where to stay in Moscow: Best Areas to Stay in Moscow, Russia

2. Tverskoy District

Tverskoy District

Kitay Gorod is technically located within the larger Tverskoy District, which stretches for several kilometres to the north of Moscow city centre. Known for shopping, dining, and nightlife, this is a very popular location for visitors to stay in Moscow.

If you were hoping to stay close to popular tourist attractions such as the Kremlin and Red Square, but cannot afford the steep prices of Kitay Gorod, the Tverskoy District is a great alternative too. You will still be within walking distance of great sights, without the extortionate fees.

Running through the heart of the Tverskoy district is Tverskaya Street. Tverskaya Street is the best-known street in Moscow. It is internationally renowned as an upscale shopping destination. 

If you enjoy spending your vacation browsing high-end designer stores and independent boutiques, then you definitely need to visit Tverskaya Street. In addition to shopping, you can also find fashionable restaurants and chic cafes to enjoy a break between shopping sprees.

Aside from shopping and dining, there are many interesting attractions throughout the Tverskoy District. The area is particularly well known for its bustling theatre district.

The Bolshoi Theatre is the best known of the many venues in the area. The ballet and opera performances that can be enjoyed here are amongst the best and most renowned in the world. 

If you have the opportunity to take in a show here, then I definitely recommend that you do. Make sure to book well in advance though, as tickets sell out quickly. Even if you will not be seeing a performance, the grand building of the theatre itself is worth stopping by to appreciate.

In addition to the iconic attractions to be found in the south of the neighbourhood, the rest of the district has plenty to see too. There is a particularly wide array of museums to enjoy throughout Tverskoy. 

At the north end of the Red Square, at the very edge of Kitay Gorod, is the State Historical Museum. The beautiful, grand building houses exhibits and artefacts from throughout history. The smaller Museum of Archaeology sits just behind it, so any history fanatics will be able to get their fill of fascinating relics. 

If you enjoy art, there are various galleries to take a look at. The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts offer at look at two ends of the vast spectrum of Russian art and culture. 

If you prefer to spend your time outside, you can head to Hermitage Park. This pretty, public garden often hosts events and fairs and even an ice-rink in the wintertime. 

It is located right between the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Decorative, Applied, and Folk Arts, so you can walk through it on your way between them.

The Tverskoy District is particularly well known as the best area in Moscow for nightlife. Once you are finished enjoying dinner at one of the many top-quality restaurants in the area, you can head straight out for a night on the town.

You will find the best selection of cocktail bars and nightclubs scattered around the area. There is enough variety that you are sure to find something to suit your preferences.

Best hotels to stay in Tverskoy District:

Best luxury hotel: Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel This 5-star hotel is set in the heart of Moscow, it has spacious rooms with light woods and Art Deco touches, king or full-size beds, and cable TV, a fitness centre, an on-site spa, and an on-site restaurant.

Best mid-range hotel: Moscow Marriott Tverskaya Hotel This 4-star hotel is set in the most vibrant street of Moscow, a 5-minute walk from Belorusskaya Metro Station which provides access to Red Square and the Kremlin. It offers rooms with elegant Art-Nouveau décor, luxury-style bedding, soundproof windows, tea and coffee, a flat-screen TV, and free wifi. It is also near Belorusskaya Train Station and the Aeroexpress train to Sheremetyevo Airport..

Best budget hotel: Centeral Hotel Moscow This 3-star hotel has a 24-hour front desk, a concierge service, free WiFi, and family rooms. Also in each room, you will have air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box, and a private bathroom with a shower, slippers, and a hairdryer.


3. Basmanny District West – Chistye Prudy

Basmanny District West – Chistye Prudy

The Basmanny district is just to the east of the central districts of Kitay Gorod and Tverskoy. Close to the city centre and its iconic attractions, but away from the worst of the crowds, Basmanny is a peaceful, residential escape.

Despite being a little outside of the most central districts, Basmanny still has some really interesting attractions. Basmanny is especially good at repurposing defunct buildings into trendy exhibition and events spaces.

Winzavod is a particularly popular example. Once a thriving wine estate, the property has been converted into a unique showroom for contemporary art.

Following the theme, a series of old warehouses has been converted into Artplay. The colourful network of studios and galleries boasts a thriving community of artists. In addition to the various artists galleries, there are also gift shops and cafes dotted around the complex.

If you are interested in the local arts scene, you should definitely visit Artplay. You can watch new works as they are produced, and even buy some pieces straight from the artists who made them. You could not find a more unique souvenir.

A particularly interesting museum to visit in this area is the Museum of emotions. Just a short walk from Artplay, the museum displays various unique exhibits designed to trigger and reflect specific emotions.

A popular location in the Basmanny District is Christye Prudy. Translating as Clean Ponds in English, this is a small but charming urban park with a pretty pond. In the summer you can enjoy feeding the local population of ducks or rent a paddle boat and enjoy a brief respite from the concrete crush of the city.

Meanwhile, in winter the pond freezes over and is transformed into a popular ice-skating rink. Christye Prudy is particularly popular for families with young children, as there is always something going on for little ones to get involved in.

If you find that Christye Prudy is too crowded, you can head to the nearby Bauman Garden. The gardens are lined with pretty flowers in the summer and host yet another ice rink in the winter.

Best hotels to stay in Chistye Prudy:


4. Basmanny District East

The east side of the Basmanny district is even further out from the city centre. Primarily a residential neighbourhood, this is an ideal location if you a looking for a quieter, more laid-back district to relax away from the crowds.

Aside from being a peaceful escape from your fellow travellers at the end of a busy day sightseeing, Basmanny East is also a more typical representation of everyday life in Moscow. If you are looking to experience life like a local, and mingle with the Moscow natives, this would be a good place to stay.

Another perk of being just a little bit removed from the city centre, is the noticeable reduction in the cost of accommodation. If you have a smaller budget to spend on your hotel or hostel, east Basmanny will help to stretch your cash.

If you are worried that being further out will make sightseeing more hassle, remember that Moscow has a wonderful public transport system. There are plenty of metro stations across Basmanny. While you may not be within walking distance of the major landmarks, they’re only a short train ride away.

For lazy days, when you can’t be bothered with travelling to and from the city centre, there are a couple of things to see and do in Basmanny east itself. The National Sports Museum boasts interesting exhibits on the history and development of Russian sports.

Alternatively, head to nearby Lefortovo Park. The leafy family park and garden boasts several pretty ponds to explore and wander around. There is even a cosy café amongst the trees for when you get tired of walking.

Best hotels to stay in Basmanny District:


5. Arbat District

Arbat District, a fashionable neighbourhood in Moscow

Arbat is one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods in Moscow. Part of the district is home to some of Moscow’s oldest, most historic buildings and streets. Meanwhile, another part of the district was once a busy warehouse and factory quarter.

Both aspects of this diverse neighbourhood are now combined into one of the quirkiest communities around. If you enjoy appreciating historical beauty whilst indulging in top quality contemporary shopping and dining, this is the area for you.

Arbat District is also another of the most central districts of Moscow. The west end of Arbat is comfortably within walking distance of the many iconic attractions to be found in central Moscow like the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. 

At the heart of the Arbat District is the eponymous Arbat Street. Arbat Street is well known for being the oldest pedestrian street in Moscow. It is a popular tourist destination, so you can be sure to find plenty of souvenir shops where you can pick up gifts and trinkets to take back home with you.

Alternatively, relax at one of the many cafes that line the streets. Their streetside dining terraces will give you a comfortable seat from which to appreciate the many street artists that perform along Arbat Street.

Arbat is also known for being a hub of excellent restaurants. With a range of international cuisine on offer, you’re sure to find something to suit whatever you happen to be craving. With so much world-class dining to enjoy, it is no wonder that this is a favourite neighbourhood for the Moscow elite.

To the south of Arbat District you can find the popular Pushkin Museum. Technically, there are two, the State Pushkin Museum, and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. 

The State Pushkin Museum displays historical artefacts from around the world. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts houses a varied collection of sculptures, statues, and paintings. Both also host temporary exhibitions, so it is worth checking what’s on during your stay in Moscow.

Just a short walk from the State Pushkin Museum is the Moscow Museum. The museum of Moscow houses various artefacts from throughout Moscow’s history. The museum often hosts events which offer a great opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the city.

If you are travelling into Moscow via Vnukovo International Airport, Arbat might be a good choice for you. Although the airport is some ways outside of Moscow city, the Aeroexpress train connects the airport directly to Kievskiy Train Terminal.

The Kievskiy Train Terminal is just across the river from Arbat. Just a short taxi or subway ride away, you can be at your hotel in minutes. With the express train only taking 35-minutes, that means you can be out of the airport and at your hotel in under an hour. 

Kievskiy Station is also one of the principal international train stations in Moscow. As such, if you plan to be travelling to Moscow by train, you may be coming into this terminal. This would again make Arbat particularly convenient for you. 

Between the convenient location of public transport links, and being within walking distance of central Moscow, Arbat is a really good choice for anyone planning a shorter stay. You will be able to massively reduce time spent travelling between your hotel and transport or attractions.

Best hotels to stay in Arbat District:


6. Presnensky District East – Patriarchie Ponds

Presnensky District East – Patriarchie Ponds

The Presnensky district is immediately east of the central district of Tverskoy. Although it is outside of the city centre, Presnensky upholds Moscow’s standard of outstanding museums. 

The Moscow Planetarium is one of the most popular museums in Moscow, both with tourists and locals. Boasting a variety of exhibits focused on a wide range of space and astronomy related topics, the hands on, interactive displays are a great opportunity to get your kids interested in science.

The planetarium also has its own observatory and a 4D cinema. Events are regularly held here, so it is definitely worth checking to see if there is anything you would be interested in seeing during your trip.

Moscow Zoo is just around the corner from the Planetarium. The zoo houses over 8000 animals and works to educate adults and children alike on conservation efforts to preserve the species in the wild.

If you are tired of schlepping around zoos and museums, you can head over for a rest by Patriarchie Ponds. The Patriarch’s Pond, as it would be known in English, is a large ornamental pond surrounded by a leafy public park.

Surrounded by comfortable lawns and numerous chic cafes, Patriarchie Ponds is a very popular spot for locals to relax in the fresh air. If you want to kick back like a true Muscovite, this is the place to do it.

Located north of Arbat, right by the Moskva River, is the Russian Federation Government House. The grand, columned building is the primary office for the Russian government and prime minister. If you enjoy visiting political landmarks, then this is certainly worth a visit.

It is also worth noting that several foreign embassies are located in the area, including the U.S. embassy. It may be helpful to keep a note of your embassy’s location, just on the off chance you have need of it.

If you want to get in a bit of cross-cultural appreciation, you can visit the State Museum of Oriental Art. The museum houses exhibits and artefacts from across the breadth of Asia. 

If you are looking to where to stay in Moscow without breaking the bank, Presnensky is a fantastic option. It is just far enough out of the city centre that rates for accommodation are typically lower. However, it isn’t so far out that it would be difficult or time consuming to travel between attractions.

Best hotels to stay in Patriarchy Ponds:


7. Presnensky District West

Presnensky District West – Moscow City Skyscraper

The west end of the Presnensky district is further away from the city centre. Whilst there are fewer tourists out this way, that doesn’t mean that it is particularly quiet. There are a lot of modern business developments and skyscrapers springing up.

If anything, this is one of the most modern areas of the city. With less of a historical vibe, the west side of Presninsky feels more like the mega city that Moscow is. 

This area is home to Moscow’s tallest skyscraper, the Federation Tower. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of Moscow from the incredibly high viewing platform. Those who don’t like heights can enjoy the various shops and eateries on the lower levels.

The Federation Tower is due to lose its title soon though. Planning permission has been granted for the even taller Moscow City Skyscraper to be built just a short walk away. The new supertall skyscraper is due to be completed in 2024

If you need a break from all the towering skyscrapers, you can head along the river to Park Krasnaya Presnya. Between the wooded park and pretty, landscaped gardens, you will soon feel rejuvenated and ready to head back into the concrete and glass jungle.

Alternatively, if you need a little more time enjoying nature, you can head to the neighbouring Park Krasnogvardeyskiye Prudy. Here you can relax by a series of pretty ponds.

If you really want to appreciate some magnificent architecture, you should head to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The largest cathedral in all of Russia, this is a definite must see for anyone visiting Moscow. 

The piercing spires are very different to Moscow’s other, more famous domed cathedral. The way they tower into the sky is impressively reminiscent of the newer skyscrapers springing up in the surrounding area.

Being further out from the city centre, prices for accommodation are generally lower than elsewhere in Moscow. As such, this is a popular location for travellers trying to keep costs low.

Don’t forget, even though this neighbourhood is further from the city centre, the Moscow transport system will ensure that getting around all the must-see attractions will still be super quick and easy.

Best hotels to stay in Presnensky:


8. Yakimanka District

Yakimanka District - Around Tretyakov Museum

Located south of the Moscow River, the Yakimanka District is a fashionable area, known for its art galleries and beautiful riverside parks. The neighbourhood stretches down the west side of the peninsula opposite Kitay Gorod. 

Both refined and relaxed, Yakimanka District is the place to go if you want to enjoy a laid-back yet refined atmosphere. The area is full of chic restaurants and elegant bars. It is a classy neighbourhood, ideal for those who prefer sipping wine over shooting shots.

The north of the district is just a short walk across the Bol’shoy Moskvoretskiy Most bridge from the attractions of central Moscow. It is ideal if you want to stay close to the city centre whilst avoiding the crowds and higher prices for accommodation.

The location of Yakimanka District is particularly ideal for anyone who values a lovely view from their hotel room. If you are lucky enough to get a hotel in the north of the district, you may be able to enjoy stunning views across the Moskva River to the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Elsewhere in the neighbourhood, you can still enjoy wonderful river views or views over Gorky Park. All in all, this is a visually lovely area to stay in Moscow.

One of the principal attractions in the Yakimanka District is the State Tretyakov Gallery. The beautiful building is one of the best-known art museums in Moscow. Housing over 180,000 works by Russian artists from across the centuries, it is easy to see why.

For modern art you can head to the New Tretyakov Gallery. Just a short walk away in Gorky Park, the New Tretyakov Gallery hosts works from the twentieth century onwards.

Gorky Park is a sprawling network of landscaped gardens running alongside the Moskva River. Pathways wind between the manicured lawns and flowerbeds. Meanwhile, the south end of the park leads into the forested Neskuchny Garden.

Together, the gardens make for a charming greenspace to enjoy a walk in the fresh air. Westward facing, the park is also a lovely spot to watch the sunset below the Moscow skyline. The tranquil surroundings of the leafy park and calm river make for a particularly romantic atmosphere.

In addition to the New Tretyakov Gallery, Gorky Park is home to several other museums. The Gorky Park Museum displays exhibits relating to the history of the park, housed within a wonderfully grand building. A viewing platform on the roof provides stunning views over the park and across the river.

Further south through the park you can also enjoy the Museum of Contemporary Arts and Mineralogical Museum. Gorky Park even boasts an open-air theatre, a small amusement park, and a pond that becomes a popular ice-rink in the winter.

With so much green space to explore, the Yakimanka District would be a good choice for those travelling with children.

If you’re travelling to Moscow via Domodedovo International Airport, this area may be a convenient location for you to consider. Whilst the airport is 26-miles away, the express train runs directly into the Pavaletsky Railway Terminal, which is within walking distance of the Yakimanka District. 

Staying here would mean being able to easily get from the station to your hotel. You will not have to waste time and money sitting in a taxi in city centre traffic.

Best hotels to stay in Yakimanka:


9. Ostankino District – VDNKh

Ostankino District – VDNKh

The Ostankino, or Ostankinsky, District is the only area on this list located outside of the central administrative district of Moscow. Several kilometres north of Moscow centre, the Ostankino District will be of particular interest to anyone who has a passion for science and technology.

A large portion of the east side of the Ostankino District is dominated by the VDNHk Exhibition Centre. Also known as the All-Russian Exhibition Centre, the VDNHk is a network of parks, events halls, museums, and even amusement park rides. 

The park has a largely science-based theme. The surrounding museums include one dedicated to soviet era arcade gaming technology, a butterfly house, and an aquarium. 

The north end of the park boasts a display of aeronautical vehicles as the centrepiece to a large plaza. In addition to two planes and a helicopter, visitors can also marvel at the full-sized rocket in the centre. Of course, the main purpose of the park is in its various exhibition halls. 

Events are held here year-round, and visitors to the area are typically in town for a specific event. Whether you are here for a particular convention or not, it is well worth checking what events will be taking place during your trip.

Just south of the VDNHk Park is the Museum of Cosmonautics. Identifiable by the sweeping spire, the museum hosts various exhibits on space exploration. Built to honour the launch of Sputnik 1, the museum chronicles the era that saw man first launch into the cosmos.

Just a short walk from the VDNHk park is Ostankino Tower. The television tower is currently the tallest freestanding structure in Europe. Visitors can take a guided tour up to a viewing deck near the top of the tower to enjoy incredible views of Moscow and the surrounding landscape.

The tower is located at the south end of Ostankino Park. The vast, wooded park, with its many pathways and historic manor, makes a lovely place to escape the concrete landscape of Moscow.

If you get tired of all the crowds and technology of the exhibition park, you can come here for an escape into the fresh air.

Best hotels to stay in Ostankino District:


10. Staying around Moscow airports

Moscow has 4 international airports, SVO Sheremetyevo International Airport is the biggest airport, other 3 airports are DME Domodedovo International Airport, VKO Vnukovo International Airport, and ZIA Zhukovsky International Airport. let’s look at the best hotels near those airports in Moscow:

SVO Sheremetyevo International Airport:

DME Domodedovo International Airport:

VKO Vnukovo International Airport:

ZIA Zhukovsky International Airport:

As one of the largest cities in the world, both by area and by population, there is plenty to see and do when you visit Moscow. By now, you should have a good idea of where to stay in Moscow to get the most out of your time in the Russian capital. 

I hope this article has helped you to feel more confident in deciding the best place for you to stay during your trip. With so much variety, I am sure you found somewhere that suits your needs. All that is left to do is find your ideal accommodation and start booking your perfect trip.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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