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The Kremlin has long served as headquarters for Moscow's many rulers - Ivan the Terrible and Stalin once issued their orders from here and today, the Kremlin’s walls protect some of the country’s most precious treasures. Outside the Kremlin microcosm lies Russia in constant flux. Since Gorbachov introduced perestroyka (restructuring) in 1985, the Communists have given way to a new generation of business-minded men and women, hungry for progress. However, old traditions are being honoured and kept alive - excellent performative arts (ballet, opera, and instrumental music), beautifully restored Orthodox churches, Soviet architectural and cultural heritage, and the national cuisine are only a few of the things modern Moscow has to offer.
Moscow might be one of the world's most exciting cities, an embodiment of the intricate fusion of the old and the new. You will definitely be able to fill your time here with history, art, culture, and great food. Visit the many churches and cathedrals, enjoy a show at the Bolshoi Theatre, or go for a walk in one of the city's many parks - Moscow certainly has many ways to enchant you.
It is truly an adventure to go out for dinner in Moscow. The city teems with extravagant themed restaurants where one is transported through both time and space. You may suddenly find yourself in Thailand, on a farm or in a past century. If you want to have good food and spend less, you can go to some of the city’s many Georgian and Armenian restaurants. There are also food chains such as Moo-Moo and Yolki-Palki, where you can serve yourself inexpensive, simple Russian fare. For most restaurants it is recommended to book a table in advance.
Moscow is a city teeming with cafes to suit all tastes and wallets. In the summer, city parks turn into visitor magnets with abundant outdoor cafes - the recently re-conceptualized and ever-evolving Gorky Park being one of the main summertime hot spots. Outside of parks, there are multiple cafes at nearly every corner, ranging from local and international coffee shop chains to quirky themed establishments.
The nightlife scene in Moscow is varied, and long-gone are the days when the only kind of venues in operation were luxury establishments guarded by stern-looking bouncers. Although some places still enforce FC/DC, many are now leaning towards a more casual approach to entry - the recent decade has seen a rise in number of casual bars modeled after hip urban haunts of west European capitals. Wine bars, craft breweries, bohemian cafes, indie bars, and glitzy nightclubs are all to be found in abundance, spread throughout the city's many neighbourhoods.
In order to satisfy the wishes of Russian business men and women, many chic designer stores have opened their stores in Moscow. Today there is definitely a risk that tourists will return home with considerably more expensive souvenirs than fur hats and Russian "matryoshka" dolls, which are readily available throughout - a good place to start browsing for these is the souvenir market right next to the Red Square.
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