There is no shortage of bars and clubs in Moscow, ranging from small pubs to exclusive invitation-only dance hotspots.
The only Irish pub in Moscow run by an actual Irishman, Silvers is tucked away in a cozy basement. It is famous for its bangers and mash and Irish stew and is always packed with foreigners. However, the cramped conditions have not stopped Ireland’s leading politicians from dropping in when visiting Moscow.
Closest metro: Okhotny Ryad
Hours of operation: Sun-Thurs 8:00-0:00; Fri-Sat: 10:00-4:00
+7 (495) 290 42 22
- Papa’s Place
A pizza restaurant behind the old KGB headquarters on Lubyanka Square, with a North American feel. Papa’s Place is home to the Expat Weekly Mixer, every Wednesday night, with specials from 18:00 – 21:00.
Myasnitskaya Ul 22
Closest metro: Lubyanka or Chisty Prudie
+7 (495) 755 95 54
- The American Bar and Grill
This restaurant and bar has three locations, but the one in the city center is the most popular with expats, especially on Friday evenings. British and Dutch predominate, but Americans and other Europeans also come here regularly.
1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya ul 2/1
Closest metro: Mayakovskaya
+7 (495) 250 95 25
- Moscow Expat and Travel Social Group
A established group of English-speaking expats organized through http://www.meetup.com, which organizes monthly social meetings at pubs and bars across Moscow.
- Rock’n’Roll Pub
Holds free jive dance classes twice a month for beginners, in English and Russian, which also makes it a popular draw for expatriates. Organized by Co-op Jive.
ul. Melnikova 7
Closest metro: Proletarskaya or Volgogradskiy Prospekt
+ 7 (495) 675-91-46
- Propaganda Night Club
One of the first clubs in Moscow, it specializes in electronic music and is popular with expatriates. House parties on Thursdays are a big draw.
Bolshoi Zlatoustinskiy Per. 7
Closest metro: Lyubyanka, Kitai-Gorod
+7 (495) 624 57 32
Hours of operation: Mon-Sun 12:00-6:00
Practices “face control” (see below)
Dance and Night Clubs
Moscow is full of hot dance and night clubs, the fashion for which changes at least as quickly as the fashions on the runway. One noteworthy feature is the popularity of exotic dancers and striptease – typically shows are staged as part of the daily operations of many clubs.
Hot clubs usually have strict admission standards – what in English we would call a dress code translates in Russian as fejs-kontrol – face control. This is the more accurate description, as you may be denied admission to a club not only for being too shabbily or just too inexpensively dressed but also for having the wrong look or age to fit into the club crowd. Nevertheless, if dancing the night away to the hottest beats is your thing, don’t let the fear of the occasional nyet stand in your way of getting your moves on! Here is a small sampling of Moscow’s clubs du jour:
- Club Fabrique – Dance
- Karma Bar – Dance; R&B
- B2 – Rock&Roll, Jazz (several floors with different style)
- Sixteen Tons – Hip Hop, Electronic Jazz, and various style-themed parties
- NightFlight – Erotic Dancing and Restaurant
The Tuxedo and Ballgown season in Moscow lasts from October to late spring. Ticket prices and precise dates are available from the organizers. The main events are:
- Late October: The Trafalgar Ball
Organizer: British Business Club
- Late November: St Andrew’s Ball
Organizer: St Andrew’s Society
- Mid December: Golf Ball
Organizer: Advertising and Media Services
- February: Embassies of the World Ball
Organizer: International Women’s Club
- Mid March: Irish Ball
Organizer: Irish Business Club
- April: The Star Ball
Organizer: Charities Group of the International Women’s Club
- June: Moscow Viennese Ball
Organizer: the Moscow Mayor’s Office
Russians tend to choose between restaurants or nightclubs. However, there is an up and coming bar culture Moscow.
- Arte FAQ
Popular with local stuents this bar is a mix of restaurant, club and art gallery. It has a unique atmosphere which is accentuated by the odd furniture, exposed walls and disconcerting eyes projected onto the toilet walls.
32 Balshaya Dimitrokaya
- Tema Bar
At 6pm this bar fills with office workers who, after a hard days work, want a drink or two with their colleagues. Hand over your tie for a free cocktail.
5, 2 Potapovsky Pereolok
The Russian equivalent of a sports bar. It may seem that there is one of these on every street corner in Moscow and in fact there are 32 seperate locations. They all have sports projected onto large screens and big wooden tables and benches to sit around. You won’t find many expats here but at 65 RUR per half litre, it’s the cheapest beer in town. In 3 words: noisy, smoky, cheap.
- John Donne
Dark and atmospheric, this bar has only been open for a year but already has a devoted following of expats and locals. As with other ‘English Pubs’ in the city it is expensive, however, the price is reflected in the wide selection of foreign beverages and the quality of the service.
12 Nikitsky Bulvar
In addition to the contacts provided above for specific location and venues, try the following resources for up-to-date information on the hottest nightlife and events in Moscow:
- Moscow Life: An online guide to the latest goings-on in the city
- Moscow in Your Pocket: English-language reviews and recommendations.