5 great things about life in MOSCOW
Iconic Red Square is an amazing place at any time of the year. In the summer the square is a beautiful sight, with sunlight catching the magnificently coloured domes of St Basil Cathedral and the red of the Kremlin Walls. For those in need of refreshment there are many places to have an ice cream or a cold drink in and around the famous department store, GUM. Winter is also a favourite time of year to visit Red Square. Around Christmas time it is like a winter wonderland, with an ice rink and a variety of stalls, set against the backdrop of St Basil’s and the impressive walls of the Kremlin, all beautifully lit up.
Image: St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square
CULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES GALORE...
Moscow is a culture vulture’s dream. Not only is there a large number of museums and galleries, with some of the greatest art works in the world on display, but there are also many opportunities to go to concerts, the theatre and the ballet – though getting tickets at sensible prices for the Bolshoi can sometimes be a challenge.
Image: the Bolshoi Ballet
A GREEN CITY
Moscow is a surprisingly green city, with small parks and playgrounds throughout the suburbs. The most famous of all Moscow parks is Gorky Park, a place for both culture and outdoor recreation. Cultural attractions include an open-air cinema and theatre. Set alongside the Moskva River, you can explore it by bicycle (hiring a bike is easy if you don't have your own), and throughout the park there are cafés and quiet corners to relax in. Here it's easy to forget that you're in such a vast city.
Image: the Moskva River
MODERN PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Public transport throughout Moscow is inexpensive and very reliable. It works throughout the year and provides the quickest way to get from one side of Moscow to the other. The Metro is particularly impressive with trains moving at high speed – sometimes almost frightening speed – while cars above ground are stuck in the infamous Moscow traffic. And all for a price which is less than a cup of coffee.
Image: the Moscow Monorail system
Winter is one of the great things about living in Moscow. Once the snows arrive the environment is transformed. In schools and playgrounds it's a bit like having a big sandpit to play in, and throughout the city inexpensive skating rinks are set up. But while the fresh snow is a thing of beauty, it can be challenging walking around when the temperature is something like -17 degrees. Muscovites know how to dress for the cold, but as soon as you get indoors you'll need to shed layers of clothing because the heating systems are extremely effective in apartments and public buildings, allowing you to comfortably walk around in shirt-sleeves.
Image: deep snow lies beneath the Kremlin walls.
All images: iStock
Winter's would like to thank David Lowder, Principal of English International School Moscow East and Chris FitzGerald, former Principal of English International School Moscow South-West, for compiling this article.
To search for Winter's schools in Moscow, please go to this link.