Set up in 1970s and designed in a typically Soviet manner of the time, this is now one of the main event spaces in Moscow. Non/fiction Book Fair, Art Salon, Antique Salon, Moscow Design Week - this is just a scoop of the events to attend. Adjacent exhibition space is dedicated to contemporary art. The CHA also hosts exhibitions, most recently that of a great Russian Impressionist painter Konstantin Korovin. Altogether, the CHA tend to specialise in Art, Literature, and Design.
There is a friendly cafe on the ground floor, and a museum park of contemporary sculpture nearby and across the Krymsky Bridge is the famous Gorky Park.
ulitsa Krymskiy Val, 10/14, город Москва, Russia, 119049
+7 499 238 9634
Closed Mondays, open Tue to Sun 11am to 8pm.
Easily reached by Oktyabrskaya and Park Kultury metro stations.
Google map: bit.ly/RxcCLz
Moscow's oddest museum, in a hollowed-out apartment block. Miles away from artefacts in glass cases, the chaotic, agitprop presentation attempts to tell the story of the poet's life while simultaneously create the experience of walking around Mayakovkiy's head in full creative flow.
This is a local tour company who provide everything from walks around the Kremlin to weekends away at the 'Golden Ring' towns. The guides are knowledgable, English speaking locals and it's a very friendly and reasonably priced service.
This small museum houses a massively worthwhile exhibition. Though it's virtually all in Russian, I would also encourage non Russian-speakers to visit. If you know something about GULAG already, you'll find the artefacts and artworks fascinating. If you are visiting Moscow and don't know anything about GULAG; you need to learn. I was made to feel very welcome and given a personal guided tour.
16, Petrovka St.
Every Saturday and Sunday old people gather in Izmaylovsky Park to socialise and to sing traditional Russian songs - chastushki. It is actually like a freestyle hip-hop gathering: there's usually a man playing the accordion and women (MCs) stand in a circle and come out in turn. One woman sings a verse, which can often be quite offensive but is always funny, before another replies with her own verse.
A little bit further in there's an old-school disco with 70s and 80s music playing from tape recorders and old people having fun dancing.
Those not in the mood for dancing can walk a little bit further to the chess players' hut, where serious men ponder their next move while discussing the latest political developments over their beer.
It's all actually really nice to see and they don't mind you joining in at all, even if you're not their age.
The action usually starts around 4pm on weekends. It is more common in the warmer months from May to September.
Nearest metro: Izmailovskaya (east Moscow), exit the station and walk into the forest - you should hear the singing and music
There are so many places to visit and enjoy but make no mistake, no experience in Moscow is complete without meeting the locals.
Russians are famous for their hospitality and you will not be disappointed, especially if you can learn one or two sentences in Russian and make a speech before a glass of vodka.
Twentieth-century Russian art. You will need several hours to marvel at the avant-garde and socialist realist masterpieces that bring to life what was happening on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
10 Krymsky Val; Tel: 095 951 1362; nearest metro: Park Kultury; www.tretyakovgallery.ru/english
Traditional Russian baths from the 18th century. Wrap yourself in nothing but a sheet, sit in the hot, purging steam and then jump into a freezing cold-water pool. A perfect hangover cure that, worryingly, leaves you wanting a cold beer (also on offer). Expect to pay around £20 a head for the whole experience.
14 Neglinniy Pereulok; tel: 095 925 4631
On my recent trip, the Pushkin Museum was a haven in this hectic, expensive and, for the most part, ugly city. Best of all is the collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Kandinsky and the usual suspects. On the other hand, there is far more to see from this period in St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum.
Postal address: 121019, Moscow, 12 Volkhonka St; nearest metro: Kropotkinskaya; http://www/museum.ru/gmii/
Tretyakovskaya is a magnificent gallery of Russian art (both in artists and subject matter). There are some fantastic paintings and sculptures dealing with several different parts of Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar cultures. A great way to spend an afternoon and enlighten yourself.
Metro to Tretyakovskaya and walk down Bolshiy Tolmachevskiy Per. Take your first right (towards the river) and you'll walk past the entrance
An enormous exhibition park, built to demonstrate the riches of the Soviet state. Filled with lots of huge Stalinist buildings, gigantic statues and grandiose water fountains. Within the park there are still sound speakers along the footpaths - probably used for pumping propaganda during communist times. Creepily, they now pump classical music.
The park is situated opposite the impressive Hotel Cosmos, built for the 1980 Olympics.
Must be seen if you want to get a feel of Stalinist Moscow.
Nearest metro: VDNKh metro station, one of the exits leads into the park
Tolstoy spent his winters here in the later part of his life, and the feel of the house is less like a museum, more like you're having a look round while the family have popped out.
It's quite a large wooden house in the suburbs and there's plenty to see if you're an admirer of Russia's most famous novelist. My favourite is his bicycle, which he only learned to ride in his 80s, and there's also a photo of him riding it down the street outside. A must visit for me.
Ulitsa Lva Tolstovo; nearest metro: Park Kultury
A gigantic Soviet ‘Expo' from 1937, featuring more than 80 pavilions, lavishly constructed in the distinctive style of Stalinist neo-classicism. You can walk around the enormous site or take a ride on the monorail. Highlights include a 1960s space rocket, a triumphal arch topped with statues and the gilded Friendship of Nations fountain.
You can also take in the iconic monument to space exploration, a spectacular shard of metal topped with a B-movie space ship, which is just outside the park at the metro station.
Nearest metro: VDNKh
This is the main gallery of international art in Moscow and, while not quite on the scale of the Hermitage in St Petersburg, it still possesses an impressive collection. The surprise here is that there is so much Impressionist art. The main players are all present – there’s an entire gallery of Gaugins – and you begin to wonder how they all ended up here. The official line is that Impressionism became popular in Russia before anywhere else, but one can’t help recalling speculation of where WW2 plunder may have ended up. Whatever the truth, you could while away many an hour in here.
Ulitsa Volkhonka. Nearest Metro: Kropotkinskaya
A gallery of national art which is just that - you'll find only Russian art here. It ranges from religious icon painting over the centuries to Russian artists reflecting their own attempts at some of the genres that are familiar to European art. It's a major gallery that holds something of interest for most tastes in painting and sculpture, but don't expect any Tate Modern style installations.
Lavrushinsky pereulok. Nearest Metro: Tretyakovskaya
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