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 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.
Me and my girlfriend (we are a lesbian couple) traveled from Moscow to Ekaterinburg, and on to Volgograd. The trip was amazing. We were a bit worried about traveling without male company, but I must say Russia is one of the friendliest and untouristy places I've ever been.
It is a big advantage to know some Russian. Outside of Moscow we met nobody who spoke English. I found Moscow very stressful and expensive. It was the least pleasant city we visited. Our next stop was Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. I highly recommend Kazan. It's an old, beautiful and exotic city with a mix of Tatars and Russes living there. The atmosphere was far more relaxed than in Moscow.
Kazan offers great mosques, and is the Muslim centre of Russia. It's a great place to relax and stroll about. This city has some stunning sights, including the UNESCO listed Kreml.
Our next stop was Ekaterinburg. We were told that it was situated in the Ural mountains, but we never saw a glimpse of them. Nevertheless; Ekaterinburg is a very pleasant and chilled city. It has a very western feeling to it. It's easy to find western food, as there's plenty of Irish pubs there. I recommend going to the Altay building. There you can take a lift and see the city from the rooftop. It's quite stunning. There's plenty of theatres all around the city, and even though you don't understand Russian, don't miss the opportunity to catch local theatre-troops.
A great place (although hard to find) to stay is the guesthouse called Academy of Geology. It's peaceful and has beautiful rooms.
From Ekaterinburg we went south to Ufa. Ufa is the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. Ufa was quite hard to get around, but it is still worth a visit. You can visit one of Lenin's homes and spot some unique architecture. The atmosphere in Ufa is, like in Kazan, very different from the Russian cities. I highly recommend the Azimut hotel (Bus stop Gore Moskva). It's a business hotel with great standards and a friendly staff.
On to Volgograd. Volgograd is probably one of the most beautiful cities I've been to. Situated on the banks of the Volga river with an almost tropical climate, it almost feels like you're in Greece. This is a city of history. The name Stalingrad might ring a bell. The most stunning thing to see in Volgograd is the huge Mother Russia statue. It's the highest statue in the world (72 m). It's an unbelievable sight when you compare it to a church that stands beside it. It looks more like a doll's church.
I also recommend the Stalingrad Battle museum, and the Volga river cruises. There are plenty of offers. Volgograd was really easy to get around in. The city centre is quite small, and it's easy to navigate because of the river. The Volgograd Hotel is cheap and amazing.
We had a wonderful time in Russia. My girlfriend knows some Russian and that came in extremely handy. We got quite used to people looking at us, but we never felt threatened or harassed. The most common comment we got from other women was that we were brave to travel by ourselves.
One thing that is difficult however, is buying train tickets. You will need to write down the information for the train you are going on, how many tickets you need, and what kind of cupee you want. And prepare for long lines. It might take hours to get your tickets. We always went in a 4-people compartment. It was a great way to travel. We shared compartments with so many different people, and it was a great way to get to know Russians. It's important to bring some food or beverage to share.
Girls; go to Russia. It is a fascinating place....
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/
An outdoor museum with many old buildings and churches, some of which have been moved here from elsewhere in Russia. Most are currently covered by scaffolding, but should be ready by the summer of 2006.
Excellent view of the Moskva River, pleasant river voyages in the summer. Nearby are lots of little places with shashlyk and beer at reasonable prices, but be prepared for long lines.
Nearest metro: Kolomenskaya, exit head of train, go left, then right. When you reach the surface and see the Orbit Cinema, you're in the right place. Keep going straight ahead to the park
Exactly what it says on the tin, but don't expect the user-friendly version popular in the west - no colourful boards for kids and no guessing games.
Neat rows of cabinets filled with all crystals and hidden metallic formations possible. None of the descriptions make sense even if your Russian is fluent. But it is endlessly fascinating just to watch the hidden lives of stones and cavities. In the summers there are table tennis courts for rent nearby.
Leninsky prospect 18; www.fmm.ru
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
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