Experiencing Moscow's Holidays

VedomostiShoppers searching for just the right holiday decorations.


Window Shopping

There are malls — and then there are Russian malls, spun with glitter and lights for the holidays. Whether your wallet is light or full of rubles, you can enjoy the season's ambience — and stay warm — at Moscow's grandest shopping centers. Choose from the splendid architecture of GUM, the splashy cafes at Yevropeisky Mall or something in between.

  • Galereya Aeroport. 62A Leningradsky Prospekt. Metro Aeroport. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tel. 771-6080.
  • GUM. Red Square. Metro Okhotny Ryad or Metro Teatralnya. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tel. 788-4343. www.gum.ru
  • Okhotny Ryad Mall. Manezh Square. Metro Okhotny Ryad. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tel. 737-8449, 737-8409. www.ox-r.ru
  • Yevropeisky Mall. Kievsky Station Square. Metro Kievskaya. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Tel. 921-3444, 921-4444. www.evropeisky.ru

Ice Skating

For a winter experience that chips less than $20 from your budget, ice skating is an option. Many of Moscow's rinks cost next to nothing: At some places just $6 will put you onto the ice. Children skate at reduced prices or for free, and skates can be rented.

  • Gorky Park. Metro Park Kultury. Tel. 933-3301. www.propark.ru
  • Hermitage Garden. 3 Karetny Ryad. Metro Tsvetnoi Bulvar, Tverskaya or Mayakovskaya. Tel. 961-5129. www.katokermitaj.ru
  • Kolomensky. 39 Prospekt Andropova. Metro Kolomenskaya. Tel. (903) 961-5129. www.superkatok.ru
  • Megasport. 3 Khodynsky Bulvar. Metro Dynamo, then Bus 207, or Metro Polezha-yevskaya, then Bus 48. Tel. 643-1810. www.hockey-palace.ru
  • Sokolniki. 1B Sokolnichesky Val. Metro Sokolniki. Tel. 645-2065. http://sokolniki.info

New Year's Fireworks

Of course, you may need to buy an extra pair of gloves, as well as bring some extra patience. But the sight of fireworks over Red Square, the Kremlin and the Historical Museum is well-worth both the cold and the crowd on Dec. 31. For a spot on Red Square, you will need to show up at 9 p.m. or earlier, but even an arrival at midnight will let you glimpse some of the show. The steps of the Lenin Library, the foot of Tverskaya Ulitsa and any Moscow River embankment also offer phenomenal views.


Dec. 13-25

Nibble on holiday sweets in a sleek setting. During December, you can buy treats at the oversized gingerbread house inside Swissotel Krasnye Holmy, where the hotel will be selling ginger cookies ($5) and Santa Claus in chocolate ($20). Stop in the Lightbar cafe bar, also on the lobby level, for coffee, tea and light fare. Reservation tel. 221-5452.

Swissotel Krasnye Holmy. 52 Kosmodamianskaya Naberezhnaya, Bldg. 6. Tel. 787-9800. www.swissotel.com/moscow

Dec. 16-19

Perhaps even hockey can be peaceful during the holidays. Find out with the Channel One Ice Hockey Challenge Cup, a series of matches between European teams. Sweden and Russia will battle for the puck on Dec. 16, while a match against the Czech Republic will be on Dec. 18 and a match against Finland on Dec. 19. Seats can be purchased at the Megasport Sports Palace ticket windows.

See above for Megasport's address. Tel. (499) 246-2846. www.hockey-palace.ru

Dec. 31, from 10:30 p.m.

"The Best New Year's Eve" is how Starlite Diner, that staple of American cuisine and culture in Moscow, is billing its Dec. 31 party. It is definitely pulling out the stops: It has lined up an open bar, DJ, contests and a "secret super-prize" for a drawing. The price is $185 per person.

Starlite Diner. 16 Bolshaya Sadovaya (Aquarium Park). Metro Mayakovskaya. Tel. 650-0246. The chain has four other Starlite Diners in the city. www.starlite.ru

Dec. 31

For $150, the New York-themed Japanese restaurant Megu invites guests to the floor of its New Year's Eve revelry, complete with a welcome cocktail, DJ, go-go dancers, and champagne at midnight. Reservation tel. 287-0520.

Lotte Hotel Moscow, 8 Novinsky Bulvar, Bldg. 2. General tel. 745-1000. www.lottehotel.ru.


Dec. 24, 7-11 p.m.

Christmas dinner for the Western calendar can be found at Swissotel Krasnye Holmy's Cafe Swiss on Dec. 24 from 7 to 11 p.m. Live music. A price of $120 per person will include the set menu of Russian and international dishes, as well as sparkling wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Children aged 3 to 12 can have dinner for $35. Reservation tel. 221-5350.

See above for Swissotel Krasnye Holmy's address.

Dec. 31

The Kai restaurant is planning a night of elegance and fine dining for its guests, also at Swissotel Krasnye Holmy. Kai promises live music, a five-course menu and a waterfall of champagne at midnight. The price for two people is $1,300, including VAT. For dinner plus a hotel room and breakfast, the fee is $1,500. Free parking. Reservation tel. 221-5358.

See above for Swissotel Krasnye Holmy's address.

Dec. 31

Facing the Kremlin and the Historical Museum, the Hotel National is a classic location for ushering in the next year. An open bar and buffet dinner overlooking Tverskaya Ulitsa cost $500 and includes entertainment with a DJ and dancing. The hotel's grand views of the Kremlin can be seen on New Year's for $830. That includes an open bar, dinner and performances by various musicians, a DJ and dancing.

Hotel National. 15/1 Mokhovaya Ulitsa. Tel. 258-7000. www.national.ru.

Jan. 1, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Various brunches are on offer at Lotte Hotel Moscow. Its Les Menu restaurant, run by three Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire, is offering brunch for $120. The same price and the same hours apply to brunches opened by Lotte's Megu and by its lounge. All include champagne in the brunch.

See above for Lotte Hotel Moscow's address.

Jan. 7, 1-5 p.m.

Mark the Russian Orthodox Christmas at Swissotel Krasnye Holmy's City Space Bar, with a special Christmas buffet, sparkling wine and desserts. Live music. Children aged 3 to 12 eat for $35, while grown-ups dine for $150 per person. Free parking. Reservation tel. 221-5357.

See above for Swissotel Krasnye Holmy's address.

Moscow Guide Winter 2011
Moscow Guide Winter 2011
<p>A fresh snowfall can make any street in Moscow beautiful. No matter how familiar we are with what lies underneath the snow — a smudgy kiosk, a dusty road, last year’s remont — that layer of white makes our city new.</p>
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