Moscow is one of the largest, most densely populated, expensive and powerful cities on the face of Planet Earth. Almost five million more people live in Moscow than live in for example Berlin. It stands to reason, therefore, that the pace of life at work and at play is a bit faster, to say at the least, than your average European metropolis. Forget Madrid, Paris and Rome - if you want to experience life on the edge you need to come to Moscow.
If you are already loaded with cash then your experience might turn out to be the city break of a lifetime. Thousand dollar hotel rooms, champagne, caviar consumed in the world's most opulent night clubs surrounded by countless millionaires and women so delectable that it seems as if some of them must have been computer generated. But many of us only want to visit Moscow to discover the old Russia instead of the new Russia with the bling bling.
Moscow is notorious for its traffic jams. So skip the car and check out the world's most impressive underground system. The Moscow Underground dates to the 1930's when Stalin took it upon himself, or rather tens of thousands of peasants, to build a subway system of which the workers could be forever proud. There's usually a train every one or two minutes but you come here to admire the stations not the efficiency of the transport system. Stations such as Kievskaya Koltsevaya boast chandeliers, marble floors and ornately decorated walls. There are now more than 170 stations but as the Moscow Underground is being constantly upgraded and expanded this number might well be closer to 200 depending upon when you read this article.
After enjoying this simple, cheap pleasure make for the obvious cultural highlights of the Kremlin, the Lenin Mausoleum, Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral and the world-famous GUM shopping arcade. Most of these sites are actually cheaper than a day of sightseeing in London and, sometimes, more impressive. Take in the old and new Russian vibe by strolling along the river or around the Arbat district of the city. Again, none of this is going to set you back a fortune and this affordable theme continues with a visit to the brilliant Bolshoi Ballet where the ticket price sets you back as little as 10 Euro. Alternatively, the Moscow Circus also offers affordable politically incorrect family entertainment that any tourist will be able to afford.
Moscow is New York with hormones. Come here for the party of a lifetime or for a much more sedate cultural voyage of discovery. Whatever your game plan is, just remember - Moscow is always awake.