St. Petersburg may be known as Russia's cultural capital, but Moscow easily rivals its northern neighbor. Ballet at the Bolshoi, concerts at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and theaters packed for Chekhov plays are among the highlights of the intense arts scene in this city with dozens of theaters and concert halls and many prestigious acting schools. From raucous, boho joints like Kitaisky Lyotchik to sophisticated "minigarch" (wannabe oligarch) hangouts, Moscow's nightlife scene has a little bit of something for everyone. Almost all the major hotels have upscale bars: those at the Baltschug Kempinski, Ararat Park Hyatt, and Golden Ring are elegant and have majestic views of the city. But you'll likely have more fun if you head out on the town and taste a little Russian hedonism, be it sipping a cocktail on the rooftop at Rolling Stone or jumping about to a guitar band at Krizis Zhanra. For those after something calmer, there are several English-style pubs like Sixteen Tons that are great for a quiet pint and a bite to eat.

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  • 1. Rolling Stone

    Zamoskvorech’ye | Dance Clubs

    What's considered by many to be Moscow's best night out presents an eclectic mix of all the best bits of the city's unique nightlife: bar-top...Read More

  • 2. Solyanka

    Kitai Gorod | Dance Clubs

    Several rooms in this high-ceilinged converted mansion double up as a great café and restaurant during the day and a dance club after hours...Read More

  • 3. 12 Volt

    Ulitsa Tverskaya | Dance Clubs

    This gay club for both men and women is tricky to find, but has a welcoming atmosphere. It has DJs, film screenings, karaoke, and cheap drink deals. ...Read More

  • 4. 7freedays

    Kitai Gorod | Dance Clubs

    With its homely atmosphere, film nights, and tasty food, this club has become the top refuge of Moscow's gay and lesbian community and offers...Read More

  • 5. Arena

    Northern Outskirts | Dance Clubs

    With the biggest club stage in Moscow and a dance floor capacity of 3,500 people, this live music venue is a prime spot to see big and up-and...Read More

  • 6. Arma 17

    Eastern Outskirts | Dance Clubs

    A vast warehouse to the east of the center makes a refreshing change from the city's glitzy clubbing scene. The club regularly hosts big...Read More

  • 7. B-2

    Ulitsa Tverskaya | Dance Clubs

    One of the best places in Moscow for live rock performances, this enormous five-story club includes a restaurant, a pool hall, a dance club...Read More

  • 8. Central Station

    Northern Outskirts | Dance Clubs

    This popular spot with students is one of the most well established gay clubs in town, with a regular rotation of good DJs. Mostly men come...Read More

  • 9. Club Che

    Kitai Gorod | Dance Clubs

    A Latin American–theme involves occasional live Latino music, though music is usually provided by DJs playing Eurodance. Drink service can be...Read More

  • 10. Crocus City Hall

    Western Outskirts | Dance Clubs

    Sting and Elton John have played at this huge complex on the Moscow ring road with a 6,200-seat auditorium. Check ahead and you might catch...Read More

  • 11. Gipsy

    Zamoskvorech’ye | Dance Clubs

    Music at this stylishly decorated and very popular venue in the city's trendy Krasnaya Oktyabr complex varies from pop to techno. Some 400 disco...Read More

  • 12. Karma Bar

    Kitai Gorod | Dance Clubs

    R&B and hip hop hits, live music, and hookah pipes make this club a popular night spot for expats and Russian alike. Lenient face control...Read More

  • 13. Papa's Place

    Kitai Gorod | Dance Clubs

    Themed nights, daily happy hours, and disco music ensure there is always a party atmosphere at this lively club. Entrance is free during the...Read More

  • 14. Propaganda

    Kitai Gorod | Dance Clubs

    This is probably the city's most reliable club for trendy, yet laid-back crowds and good DJs. It's the place to be on Thursday night. On Sunday...Read More

  • 15. Rai

    Zamoskvorech’ye | Dance Clubs

    For those seeking the full-on Moscow clubbing experience, with pink mirrored ceilings, stunning podium dancers, and top international DJs, Rai...Read More

  • 16. Fabrique

    Zamoskvorech’ye | Dance Clubs

    Popular with expats and students, this two-story club features tasty food and sessions by top guest house DJs. ...Read More

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