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View Full Version : Coming for checkout weekend - Help !!



Casper
27-05-2008, 17:05
My wife and I are over in Moscow for 4 days and while i am expecting to spend 2 days in the office with meetings and final round interviews I am just looking for a quick list of things ya-have-to-jam-in and places i need to check out to get a view on what it is like to live there.

We will do a couple of cultural things but really we need to figure out what it's going to be like to live there so need to know good expat supermarkets, shops, living areas and types of accommodation and restaurant areas.

We are middle aged empty nesters and have been living as expats in Singapore for the last 10 years. We have a cat and a dog but i have read a number of the other pointers on this.

so we don't need to check out young nightclubs, schools, childcare etc.

we do need to understand the basic areas, restaurants, and good bars etc.

feel free to PM me with any honest opinions on rent if ya dont want to respond publicly but i think we are going to look for a 3 bedroom apartment

So i need Top Ten things to check out, see and do in 2 days on a weekend and 3 nights in town to get a feel for the place - any suggestions welcome

stemo
27-05-2008, 22:19
Hey,

I am just back from the same 4 day trip with 2 days free to wonder around.
Based on my experience, two days you can spend running around downtown looking at the WORLD of differences (altough I guess Singapore must have been pretty spectacular too).

I can tell you one thing, DO NOT buy or read the Lonely planet guide.. some of the basics are ok, but otherwise I found it outdated and irrelevant.

You need to buy 5 or 10 times pass for the metro, if you dont want to sit in traffic jams. If you come up on the ground randomly downtown, you will see interesting stuff everywhere, but I would start with the square of revolution.. it puts you in the "state of mind". :)

At night, get ready for some gray cabbing if you dont want to wait 40 minutes for the "pros" to come. Just stick your hand out someone will stop, make sure you kinda know how much the trip worth.

Get ready for poor english (I speak russian luckily but have tested and suffered), eating sushi (since thats nice and very modestly priced).
Bring Russian standard premium vodka as a gift for friends - everybody appreciated it here in Hungary (about 5-600 RUR per bottle)..
Mabye I am not the best to help, but I though I will offer the little I learnt :)

MissAnnElk
27-05-2008, 22:26
I am just looking for a quick list of things ya-have-to-jam-in and places i need to check out to get a view on what it is like to live there.

We will do a couple of cultural things but really we need to figure out what it's going to be like to live there so need to know good expat supermarkets, shops, living areas and types of accommodation and restaurant areas.

we do need to understand the basic areas, restaurants, and good bars etc.

So i need Top Ten things to check out, see and do in 2 days on a weekend and 3 nights in town to get a feel for the place - any suggestions welcome

When I came to visit Moscow . . . before I knew I was going to move here . .. we tried to go to the Kremlin, but it was closed that weekend. We walked and window shopped along Tverskaya, wandered through GUM, walked by Lubyanka (former KGB HQ), saw main Detsky Mir (big toy store), walked all the way over to Pushkinskaya . . . visited Izmaylovsky market (good for gifts). Ate at Cafe Pushkin and Scandinavia . . . and spent a fair amount of time in the lobby of our hotel, drinking vodka and people-watching. There's a gorgeous gastronom/grocery store on Tverskaya that we went into . . . only bought chocolate. Saw Red Square and St. Basil's. Rode the Metro and walked and walked and walked.

I have been happy with the DK Eyewitness Guide to Moscow.

I also recommend the book Living in Moscow. They have a website by the same name, and many employers will just give it to you.

elis
27-05-2008, 23:05
I've been pondering this question since I saw it posted. And have yet figured how to answer it.

If you're trying to figure out if you want to live here, I would say save the sightseeing for later. As for how to get a feel for "real everyday life" in Moscow, without just being dumped into it, I'm not sure. It's probably tough to figure out from a hotel stay--everything always looks easier from there. :sunny:

Maybe walk around in some areas where you think you might be living--if you know that yet--or maybe close to your work and try and get a feel for the place and its differences from what you are used to.

Or ... just go the whole hog approach--which it seems most of us have done--and just move on over, and figure it all out when you've got no other choice! :hooray: (Everyone at expat.ru is always here to help you through the tough times!)

Casper
28-05-2008, 07:54
this is definitely a good start ... and thanks for the help ... and I agree we are going to minimise the sightseeing as that is not the purpose of the journey and you are right if we do make the decision to move then that will all happen then.

We are very used to walking around and do a lot of it as I always think it is the best way to get the feel for a city and I am reasonably wary of which streets to not walk around ... so on that point ...

top 3 Metros stations to get out and walk around to get a feel for shops / potential marts ?

top 3 meto stations to NOT get out of :) or areas on the map to avoid ?

p.s. i did pick up a second hand LP out of a bookstore but am well aware that it is only average around europe - LP is best for Asia and S. America i believe.

MissAnnElk
28-05-2008, 08:04
top 3 Metros stations to get out and walk around to get a feel for shops / potential marts ?

top 3 meto stations to NOT get out of :) or areas on the map to avoid ?

All depends on where you're going to live/work. What you find inside the Brown/Circle metro line (line 5) is different than what you find outside . . . that is, inside is the center of town, higher prices for everything, perhaps more charming. Outside is more real life. Real markets where real people shop. Real apartment buildings that real people can afford. Sometimes these neighborhoods can be charming. Sometimes they can look grim.

I have never emerged from a Metro and felt unsafe, but others may have thoughts. Generally I have been in New-To-Me metro stations during the day, but not always.

If you have not lived in Eastern Europe before, sometimes the suburbs, with the jungles of highrise buildings, can look like "the projects." Our first thoughts on seeing these neighborhoods was, "Oh. Dear." You think crack dealers and gangs. But it isn't like that at all. The public areas in many Eastern European living areas are generally not attended to . . . this includes the exterior of apartment buildings and the hallways and entryways. Clean? Yes. Beautiful? Rarely. But inside the individual units, the homes are . . . homes. Warm, cozy, decorated in the style of the owner. Normal working people.

RIKO
30-07-2008, 15:50
My two cents' worth is to get yourself two or three good real estate rental agents to show you around a few apartments. Maybe one a day (or morning). In the process of doing this they will show you most of what you need to know immediately about living and eating and working as an expat in Moscow. Trying to figure this out on your own with a guidebook in hand will I am sure be a great adventure but you will probably waste most of your time trying to figure out the cyrillic writing on the signs and probably also end up completely lost and losing good time.

Coming as you do from Singapore (where it seems all that most people do is shop) be careful about the shops in Moscow. I suggest that you take the airsickness bag with you when you leave the plane as you are probably going to be ill when you see some of the prices here. Good luck!