While there is little debate that St Petersburg is the prettier city, Moscow has reaffirmed its status as the capital. It has always been a centre for the arts with an unparalleled tradition of theatre, opera and ballet that is arguably the strongest in the world. It is also home to the legendary Bolshoi Theatre, Maly Theatre, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and superb art galleries, such as the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, renowned for its expansive international art collection and the Tretyakov Gallery known for its Russian collection.
Of course the most well known of Moscow’s monuments are in the Red Square. The seat of power, the Kremlin, overlooks the square and is an intimidating as it ever was, despite the towering glass skyscrapers sprouting from the city’s skyline behind. The splendid churches, Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed with its colourful domes enlivens what would otherwise be an austere scene.
Indeed, while Moscow was once a sober city to visit, today it’s vibrant and glamorous, even flamboyant, filled with glitzy bars, swanky restaurants, funky cafes and colossal dance clubs, all as fashionable and contemporary as any other modern capital. Moscow today has a vitality to match any era in its long history.