Expert Info

Posted by
on 29 Dec 2011
Where are the best places to live in Moscow of working in the city centre. I assume I'll have to live in an apartment, as houses seem only to be in the far suburbs.
Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Jan 2012
Where will you be working? Will you be single, couple or family ? As with everything, your options will be driven by budget as housing in Moscow is notoriously expensive. We lived in Moscow as a family and found apartment living in the City centre to be just fine. We could take full advantage of everything out there. There are lovely modern gated housing developments out of the centre but they are 1) very expensive; and 2) a nightmare if you want to spend a lot of time in the City as Moscow traffic is terrible and many many people have drivers no matter how confident they are at home. Taxis are also still an alien concept ( as of 2008 anyway) and flagging down a random bloke in his Lada may work in the centre but it's harder out in the suburbs. If you can afford it consider Patriarchy Prudy - Patriarchs Pond area. It is set around a large pond and has lots of small shops and cafes. It has alot of literary associations and is also one of the more pleasant areas of a traffic ridden city to wander on foot. Expats often love it. We lived in 2 different apartments in area between Arbat - a slightly tacky pedestrian street - and Kropotkinskaya by the Christ the Saviour cathedral. This is another old area of Moscow with lots of literary associations and a high quotient of pre-revolutionary ( Moscow real estate speak for period property) apartments. You can walk to the Kremlin if so minded and it has its fair share of good supermarkets and restaurants and bars. Another area -v popular with French expats from memory is Chysty Prudy -clean pond - with another big pond at its centre. Apartments will either be in Soviet blocks which themselves range from basic to those originally constructed for the party elite or in the aforesaid pre-revolutionary buildings. Lifts are frequently creaky , and i wouldn't want to go too high in some of the cheaper places and decor ranges wildly ( with the emphasis frequently on wild) but be happy if you find a landlord who has taken the IKEA less is more approach! Wherever you live consider access to the metro which is fantastically efficient and if you are going to be driving take account of the fact that the City is frequently gridlocked. One last tip is to look for apartments with independent water heating as the City shuts off hot water area by area for a maintenance period during the summer - cold showers will be the only option unless you've made sure you have alternative arrangements. Air con is also v useful as temperatures are frequently in the mid-30s in the summer. Hope this helps.

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