Beyond its famous Kremlin, Bolshoi Ballet and Pushkin Museum, we found a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city with something for every taste. Five-star restaurants like Turandot will take you back to the ostentation of the Tsars. Moscow’s socialites meet on exclusive roof terraces overlooking Red Square, like O2 Lounge. Artists assert their talent at contemporary art centres like Garage Museum, designed by Rem Koolhas, contributing to the city’s cultural scene.
But Moscovites don’t live from gastronomy and art alone. The capital is also one of Europe’s hottest shopping spots. Contemporary Russian brands rub shoulders with top international names in well-known malls and high streets.
Start at legendary Gum, a shopping centre in action even before the Russian Revolution. Located in Red Square, its occupants range from prohibitively expensive maisons to global chains like Zara
with more democratic, up-to-the-minute collections. Across the square at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, contemplate splendorous jewellery at Carrera y Carrera
Carry on down pedestrianised Nikolskaya to discover city boots by New Rock
at number five. On to Manolo Blahnik
(number 10) with its display of refined stilettos and ballet flats. Then Tous
(number 19) with its uniquely feminine universe of jewellery and accessories.
Next, head northwards to Tsum, another historical mall at 2, Petrovka. The six storeys of this neo-gothic building are home to some of the world’s most prestigious fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, like Loewe
and Pedro García
Tverskaya is not the only one of Moscow’s widest avenues, but also the retail street with the highest square-metre prices. Parad at 27, is one of the shops most popular with local residents: Chie Mihara
are two of the brands on show. 1-YA, on the same street, has a representative selection of Pikolinos
Still in the historical centre, head for Nikitskiy boulevard and stop at multi-brand retailer Traffic for craftsmanship by Argila
The temple of alternative fashion and design is Tsvetnoy Central Market in the Meshchansky neighbourhood. Pop up to the third floor to lose yourself among outfits by new and cult designers like Masscob
To reach another of the city’s main shopping hubs, hop on the metro, aka “underground palace”. Stop off at Kievskaya and walk to one of the city’s biggest malls, Evropeysky, which welcomed three and a half million visitors in July alone. This European retail city offers a vast portfolio of chainstores like Stradivarius
, Pull & Bear
and Massimo Dutti
. As well as shopping you can sing karaoke, go bowling or dance at its club so plan your time carefully as it can take you all day!
North-west (Voykoskaya station) is Metropoli, behind a glass façade where you’ll find more than 200 shops. Uterqüe
casualwear, emphatic Uno de 50
jewellery and footwear by Camper
(at multi-brand retailer Paranogas) make this a must on your itinerary.
Back on the metro to Leninskiy Prospekt, in the third ring of the city (a road that surrounds the capital, defining its size back in the Eighties). Here Castañer
espadrilles (at number 52) are considered a folk fetish, while the graphic prints of Custo Barcelona
make Stockmann a department store you can’t afford to miss.
For kidswear by Pili Carrera
, a favourite with European royals, and Conguitos
’ versatile total look, make for Afimall City, at 2, Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya, in the heart of the financial district.
Spain’s most spectacular bridal designs are a hit with Moscow women. Pronovias
collections have pride of place at Wedding Room (10, Nikolskaya). The romantic looks of Pepe Botella
are on show at Rstelle (Nikolskiy Passage, 9, Vetoshny), while diaphanous dresses by Model Novias can be found at multi-brand retailer Solange (18, Novaya Basmannaya). Finally, Fuentecapala
dresses grooms with its updated classic styles at Crocus City Mall (MKAD, Km 66).
To round off the day, take in some art at the Winzavod contemporary art centre. This old factory shares the industrial charm of New York’s Meatpacking district. Its galleries nestle amidst artists’ studios, schools, a space for new design talent, bookshop and café. It’s a favourite haunt for Western celebrities so keep your eyes well peeled!
Shopping in Moscow