Moscow Nightlife

As much progress as the Moscow bar scene has made in recent years, many of the capital's bartenders have not yet mastered the art of mixology, resulting in the occasional mangled martini (though nothing explosive yet). Unless there's live music, there's no cover charge for most bars.

Moscow's vibrant clubbing scene means there are plenty of great places to go. The ranks of Mercedes outside

certain city clubs make it clear that Moscow is a city for big spenders. But you don't have to be one to have a good time sampling Moscow’s bars and clubs. A more bohemian crowd gathers at many that offer live concerts by local bands, and demand from a rapidly growing middle class has ensured the emergence of dozens of stylish yet affordable clubs.

Face control (or a velvet-rope mentality) is common at most high-end clubs. Most clubs don't get busy until between midnight and 2 am. Live music is popular, and some larger clubs put on shows by famous foreign DJs and musicians. At some of the high-end places, there's a fee to be seated at a table.

No other part of Moscow's clubbing scene is more subject to closings than the tiny gay circuit, so these listings are far from definitive. A good way to keep up with the scene is by checking, which has regular updates in English. Gay clubbers should exercise caution when entering and leaving clubs, as random homophobic attacks have been reported in recent years.

The Moscow Times (, The Moscow News (, and Element (, available for free at hotels, bars, and restaurants, publish up-to-date calendars of events in English.

Foreigners make easy crime targets: take special precautions at night. You're safest venturing out with other people. Don’t drive under any circumstances after drinking; Russia has a zero-tolerance drunk-driving law, and traffic police can and do stop cars at will.

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Kitai Gorod 11

Ulitsa Tverskaya 7

Zamoskvoreche 5

Northern Outskirts 4

Western Outskirts 2

Arbat 2

Eastern Outskirts 1

Southern Outskirts 1

Ulitsa Bolshaya Nikitskaya 1

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Bars/ Pubs 15

Cafes–Nightlife 1

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Moscow Nightlife

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12 Volt

  • 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...


  • 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...

Arma 17

  • 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...


  • 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...

BB King Blues Club

  • Music Clubs

The man himself came for the opening, and visiting Western stars have continued to make appearances here, often for post-concert jams.

Balchug 5

  • Bars/Pubs

This place is not cheap, and the face control gets strict from time to time, but if you're looking for an elite bar scene, it's hard...

Bar Strelka

  • Bars/Pubs

The superbly positioned summer terrace overlooking the Moscow River and the Cathedral of Christ Our Savior is the main attraction of...

Bud Arena

  • 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...

Central Station

  • 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...

Chinese Pilot Jao Da

  • Bars/Pubs

Live music and tasty, affordable food draw a bohemian crowd to this cellar, whose name translates as "Chinese Pilot." ...


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