Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia with 12 million inhabitants. Choosing the right neighbourhood and hotel is really not easy, believe me. Having struggled with this task myself, I decided to share my experiences and research to help you choose. Staying in Moscow is not as easy as choosing a hotel in St. Petersburg, which is a much smaller city. If you want to visit Moscow, you will not be able to do everything on foot no matter where you choose to sleep. I will therefore explain to you each district with its advantages and disadvantages and the tourist sites of the district; so that you can choose according to your tastes. Please note that in Russia by law, you are supposed to register in your accommodation. Remember to ask for it.
Tips for choosing a hotel in Moscow
It is very important to choose the right hotel in Moscow because if you take a closer look, it could ruin your stay. Moscow has a good batch of scams on the cheap hostels side in particular. Of course, problems do not occur in large hotels but rather in low-budget hostels. I give you here a list of hotels that I more or less recommend but I tell you what to expect. If you decide to choose another one on Findhotel for example, here’s what I recommend. Look closely at the establishment’s bill and do not take a hotel with a bill below 7.5 or even 8, it is more secure. Even if the hotel has a good rating, read at least several comments from users. Read the comments of the foreigners who have stayed here, it will give you a better idea of what you will discover. Indeed, the Russians really do not have the same standards as us when we read the comments. On the other hand, we foreigners are confronted with the problem of registration, and some hotels will charge you for this, or will ask you for one less than three days. In short, it may well complicate your arrival. In general, you will read about this in the comments. On the other hand, I advise you to choose a hotel in the city centre, which will make your visits much easier.
Historical luxury hotels in Moscow next to the Red Square
Here are some very luxurious hotels that are all located right next to Red Square. Of course these hotels are all extraordinary with a very good service and a very friendly staff who speak very good English and other languages. Moreover, these hotels have an interesting history. Moreover, even if you can’t afford to sleep there, I advise you to at least go and see their exterior facade and why not have a drink there.
Hotel Moskva (Moscow) = Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
The Four Seasons Hotel in Moscow is undoubtedly the best hotel in Moscow. If your budget is unlimited, don’t hesitate for a second. The suites are superb and have the best view of Moscow on Red Square. The “basic” rooms overlook the interior. There is also a spa. You will notice that the front is not the same on the right and on the left, I let you read the little story of the front on my instagram account. The hotel opened in 1935 during Stalin’s time. In 2002, the facade was preserved but the interior completely rebuilt. In 2014, the hotel opens with 180 rooms under the name “Four Seasons Hotel Moscow”.
Hotel Metropol is located on the theatre square opposite the Bolshoi. The decoration is art nouveau with very beautiful rooms overlooking the Bolshoi. Built from 1898 to 1905 by S.I. Mamontov, who decorated it with Art Nouveau mosaics only on the top floor, cornices and turrets. In 1918, the building served as the second home of the Soviets, and the Bolsheviks established the Central Executive Committee at the Metropol. The hotel returned to its original function in the 1930s.
The National Hotel is located just opposite the Four Seasons Hotel, it offers a superb view of the Kremlin. The rooms are very classy. It was built in 1901-1902 with a beautifully carved facade. In 1918, the hotel became the first House of the Soviets. The members of the government were staying there, Lenin spent a few days in room 107.
Kitaï Gorod/Basmanny district in Moscow
Kitaï Gorod is in my opinion the best place to sleep in Moscow, it is the most lively with the most restaurants and bars in the area while being very close to the Red Square and tourist sites to visit and of course the subway. Basmanny is actually the extension of Kitaï Gorod, so a little further away on foot from Red Square, let’s say it will be a little cheaper the further away you go. But on booking.com for example, accommodation such as the Roof Hostel located 250 metres from the Kitaï Gorod metro station is classified in the Basmanny district, whereas for me it is Kitaï Gorod, which is why I mention these two districts together.
Roof Hostel (low budget)
For me, it’s the best hostel I’ve ever slept in Moscow. Perfect location above and just next to a busy street with lots of good restaurants and bars. There is a 24-hour supermarket just downstairs. The beds are very comfortable and the staff speaks English for the most part. It is located on the 4th floor with elevator. The only disadvantage is that you can hear a little bit of the music from the box downstairs, especially when you’re on the street side.
Aroum Hotel (average budget)
Aroum Hotel is a simple hotel perfectly located not far from the Kitaï Gorod metro station. It is easy to find. The rooms are small but clean and very well furnished with bathroom and small kitchenette. In short, a very good value for money, in one of the best districts of Moscow.
Mini Apple Hostel (low budget)
The mini apple hostel is medium, it is really cheap and well located. The decoration is very nice in football world cup atmosphere mode even after the world cup. But it’s super hard to find, no signage, staff not very friendly and not speaking English.
Tverskoy district, Moscow
The Tverskaya district is to the north of Red Square. Very well located, you can stroll along Moscow’s famous main street called Tverskaya. And the Bolshoi Theatre is right next door if you are planning to go to a ballet, which I highly recommend.
Tverskaya Loft (average budget)
Tverskaya Loft is a very good value for money and location option for a private room. Very well located and welcoming, it is clean. 4th floor with elevator.
Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel (big budget)
The Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel is a very beautiful hotel in the Marriott chain and all the luxury that goes with it. Very beautiful facade and very beautiful interior, currently under renovation in the entrance hall.
The Khamovniki district is located to the southwest of Red Square. This is the museum district. You will therefore be ideally located if you want to spend more time visiting the Pushkin museums, Saint-Sauveur cathedral, etc. The island of Red Oktober and Gorky Park as well as the Tretyakov galleries are not very far either, and it is just next to the Arbat district.
Nereus Hostel is ideally located just next to the Kremlin. It’s clean, the beds are comfortable, the staff is friendly and most of them speak English. It’s easy to find and there’s a great kitchen. Be careful, there are a lot of lockers under the beds that don’t work because they even open when locked, so if you have valuables, you should leave your bag in the luggage room, that’s what I used to do every night.
The City of Moscow
The Moscow City district is the financial district of Moscow. It is a little off-centre from the city centre and tourist sites, so not ideal for tourism. But if you come to work or shop for example, it’s ideal, or if you just want to spend a night in one of these big towers with a great view of the whole city, it’s very nice too. There are all plenty of great hotels for business men.
Icon Hostel a very nice and clean hostel with comfortable beds. It is located on the 47th floor of the Empire Tower in the City of Moscow. To work on your computer with a superb view of the buildings by day and by night, it’s perfect.