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Moscow - Leisure, Entertainment & Sports

When arriving in Moscow as an expatriate, one of the best ways to gain an orientation of this massive city is to attend one of the many city tours available throughout Moscow. These tours will give you an idea of the layout of the city, and help you find landmarks, entertainment venues, and parks where you can rejuvenate away from the city's busy activity.

One of the most comprehensive tours is the Moscow City tour, which covers the major sites around the city, as well as providing an economic, social, and historical background to help you understand your new home. The tour begins at Red Square, and encompasses the Bolshoi Theatre, the former KGB headquarters, New Arbat Street, Victory Park, the Novodevichy convent, and many other sites. You can book the Moscow City Tour here.

Museums abound in Moscow's capital city, showcasing artistic and historical works from across the centuries. The Pushkin Museum houses the second largest collection of European art in Russia, featuring works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Matisse, and numerous other European artists. The Puskin Museum is located near Red Square and the Kremlin at Volkhonka St., 12.

The Tretyakov Gallery exhibits a large collection of traditional Russian paintings, donated to the city of Moscow in 1892. This gallery is located at Lavrushinsky Lane, 10.

To gain a thorough understanding of the events on which Moscow was built, visit the Museum of Moscow History, located at Novaya Sq., 12. Here, you can view maps, artworks, archaeological finds, everyday items, and documents from centuries past, as well as sculptural models of city buildings and districts.

Moscow also offers numerous parks, which offer respites from the city life. Gorky Park, near the metro station Park Kultury, is a 300 square meter leisure area that provides fun fairs, play areas for children, amusement rides, and ice skating paths. Tsaritsino Park, near the Tssaritsino metro station, features several decorative bridges, pergolas, and arbours, as well as the Russian Museum of Folk and Applied Art and the “Bread House" atrium, which hosts concerts of Moscow musicians.

One of the most popular cinemas for expatriates is the America-Cinema, located in the SAS Radisson-Slavyanskaya hotel at Berezhkovskaya nab. #2. The movies are always shown in their original language, and popcorn and fountain drinks are available at the entrance.

Festivals are also an important part of life in Moscow. The Winter Festival, held in Izmailovo Park, is a 12 day celebration leading up to the New Year. Attending the Winter Festival is a good way to become acquainted with the New Year traditions in the city. Artistic performances, Russian singer, and musicians are featured throughout the festival, and Russian buffoons, Father Frost, and the Snow Maiden are on hand to add to the festivities. Expatriates can take sleigh rides through the winter forest and participate in folk games, as well as sample Russian pancakes and caviar.

Each year, a New Year's Eve celebration takes place in Red Square, where thousands of Muscovites and expatriates gather to await the midnight toll of the Savior clocktower. At midnight, champagne bottles are cracked open, and the New Year's celebration begins. In other areas of the city, citizens dress as Father Frost and the Snow Maiden, greeting passersby with good wishes.

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