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Moscow - Overview

With its stunning architecture, affinity for arts and theater, and pronounced history, Moscow is a city unmatched in its beauty. Its 417 square miles are packed with peaceful residential neighborhoods, mammoth museums, bustling financial districts, and onion domed cathedrals. If you're considering a move to Russia's capital city, you'll find a large selection of diverse neighborhoods to call home, and several that are highly favored by expatriates.

Moscow is located in the eastern part of Russia, along the Moskva River. The city is built around the Kremlin, a fortified complex of palaces which serves as the residence of the President of Russia.

Most of the people who move to Moscow do so because of work assignments, or to attend one of the city's universities to learn the Russian language. It is considered one of the most difficult cities expatriates, due to rising compliance with Russian immigration laws and policies.

For those willing to navigate Russia's cumbersome immigration process, you'll find that Moscow is a city of grand ballets, vibrant arts, and friendly people. World renowned historical sites, such as Red Square and St. Basil's Cathdral, as well as countless cafes, book shops, and nearly 100 well-maintained parks, will provide you with plenty to see and do as you acquaint yourself with this city.

It is important to note, though, that Moscow was listed as the world's most expensive city for expatriate employees, and has topped the list for three years. Expatriates living in the city agree that securing work prior to coming to Russia's capital city is essential, due to the difficulty of locating and securing employment once living in the city.

Expatriates living in Moscow tend to gravitate toward a handful of neighborhoods. Patryarshy Ponds, located in the city's center, is the most favored destination for expats. It provides convenient access to five metro stations on four metro lines. This neighborhood is known for its serene city park, with residential buildings overlooking a pond frequented by swimmers in summer and ice skaters in winter.

If you're looking for an upscale neighborhood just outside the noise of the city's center, Kropotkinskaya welcomes you to its community of expatriates. Art Nouveau mansions coexist with trendy new residential buildings here, and destinations such as the Pushkin Art Museum and the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center are within walking distance.

One of the quieter neighborhoods of Moscow is Chystye Prudy, where 18th and 19th century residential buildings overlook a pond where Muscovites and expatriates alike love to skate in the winter. Families and couples can also rent boat rides here during the warmer months. Chystye Prudy is home to a number of French eateries, as well as the city's only vegetarian restaurant, Avocado.

Finally, many expatriates gravitate to Frunzenskaya, a neighborhood a bit removed from the noise and energy of Moscow's city center. This neighborhood has become a desired location for expats and Muscovites alike because of its wealth of lush greenery and solid Stalin era residential buildings. Couples and singles will appreciate the serenity of the area, but the lack of large apartment makes living in Frunzenskaya a challenge for families with children.

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