From no scene to megascene in just 15 years, Moscow now has clubs for every taste and every pocket (though it bears repeating: Moscow is very expensive). Like most things here, Moscow nightlife is not always for the faint of heart. "Face control," or feis kontrol, as the dirty work of bouncers is known here, can be brutal. Women should wear heels and look sexy, although youth—or at least supreme confidence—is the best ticket to entry. A man can get in at any age, as long as he flashes a watch, a car, a blazer, or an attitude that speaks of money. At the clubs where getting in depends on having the right look, there's often no cover charge. But be prepared to pay once you're through the doors—a table at the trendiest clubs can cost thousands of dollars, a single cocktail easily $30. At less uptight clubs like Ikra, you might pay as little as $10 (to over $100 for VIP tickets) at the door, and drink prices are reasonable. The fancier the club, the more cocktails rule the night: Mojitos, Bloody Marys, Sex on the Beach, you'll be drinking them all.
Ironically, there's a large concentration of clubs near Lubyanka Square, the former KGB headquarters. Bilingua, Propaganda, and the Club Formerly Known as Krizis Zhanra are all within a stone's throw. Fabrique and Rai (one of Moscow's most exclusive clubs, with the strictest face control) round out a kind of triangle of nightspots around the Kremlin. Neighborhoods are also developing for a more adult crowd of clubgoers, such as Savvinskaya Embankment and its gentrifying factory buildings.
The concierges at Moscow's best hotels can most likely get you into trendy places. In some cases, you don't have to leave your hotel at all: O2 Lounge on the roof of the Ritz-Carlton is about as trendy as it gets, with lounge music, sushi, and cocktails starting at about $40—oh, and an incredible view of the Kremlin.