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Moscow nightlife

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.

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B2, Moscow

This cavernous, centrally located, all-purpose club with scuffed wooden decor claims to be Europe's largest. Whether or not this is true, B2 has something for...more

Editors' Pick
Café Bilingua, Moscow

The preponderance of hipper-than-thou nightspots for Moscow's Manolo-shod, Maserati-driving moneybags might imply there's no place for a grungy intellectual to...more

Editors' Pick
Denis Simachev Shop & Bar, Moscow

Right in the middle of Stoleshnikov Pereulok, one of Moscow's ritziest boutique streets, this bar's a snack spot for fashionistas by day (breakfast, salads,...more

Editors' Pick
Fabrique, Moscow

Ibiza on the Moscow River? Fabrique has that vibe at 4:30 am, when Moscow's beautiful young students groove to techno that's much more danceable than in most...more

Editors' Pick
Ikra, Moscow

Located in an increasingly hip neighborhood near Kursky train station, Ikra is called Moscow's first New York–style rock club. It's housed in a former...more

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Propaganda, Moscow

Located just a block from the former KGB headquarters on Lubyanka Square, this Moscow institution has nothing to do with the Soviet era. By day, the no-nonsense...more

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Sky Lounge, Moscow

In 2005, Sky Lounge, a chic bar and lounge, replaced the 22nd-floor restaurant in the Academy of Sciences headquarters. With its nooks, couches, curtains, one...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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