Moscow can be an exciting place to live in. With its dramatic history and politics, life can never be considered boring in the Russian capital. Nevertheless, expats in Moscow may experience frustrations including bureaucracy, a difficult language adjustment and extreme weather conditions. Nonetheless, the city offers an attractive lifestyle with its active social life and rich arts and culture scene. 

    Accommodation in Moscow

    With more than 12 million inhabitants, finding the perfect apartment or house can be challenging.

    + PRO: Range of options

    There are many different types of accommodation available in Moscow. Expats are just as likely to find themselves in a pre-revolutionary apartment with high ceilings, thick walls and interesting architecture as in a modern apartment block with good facilities and high-tech features. There are also several international compounds with other expats. These gated communities usually offer their own sports facilities and social activities. 

    - CON: High demand and expensive 

    With so many people living in Moscow, housing is in great demand and can therefore be expensive. Apartments are also usually small and expats may be disappointed with what their money can buy. Realistically, size, quality and location are the most important factors influencing the cost of accommodation in Moscow. Expats with a limited budget may need to compromise on one or more of these factors to find a home that best suits them.

    Lifestyle in Moscow

    Moscow is a huge city offering a wide range of activities and events . The expat community is close-knit, giving new arrivals the opportunity to make friends.

    + PRO: Great social scene 

    There is so much to do in Moscow, with activities catering for every interest. Most groups and organisations are well-organised and welcoming to newcomers. The expat community is busy throughout the year with balls and charity events.

    Nightlife within the city is excellent, with a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from. The quality of museums, art galleries, theatres and concerts is also outstanding.

    Moscow is also becoming more child- and family-friendly. Museums such as the Planetarium and Experimentarium are especially exciting for children. There are also several circuses for more entertainment. 

    - CON: Eating out can be expensive

    Restaurants in Moscow can be extremely expensive. Expats may find their social life is limited if living on a budget. Luckily, knowing the right places will help make going out more affordable.

    Education and schools in Moscow

    + PRO: International schools are available 

    There are several international schools in Moscow offering excellent quality education and facilities. There are also good private Russian schools, although only a small percentage of expat children attend these.

    - CON: Demand is high and space is limited

    The demand for schools outweighs the supply. Therefore, schools in Moscow can be expensive with long waiting lists. Schools are usually located outside of central Moscow. So, unless expats live close to the school, children will have to travel some distance by school bus or car each day.

    Climate in Moscow

    + PRO: Many winter and summer outdoor activities

    The climate in Moscow is fairly extreme. Winter weather can be beautiful in Moscow with blue skies and sunshine on the white snow. Cross-country skiing is popular with expats and ice-skating is possible all over the city as many playgrounds are made into ice-rinks. Summer is a great time to explore Moscow as the city is generally quieter. There are lakeside and river beaches in Moscow where expats and locals alike can take advantage of the good weather.

    - CON: Long winters 

    The extreme winter weather can make living in Moscow challenging for most of the year. Expats should make sure to have enough thick and warm winter clothing to get them through. 

    Safety in Moscow

    + PRO: Low crime rate

    Despite its size, Moscow feels surprisingly safe . Expats should take the precautions that they would take in any city, however, and avoid walking alone late at night.

    - CON: Bribery and corruption

    Bribery and corruption are still issues in Moscow, and expats are sometimes affected by this. It's also not uncommon to find incidents of racism.

    Healthcare in Moscow

    + PRO: Medical facilities are of a high standard 

    There are many private medical centres in Moscow with well-trained doctors who can, in most cases, speak English. Dental treatment is also of a high standard in the city.

    - CON: Healthcare is expensive

    Getting medical treatment can sometimes be expensive, although most expats have insurance to cover these costs. Dental treatment is also pricey, although competitive with other European prices. 

    Public transport in Moscow

    + PRO: Comprehensive public transport system

    Moscow has an impressive public transport system . The metro is not only clean, safe, efficient and fast; it is also a tourist attraction. Daily tours explore the metro system with guides showing tourists through some of the city's most beautiful stations. These stations often resemble palaces, with sculptures, mosaics and even chandeliers. There is also an extensive bus, trolleybus and tram route throughout Moscow. Many of Moscow’s buses now even have Wi-Fi access.

    - CON: Crowded public transport during rush hour 

    Rush hour on the metro can be unpleasantly crowded. Many of the metro stations and trains also haven’t changed all their signs to show both the Cyrillic alphabet and the Latin alphabet. Being able to read place names in Russian is therefore helpful to avoid getting lost in the rush hour chaos.

    - CON: Heavy traffic

    Bad traffic can put people off travelling in and around Moscow. Luckily, the metro system is good and expats living near transport stops shouldn't have any issues getting around. The traffic could be a problem for those who choose to drive in Moscow, however. 

    Is Moscow safe to live?
    Safety in Moscow Despite its size, Moscow feels surprisingly safe. Expats should take the precautions that they would take in any city, however, and avoid walking alone late at night. more
    Is Moscow safe for tourists?
    Large cities like Moscow in Russia are overall fairly safe if you are traveling alone, and the Moscow Metro public transit is a secure and easy way to get around. But it is still a good idea to follow basic precautions as in any destination. Avoid exploring alone at night, especially in bad areas. more
    How safe is Moscow?
    Large cities like Moscow in Russia are overall fairly safe if you are traveling alone, and the Moscow Metro public transit is a secure and easy way to get around. But it is still a good idea to follow basic precautions as in any destination. Avoid exploring alone at night, especially in bad areas. more
    Is Moscow safe 2022?
    On 20 February 2022, the US Embassy issued a security alert advising that, according to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centres, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. more
    Is Qatar safe to live?
    Security. In general, Qatar is a very safe place (except on the roads). In addition to security at most compounds, there are numerous guards in every public place. The consequences of crime here are pretty severe, and they work well as a deterrent. more
    Is Moscow water safe?
    Water contamination is a concern in Moscow, the country's capital and largest city. Fifty-six percent of water supply sources in Moscow, home to 12 million, do not meet safety standards. Studies have shown both surface and groundwater pollution in the city. more
    Is Moscow safe now?
    Generally speaking, Moscow today is safe as much as other cities in Europe, despite its problematic history with criminal activity in the 90s. However, if you're planning on traveling to Moscow, keep in mind that you should always keep your guard up and remain aware of your surroundings, just in case. more
    Is Moscow Russia safe?
    Generally speaking, Moscow today is safe as much as other cities in Europe, despite its problematic history with criminal activity in the 90s. However, if you're planning on traveling to Moscow, keep in mind that you should always keep your guard up and remain aware of your surroundings, just in case. more
    Is Moscow nightlife safe?
    Yes! Moscow is very very safe. That's the good news, right? 🙂 It is totally okay to walk round the city during the night time. more
    Is Sacramento safe to live?
    How safe is Sacramento, CA? The metropolitan area's violent crime rate was higher than the national rate in 2020. Its rate of property crime was higher than the national rate. more
    Is Mexico safe to live?
    Mexico also ranks poorly, due to issues with gang violence, drug abuse and frequent crime. Mexico fell nine places in terms of safety and security, going from 48th out of 65 countries in 2017 to 57th out of 68 in 2018. more

    Source: expatarrivals.com

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