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The Landlords of the Rings

Moscow, like many European cities, has a circular design. The Kremlin stands at the central point of the city. It is then encircled by the Boulevard Ring or Bulvarnoye Koltso, which in turn is located inside the next outer ring, the Garden Ring, or the Sadovoye Koltso. The most sought-after residential neighborhoods are located inside the Garden Ring. These include the Patriarchy Ponds, Chystye Prudy, Tverskaya and Arbat-Kropotkinskaya areas. Beside being a mouthful to pronounce, each of these neighborhoods plays a special role in the history and life of Moscow.

The Boulevard Ring is the most charming ring of the city, and not only because it is located in the historic center part of Moscow. Moscow boulevards are designed so that the traffic lanes run along a beautiful park, designed with pedestrian walks and benches, ponds and playgrounds.

The name Garden Ring stams from the gardens that were once situated on the outskirts of the old city. Now, however, the gardens are long gone, and the Garden Ring has become one of the major Moscow central transport arteries with ten lanes of traffic.

The Garden Ring is encircled by the newly opened Third Ring, or the Tretye Koltso. The Third Ring is the city's only modern highway with complex transport junctions, bridges and tunnels. It was recently built to ease transport connection between different parts of Moscow. And finally, the Outer Transport Ring, or the MKAD, runs along the outer borders of the city of Moscow.


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Patryarshy Ponds

Patryarshy Ponds is a peaceful residential neighborhood located in the very heart of Moscow. It has become the favorite address for expat housing and is very much loved by Muscovites. The Patryarshy Ponds area is ideally positioned within walking distance to five metro stations on four metro lines, and within immediate access to major center city traffic routes, right between the Garden Ring, the Boulevard Ring, Tverskaya and Novy Arbat. The area has received its name from the charming city park with a pond surrounded by residential buildings. . Properties overlooking the pond are especially sought after. In the summer, the park is ideal for allowing your children to play, walking a dog or jogging. In winter, the Pond turns into a skating ring, beautifully decorated with colorful lights. The neighborhood is the home of the most fashionable city restaurants, theaters, museums. Many embassies are also located here. Not to mention the fact that the Patryarshy Ponds is famous due to its use as the setting of Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "Master and Margarita". Accordingly don’t be surprised to find out how many of your future expat friends and coworkers will live around the block.


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Arbat, Kropotkinskaya

If you would like to live in the most beautiful central Moscow area, close to major city attractions but without the noise and rush of the traffic, you should move to Kropotkinskaya. Right by the golden dome of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, there is an area where charming early century Art Nouveau mansions meet trendy homes built by modern architects. The section between the Moscow river and the streets Ostozhenka and Prechistenka have been called the Moscow Golden Mile due to the number of new upscale residential developments in the area. The Pushkin Art Museum, House of Photography, Pedestrian mall Arbat, Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center are all within walking distance. The Canadian, Mexican, Italian, and other embassies, many of the city’s finest restaurants, including Vanil, Vertinsly and Snobs, and even the Evans office are all located here. No doubt, Kropotkinskaya is the most fashionable and therefore premium residential area among expats and Russians of today’s Moscow.


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Chystye Prudy

The name Chystye Prudy (Clean Ponds) dates back to the early 18th century Moscow. Ironically, its original name was Poganye Prudy (Foul Ponds) as it was a Moscow meat district at the time. In 1710, during the period of Tzar Peter the Great, the ponds were cleaned, and the area became one of the prime Moscow residential neighborhoods and certainly remains so to the present day. Beautiful 18th -19th century buildings overlook a lovely pond placed in a park of the Moscow Boulevard Ring. The area is especially prized by the French for its European charm, peace and quiet and also for its proximity to the new French School location. Here, you can enjoy French gourmet restaurant Nostalgie and its summer version Shater (Pavillion) located directly on the Pond. Couples and families with kids can rent boat rides in summer. Muscovites and expats love skating here in winter. Two best Moscow cinemas for European films in English and Russian (Rolan and 35mm) are located in the area as well as the only city vegetarian restaurant Avocado, popular club Petrovich and Coffee Bean, everybody’s favorite coffee shop.


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Tretyakov Gallery Area

This may be the only residential area in Moscow where you can find charming two-three story buildings, giving you an idea about the lovely Moscow was at the time of narrow streets, churches and horse carriages. Pyatnitskaya and Ordynka streets, the main traffic routes of this neighborhood, may be quite noisy. However, there are plenty of small streets and lanes where one can hide from the city.

Although there are not many residential buildings in the area, it is developing quickly. There have been quite a few luxury buildings built here over the last years, such as Vremena Goda, new construction on Polyanka and Lavrushensky and others. Among residential buildings of the Soviet time, the most notable is # 17 in Lavrushensky lane – a Stalin period building located right next to the Tretyakov gallery.

Tretyakov Gallery has a beautiful collection of Russian Art and a nice way to spend you Moscow Sunday afternoon. For movie-goes, there are two “5 Zvezd” movie theaters in the area, which show both blockbusters and European movies, and also one of the few places in Moscow where you can see a film in its original version with subtitles. There are also several good restaurants in the neighborhood, such as the famous Correa’s.


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Frunzenskaya Area

Located immediately outside of the Garden Ring, Frunzenskaya embankment has been a desired location for a home among Muscovites since the Soviet Times. And it’s no surprise. It is one of the very few residential areas in Moscow with so much greenery and so close to nature. Located on the bank of Moscow river, overlooking Neskuchny Sad and Gorky Park, with children playgrounds in every yard, Frunzenskaya offers a wonderful lifestyle for families with children or simply those who love jogging, biking or rollerblading along the river or having a peaceful stroll in the park.

At the same time, the embankment is only a minute's drive to the Arbat, Tverskaya, Garden and Boulevard Rings and southern and western areas of Moscow. Frunzenskaya is also a well developed residential neighborhood with plenty of stores, supermarkets, and restaurants for all tastes and budgets. There are three good movie theaters – MDM and Gorizont for the fans of blockbusters and Fitil for those who love independent film.

As for apartments, Frunzenskaya embankment was built during the Stalin era, and its development continued through the 1960s. Muscovites and expats appreciate solid and reliable Stalin period residential buildings in the area, and both rental and sale prices here are among the highest in Moscow. The other drawback of the area is the lack of large apartments. The largest type of apartment in the Stalin-period building is 120 square meters, which is below modern residential standards for a family with children.


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Tverskaya

You can’t get any more central! It can’t be more fun! Tverskya street is the Moscow 5th Avenue, which starts right from Red Square and the Kremlin and runs north, where it becomes Leningradsky Prospect. Live next to the most luxurious hotels, explore the fashion stores at your door, and enjoy dozens of restaurants and bars within your block! The street is illuminated with ads and colorful lights year round. During big national holidays, the traffic on Tverskya is blocked, and the street turns into a major party venue. Parades, musical concerts, people’s demonstrations and street shopping all take place here. The lucky ones whose windows or balcony face the street can enjoy the party without leaving the house. While many young and single expats find living on Tverskaya ideal, it is, however, a little too much traffic and action for a family.


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Tverskaya-Yamskaya Area

At Mayakovskaya metro station, Tverskaya uliza changes its name to Tverskaya-Yamskaya, which is in turn changes to Leningradsky prospect after Belorusskaya metro and train stations. This road connects Moscow with Tver, Novogorod and Saint-Petersburg and continues further to the Eastern Europe. Yamskaya used to house stables of the horses and garages for carriages, as well as being a residence area of the coachmen. Four parallel Tverskaya-Yamskaya streets were built during the major Moscow reconstruction in the Stalin period. Thanks to its central location, the area became one of the Moscow commercial and business centers. There are several large office towers in Tverskaya-Yamskaya area including “Gals Towers” and “Parus” and a number of five star hotels including Sheraton Palace and Marriott Tverskaya. Right next to the Mayakovskaya metro station there are two drama theaters (Satiry and Mossoveta), two movie theaters (Dom Khanzhonkova and Dom Kinoaktera), thev Chaikovsky Moscow Symphony Hall and several galleries. One can also enjoy cuisine of almost any part of the world in the area: French gourmet products in Fauchon or Creperie de Paris, Chinese in Nkong, Indian in Tandoor, Russian in Lomonosov, American in popular Diner’s and European in City Grill.


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Leningradsky Prospect

Leningradsky prospect is one of the main and busiest city avenues, which continues from Tverskaya street up north in the direction of Sheremetyevo airport. Historically, it was built to connect Moscow with Tver, Novgorod and St. Petersburg. Leningradsky prospect has long been a favorite place of residence among Muscovites. In the 1920's, Soviet artists and writers were offered private houses with studios in a village just off the prospect. The Artist Compound still exists and is very popular among our expat clients for its peace and greenery. In late 1940, the prospect was rebuilt with new monumental Stalin type buildings along the expanded street. Apartments were offered mostly to war veterans, outstanding scientists, and musicians. Many buildings still have memorial signs to honor the Soviet elite who used to live there. Now the Prospect is home for the Anglo-American School with neighboring Pokrovsky Hills and Chaika compounds. Shopping and dining is well developed in the neighborhood. It is worth noting the Yar restaurant, which has attracted Moscow cream of the crop since 1848. Chekhov and Shalyapin used to be regular guests there. The length of the commute to the city depends on the time of the day. It is as little as 15-20 minutes without traffic. However, during the rush hour the traffic may get really busy so it might take much longer.


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Barrikadnaya Area

Barrikadnaya area is located immediately outside the Garden ring, on the North-West. It is a great option for those who want to live in the center of the city without overpaying for it. Barrikadnya area is only half a mile away from Tverskaya, the Garden ring, Patriarchy Ponds, Smolenskaya and other most central and expensive areas. At the same time it is 10% to 25% more affordable. Moreover, this area is unusually green for Moscow - there several parks and the Moscow Zoo. Most residential buildings have breathtaking views to the Zoo ponds with swans, the White house, two or three Stalin skyscrapers. The area is a home to the US and several other embassies. Finally, there are four major supermarkets, malls, grocery stores, two movie theaters, a Planetarium and many restaurants in the area. The most popular spots are Correa’s – a tiny and delicious Italian restaurant and deli, and the Real McCoy – a bar and night club popular among young people.


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Taganskaya Area

Taganskaya area is located on the east of the Garden Ring and extends beyond it. In old Moscow the area was surrounded by five monasteries, which served the role of protecting Moscow’s eastern border. In the 19th century, this area became one of the main merchant centers of Moscow. Today, there are many business centers in the area, so for those who want to live minutes from the office, Taganskaya may be a location of choice. Taganskaya is less popular than other central areas. The reasons are noise, pollution and traffic. Tagankaya square is a version of Las Vegas, full of neon lights, casinos and clubs. The traffic may be busy here, and you can lose a lot of time in the car getting out of the area. Finally, during the Soviet time, except for some ministerial buildings on Bolshye Kamenshiki street and some others, Taganskaya was constructed mainly for Moscow working class. Therefore, there were very few quality residential buildings here at the time. Main type of residential buildings in Taganskaya was buildings with lower ceilings and smaller “cookie-cutters” apartments. Nevertheless, today, due to its central location the Taganskaya area is developing quickly like the rest of the city and recently became the home for several newly constructed luxury residential complexes. There are several drama theaters in the area, including two parts of legendary Taganka theater, Russian Drama theater and Moscow region Puppet theater. The movie theater Illusion, which plays rare international movie classics, is also located in the area.


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Kotelnicheskaya Skyscraper

The famous Stalin Kotelnicheskaya Skyscraper, located within 10 minutes walk from the two metro stations, Taganskaya and Kitay-Gorod, proudly rises on the crossing of Moskva and Yauza rivers. The building location used to be a home for Moscow artisans in 16th and 17th centuries. One of the three residential Stalin skyscrapers, Kotelniki, as it is called by Muscovites, is truly the most spectacular. The Skyscraper took twenty years to build. At its tallest the building is 26 stories high. There are over 700 apartments in the building. Many windows, balconies and terraces have breathtaking views of the rivers, the Kremlin and Christ the Savior Cathedral. The grand front lobby is very representative of its architectural style – high ceilings, marble, moldings and large double doors. The building amenities include garages, a grocery store, beauty salon and a post office. “Illusion”, a unique Moscow movie theater where you can see rare world and European classics, is located on the ground floor of the building. Across the street is the Library of Foreign Languages. The Skyscraper is famous thanks to its history, architecture, and of course, its residents. Once it was a home to famous Russian actors and a legendary ballet dancer Galina Ulanova. Today, it is a popular residential address for many expats in Moscow.


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Read a Moscow Times article about Moscow most popular residential areas

Read a Moscow Times article about Moscow up and coming residential areas

Read a Moscow Times article about areas further away from the center of Moscow

Read a Moscow Times article about less popular residential areas among expats

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Tel.:
+7 (495) 232 6703
(MSK 9am-10pm)
+1 (866) 976-9033
(EST 1am-2pm)
+44 (20) 3608-0592
(GMT 6am-7pm)
E-mail: