Always stuck in a traffic jam? Ever dread that escalator journey down to the metro? Or the lift up to work? Never mind, head high in the sky. Yes, leave Moscow now. If you can't afford a flight to escape this frustrating city, then at least head to one of Moscow's high-rise restaurants, where the city looks like a dream rather than a nightmare.
The 60th floor of the sleek Federation Tower is home to Bar Sixty, supposedly the highest restaurant in Europe. If the turbo lift hasn't made your head spin on the way up, the prices might: cocktails start at 900 rubles, and 1500 will get you a green salad with Kamchatkan crab. The views, though, are stunning — the river snakes round the tower on three sides and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks on imposingly. Avoid a seat by the windows, one visitor on TripAdvisor says, as when the restaurant opens the windows, which they do regularly, everyone rushes over to take a photo.
Bar Sixty. 12 Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Mezhdunarodnaya. Tel. 495-653-8369. ginza.ru/msk/restaurant/Sixty.
On the 21st floor of Moscow's Lotte Hotel, Kalina Bar will have you going back and forth between two amazing views of Moscow's skyline. From the restaurant's balcony you have an outstanding view of the skyscrapers of Moscow-City. Moscow State University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs look like they are a mere stone's throw away. (Although no one is advised to try that with the latter.) Take a stroll to the other side of the bar and you can see the Kremlin cathedrals, Christ the Savior Cathedral and Moscow's concrete hinterlands rolling into the distance. Eating and drinking is located at an even higher stratosphere — Caesar salad is an ozone-busting 890 rubles, although you can sneak in delicious pirozhki for 100 rubles each.
Kalina Bar. 21St floor. 8 Novinsky Bulvar. Metro Smolenskaya. Tel. 495-229-55-19. www.kalinabar.ru.
Perched below the huge golden structure on the roof of the Academy of Sciences is Sky Lounge restaurant and bar. The 22nd-floor establishment provides a grand view of Moscow State University, Sparrow Hills and onwards. From the balcony you can look upwards at the dazzling gold gilded brain-like sculpture that crowns the tower. Main courses range from 670 to 2,370 rubles and cocktails start at 690 rubles.
Sky Lounge at the Academy of Sciences. 22nd floor. 32A Leninsky Prospekt. Metro Leninsky Prospekt. Tel. 495-781-5775. www.skylounge.ru.
Radisson Royal Hotel
Whether you want to get down on one knee, sing the night away or just enjoy a drink overlooking the Moscow River, the top of historic landmark Hotel Ukraina, now called the Radisson Royal Hotel, caters to all. Floors 30 to 35 of the Stalinist tower have been commandeered by the Ginza Project group and turned into Italian restaurant Bono, Mercedes Bar, Troubadour Karaoke Bar and Romantik, a restaurant for just two people. Mercedes Bar's sleek black leather seats and late-night hours is a good place to start or end a night out. Romantik, on the 35th floor, offers 360-degree views. "It is a restaurant with just one table where you can make a marriage proposal," said Regina Apakina, marketing manager for the hotel. Not recommended for those with a fear of heights or commitment.
Radisson Royal Hotel. 2/1 Kutuzovsky prospect. Metro Kievskaya.
Italian restaurant Bono. Floor 30. Tel. 495-229-8308.
Mercedes Bar. Floor 31. Tel. 495-229-8309.
Karaoke Bar Troubadour. Floors 32 to 34. Tel. 495-229-8307.
Romantik. Floor 35. Tel. 985-776-6334.
Timeout Rooftop Bar
Occupying the two top floors of the Peking Hotel and boasting two terraces, Timeout is frequently semi-booked for private events, meaning space can be tight. Decor is undeniably eclectic: The painted Baroque ceiling is mixed with basic wooden furniture and square glass drinks cabinets lit up in green. Cocktails are around 500 rubles each and can feel a little bland for the price, but try the divine bruschetta. Head for the toilet window for a very special view.
Timeout Rooftop Bar. 5/1 Ulitsa Bolshaya-Sadovaya. Metro Mayakovskaya. Tel. (495) 229-0180.
Hollywood movie stars are regularly paraded on the roof of the Ritz-Carlton for photos as they plug their latest movie. The roof, part of the O2 lounge bar, provides a stunning view over the Kremlin, and the combination of Hollywood and the heart of Russia in one shot must surely keep conservative Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky awake at night. The roof will open its summer terrace at the end of April. Prices are exactly what you would expect in a hotel called the Ritz located within spitting distance of the Kremlin. Please don't try that.
O2 lounge at the Ritz-Carlton. Floor 12, 3 Tverskaya Ulitsa. Metro Okhotny Ryad. Tel. 495-225-8888. www.ritzcarltonmoscow.ru.