One of Moscow’s most popular bars, Noor Electro is located in the same building as the avant-garde Electrotheater. A couple of years ago the bar was redecorated, expanded and renamed Noor Electro in honor of the theater next door. The cocktails are legendary and there’s always a party on the weekend. In the summer there’s a great courtyard, where there are sometimes live performances.
23/12 Tverskaya Ulitsa. Metro Mayakovskaya. noorbar.com
This bar was founded by celebrity German expat and DJ Chris Helmbrecht, while the interior is the creation of award-winning Berlin designer Thilo Ferdinand Reich, known for his work at bars Saint Jean and The Coven. The menu includes Berlin specials like currywurst and other German favorites—meatballs with potato salad and herring rolls.
14 Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa, Bldg. 6. Metro Mayakovskaya. facebook.com/from.berlin.to.moscow
It seems that Propaganda—or “propka” as cool Muscovites call it affectionately—has been around forever. It first opened its doors in the 1990s and is still packed every weekend. Get there earlier—during the afternoon—when the club serves quite decent food. The most popular and crowded parties are the traditional DJ Sanchez Thursdays and gay Sundays.
7 Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Pereulok. Metro Lubyanka. propagandamoscow.com
Denis Simachev Shop & Bar
Founded by designer Denis Simachev in the 2000s, this club quickly became a traditional hangout for Moscow’s fashionable sets. The kitschy interior features mirrors, chandeliers and washbasins in the middle of the dance floor. The music is consistently good and so are the cocktails. Simachev also offers some delicious bar snacks. It’s crowded on the weekends, so dress smart to pass face control.
12 Stoleshnikov Pereulok, Bldg. 2. Metro Lubyanka. facebook.com/dsbar
Dissident is the Moscow version of an underground techno club, hidden in a basement in one of the courtyards along the boulevard ring. Inside is exposed brick and old furniture. Drinks are expensive, but if you are looking for somewhere to dance into the wee hours, Dissident is just the place.
25 Chistoprudny Bulvar. Metro Chistiye Prudy, Turgenevskaya. facebook.com/Dissident25
Gazgolder is located in a recently-renovated historical gasholder tank at the former Arma factory, next to the Kursky train station. It’s a club and restaurant that belongs to Russia’s top rapper, Basta. There are plenty of rap and hip-hop concerts, as well as techno parties that sometimes go on for three nights in a row.
5 Nizhny Susalny Pereulok, Bldg. 6. Metro Kurskaya. gazgolderclub.ru
Ketch Up is an outpost of a popular St. Petersburg burger chain on weekdays, but it turns into a bar with dancing on weekends. Try any of the 13 burger varieties, which go great with cocktails like the Penicillin or New York Sour. For regular parties, check their Facebook page.
6/3 Ulitsa Kuznetsky Most, Bldg. 3. Metro Kuznetsky Most. facebook.com/ketchupmoscow
Time Out Rooftop Bar
This 12th floor bar boasts views from two sides— one over Tverskaya and BreStskaya streets, and the other towards the Satire Theater and the Garden Ring. Their exciting and extensive cocktail list is divided into “times”—from breakfast time to “sundown time,” you can enjoy a refreshing (or reviving) cocktail while looking out over one of the best views of central Moscow. Open from midday every day, Time Out Rooftop Bar catches the sunshine and the atmosphere of this lively city. On the weekend, the space lights up with music acts and dancing through the night.
5 Bolshaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Metro Mayakovskaya. timeout-bar.ru
This bar/club located in a 19th century mansion is mostly famous for funk and hip-hop nights, as well as live indie and jazz band performances. The food is good and there’s a whisky-tasting bar for connoisseurs. Another draw is its enormous courtyard, which sometimes hosts early evening parties.
7/4 Goncharnaya Ulitsa. Metro Taganskaya. facebook.com/powerhousemoscow
Model T is a bit of a dive and underground bar, but a music lover’s dream with great live performances. It offers everything from death metal to experimental folk to avant-garde jazz. 8 1st Yamskaya Ulitsa.
Metro Dmitrovskaya, Dostoevskaya. facebook.com/modelt.musicbar
Dance parties, concerts, lectures, movies, Strelka is the place to be. You’re bound to bump into an editor of an edgy publication sharing a drink with a bunch of clean-cut Moscow hipsters, while expats dance to a Woodkid set. The food is worth trying, but you’ll probably enjoy it more when there are no DJs or huge crowds. The view of the Moscow River and the biggest church in Moscow is spectacular, and you’ll like it even better when sitting on the open terrace in the summertime.
14 Bersenevskaya Naberezhnaya, Bldg. 5. Metro Polyanka, Kropotkinskaya. strelka.com
Untitled is an artsy hang out famous for its lectures, readings, small exhibitions and invite-only dinners/art performances. It’s also famous for outrageous weekend parties, where you can easily spot an artist or a celebrity. As for the music, anything goes—from rap to 1990s Russian pop, with songs by Irina Allegrova and Mirazh.
15 Ulitsa Petrovka. Metro Chekhovskaya, Pushkinskaya. facebook.com/untitledhub