Other neighborhoods to stay in Moscow
This district is a great stop to visit some culturally rich bars cafes, restaurants and residential buildings. Other features in close proximity include a zoo, the US embassy and of all things, “The White House”. Yes, Russia’s very own White House is here. It is not the place where Vladimir Putin resides, but it is a major government building of the Russian Federation, and yes it is painted white, hence the name. This Russian White House is also famous for being the backdrop of Boris Yeltsin taking command in 1991 on top of a tank during the fall of communism!
This is one of the most elite neighborhoods you will ever find in the city of Moscow, what is so fascinating about this district is the sheer number of Western Expats you will find in this area. You would think you were in some sort of wealthy refuge camp!
The ponds were originally a marsh that was drained out in 1683 by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. This Patriarch then ordered for several ponds to be dug up and to have fish stored and bred within the waters. Since then only one pond has survived. But this waterfront is still a popular destination and a number of excellent restaurants and cafes abound, and as an added bonus during the winter when the pond is frozen it is used as an ice skating rink! This location is always a Christmas favorite with the combination of the frozen pond, Christmas lights and other festivities.
The pond is also famous as the site of legendary Russian satirist Mikhail Bulgakov, who lived in an apartment building here from 1921-1924, a lot of his novels are written with the Ponds as their backdrop as well. His old apartment has been converted into the, “Mikhail Bulgakov State Museum”. This is also a must see attraction when visiting the area of the ponds.
Basmanny district to the east in the belt of gardens is a fascinating blend of culture. Basmanny has a famous German quarter whose origins date back to the 16th century when Catholics and Protestants had to leave the city center and live in just one section of the Basmanny neighborhood. This was done on the orders of Tsar Alexey, and the roots of these intrepid visitors to Moscow are still visible today.
The word Basman refers to a particular kind of bread supplied to troops. Nowadays the best bread is supplied to tourists and ex pats. The ex pat population is very large in Basmanny. Some of the comforts offered here are affordable housing, and a diversity in cuisine that could appease almost anyone. The district has anything from Japanese restaurants to American titles such as TGI Fridays. One other important feature important to the newcomer to Moscow is that this district is home to the Kurskaya, Chkalovskaya, and Baumanskaya metro stations that connect Basmanny to the rest of Moscow. But that is not the only places these stations reach, Kurskaya has the capability of taking a traveler from Basmanny as far south as the Crimea in Ukraine