Book Reviews

Moscow

First published in August 2000, this edition of Moscow is the sixth and most up-to-date. It deals with how Moscow evolved into a metropolis with a population of twelve million and became the political centre of Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Socialist Republics on the watch of Mikhail Gorbatchew.

The centre of Moscow is the Kremlin and Kitay, followed by Meschchansky, and Basmanny, Zasmoskovorechie, Arbat and Khamovniki, Presnya, Tverskoy, and Novoslobodsky districts.

The book starts with the ten top sight of Moscow, then lists all of the new additions of tourist sites, initiatives, museums, modern restaurants, and how famously rude and reckless Muscovite drivers have been semi-successfully tamed to obey traffic lights, stop at sign for pedestrians, and parking rules. The new mayor of Sergei     , plans to modernize the city and expand it to function better, offer more recreational facilities, and modernize the  already well functioning subway system. This is followed by a chapter titled Need To Know, that prepares the potential visitor with valuable tips regarding weather, clothing, money, bargaining, tipping, and what you should do when invited by a local family.

If you plan to stay for four days, plan to follow the chapter on itineraries. It is broken down to suggestions for one, two, three and four day stays.

It then explains what you can do in t eh different districts of the city. An extensive chapter is devoted to covering local customs, different levels of convenience accommodation, pricing and luxury, types of restaurants, followed by drinking and nightlife.

Entertainment is not forgotten, as Russians love to watch circus performances, ballets, theatre, classical music concerts, and operas.

If you like shopping, there are important and useful tips to guide you.

Arbat, one of the most famous shopping streets in Moscow gets eight pages on its sites, museums, shops, restaurants and entertainment.

Moscow attracts millions of tourists annually despite the fact that the government rules stipulate that every western tourist needs to obtain a visa. This adds to travel costs, and requires the involvement of “facilitators” or at least more work on your part. An extensive chapter deals with Russian history, which will help you understand how Russians think, and act, and how the city evolved through ups and downs of economy, and politics.

If you are planning to visit Moscow, this is the book you should read before travelling.

Highly recommended.

 

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