Russia's capital offers diversity and culture.
Private jet Moscow.
Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia with 12.2 million residents within the city limits and 16.8 million within the urban area. Moscow is one of three federal cities in Russia (the others are Saint Petersburg and Sevastopol, although the status of the latter is disputed due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia).
Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent. By broader definitions Moscow is among the world’s largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 17th largest agglomeration, the 16th largest urban area, and the 10th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013 Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world’s largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is also one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth. It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe; the Federation Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe; and the Moscow International Business Center. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled; from 1,091 square kilometers (421 sq mi) up to 2,511 square kilometers (970 sq mi), and gained an additional population of 233,000 people.
Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it the world’s most populated inland city. The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral with its brightly coloured domes. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012.
The city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists, scientists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums, academic and political institutions and theatres.
Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence of the Russian president. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in the city.
The city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside of Asia in terms of passenger numbers, and the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city’s landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 199 stations.
Moscow is unashamedly the powerhouse of Russia, the epicentre from which authority and money radiate – with a surfeit of cultural institutes, architecture and statues to remind everyone of its power and wealth.
Buildings – from Ivan the Terrible’s St Basil’s Cathedral to Stalin’s 1950s skyscrapers – are massive and impressive. Museums, of which there are more than 80, house world-class collections, from spacecraft to modern art. The city centre is home to dozens of packed theatres and world-class concert halls, from the contemporary glass House of Music to the old Moscow Conservatoire, where Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich were tutors and Rachmaninov and Skryabin pupils. And in the heart of it all stands the Bolshoi.
While the actual theatre has been closed since 2005 for renovations, performances have continued inside the institution’s equally grand New Theatre next door. Like its neighbour, this theatre specialises in chandeliers, intervals with champagne with caviar blinis, and Russian dancing at its grandest: all passion, pomp, soaring hand-painted scenery and perfectly-practised flocks of ballerinas. When the real Bolshoi opens in October 2011, we’re promised even more velvet, gilt and grandeur.
Grandeur is what Moscow does well, particularly in the Kremlin, where you could spend years rather than days. What shouldn’t be missed? The carriages, armour, gold-embroidered tsarinas dresses and Fabergé eggs, in the State Armoury; the jewellery in the Diamond Fund room; the Cathedral of the Assumption and Cathedral of the Annunciation; the State Kremlin palace, just to see the corridor of chandeliers; and of course, St Basil’s Cathedral, on neighbouring Red Square, to marvel at the onion domes that overlook Lenin’s black marble tomb.
After all that culture, brisk strolls are essential – and pleasurable – in the compact city centre. There’s plenty of street culture to soak up, whether it’s bling (around Kuznetsky Most), fashionable (inside Vogue Café, where sulky models and oligarchs sip espresso), decadent (the chandelier-lit Eliseevsky food-hall) or just plain fascinating (like the shop in the Museum of Modern History, stuffed with Soviet memorabilia).
Arranging a private jet charter to and from Moscow offers three key airports, with a dedicated general aviation airport for private jet charter. Moscow Vnukovo (VKO) is 45 minutes to the South-West of the City, and is open 24 hours. Domodedovo (DME) which sits South-East of the city is around 50 minutes from the City and Sheremetyevo (SVO) which lies North-West is 45 minutes away.
Arranging a private jet charter or helicopter transfer with Freedom Air to arrive in style to Moscow is simple. The Freedom Air team can be reached on +44 (0) 1275 548001 to book your next trip.