While Louis van Gaal leads his Manchester United side to Russia for their Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow, Red Devils supporters making the trip can look forward to a night or two of some unbeatable stroganoff, centuries of dramatic history, and of course, cockle-warming vodka.
The next stop on our Euro Away Days tour takes us to the Russian capital and we’ve put together a quick little guide to see you to all the right places…
Vodka. Even as little as ten years ago, Moscow days and nights began and ended with vodka.
While vodka does remain kingpin in this town, over the last decade the capital has developed a huge cosmopolitan scene, and you can’t go far without finding an excellent cocktail bar or two.
While the city hasn’t caught on to the craft beer rage like in St Petersburg or Kaluga in terms of actually producing niche ales and lagers, it’s still very much part of the social revolution taking place across the country.
It’s well worth your trouble then trying a couple of productions from AF Brew or LaBEERint should you come across them.
And don’t forget to round off the trip by ordering a White Russian. If it’s good enough for the Dude in the Big Lebowski, then it’s good enough for us all.
There’s much more to Russian grub than turnips and err, boiled turnips.
You won’t go too far wrong by tucking into a shashlik at some point during your visit, especially with the weather set to drop below freezing overnight.
Essentially a meat or fish skewer, the Russian variant includes particular types of bread, chunkier bits of the good stuff, some pickles and a spicy tomato sauce.
Get on down to a market and you’ll be inundated with various efforts to liven up the taste buds.
For a proper pre or post-match dinner, few do stroganoff better than your Russian restaurateurs.
Thanks to some of the most unusual and varying forms of mushrooms found in the country, plus the local sour cream, this is a meal which may be eaten worldwide, but can never be truly replicated outsider Russia.
As the largest city on the entire European continent, your cultural hankerings certainly won’t be left out in Moscow.
Red Square is the obvious place to start. For many the heart and soul of the city and even all Russia, over the years this UNESCO World Heritage site has been the focal point for some of the biggest moments in Russian history.
From the Kremlin to Lenin’s Mausoleum and St Basil’s Cathedral, you’ll be coming home feeling far more intelligent than that time you learned about Henry VIII back in school.
Seek and you shall find is the name of the game for a night out in Moscow.
Keeping in with the cool cocktail theme, Delicatessen Bar takes some searching down the back alleys but once inside you’ll be rewarded with one of the coolest laid back bars taverns in the city. There’s no cocktail menu, the superbly talented staff just make whatever you ask for.
A quick trip down Stoleshnikov Lane and into the small and quirky Noor and Gogol bars will also set you up nicely without emptying your wallet.
If clubbing is what you’re after however then grab a cab and head to Red October Island.
Here you’ll find clubs, patio bars, coffee houses and the odd street food stall. The Gipsy Bar, Funky Mama and Rolling Stone clubs will see you through to the early hours with a refreshing mix of tunes.
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