Moscow can be both fascinating and daunting. From the Grand Duchy of Muscovy in medieval Rus' and the capital the Tsardom of Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was later reduced to a provincial town of merchants where Tolstoy's characters would spend summers in their country mansions. And then another spin of history made it the world's capital of communism.
Today, with a population of over 12 million, Moscow is the biggest city in Europe. Great vibes, extremely rich cultural life, new restaurants and bars opening almost every day, superb parks - it is really hard to get bored in this city. But it all comes at the price of constant traffic jams and overcrowded underground.
Unlike St Petersburg with its magnificent palaces and romantic canals, Moscow lacks that conventional beauty. On the contrary, you may often find yourself surrounded by massive late-Soviet jumbo structures and gaudy towers and skyscrapers of the new Russian architecture. You need to go deep into the alleys and back streets to discover miraculously survived wooden houses, former merchant mansions and Constructivist masterpieces.