Moscow skyline: explore the city from the rooftops

Getty Images, Legion Media
For those who want to see Moscow as a whole, any of these places is an absolute 'must see'. RBTH presents the top seven highest terraces in the capital.

1. Moscow-City tower
The Empire and the Federation Towers, which are located in the new business center in the immediate vicinity of the city center, are part of the tallest complex of buildings in Russia’s capital. Standing on the high-altitude terraces of Moscow-City (Moscow International Business Center buildings) you can enjoy truly inspiring views of the Moscow River and the western part of the city.

The Sixty Restaurant - Bar (the name refers to the interior, which has been executed just like in the 1960s) on the 62 floor of the Federation tower, which makes it the highest restaurant in Europe. 

You can enjoy views of the city from a bird's eye view free of charge too – you will just have to reach the new terrace of the Empire Tower on an express elevator (the 58th floor), located at an altitude of 238 meters.


2. The Vorobyevy Gory and the main Moscow State University building
One of the most popular "postcard" views of Moscow is from the observation deck of Vorobyevy Gory (Sparrow Hills). The landscape is especially beautiful on a clear day and late at night when the city lights are turned on. The capital can be seen as if it were in your hands; this is definitely the best place for gazing at the seven Stalin skyscrapers – the famous “Seven Sisters”. From the upper floors of the Moscow State University main building, you can take in an even more breathtaking panorama.


3. Time Out Bar
A bar with rather affordable prices and a terrace with simply stunning views of Moscow. Time Out Bar is located on the 12th and 13th floor of a rather old hotel Beijing in the heart of the capital. This is one of my favorite places, which can be found in Moscow skyscrapers; here bartenders prefer making signature cocktails.


4. City Space – a panoramic bar
City Space is the highest bar with a 360-degree view of the capital. It is located on the 34th floor of the Swiss Hotel Red Hills, and according to the 2008 Bartender's Guide, it was included in the top 10 bars in the world, and the top 50 best bars in the world by Drink International 2011. The price of one cocktail is around 900 rubles, a must drink for the capital guests is the legendary Moscow Spring Punch with ginger, raspberry and honey.


5. Ivan the Great Bell Tower
You can have the possibility of seeing old Moscow from a bird’s eye view if you go up to the 80-meter bell tower of Ivan the Great – "the capital’s first skyscraper" which was built in the 16th century. The belfry is located in the heart of the city – right in the Cathedral Square, adjacent to Red Square. The exhibition is open to visitors and there is also an observation deck, which offers a wonderful view of the Kremlin's Cathedral Square and the old streets of Zamoskvorechye. You can enter with a ticket from the Kremlin Museums.

You can enjoy the view from above with a cup of coffee, which you can get close by – on the rooftop of the Ritz Carlton, where there is a cozy 02 Lounge, which offers an unforgettable view of the Kremlin. The average bill is approximately 2500 rubles.


5. The Ostankino Television Tower
The Ostankino Television Tower observation deck has been open to visitors for over 40 years. During this time it has been visited by over 10 million people – from a height of 340 meters you can take a look at northern Moscow and the Moscow region. You can get to the site only as a part of a tour and preferably having booked in advance.

Duration of the tour is 1 hour, the tower is open to the public from 10.00 am to 21.00 pm. 


7. Kalina bar
Located on the 21st floor of the Lotte Plaza on Novy Arbat, Kalina Bar offers visitors a panoramic view of the Moscow-City towers, hotel Ukraine, Old Arbat street, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and many other monuments in the city center. Besides this it offers great Western and Asian cuisine with a bill of approximately 2,000 rubles.


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