Moscow of 2018 is a new city with a rich heritage and history. The city has gone through a massive facelift with new and modern infrastructure and institutions. Here is how it compares with London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and other great European cities.
- Best sidewalks, walking and cycling lanes: Moscow has become the most walker friendly city in Europe. There are wide sidewalks along all major radial and circular roads of the city. Citizens make good use of walking paths, benches, playing areas and accessibility. On any given weekend, the whole city is out walking. Berlin comes close but no other European city matches the walking zones of Moscow.
2. Best Public Transportation. It is not just the 380 kilometer network of Moscow metro with 220 stations used by almost 6 million people per day. The circular rail, new tram lines, electric buses, and the whole public transport infrastructure is modern, efficient and green. Moscow simply has the best public transportation in the world. And it is affordable — a ticket for any distance travelled costs less than 50 cents. There is free wifi throughout the public transport network good enough to watch and stream videos.
3. Citizen friendly governance Under Mayor Sobyanin Moscow has invented new governance. It is one of most open, friendly, respectful and efficient systems of governance. I cant write enough praise for the service centers fo city call #moidokumenty that look like business lounge of Emirates airlines. I do not think any English or European city even comes close in how open and corruption free city bureaucracy has become for ordinary citizens.
4. Moscow is Safe. Safety comes first and Moscow not just feels safe — it is one of safest big cities in the world. The days of heavy handed policing and police corruption or shakedowns are long gone. Police presence is soft and friendly — almost like the polite English cops. And yet it is solid policing. Compared with any European capital city it is perfectly safe for women to walk around late night or take public transportation. There is no street crime of mugging or purse snatching or pick pocketing. Almost no street violence or bar fights. It simply is the safest city to be in Europe.
5. Moscow is Clean: Cleaning Moscow is a challenge when zillion tonnes of snow falls every winter. But the city does a miracle keeping it clean and functional. Sidewalks, side streets, corners are very clean. There is no public defecation that is so common in Paris. No homelessness that is at scary levels in London. Migrants and locals alike treat the city with respect. The Metro, despite its 80 years, is amazingly clean and that is thanks to general Russian culture of cleanliness and hygiene.
6. Moscow has a vibrant Cultural Scene: It is impossible how much of cultural scene is in Moscow. Hundreds of artists from Asia, the US, and Europe perform in the city. Bolshoi is not the only theater in town — there are hundreds of middle and small theaters supported by the city. Every major musical star of planet — present and past — performs in Russia. Russians are cultural creatures and the city life buzzes with music, dance, art and theater.
7. Parks and Green zones: The river embankment and many parks of the city have been transformed completely into beautiful parks and leisure zones. Hundreds of thousands of new trees have been planted throughout the city. The parks and yards are beautifully manicured gardens. Neither London’s Hyde PArk or Regents park nor many well known parks of Paris palaces come even close.
8. Affordable: Living in Moscow is on average 20 to 50% cheaper than living in London, PAris, Amsterdam or Berlin. And the quality of live is twice better.
9. Eating out : Moscow is experiencing a culinary and gastronomic boom. Hundreds of new home grown restaurants, gastro pubs, diners and cafes have been popping up. City’s old markets have been converted into gastro destinations. Ethic cuisine from Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan is a super hit. The variety, quality and affordability eating out is unmatched. restaurants work till late and one can have a super meal at mid night or in early hours.
10. Night Life: Moscow does not sleep. It is a city of beauty, lights and vibrance. Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants stay open all week till late. The night life spills onto streets in summer and then huddles indoors in many bars, nightclubs and lounges. London and Paris nightlife is legendary a but Moscow has been catching up. It may never take the lead but it has a classiness and vibrance that even London and Paris cannot match.