The Zurab Tsereteli Museum, is home to the Georgia-born sculptor’s surreal, larger-than-life works.
The Bolshoi is on sparkling form after a six-year renovation – and its soaring red and gold auditorium will look even more magical during The Nutcracker, running from 28-30 December.
The programme at 35mm offers interesting foreign-language films and special seasons.
For a dose of contemporary culture, head for Artplay, an everevolving cluster of studios, design showrooms, architecture practices and galleries. Don’t miss its rooftop winter ice rink, with fantastic city views.
On a chilly day, retreat to the vaulted brick cellars of Bochonok. Menu standouts include shashlyk (shish kebabs) and tsar-style fish broth.
Okonomy Café serves up cheap and delicious Japanese okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes made with cabbage and egg), yakisoba and miso soup.
For free walking tours with an insider’s perspective, contact Moscow Greeter.
The big draw at the Budapest Hotel (rooms from €148/RUB5950) is its location, a short stroll from both the Kremlin and Red Square. For a peaceful night’s sleep, ask for a room at the back.
Upscale, art deco Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel (rooms from €190/7,670 rubles) has 84 spacious, well-equipped suites with wooden floors, coffee machines and individual kitchenettes.
A former factory complex, Winzavod is now a gallery hub with a hip on-site café. From 16-18 December, its Christmas Art Bazaar offers handmade clothing and jewellery, vintage finds and Soviet-era toys.
Taking a leaf from New York’s underground bar scene, Mendeleev combines a groundfloor noodle joint and a ‘secret’ basement cocktail bar.
For electronic music, check out Arma 17, part of – you’ve guessed it – a converted factory.
For live folk and rock music with a laid-back vibe, try Kitaisky Lyotchik Dzhao Da.
Sixteen Tons is a pub with a live music venue upstairs, staging up-and-coming bands.