Finding decent digs in Moscow can be a challenge if you’re on a mid-range budget. Those with fat wallets will be well-catered for with opulent hotels like The Ritz-Carlton where a bottle of 1964 Dalmore Constellation whisky will set you back two million roubles (£16,400). At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a range of hostels that offer travellers a chance to do Moscow on the cheap.
Luckily, there’s now Airbnb. As in most metropolises around the world, Muscovites have grown savvy to the benefits of putting their spare rooms or properties on online. So instead of booking a soulless motel-style room at the Ibis or a suffocatingly small capsule at the Sleepbox Hotel, why not take the opportunity to live like a local? From contemporary loft apartments to a tower block in a leafy suburb, the variety of places on offer is as diverse as those who inhabit the city.
This all-white apartment comes complete with all-white mod cons including an iPad Mini, a wireless projector and a smart-house system controllable by remote. The colour-free palate provides a sense of space and light, ensuring you have your very own haven in central Moscow.
Stuck in a Soviet time warp, this centrally located, characterful apartment boasts rave reviews from guests. But beware, host Emily is picky about who she invites into her home: “VERY IMPORTANT! I want to reserve my apartment for people who appreciate cultural heritage and enjoy old fashioned shape. If you are looking for stardart [sic] apartment just to use it as a hotel, then it will be not interesting neither for you, no for me.”
If you think natural lighting is overrated, this dungeon-like apartment may be just the place. This flat-for-two boasts both a hot tub and a communal gym as well as fittings and furnishings with a certain medieval torture chamber aesthetic.
Light and airy, this loft-style apartment with exposed brick walls and a mix of vintage and contemporary furniture is ideally located near luxury department store Tsvetnoy Central Market as well as the Nikulin Moscow Circus.
Another great loft apartment contender in a former factory in south Moscow. Host Anna is an artist, architect and designer, which explains the super swish interior, decked out in wood and metal. The free-standing, limestone bathtub is a real draw.
For an authentic Moscow experience why not choose this middle-of-the-road apartment for four? The design of decor may be bland but the colourful exterior of the apartment block more than makes up for it.
Although the owners of this baroque-style apartment appear to have a particular penchant for purple of varying hues, the decor generously extends to a two or three other colours and numerous patterns and textures. If wedding-cake interiors aren’t your thing, take a stroll to nearby Mayakovskaya station instead. With its Art Deco columns and ceiling mosaics, it is arguably the most magnificent of all of Moscow’s metro stations.
The phrase “never judge a book by its cover” couldn’t be more applicable to this “large classy apartment in centre”. This ordinary-looking tower block is nothing short of palatial on the inside: marble bathrooms, crystal chandeliers and doric columns throughout. It may look a tad bare but the owner swears it comes furnished with all you could want, except a sofa.
When you’re not admiring the bearskin rug or zebra-print sofa bed in this private room on the 18th floor of an apartment block in a leafy neighbourhood in south-west Moscow, just look out your window for unparalleled views across the city.
If you’re looking to escape the traffic-clogged streets of Moscow, this dacha is just an hour’s drive from the centre and also accessible by train. Located on Pestovo Lake, guests can choose to take the row boat out for a spin or simply lounge on the hammock with a book.