The Essential Guide to Moscow Nightlife Websites

The Essential Guide to Moscow Nightlife Websites

Imagine you’re in Moscow and you want to go out. Where do you turn to find some good information about Moscow nightlife?

In case don’t have tons of promoter and „in“ friends in the Moscow nightlife scene, you turn to the internet. But very quickly you might feel lost between all these different websites and portals. And then you will get frustrated and give up, without the information that you wanted to get. I know that feeling because it happened to me as well.

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That is why I’ve put together this Essential Guide to Moscow Nightlife Websites

In this guide you will learn:

  • Why only 2 of 4 types of site are useful!
  • How to combine these two types to find out where you should go to party
  • Why Google is untrustworthy
  • Where to find the best party photos
  • Why you are screwed without Russian
  • And much, much more!

Moscow nightlife websites type #1 - The tourists choice: Google, Tripadvisor, Foursquare

If you’re a tourist and you’re coming to Moscow, this is probably where you start. Search for “Moscow bar” or “Moscow club” and Google pulls up a convenient list for you. Look for the sections on Tripadvisor and Foursquare that offer reviews and info and you will be swamped with lots of different spots. You can try using Facebook, but most groups are dead and don’t give you a good impression of the many options you have (except Moscownightguide).

What makes them useful?

  • You get a comprehensive list of different nightlife venues.
  • A lot of people wrote reviews, so it’s possible to get an initial impression already.
  • They publish plenty of photos, so it’s akin to taking a small virtual tour of the different joints.

What are their disadvantages?

  • You won’t find out which ones are the hot spots and which ones are already played out. A couple of bars and clubs rank high, but don’t even exist in this form anymore (Space Moscow for example doesn’t exist in this form anymore).
  • You won’t know whether YOU will like the bar, but whether the person who visited it likes it. The people who review the venues have a very biased view. Some review places that they haven’t even been to, others go out very rarely and dislike a certain spot for that reason. It’s better to complement that with an “expert’s opinion”.
  • You won’t find out what is happening on any given night. Want to know where to go next Saturday? Or looking for a specific type of music? Then you should go search somewhere else.

HOW TO USE THEM

Use them to get a first list of places to go. Then cross-reference the list with other sites. You can read through some of the reviews, but bear in mind that a lot of them are old and unqualified people wrote them. The scene changes very fast here, so these are not your best option to find out where to go.


Moscow nightlife websites type #2- The local sites: Nightparty, Nightout, Night2day, Geometria, Vklube, Vbare

Maybe you’re already a bit familiar with where to look or already live in Moscow. Then you definitely know some or all of these sites. They differ a bit in their quality, but they offer mostly the same. Look for my recommendation at the end of this section.

What makes them useful?

  • They publish tons of photos of recent events on all of those websites, which allows you to get a good impression of the type of people and style of a spot. Unfortunately, different clubs are scattered across different portals, probably depending on the type of agreement they have. That means you’ll have to sift through different sites to find that cute guy or sexy girl that you were talking to last night.
  • They offer you basic info like location, contacts, opening times and maybe even the type of music or food that’s on offer. Perfect for having a quick look to compare when and where to go.
  • You get descriptions that tell you what to expect from a club, what kind of music they play and so on. Some sites do this better than others. I recommend Night2day and Nightparty for this.
  • The information is new, because these websites are, for the most part, up-to-date.
  • They advertise events, so to find out who is performing on any given night, or if something is happening in your favorite club, this is where you turn to.

What are their disadvantages?

  • They are not in English. That’s a deal-breaker for most tourists and expats who do not speak Russian, because it makes the descriptions unusable. Most of them have at least an English menu and you will be able to navigate around the pages to find pictures.
  • Their design is unreadable. A lot of the pages don’t have an intuitive navigation and you quickly tire from the small font size. Nightparty does the best job here.
  • Their descriptions are mostly of little use. If you read the descriptions, it’s because you want to get an impression of a place where you have not been yet, correct? Unfortunately, a lot of them focus on uninteresting facts, such as telling you who the art-director or the kitchen chef is. They miss really interesting information, like when the venues are popping and what type of crowd to expect.
  • Not all clubs advertise on the portals. Some websites might have info about certain nightclubs that others are missing. You have to arduously search through all of them, if you want to know some specific information.

HOW TO USE THEM

For party photos and event listings. Don’t use them for getting any real info about bars and clubs. They are more like ad banners instead of information sites. My recommendation is to use Nightparty, which has the most intuitive design, the most advertisements and useful basic lists like “places to go for an afterhours party”. You still need Russian to navigate the site, because it does not offer an English menu.


Moscow nightlife websites type #3- The newspapers: Afisha, Kudago, The Village, A-a-ah

Most probably you know these if you are already living in Moscow. They are most valuable to locals, but less so to visitors, because they are more content-heavy and less focused on nightlife.

What makes them useful?

  • The descriptions read less like an ad for the club, but more like someone’s real experience. A-a-ah does by far the best job. Unfortunately not all clubs are reviewed and the info is sometimes dated.
  • They are not exclusively focused on nightlife, meaning there will be interesting content far beyond Moscow nightlife. As event portals, those sites feature plenty of interesting stuff on events, concerts, theaters, restaurants and much more. Sometimes you also find interesting articles that cover a specific backstory or an aspect of Moscow at night.

What are their disadvantages?

  • Again, all good information is in Russian.
  • Exactly because they are event portals, nightlife is just one of the many areas they cover. You will read a journalist’s point of view, not of someone that is truly knowledgeable and passionate on the subject. Don’t rely on the info being accurate and relevant for you.
  • For night owls, they don’t offer more than a few interesting articles. You read them, you’re entertained for a moment, you forget just as quickly about it again. No real applicable use of their content.

HOW TO USE THEM

Use them like a newspaper. Browse the stuff that’s interesting for you, but don’t take it too seriously and don’t rely on the information you get there. Best used for information on what is going on in Moscow in general, less good for specifically going out.


Moscow nightlife websites type #4- The booking portals: Tomesto, Gettable

You only know these, if you’re a local and maybe not even then. These sites will get you a table in a lot of the city’s restaurants, bars and lounges.

What makes them useful?

  • Quickly and conveniently booking tables at almost all venues that offer food in Moscow. From burger places over sports bars to some of the clubs that offer food as well (which are a lot). You’re able to book a spot without sifting through lots of different menus and terms and conditions. Leave some basic info, have someone call you back and your place is reserved.
  • The possibility of seeing plenty of reviews by other guests. Unlike at Tripadvisor and Foursquare, these will be from guests that actually have used the service. Unfortunately, not all venues have a lot of recent reviews.
  • Checking the prices and the menu in advance, all conveniently grouped together and up-to-date. Very useful for comparison and estimating your night’s budget.

What are their disadvantages?

  • They focus on restaurant services, less so on nightclub tables. Booking at night is more complicated, since you have to put down a deposit for a table. Nothing of that sorts is mentioned on these websites.
  • Booking tables is their bread and butter, but the only thing they offer. In case know where you want to go, that’s great. You’ll very quickly get a table at your favourite spot. That is all though, no extra services, no impression of what to expect from different places, no real use for comparison.
  • No English.

HOW TO USE THEM

Use them to book a table at a restaurant or a lounge. You can even benefit from bonuses they offer. Don’t use them for comparing venues, getting information about bars or clubs and if you don’t know where to go or what you want.


For lazy people - The infographic

I distilled all the info above into a little infographic for all of you that are too lazy to read. Just right-click and save the image to have it ready whenever you need to.


My recommendation which nightlife websites to use

So what is the best website to plan your party in Moscow?

Moscownightguide of course​!

I'll have insider info, useful and applicable content, expert reviews and much more for you! And that is only the start, because much bigger things are to come. By the way, take my little quiz to get a first recommendation for your perfect night out. It also includes a little bonus content that is not yet on the site...

Use the other sites according to my recommendation, so:

Type 1 for a quick list

Type 2 for pics and events

Type 3 for content outside of nightlife

Type 4 to book a table before you go out


If you thought this was a lot of information then you’d be surprised at how much more you can get from me personally!  

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