Familiarizing oneself with the map of a gigantic megapolis is not a simple task even for one of the locals. Most Muscovites know 4-5 districts well, another 5-6 districts superficially, and 15-20 – by hearsay. The other administrative divisions of the capital remain for them a blank space. For those who move here from other places, Moscow remains a mysterious monster for a long time.
When you begin your search for a new apartment, one of the first things that will spark your curiosity is the question of which Districts of Moscow are in actual fact the best choice to live in. Every potential new property owner wants to live in a welcoming and well-maintained neighborhood close to one of the Metro’s many stations. Our experts have compiled a list of the best Districts of Moscow for comfortable living for the benefit of those of you who are looking for a new property. This rating list is not based on standings, but rather it is a freely composed list of districts deserving of a property buyer’s attention.
- Arbat District (CAO) – the legendary historical center of Moscow with its no less legendary eponymous street and old Moscow courtyards of country-wide fame. The Arbat District cannot be omitted from any rating of Moscow’s best residential areas. Here, the capital’s history comes alive and the modern bohemian scene thrives, while the number of monuments and famous locations, as well as the sheer quantity of elite restaurants and cozy cafes, is off the scale. There are many songs and films dedicated to the Arbat District. However, in recent years an increase in street crime has been documented in the neighbourhood. The profusion of tourists flocking to this renowned locality attracts all sorts of fraudsters, and both of these demographics do disrupt the local residents’ peace.
- Khamovniki District (CAO) – the historical center of the capital city, rich in architectural monuments and important works of art. Its further appeal is secured by a high concentration of infrastructural facilities, a tranquil atmosphere and a lack of traffic issues. There are five Metro stations within the Khamovniki District itself and another two in its direct vicinity. This is a luxury that the inhabitants of the capital’s outskirts only dream of. However, this neighborhood is known for some environmental issues (much less dire than in other central locations), and customarily high real estate prices. For the price of a rundown one-room condo in Khamovniki District, one can purchase an apartment in an elite residential complex in the New Moscow area complete with brand new finishing.
- Strogino District (NWAO) – this district has been rapidly gaining popularity since the beginning of the so-called eco boom, when many Muscovites became disenamored with the smog-filled city center. Strogino District’s main appeal is its wholesome environmental conditions, unusual for the megapolis in general. The absence of large industrial facilities coupled with an abundance of reservoirs, parks and public gardens, favorable wind directions and its own Metro station make this area one of Moscow’s best districts for comfortable living.
- Sokol District (NAO) – a monument to Soviet era architecture, in a good way. The Sokol District is distinguished by its plentiful green areas, unusual buildings, a high percentage of locals born and bred in the capital city itself, and no major traffic problems. On the other hand, the price tag for real estate here is high, and the neighborhood is lacking in modern infrastructure facilities, i.e. megamarkets and shopping and entertainment malls.
- Krylatskoye District (WAO) – an island of health and sports pastimes with its excellent environmental conditions. There have never been any industrial enterprises in the area, and compared to the CAO and South-East, the inhabitants of Krylatskoe District barely suffer from smog at all. The territory of this district is fashioned in the modern style, and the neighborhood itself lacks any obvious problems with traffic, infrastructure and crime. This is certainly the best residential district of Moscow for those who like to engage in any kind of sport, from hang gliding to football.
- Ostankinsky District (NEAO) – a prestigious neighborhood in the North-East of the capital, containing of a number of Moscow’s iconic landmarks, such as the Ostankino Tower, Tsytsin Main Moscow Botanical Garden and VDNKh. It is the home base of the technical intelligentsia, dispersed over a multitude of research and design institutes.
- Ramenki District (WAO) – one of the best residential districts of Moscow for families with children of all ages. An elite neighborhood with the corresponding price tag for real estate. Welcoming and neat, this district has all of the infrastructure one could want for a comfortable life: four Metro stations and plenty of entertainment facilities, medical and educational institutions. The world-famous Mosfilm film studio and the main building of Moscow State University are both located in the Ramenki District.
- Fili-Davydkovo District (WAO) – a tasty morsel right in the middle of the Western Administrative Okrug. Competitive prices for real estate, welcoming public areas, an abundance of parks, friendly and highly cultured neighbors and an overall feeling of plenty of space – all this makes the locals not keen on selling their properties here. The buildings standing along the Kutuzovsky Prospekt are the exception to this rule. However, if you value your peace and quiet, you should avoid purchasing a home in one of them.
- Sokolniki District (EAO) – the questionable reputation of the Eastern Administrative Okrug does not extend to Sokolniki District. The closeness of this district to the heart of the capital attracts property developers and buyers alike, which explains why this locality is so full of new elite high-rises and comfortable secondary housing, which is untypical of the EAO. The gigantic eponymous park containing plenty of cultural entertainment and hosting sports events is more than enough for any outing enjoyed by the whole family. Sokolniki District’s enviable infrastructure – from the point of view of many metropolitan areas – includes all kinds of medical and educational institutions, shops and shopping malls. Notably, the prime location of this district means that a journey to the capital’s center takes just a few minutes.
- Yasenevo District (SWAO) – this district, considered to be a bedroom community and sprawling over a huge area, has become quite nice and welcoming thanks to its pleasing architectural solutions. It consists of several micro-districts, none of which feel cramped, surrounded by woodland. Health-promoting environmental conditions, three Metro stations, a well-thought-out system of external and internal road connections – all these favorable factors make Yasenevo District one of the best residential neighborhoods in Moscow.