Moscow is Russia's capital and a major centre of the country’s culture, government, finance, education and research. The city’s history dates back to the 12th century. Currently, Moscow with its population of 11.5 million is the largest city in Europe. The Brookings Institution ranked Moscow as the 9th of the world’s 150 cities based on average income and employment growth between 1993 and 2007. Since the late ‘90s, Moscow has been developing actively.
Despite the fast and sometimes aggressive development, the city still boasts some preserved historical areas. Moscow's landscape is a fusion of Russian medieval architecture (most notable are the ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square with Saint Basil’s Cathedral), Soviet-time buildings (among them seven massive high-rises from the 30s and 50s), and modern development (the Moscow International Business Centre, also called Moscow-City).
The Tretyakov Gallery with its comprehensive collection of the Russian art and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts with a rich collection of European art are two of the world’s fullest and most beautiful collections. Moscow is also home to the Russian performing arts, including world-famous ballet and film.
Moscow welcomes more than a thousand international events every year. The city is home to over 200 colleges, universities and other postsecondary education institutions, with one of the oldest of them, the Moscow State University, established as early as 1755. The Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as numerous research and applied science centres, brings the country’s top talent, both recognized experts and young specialist, to this city.
The average day temperature in Moscow at the end of March is 5°C. While it might still be a bit chilly, the sky is usually very clear at this time of the year.
The best way to move about Moscow is the metro. Serving the daily passenger traffic second only to Tokyo’s, Moscow’s metro is a tourist attraction on its own with the rich and varied architecture and decoration of most of its 185 stations.