Russia Nightlife: 4 Cities In Russia To Have the Time of Your Life!
Russians love to party! Don’t let their icy demeanor or the snowy surroundings fool you. Once the sun sets, urban centers throughout the vast country come alive and here you’ll experience Russia nightlife at its finest!
The unique quality that Russia nightlife offers is that there’s something for everyone. From some of the best techno dance clubs in the world to classy, upscale bars and relaxing jazz clubs, you can count on a fun night out on the town!
WWB writer Suraj, studied in Russia for many years so he has created an ultimate guide to the Russian nightlife, so you can party to your heart’s content 🙂
A go-to phrase from any friendly Russian trying to strike up a conversation would be “где ты отдыхаешь?” (gde tey otdykhayesh?) which roughly translates to “where do you hang out/party?”.
Also, a common pick-up line!
Summary of All the Best Places to Experience the Russian Nightlife
Well, why not?! It’s a common misconception that it’s all bland Borscht and gloomy Gulags in the wild, wild East.
Russian tourism is booming!
Like the rest of Eastern Europe, it has taken advantage of its stunning architecture, rich history, and culture. And once you’ve spent all day soaking it in, there’s nothing like a memorable night out to top it all off.
Now, from an outsider who spent six wonderful years there, the answer to the question above?
The vodka, the women, and the winters. In no particular order!
I was there as a student (a pretty nerdy one at that), and although I didn’t party as much as I should have, it wasn’t hard to miss the fact that Russians take their down-time rather seriously.
They’re very much the ‘work hard, play hard’ type, and some say that’s precisely when you experience true Russian hospitality. A couple of rounds in, of course!
Drinking is very much a part of Russian culture, and quite naturally, they’re very proud of their vodka. They don’t mess about and can get pretty intense about it.
Although it can seem a little rude to refuse a drink when offered, they have somewhat become more tolerant to the fact that not everyone out there drinks alcohol, much like how the rest of the world has taken to vegans!
Photo credit menslounge.dk
In modern-day Russia, there are many places to chill and enjoy a night out without the need for any extra ‘spirit’!
From chic cafes to cozy hookah bars with bean bags, I promise to be very fair and inclusive when listing the best nightspots that each of these cities has to offer.
Here are a few cities with the best nightlife in Russia.
I’ve listed it first simply because it’s my favorite!
The city is beautiful; the people are charming and welcoming. It has a rather European feel about its streets and cafes, and there’s just something special about Saint Petersburg nightlife.
Speak to your hotel concierge about the latest happenings in the city. There might be a special screening at the opera or a new pop-up club that’s just around for a couple of months.
Clubs tend to move around and change their names in the process, keeping the scene fresh and original. So you might want to check their website or social media accounts to make sure they’re open when planning your night out.
Buddha Bar is one of a chain of exclusive gastro-bars in more than 25 cities globally, including Paris, London, and Dubai, it serves both as an upscale restaurant and a nightclub.
Packed over the weekends with international DJs headlining and a unique mix of sound.
Table reservations will require a 10000RUB (USD130) deposit on these nights & can be made via Instagram.
A deposit basically means you get to spend that amount on drinks, and you can split it amongst your group.
Photo credit Visit St Petersburg.
Be sure to don your finest threads as there is a strict dress code.
Make your reservations ahead of time, especially if you wish to dine in before hitting the dancefloor.
It offers an extensive menu of Pan Asian cuisine with French accents. Dining reservations can be made through Tripadvisor.
Enjoy a wide range of drinks at the bar with:
- bottled beer and glasses of house wine from : 400RUB (USD5)
- cocktails from 700RUB (USD9)
The club closes at 5 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings (Pre-Covid). Get home safe with an Uber or Yandex Taxi.
Yandex is the Russian Google. It includes a search engine as well as map software. Be sure to download the apps on your devices.
Their rideshare service, Yandex taxi, recently bought out Uber, but both still operate independently. Yandex taxi has an edge as it uses Yandex maps. Get Yandex metro if you wish to use public transport.
Equally popular among locals and tourists alike, Nebar is indeed one of the city’s hottest party spots.
Packed to the rafters on weekends, its central location on the banks of the Fontaka River makes it easily accessible by public transport.
Once again, standard club dress codes apply, and the bouncers at the entrance can be quite strict, especially with male guests.
The club has three floors with the lower ground level dedicated to techno. The ground floor plays contemporary, chart-topping hits while the restaurant is on the top floor.
Drinks at the bar are reasonably priced with:
- house wine from 125RUB (USD 1.60)
- bottled beer from 300RUB (USD3.90)
- cocktails from 150RUB (USD1.90)
Nothing fancy in the restaurant. Affordable salads, burgers, and pasta, among other snacks and desserts.
There might be occasional strip shows during the night; it is a standard feature of Russia nightlife in general, so don’t be too alarmed!
The club frequently offers promotions over the weekend, so be sure to check out their social media posts for bookings and discounts.
Thursdays are ladies nights!
Fidel is one of the many bars and clubs located on the busy думская улица (Dumskaya street) located close to both the Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky Prospect metro stations.
The entire area is often deemed to have the best nightlife in Russia, along with Rubinstein, Lomonosova, and Zhukovskij streets.
It’s your go-to spot if you wish to bar hop and check out a few different places over the night.
Packed with students and tourists alike, the party never stops in Dumskaya! Worth noting that it’s probably the only area with clubs and bars that open till the wee hours of the morning, even on weekdays.
I found Fidel to be a great place to meet fellow tourists and mingle with the locals.
Drinks were the cheapest in town, with:
- bottled beer from 90RUB (USD1.20)
- vodka for 100RUB(USD 1.60)
- Do try a glass of their grappa Kilukovka which goes for 90RUB(USD 1.20). It tastes like sweet heavenly fire!
Photo by Alina Pasok. Credit: Visit St Petersburg
If you’re into Pub Crawls, a few companies offer them, and they’re quite popular with young American and European tourists.
The City Pub Crawl is my pick of the lot, and it was hosted by an amiable guide, from what I vaguely remember from that night! It involves a lot of games and challenges, which naturally means a whole lot of alcohol!
I ended up in the Liverpool Bar after losing a bet. Wasn’t too keen as I despise the football team.
But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent food and the equally impressive service—one of the very few places we found which had beer on tap.
- A pint of Guinness goes for 440RUB (USD5.70)
- Magners would cost you 360RUB (USD 4.70) a pint.
It’s your typical British pub food, and while the large plates can be a little pricey, the portions are enormous.
The music is more Classic Rock from the 60s-80s with an open mike night on Mondays and live bands every other night. Large screen TVs for your everyday sports fan and a lovely pool table as well.
One of the many hidden bars in and around the city, it gives you an idea of how the Russia nightlife scene has grown more international in recent times.
This well-hidden nook offers a truly fascinating take on Mexican finger food and classy agave cocktails.
I wouldn’t want to give too much away as the intrigue is part of the experience, but bookings are only by reservation.
They are usually fully booked for days. Voted No 27 in a list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, so you wouldn’t want to miss this!
A small, intimate jazz club with extremely talented performers.
Known for its tasty drinks and charming atmosphere, do remember to book a table if you have a large party. It’s not known for its food so you might want to have your dinner beforehand.
If you’re feeling a little naughty, this place is one of the city’s hottest strip bars. Usually booked for stag and hen parties (bachelor/bachelorettes).
I shall leave the rest to your imagination and not elaborate any further!
Two bars in the city- on Nevsky Prospect and Pravdy street. Cozy hookah bars that offer a wide range of hookah flavors and filters.
There’s a good selection of tea, lemonade, and milkshakes, as well as the usual cocktails and beer.
A definite must-visit when in Russia. There’s nothing quite like it. I didn’t think that I’d enjoy it as I’d never been to the ballet or the opera.
I was mostly just put off by the high ticket prices, but it was so worth it!
I never expected to like it, but it certainly was one of those mind-blowing moments where you make a full 360 on something once you’ve given it a try.
Discounted tickets are available for students and the general public, especially for matinees on Tripadvisor.
The Nutcracker. Photo credit Mariinsky.ru
The nation’s capital is, without a doubt, the most frequently visited destination in the region. Known for its stunning architecture and rich history, the city is also world-famous for its nightlife.
Here’s the best of Russia nightlife that Moscow has to offer.
The Bolshoi Theatre. Photo credit: Dmitriy Dubinskiy
It’s right up there on the top of this list, as it is on MY bucket list!
One of the biggest regrets of my travels; it wasn’t until I visited the Mariinsky that I realized what I had missed in Moscow
Well, this is it really when it comes to ballet and the opera. Bolshoi is ‘BIG’ in Russian, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this. The theatre owns the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, which is regarded as the greatest in the world!
It’s witnessing how raw talent and intense focus and determination culminates in the very greatest humanity has to offer. It moves you; it inspires you; it changes you.
Trust me, just go! And you can thank me later.
Tickets are available on the theatre’s official website or from Tripadvisor.
Moscow nightlife is a little tricky to navigate if you’re a first-timer. The best clubs in Moscow are at their pumping best at around midnight, and the party goes on till around 3 am.
However, there are a few spots that are known for being great for a pre-party and similar ones for an incredible after-party. Keep that in mind when planning your night out.
Icon Club Moscow. Photo by Fedor Schmidt
One of the most talked-about clubs in Moscow, it’s located right next to the Kremlin and is usually packed with locals and tourists alike. It’s enormous with several floors, spacious dancefloors, and private VIP booths.
They have great choreographed performances and live strip shows, as well as both local and international DJs playing a mix of R&B, pop, and house music in the various halls.
They’ve also got nitrous (laughing gas) balloons on sale; go easy on them if it’s your first time.
Security is tight, and the main reason I’ve listed it here is that it’s one of the few high-end or ‘luxury’ clubs in Moscow that have relaxed their face control regulations in recent times. That makes it possible for ordinary folk like you and me to visit, even on those busy weekend nights.
Do keep in mind that the pricey entrance fee varies from time to time but is usually around 1000RUB (USD13.00). Cocktails go from 650RUB (USD8.40), and bookings are a must ahead of time.
Face control is a real thing. It’s basically someone at the entrance of a club refusing you entry if you’re not up to scratch.
Now, this applies to both men and women, and although some say that they’re a lot more lenient now than they used to be 10-20 years ago, don’t be surprised (or disappointed) if you get turned away!
There are quite a few factors that determine your eligibility, of course, from how you dress, the amount of cash you have on hand to your general mood and demeanor.
If your party is large, split up into smaller groups, and you better your chances of getting in. If you do get turned away, trying to bribe yourself in isn’t encouraged!
Previously called Jagger Club, this was my favorite spot in Moscow.
I hear it’s still under the same ownership, but they’ve merely rebranded and added a banquet hall. It has an outdoor terrace with a dancefloor that runs all night long in the summer.
Great vibes with really good music you can dance to till the next morning. If you’re lucky, there’s even live music on occasion.
It has a more relaxed, casual feel about the place. You could actually speak to one another, and it isn’t all stuffy and smoky.
Table bookings are about 700RUB (USD9.00). The only downside is that they only accept cash payments.
The crowd is the right mix of tourists and expats, which won’t leave you feeling totally lost. Bookings in advance are encouraged, of course.
One of the many renowned Novikov-owned properties, this is your place to go if you’re looking to start your night early.
Although its restaurant serves a wide array of seafood, the Atlantis-esque decor can be deemed a little over the top.
It’s located right next to a couple of exciting clubs that come to life later in the night, like Miks, which is convenient if you’re thinking of jumping ship!
The music is a mix of Russian and international pop, with live bands performing mostly local pop music earlier in the evening.
Cocktails and beer cost around 600RUB (USD 7.75), and if you plan on moving on to somewhere away from the area, taxis might be a hard find. Of course, there’s always Uber/Yandex Taxi.
If you’re into techno and deep trance, this is your joint!
The library-themed layout is simply stunning. The crowd is mostly young and sophisticated techies, not as many tourists. Cocktails go for 600RUB (USD7.75), and bookings can be made via Tripadvisor.
Community. Photo by Tomer K.
This is where you want to be if you intend to party till daybreak.
A slightly more premium after-party joint, it prides itself on being the city’s best in that category! Do take note that it only plays electronic music, and almost everyone is under the influence.
The party only really starts after 2 am, and the crowd can get a little wild at times.
Entrance is around 500RUB (USD 6.60) with beer from 350RUB (USD 4.60) and cocktails from 750RUB (USD 9.90).
Tucked away between the Caucuses and the Black Sea, this luxury coastal resort earned worldwide prominence after hosting the Winter Olympics in 2014.
Although most tourists that visit Sochi spend most of their time here soaking up the sun lounging in one of the many resorts, you’re sure to find them letting their hair down and enjoying the Sochi nightlife once the sun sets.
The name of this place is translated into ‘Triangle’. This is the city’s premier rock n’ roll club/pub.
Known for pulling all-nighters, you’ll find the best local rock bands performing till there’s no one left on the dancefloor.
The place is known for its pub food and unique selection of local and international ales. Try out a pint of their local stout for 240RUB (USD 3.20) or play it safe with a bottle of Guinness for 550RUB (USD 7.30).
Bookings are recommended on busy nights, especially weekends.
Cocos Bar. Photo credit: Inyourpocket.com
Coco Bar is one of the more glamorous spots to party the night away.
Known for its wide variety of music played on different nights, with both local and European DJs headlining. Face control might be a little more strict here than other similar joints on the main strip, so do come prepared.
House wine goes for 350RUB (USD 4.60) while bottled beer and cocktails from 390RUB (USD 5.10). There are also separate karaoke rooms if that’s your thing.
The ‘Lighthouse’ Cabaret drew quite a bit of attention during the Sochi Olympics and has somehow managed to run with it.
This, however, is much more than your random gay cabaret club. The establishment has made a name for itself in showcasing some of the region’s best drag talent.
Lonelyplanet even called it Russia’s most famous gay club. Surprisingly face control rules here aren’t as inclusive as one might expect!
The beautiful capital of the Tatar region is known for its rich blend of east meets west culture.
From its churches, mosques, and synagogues to delicious Tatarian cuisine, you won’t regret those additional few days spent in Russia exploring this city.
When it comes to the Kazan nightlife, however, you might find to be a little more relaxed and welcoming with a rather chilled-out vibe.
Suitable for those who aren’t even into hookahs. They have a wide variety of tea and dessert as with really pleasant music being played in the background.
The hookahs are plentiful with a good range of tobacco strength and exciting flavors. Noted for its friendly staff with genuine smiles on their faces, a unique dose of Russia nightlife that you mightn’t find anywhere else!
Its location on Bauman street, which is just off the city center, makes this joint even more appealing.
Once you’ve had your fill, many hangout spots like Cuba Libre, IDOL and Tikhoye Mesto are just a short walk away
One of the best nightclubs in the city to experience the Russia nightlife. You get good value for your ruble here as the party goes all the way till the next morning.
It attracts a slightly more mature crowd, and that’s apparent with the music selection too. With its large dance floors and world-class acoustics, you’re guaranteed the ultimate clubbing experience.
Bookings are a must for special shows, and performances and face control rules apply on these nights.
Bash. Photo courtesy of Bash
I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on Russia nightlife and the best you can get out of these four amazing cities.
Traveling to Russia requires a fair bit of research and preparation ahead of time, so I hope this has helped you in some way to plan your days (and especially nights) out.
Always remember to drink responsibly and get home safe. Russia is a beautiful country with so much to be explored. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!