Moscow is not Lenin, it’s not Stalin, it has nothing to do with the Beatles, Ivan Drago or James Bond. Moscow has long been the cradle of culture in Russia and is the nation’s most famous city. The city is growing faster than its identity and in many ways it is the pragmatic proof of the capitalistic experiment in the former Soviet Union.

Today’s city is a dichotomy, pairing advertisements and lavish shopping malls next to Soviet statues. You will see citizens shopping for Adidas, Nike and Gucci products a mere mile from the famous Red Square. In so many words, forget every propaganda-driven media image you’ve seen of the city. It is neither poverty stricken nor a militant metropolis. Parades today don’t include thousands of troops, tanks and missiles. You won’t see a bread line.

Your visit to Moscow will change your opinion of Russia; guaranteed. Just remember, what you see is a city that is privy to all the best of Russia. What you see in Moscow does not reflect the standard of living in the rest of the country, which is mostly populated by farmers and peasants. Moscow changes nearly every day and will not leave you disappointed.