New Year’s 2020 in Moscow
Best Places to celebrate New Year in Moscow 2020
- Fireworks: There will be over 30 firework displays throughout the metropolis this year. Most will be in parks and start at 1am, though the main show on the Red Square will begin at the stroke of midnight.
- Free & Funky: New Year’s parties can be expensive affairs, but they needn’t be. Moscow’s main parks will be host to dozens of free events with awesome line-ups including Russia’s most loved artists and state-of-the-art lighting.
- Themed Fantasies: Though New Year in Moscow is naturally exotic, for those seeking an extra unusual party, there’ll be plenty of fantastic themed parties where dress-up is compulsory!
- Party like a Russian: All the bars and clubs in Moscow, especially those on the Arbat street, will be heaving with the young and fashionable. This year, the hottest spot will be the Four Seasons bar next to the Red Square.
- Refined & Cultured: Many of Moscow’s most renowned hotels host ballet companies and jazz trios on New Year. Try book a room at the same hotel where you plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve so as to receive a discount.
- Crème de la Crème: For those who’d rather wind the last night of 2019 away listening to the tinkle of piano keys than the screams of drunken teenagers, there are a few exclusive establishments in Moscow which offer to whisk their guests away to a world of tasteful extravagance for the night.
There’s something about big cities, something in their chemistry, which makes for awesome New Year’s celebrations. The bigger the better is the key rule to this bombastic event, so what city could possibly be better suited to play host to this night of flagrant flamboyance than the biggest city in Europe - Moscow? Apart from its sheer scale, another distinguishing feature of Moscow’s celebrations is that they are taken a hell of a lot more seriously than in Europe; for Russians this day is both Christmas and New Year rolled into one giant event. It is the one and only day in the year when the whole of the nation lets their hair down— so it had better be good!
There will be over 30 locations throughout Moscow with firework displays on New Year’s Eve. Rivalling the Sydney waterfront and Time Square celebrations, the main firework display on the Red Square beginning at midnight is watched in amazement by the entire country on their TV screens (though it sometimes feels like the whole of Russia is there in person pushing and shoving, dancing and drinking, in the heaving square). Indeed, it’s best to be in the neighboring Zaradye Park at midnight rather than the Red Square, as it literally is tighter than a can of sardines. But even the relatively large expanse of Zaradye Park will feel cramped, that’s why we suggest visiting the parks listed below which will offer much more pleasant, if slightly less extravagant, firework displays:
- Hermitage Garden
- Babushkinsky Park
- Izmailovsky Park
- Sokolniki Park
- Gorky Park
- Victory (Pobedy) Park on Poklonnaya Gora
*Note: All firework displays except the Red Square’s will start at 1am.
Free & Funky
The culmination of Moscow’s city-wide ‘Journey to Christmas’ festival will be the free, fun-packed New Year’s parties held in almost all the main parks. The majority of youthful Muscovites will spend the night out here in the open air and this makes parks perhaps the most authentic place for foreigners to celebrate New Year (though do bear in mind that quite a bit of the entertainment won’t be in English).
Throwback to the 90s in Sokolniki Park:
The nineties were pretty tough times in Russia, but they were also utterly wild! To fight the cold away, a legendary 90s disco will be held starting from 10pm on Fountain Square. For those with two left feet, there’ll be two, huge ice-skating rinks freely available. Those with children should look out for the “Sweet & Tangerine Express” which will chug along the park, showering sweeties on every little ‘un it meets.
Dance till you drop at Gorky Park:
Gorky Park is undoubtedly the hot-spot with students and hipsters. Fittingly, its New Year’s party will be anything but conventional. From 10 pm to 3 am, the giant square will turn into an outdoor dance floor with a DJ floating high above the dancers between two columns. Once the clock strikes 12, a giant balloon with a camera strapped onto it will be set flying above the square. And if you thought things couldn’t get quirkier; you’re wrong. The Christmas tree is horizontal!
Venice Carnival at Quadrum, Four seasons:
The Four Seasons is one of the most luxurious hotels in Moscow, and its New Year’s bashes are always perfectly coordinated down to the itty-bitty details. This year they’ve gone with a rather exotic theme that promises to be just as lavish as Tsar Nicholai’s famous parties. Only instead of vodka, the toasts will be made with a rather more refined tipple (Champagne Paul Bara). Unlike at most other Russian New Year’s feasts, vegetarians will be especially well catered for here, with a set menu especially for them! Families with children needn’t worry, as they will be in the safe, mittened hands of Ded Moroz and his fairytale friends. Cooking master classes, carnival mask making workshops and VR will keep older children happy as can be all night long.
December 31,2019, 8:00 pm - 1:00 am
Price per adult is RUB 40,000; 50 percent savings for kids of 6-12 years old; kids under 6 are complimentary
The Hussar Ballad, Kempinski:
For those who haven’t heard of this legendary Soviet comedy-cum-musical, ‘The Hussar Ballad’ tells the tale of a daring damsel during the Napoleonic war of 1812 who dressed up as a cavalier so as to teach her ignorant suitor a lesson. This fun-filled fete, full of misunderstanding and role-playing, will see the gilded-interiors of the Kempinski transformed into a 19th-century mansion. Guests will be entertained with lively duels, drummers and all sorts of other wild and wonderful relics from Russia’s tsarist past. Naturally, there’ll be a special menu to suit the grand occasion and the Red Square’s fireworks will be visible from the warmth of the hotel.
Call The Kempinski to enquire about prices.
* Kids 3-12 y.o. are invited to the special Kids’ New Year to enjoy the festive entertainment programme and presents from the hotel. A complimentary overnight stay in a room on 31 December and lavish Kremlin breakfast with prosecco on 1 January (9:00-13:00) will be included with the evening.
For those seeking mystery and suspense, the party at the eye-poppingly extravagant Turandot Restaurant promises not to disappoint. This year’s celebration in its palatial rooms will be as spicy as the food on offer; the theme being 1001 nights. Guests are encouraged to embrace sultry eyeliner, flowing silks and deck themselves in as many gold bangles as possible! A real-life camel and a genie as a host will make sure that all your New Year’s wishes come true.
Tickets start from 49 000 rub/person.
Party like a Russian
New Year’s Eve at Moskovsky Bar, Four seasons:
A few meters from the Red Square, the bar at the Four Seasons will keep its doors wide open for those looking to escape the cold and crowds outside. This year, the theme is all about embracing the craziness and glitziness of oligarchs. For a fee of 5 000 rub, one can gain entrance to what will surely be the wildest party in the city. The entertainment program will feature everything from ballerinas to magicians, and there’ll naturally be the city’s best DJs keeping the beats grinding till morning.
December 31, 2019 starting at 8:00 pm
Entrance fee RUB 5,000, including a glass of prosecco
Those who’d like to enjoy the fireworks from a more peaceful vantage point won’t find a better place to dine in style than the Panoramic Ballroom Moskva. With a flute of complimentary, French champagne in hand, one will be able to marvel at the Red Square’s firework show while reclining in a plush armchair. The dinner will consist of three set-courses, but there will also be a lavish buffet table laden with all manner of Russian delicacies. In addition to the DJ and dance floor, there will be a special entertainment programme for children. Naturally at the centre of the celebrations will be Ded Moroz, but there will also be a whole team of professional actors there to help him make the evening a magical one.
December 31, 2019, 22:00-2:00
Call The Kempinski to enquire about prices.
Club Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton:
For a New Year’s that feels as snug as Christmas, swagger over to the softly-lit and lushly-furnished, convivial lounge at The Ritz. The buffet will be an utterly decadent affair, with more dishes than one could hope to try. There’ll also be an open bar to keep the laughter going to the wee hours. For those who can bear to tear themselves away from the cozy nooks of the lounge, there’ll be a magnificent view from the outdoor terrace overlooking Red Square.
December 31, 2019, 9.30 pm - 2.00 am
The offer is available for guests staying at The Ritz-Carlton: 80 000 rubles per adult;
40 000 rubles per child from 7 to 14 years old.
Refined & Cultured
At 300 hectares, Izmailovsky is one of the largest parks in Moscow. Fittingly for such a major park, it is also the scene of some of New Year’s best parties. But instead of rude rappers and vain pop-stars, it will fill its stages with effortlessly-cool bands playing even cooler tunes. There’ll be all kinds of jazz to float everyone’s boats— from classical to contemporary, with a little blues and soul for variety. Tap shoes aren’t obligatory at this free-for-all event; though they most certainly would set the evening off to a tippity-tappity start!
The Nutcracker at the Silk Lounge, Four seasons:
For Russia’s bourgeois, no New Year’s Eve is complete without a performance of the eternally enchanting ballet; The Nutcracker. Whereas normal Russians require the no less artful or inspiring ‘olivier’ and ‘fish under fur-coat’ on New Year; which are two unbelievably sumptuous and creamy salads with more than a dozen finely chopped ingredients.
In the sleek and rather chic lounges of the Four Seasons, guests can experience both indispensable parts of the traditional Russian New Year. Along with the extraordinarily talented ballerinas, there will be a dexterous pianist to set the mood and a DJ for the first raucous hours of 2020. The two Russian staple salads will be accompanied with a banquet table’s worth of other festive and genuine Russian dishes like sprat toast and pirozhki (stuffed pies).
December 31, 2019, starting at 8:00 pm
Price per adult is RUB 70,000; 50 percent savings for kids of 6-12 years old; kids under 6 are complimentary
The Hermitage Garden
Though this garden could never hope to be quite as grand as its namesake, it is rather classy for a park. And, on New Year’s, it takes this sense of refinement to whole new level. Last year, the celebrations were inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s painfully beautiful ‘Starry Night’. There were even interactive easels where guests could take up the brush and imagine their own dreamy sky. This year the theme is still up to conjecture. No doubt, it will be done just as tastefully as last year’s soiree. It will also be, as always, free for all.
The Crème de la Crème
O2 Lounge restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton:
There’s no word more synonymous with exclusivity than ‘The Ritz’, and the hotel in Moscow truly lives up to its name. This year, the party will aim to recreate all the glitz and over-the-top glamour of Robby William’s hit song, ‘Party Like a Russian’. The view alone from the lounge’s floor-to-ceiling windows will have you feeling like the prince of Moscow and the 5 course menu, comprising of Peruvian Omul Ceviche and tomato confit, will be fit for a king. Naturally, the atmosphere will be on the wild-side: with a DJ keeping the heat turned up all night long. The alcohol will be free-flowing but, never fear, there’ll be a photographer on the rooftop terrace to ensure you won’t be at risk of forgetting this once-in-a-lifetime event.
December 31, 2019, 8.30 pm - 3.00 am
From 80 000 rub. /person
For those who’d like to get the New Year off to a swingin’ start, there’s no place better than one of the most historic hotels in Moscow, The Metropol. Bright and as lively as a carnival; the evening will most certainly not be dull. Wizards are to be expected among the performers, while all the guests will be invited to rustle their skirts and kick up their legs for a great, big cancan. Champers will keep the evening bubbling with merriment and the food promises to be thoroughly indulgent.
Dress Code – Black tie
From 40 000 Rubles/person
The Café Pushkin is as steeped in history as its name suggests. Filled with all manners of antiques, from spinning globes to deep-red leather armchairs, stepping through its vaunted doors is truly like stepping back in history. Any night spent here, relishing the best food and drink Moscow can provide by the light of its marble fireplaces is bound to be special but, on New Year it outdoes even its own lofty standards. With the tinkle of piano keys and the flicker of a thousand candles, the last night of 2019 will be nothing short of magical in the Café Pushkin.
From 25 000 rub/person
*The price includes cold snacks and a glass of French champagne Moët & Chandon Imperia