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Catherine the Great's wedding dress, one of the many treasures found in the Kremlin's Armoury | © Ramon / WikiCommons
Catherine the Great's wedding dress, one of the many treasures found in the Kremlin's Armoury | © Ramon / WikiCommons

9 Unique and Unusual First Date Ideas in Moscow

Picture of Marta Wiejak
Updated: 4 January 2018

The grim architecture and dire feel of Moscow might suggest that it is not the best place for romance. However, that could not be further from the truth. Moscow is full of wonderful places to go on dates. If you’re only just starting a steamy Russian romance, here are the 10 most unique and unusual first-date ideas to try with your sweetheart.

See a Ballet in the Bolshoi Theatre

Russians have gone far to perfect the intricate art of classical dancing, and some of the finest examples are found on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. Bolshoi is an excellent place for a romantic and special first date. Tickets can cost as much as $130.

Bolshoi Theatre, Teatralnaya Ploshchad’ 1, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 455 55 55

Bolshoi (Big) Theatre front facade view at night | © Dmitriy Guryanov/Wikimedia Commons

Cruise the Moscow River

There is something special about being on a boat. The world as seen from a body of water automatically becomes so much more romantic. Hug your sweetheart while admiring the views of the city from the Moscow River. The cruises depart from the Gorky Park and most have excellent restaurants on board, so a delicious meal can complete an already excellent evening.

Gorky Park, Krimsky Val 9, Moscow, Russia+7 495 228 55 55

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A cruise on the Moscow river | © Medienservice/Pixabay

Cook Russian Dishes with a Top Russian Chefs 

Nothing brings two people together more than a common passion for food, and few things tell you more about a city’s culture. Kill two birds with one stone in one of the many cooking schools across the city. Cook and eat great food, and learn about Russia and your sweetheart in the process.

Making pelmeni | Courtesy of Saratov Restaurant

Get Steamy in a Traditional Russian Banya

Russians are extremely fond of banyas, which are traditional saunas. An outing to a banya involves more than just a quick steam room session after swimming. It’s a place to hang out with friends, to eat, drink and socialise. Depending on how bold you are, you can choose a public banya (great for people watching), or splurge on a private banya just for the two of you. Either way, it’s far from a traditional date!

Typical Russian Banya | Smarticvs / Wikimedia Commons

Typical Russian Banya | © Smarticvs/Wikimedia Commons

Travel Back to the 19th Century at Café Pushkin

An elegant dinner is an absolute dating classic—but dinner at Café Pushkin is above and beyond. Café Pushkin is a magical place with amazing décor and a menu filled with traditional Russian dishes that will take you back in time to the early 19th century. Dress up one evening, take your significant other out, and enjoy the magical atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russia!

Café Pushkin, Tverskoy Boulevard 26A, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 739 00 33

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Cafe Pushkin | © e_chaya/Flickr

Go Up the Ostankino TV tower

It is a fact universally acknowledged that panoramic views are just as romantic as the views from a boat. Luckily, Moscow caters to the former need too. On a sunny day, head down the orange metro line to VDNKH (a former Soviet exhibition centre worth visiting in and of itself) and towards the tall TV tower overlooking the area. Enjoy the panoramic view of Moscow, and then dine above the city at the restaurant on top of the tower. It is a perfect place for a romantic date.

Ostankino TV tower, Akademika Koroleva 15, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 926 61 11

See the City from Above in a Hot Air Balloon

If the TV tower just wasn’t enough, or you’re simply feeling extra romantic, consider taking your sweetheart on a cruise in a hot air balloon. There are several companies that offer such services in Moscow and the surrounding area. An aerial trip above the old capital will most certainly be an experience together that you will never forget.

Hot air balloons | © rozbyshaka/Shutterstock

Visit the Tsars’ Armoury

Are you a fan of beauty and all things sparkling? Good! So were all the Russian Tsars. The invaluable treasures they collected over centuries are no longer locked up in their drawers. Instead, they’re displayed and available for the public to view in Russian museums. The Armoury in the Kremlin takes pride in having the largest collection of the Tsars’ invaluable possessions. Make it fun, and see who can find the most diamonds or the weirdest piece of jewellery.

The Armoury, The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 697 03 49

Catherine_II's_wedding_dress_(1745)_-_Kremlin_Armoury

Catherine the Great’s wedding dress | © Ramon/Wikimedia Commons

Get a Glimpse of Cosmic Tourism

Are you going on a date with a proper geek? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on Mars? Moscow has the answers! Mars-Tefo offers a variety of mock missions that involve an underground space station on Mars. Regardless of the extent of the success of the mission, a trip to Mars will make for an unforgettable date!

Mars-Tefo, Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya 5, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 215 13 41