This guide was written prior to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine and is therefore not reflective of the current situation. Travel to Russia is currently not advisable due to the area’s volatile political situation.

Moscow is an incredibly large, interesting and challenging destination offering a wide variety of experiences for expats. There is much to see and learn about Russian culture in the capital city, and expats will certainly not be bored among the hustle and bustle of Moscow's lively streets. 

Living in Moscow as an expat

Moscow is a constantly changing and rapidly expanding city. As it's one of Russia's main economic centres, the majority of expats moving to Russia for work settle here. Moscow offers job opportunities in a range of fields, from technology and finance to human resources and teaching. These generally come with a rather lucrative employment package but are hard-earned and can be difficult to find. 

Moscow has an extensive public transport system. The most common means of transport is the efficient, safe and cheap metro. Many of the metro stations are lavishly decorated and constitute works of art in themselves. During rush hour, it can get crowded, especially in the centre. Traffic congestion can be nightmarish in Moscow, and many expats choose to hire a driver rather than brave the roads alone.

Moscow is by no means short of cultural activities and events. No visit is complete without a trip to the Bolshoi Theatre, and ballet performances at the Kremlin Palace are outstanding. There are several fascinating museums in the city, as well as wonderful architecture. 

Cost of living in Moscow

Moscow has a relatively high cost of living. While it's cheaper than many of the world's major capitals, accommodation comes at a huge cost, and those who choose to live lavishly will also pay dearly for it. That said, those with money can enjoy a luxurious lifestyle in Moscow that's on par with any major international city.

Expat families and children

Expat families should note that the standard of public education and hospitals can be considerably lacking in Moscow. That said, expats always have the option of sending their children to one of the private or international schools located in the capital. There are also numerous private healthcare facilities available that expats can visit.

Parents will be glad to know that Moscow is filled with attractions and activities to entertain the kids. Families will also discover that some of Moscow’s most attractive features are the many public parks dotted throughout the city, which give it a more spacious and leafier feel. Going for a walk in the park is a daily habit for many residents, and families with children can make use of these green spaces for a day spent outdoors.

Climate in Moscow

Unlike the rest of Russia, Moscow has a humid continental climate. Summer weather is warm, with average daytime temperatures of 73°F (23°C). Most of the city's rainfall occurs during the summer months. Winters, on the other hand, are long, cold and snowy.

Expats in Moscow who can keep an open mind will find that the Russian capital has a lot to offer. Before moving to Moscow, expats should read as much as they can about the city to prepare themselves and to minimise any initial culture shock. One of the best ways to prepare for relocating to Moscow is to learn how to read the Cyrillic alphabet and speak some basic Russian.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go

  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations

  • Access to dental and orthodontic care

  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service
  • Get a quote from Cigna Global (10% off family health plans in June)

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