However, in a major new analysis of the best places across the world to move to, spend money or take up a job, the Russian capital has come out in fourth place, losing out only to the metropolises of London, Paris and New York.
The report, produced by research consultancy Resonance, ranks the world’s greatest cities by a series of metrics, including landmarks, transport, cultural heritage and prosperity. With its estimated population of nearly 18 million people, Moscow is described as a “cultural gold mine fighting for its life.”
Any traveler, the analysis says, “will tell you that Russian influence – at least over visitors to the country’s capital – is a very real thing: you’ll fall under the spell of Moscow the minute you set foot in this endlessly fascinating and dynamic destination.”
According to the team behind the review, “curiosity about Russia has increased as the political intrigue grows, which might explain why Moscow was the 15th-most on-the-rise city over the past year in our Google Trends ranking.”
However, those looking to up sticks and resettle in the sprawling conurbation are warned about both its frosty winter weather, and the fact that its population has been hit hard by Covid-19. That said, despite a recent spike in cases, restrictions have been relaxed allowing bars, restaurants and other businesses to operate as normal.
The otherwise glowing assessment of the most populous city in Europe puts Moscow above the shimmering glass towers of Dubai, the glowing neon signs of Tokyo and even the manicured futuristic playground that is Singapore. America’s West Coast capital Los Angeles comes in at eighth place, boosted by the city’s booming tech industry. Finishing the top ten are Barcelona and Madrid, with Spain’s sunny and laid-back cities clinching the top spots.
A number of senior Russian officials have mooted moving the capital out of Moscow in recent weeks, with Defense Secretary Sergey Shoigu proposing it be relocated to Siberia in an effort to boost the population of the sparse region. State development boss Igor Shuvalov, head of the VEB.RF investment fund, said at the beginning of September that the change would be worthwhile and wouldn’t hurt the historic city.
“It would be good to move the capital somewhere or to distribute the functions of the capital’s departments to different cities,” he added. “Moscow will not change because of this – Moscow has already gained so much strength that it won’t only develop if the capital is located here,” Shuvalov concluded.
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