LGBTQ+ Guide to Moscow
Bars & Clubs
Boyz is a large gay and lesbian nightclub that is popular among a younger crowd. The venue is owned by the same team as Central Station Club and Sauna Voda, and it hosts three bars, two dance floors, a lounge bar, a music and karaoke stage, a huge TV screen and a restaurant with different kinds of food. There are drag and music shows where the best artists from Moscow perform in. The club is open every night, and during the weekend parties last until 10 AM in the morning.
Nashe cafe (Our Bar)
Our Bar is a small but cozy and just pleasant place, to relax and meet other queer people with an open attitude. While the venue is small, there is a bar, performance stage, European-Russian mix-cuisine and free Wifi. There are travesty shows on a daily basis, and regular theme parties on Fridays. Guests who stay here til late at night, can always use the services of the gay taxi “ZERO”. Nice gay and bi drivers will safely and comfortably take you home.
Central Station is a large and popular gay club that is open for both men and women. Central Station is located in the same building as the gay sauna Voda, and hosts several zones. There are two dance floors with different tastes of music, there is a karaoke room (the cost of a song is about 200 rubles), a summer terrace, and a dark room to play and have fun in. The staff is very friendly and the environment welcoming. Drag, travesty and music shows are organised regularly.
Propaganda is an inviting club in the heart of Moscow’s city center, which first opened its doors in 1997. As a cafe, it offers delicious food and a friendly service. As one of the longest-running clubs in Moscow, Propaganda has set a new level in the city nightlife. But mostly it’s a place where everyone feels welcome. Propaganda is open seven nights a week, and the gay nights are on Sunday. Their focus on quality music brings together a good mix of people, making it an ideal setting to dance the night away.
Nice Club, formerly known as Ice Club, is an LGBT bar with a DJ, karaoke room, free WiFi and regular drag shows around midnight. The atmosphere is very open and welcoming and the crowd diverse. All genders, sexualities, ages, and sizes meet here to have fun.
Elf is a bar with travesty and cabaret shows, that is popular among an older crowd. Much has changed over the years of the club, and once again the club owners changed the interior, menu and musical repertoire. However, what remained is an extremely friendly and warm atmosphere. Every Friday and Saturday there are travesty shows, starting around 01.30 AM. There is also a small dark room behind the scenes.
MONO BAR is a popular gay nightclub in Moscow, which opened in 2014 in the area of Pokrovsky Boulevard. The club plays both European and Russian music and gets quite busy, especially after midnights on Fridays and Saturdays. There is a balcony where you can smoke, which is a big plus.
Imperia is a gay cruising party that is held every Friday in club PLAY. There are go-go shows, videos screens, a dark room and bar with drinks and food. The cruising parties are popular among a younger crowd, and there are no restrictions and prohibitions (except for drugs and violence). Only your imagination rules here. Rooms are luxurious, there are showers, and there is plenty of room for play. The bartenders are friendly and helpful, and there is a fenced terrace where you can breathe some fresh air or smoke.
When: Every Week
Admission: 900₽/400₽/Free Concessions
Stag Party is a gay cruising party which attracts 100-120 boys each night. The party takes place twice a month. Keep track of the information on the site. Visitors have to be at least 21, and the average age of guests is 25–35 years old. Keep in mind that the party has a dress code, which is fetish wear. You are not allowed to wear a T-shirt and jeans. Sneakers plus nice underpants are fine. For other examples, you can take a look at their website. It is also worth taking a backpack, where you can put your belongings in, as well as a towel for the shower. Protections and glide are freely available at all times.
When: Twice a month
Admission: 900₽/Free Concessions
The Hunters Party is held in the popular Central Station Club. Hunters Party borrowed its name from the popular hookup channel HUNTERS BBS MOSCOW on Telegram. At the moment, the Hunters Party is the largest monthly gay cruising party in Moscow, and the number of applicants is growing each month. During the Hunters nights, you have to enter the building through the gay sauna Voda. Inside the building, there are handsome go-go dancers, laser shows, and photo sessions with models upon entry. In the club, you will find large cargo tires, wooden pallets, chains, and most importantly a suspended labyrinth that descends onto the dance floor. You will hear a special signal after which the club goes into darkroom/cruising mode. This is usually around 23.00. You pay an additional cost if you arrive later than that. At the entrance, everyone gets a bracelet which they can use to show their sexual preference. Red stands for active, blue for passive and green for versatile. If you come with special fetish wear such as a mask, you will receive a discount.
Trans Men: Not Welcome 🙁
Admission: 800₽/400₽/Free Concessions
Paradise Spa is a sauna with a large deep pool, Turkish hammam, and a dry steam room. In addition, the sauna hosts a lounge area where you can play karaoke or watch music and theater performances. Beware that most guys in this sauna will offer you services such as a massage and that they expect you to pay for it.
Xl Spa is a relatively new sauna situated in the central part of Moscow. The sauna hosts 5 different floors and is the biggest gay spa in the city. On the first level, you will find a Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, pool, and several showers. On the second level, there is a relaxation zone with a bar and a large stage for drag shows and stand-up comedy. On the third level, you will find a well-equipped gym and several massage rooms. To conclude, there is the underground dark and play room with a maze. You are offered a towel, bathrobe, and slippers on arrival. Clients under 23 years old can visit the sauna for free.
Price: 700₽/Free Concessions
Voda Spa is the most popular sauna in Moscow, and located right next to the infamous Central Station Club. It hosts a dry steam room, wet steam room, cruising area and bar with drinks and excellent food for an affordable price. The sauna is open every day, from 5 PM till 5 AM, and until 7 AM during the weekends. People who are younger than 25 years old only pay 100₽ on Thursdays!
Price: 600₽/300₽ Concessions
Silver Wood (Serebryany Bor)
Silver Wood is a nudist beach which is located on an artificial island in the bend of the Moskva River. It is a great place to sunbathe with or without swimming trunks during a warm summer day. North of the beach and the accompanied volleyball court, you will find a forest which is mainly visited by cruising men. On the beach itself, you will find women and children as well. The place is most popular during the weekends and most cruisy during the evenings. To get here, take the metro to Polezhaevskaya, and then take the trolley or bus (20, 65, 86) to station Silver Wood (Serebryany Bor). From there, it is a 20-minute walk to the nudist beach at the south of the Island. If you want to visit the forest for cruising purposes, it would be wise to wear clothes, remain discrete at all times, and leave your valuables at home.
Location: 55.777339, 37.418660
Izmaylovskiy Park is the biggest park in Europe, and easily accessible by metro from the city centre. From the station exit, turn to the right and go down the stairs into the park and you will find yourself in the cruising area, which is very popular during warm summer days. The cruisiest spots are near the two metro station exits. It would be wise to remain discrete, and it is not advisable to carry along valuables. The cruising site is most popular between 5 AM and 12 AM.
Location: 55.787546, 37.781785
Swan Beach (Plyash Lebyazhka)
Swan beach can be found on another island in the Mosvka river. It is a bit harder to find, as nature is wilder here. Swan beach is less popular and more remote than Silver Wood. Nevertheless, it is a great place to relax or meet up with other visitors. All ages, genders, and sexualities gather here, and even some foreigners from other cities come here just to visit this place. On the beach, as elsewhere, there are no special rules of behavior. if you want to undress completely – get undressed, if not, no one will force you. The only drawback – this place exists only in summer.
Artango Queer Tango Festival
The ARTANGO International Festival is one of the largest queer events in Russia. It hosts 6 days and nights of cinema, performances, queer tango workshops and exhibitions. The 2019 festival theme is “LIBERA!”. In latin, “Libera!” means “Free! Be free!”. This first year of the International Queer Festival ARTANGO will be dedicated to four famous artists who dared to break social codes and opened a new era (or space) of freedom in their field.
When: June 2019
Side by Side Film Festival
Side by Side Film Festival is inspired by the success of the many lesbian and gay film festivals that take place worldwide. The very first Side by Side film festival was held in 2008 but effectively banned by the authorities. From this point onwards, working from a more strengthened power base, Side by Side began to expand its breadth and scope. It does not only organise festivals and events in Saint Petersburg, but also in other cities such as Moscow, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Archangelsk, Tomsk and Perm.
Russian LGBT Network
The Russian LGBT Network is a non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equality and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The network unites and develops regional initiatives and advocacy groups (at both national and international levels) and provides social and legal services. It enhances the visibility of queer communities, boosts its potential, ensures its protection, and engages in various forms of civic activities. In addition, the network raises awareness of the dangers associated with homophobia and transphobia and creates an understanding that these types of xenophobia should not be tolerated.
Straights for Equality
Straights for Equality unites heterosexuals who support the fight for equality of LGBTQ+ people. They come together to say “NO!” to the intimidation and persecution of their fellow citizens, friends, and relatives. The network believes that all citizens of Russia should have equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity
The first gay taxi in Moscow is called ‘Our Taxi’ and it was opened in 2008. Since then, professional drivers carry around LGBT passengers to gay bars, clubs, saunas, events, and organisations. A ride on this taxi is considered safe for all members of the LGBTQ+ community, and brings passengers quickly, cheaply and comfortably to any address in Moscow and the nearby suburbs.
Phone: +7 (495) 518-5-234, +7 (926) 6300445
The Lasky Projects aims to decrease HIV and STI spread among the most vulnerable groups in Russia through HIV/STI prevention, treatment, and through the provision of accurate information. The project also tries to reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV and STI’s. It aims to empower and mobilize the LGBTI-community, to overcome the consequences of HIV and other socially significant diseases in Russia.