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.

Expats moving to Moscow with children should prepare for a sizeable challenge. Conquering the cold weather and the intimidating transport system with little ones requires some real courage.

That said, there are plenty of child-friendly activities available in the city. Several expat support systems exist to help calm any parent's nerves against unanticipated stress. 

Family life in Moscow

The long months of freezing temperatures in Moscow inevitably affect family life and limit the outdoor activities one can enjoy. Few Russian families and children can be seen out on the streets in winter unless they are heavily bundled up. That said, ice skating is a common activity for children and adults alike in winter.

Traffic in Moscow can be a real problem. People drive fast and there are few above-ground places to cross larger roads. So, if using a pram, this means tackling stairs to enter and exit the pedestrian-friendly underpass. Baby carriers may be a preferred option.

The metro is extensive, cheap and easy to use but, again, expats should bear in mind the presence of stairs. Once familiar with the most common metro stops, parents will be able to choose those with no stairs and make life a little easier.

Many expats hire a driver to avoid these issues and to make it easier to get around in freezing temperatures. Expats should try to negotiate this as part of an employment package, if possible.

Best places to live in Moscow with kids

When searching for accommodation in Moscow, expats with children should think carefully. Many expats with kids, especially those with young children, choose to live in one of the gated expat communities just outside the city. In these areas, it’s possible to get a house and plenty of green space, but exposure to real Russian life will be minimal.

Alternatively, expats can live in an apartment in the city centre. Although this does not offer a garden, Moscow has a lot of green spaces and parks that are child-friendly. Apartment living in Moscow is typically better for expats with teenagers or children who would be interested in enjoying any of the rich cultural activities on offer in Moscow’s centre. 

Entertainment for kids in Moscow

As noted, frost-free months of the year are scarce in Moscow. As a result, most of the entertainment options in the city are indoor activities. When the sun does come out, there are some great outdoor spaces to take advantage of.  

There are plenty of parks in and around Moscow’s city centre, and it's also possible to find small playgrounds, boulevards and smaller gardens dotted about. Gorky Park is a big, centrally located park for cycling, rollerblading or running, as well as having various rides for amusement. Hermitage Gardens is a perfect place for kids to play. Many expats meet up here in summer and spring.

Shopping malls are a great way to get out of the house in winter. Many malls have play areas, bowling clubs, cinemas and other activities to keep kids entertained. For a real taste of Russia, expats should try ice skating on one of the frozen ponds.

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.

Get a quote from Cigna Global – 10% off

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!