Welcome to my place . . . Moscow
‘Red Square is a great starting spot with the impressive walls of the Kremlin and the fairytale beauty of St Basil’s’
Barry Sheridan in Moscow: ‘Russians (like ourselves!) love to party and find many excuses to do so.’
Barry Sheridan lives in Moscow with his wife Marianna and daughters Alisa and Taisia. Since graduating from UCD in 1989, Barry has worked in London, New York, Moscow, Istanbul and Sydney. He moved again to Moscow in 2014 where he is CEO of American Express Bank Russia LLC.
What do you like about living in Moscow?
First and foremost – the people. Russians have a very similar mindset to life as Irish people. They value family, friends and enjoying life. Then there is the atmosphere of a city that really does not sleep. Many bars, restaurants, supermarkets are open 24 hours a day. There is always something happening and from a business perspective, the afternoon is often very different from the morning. Moscow is very much my adopted home.
Where is the first place you bring people to when they visit Moscow?
Red Square is a great starting spot. With the impressive walls of the Kremlin and the fairytale beauty of St Basil’s Cathedral, walking across the cobbled stone square gives you a real feel of the history. Also see the Victory Day parades on May 9th every year, which you may have seen on TV. And then to the other side of the square is GUM store – an impressive Soviet shopping centre.
The top three things to do in Moscow, that don’t cost money, are ...
Here is where Moscow really beats many other cities around the world. At all times of the year there are festivities taking place with outdoor concerts, street theatre and celebrations. For the bigger weekend celebrations central roads are pedestrianised, enabling everyone to fully enjoy the fun. One thing is for sure – Russians (like ourselves!) love to party and find many excuses to do so. I love to walk along the Bulvars, which are avenues divided by park areas with open-air photo exhibitions. And you must visit Patriarshy Prudy (Patriarch Ponds), a beautiful area in central Moscow with a wide range of trendy bars and restaurants.
Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Moscow?
You are spoiled for choice for restaurants, cafes and bars in Moscow. With many of them open 24 hours a day, there is always a place to suit your palate. For old Russian cuisine, Café Pushkin, brings together all the tastes of the past while White Rabbit (whose chef is ranked among the best in the world) excites the diners with a perfectionist style of new Russian cuisine.
Where is the best place to get a sense of Moscow’s role in history?
In a city where there is museum on every street, you do not have to go far to feel the deep long history of the city. A tour of the Kremlin is a definite must – check out the Diamond museum. If you can catch a performance at the Bolshoi it is a wonderful experience. Tickets can be bought online at their official website if you are able to plan in advance.
What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Moscow?
There are some wonderful shawls and scarves created by some wonderful artists. The Matryoshka doll is a nesting doll set which, while quite typically touristy, will always be something to adorn your mantelpiece as a little memory or provide hours of fun to a child. Vodka of course remains an iconic Russian drink, but be sure to enjoy the higher priced bottles!
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