"NOT Chinatown" Kitai Gorod Tip by mikey_e

Kitai Gorod, Moscow: 12 reviews and 27 photos

  Belarussian Embassy on Pokrovka
by mikey_e
  • Belarussian Embassy on Pokrovka - Moscow
      Belarussian Embassy on Pokrovka
    by mikey_e
  • Church on Pokrovka - Moscow
      Church on Pokrovka
    by mikey_e
  • Another church on Pokrovka - Moscow
      Another church on Pokrovka
    by mikey_e
  • Chinese tea shop on Myasnitskaya - Moscow
      Chinese tea shop on Myasnitskaya
    by mikey_e
  • Side-street from Myasnitskaya - Moscow
      Side-street from Myasnitskaya
    by mikey_e

Russians seem to have really bad luck when it comes to mistranslations of their famous statesmen and sites. Kitay Gorod is one of those misfortunes, as it is commonly thought of as Chinatown (Kitay means China in Russian), but this is not in fact the etymology of the name. Rather, it comes from the Russian word for the boards and sticks that made up the pallisades that protected this area in the middle ages. Nevertheless, Kitay Gorod has survived the confusion and is rapidly returning to what it was originally meant to be - a mercantile district full of shops and restaurants. This is an incredibly amenable part of Moscow to stay and spend time in, largely because it is chock full of churches, monuments and other sites of historical interest, plus restaurants, bars and shops, but it largely escapes the noise, hectic pace and tourists of the more central parts of Moscow. The streets are not at all on a grid, and wandering from the main ones (we stayed on Pokrovka most of the time) can result in a 3 hour attempt at finding your way home.

The plethora of relaxation and enjoyment spots also encourages a lot of creativity in Kitay Gorod, and you will find buildings that are done up in a variety of different styles, from Orthodox churches in traditional Russian style, to standard Moscow dreariness, to Uzbek restaurants and Chinese tea houses done up to remind patrons of the mysterious Orient.

Address: metro: Kitai Gorod
Directions: Go west of Lubyansky Prospekt on Myasnitskaya, Pokrovka, etc.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 13, 2008
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