As the capital of a country so large that it spans nine time zones and two continents, Moscow was always going to be a pretty exciting place; combine that with the fact that it morphed from the beating heart of communist Europe to capitalist panacea in the space of a decade, and you've got a city like no other.
The grandeur of the city's architecture certainly reflects the pomp and spectacle of the city's Soviet and imperial past. From towering skyscrapers and vast squares to metro stations glittering with marble and chandeliers, Moscow is anything but understated. Handy then that the main sites - the colourful onion domes of Saint Basil's Cathedral and the ramparts of the Kremlin and Lenin's iconic mausoleum are all on Red Square.
Further cultural pleasures await in the world's finest collection of Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery and, of course, at the Bolshoi Theatre. To whet your intellectual appetite even more, Moscow has provided the setting for some of the greatest works of modern literature, including the apparition of the devil in Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.
But while the architecture may reflect former glories, in modern Moscow bling is the thing, with fur coats and fast cars the latter day devil of temptation. Muscovites love nothing more than showing off their well (and occasionally ill-) gotten gains and as a result the nightlife scene is one of the finest in the world.
One final thing to consider - the inhabitants of Moscow perceive their city through the prism of an age old rivalry with cultural capital of St. Petersburg, and the feeling is entirely mutual. While St Petersburg is undeniably more beautiful, Muscovites would argue their patch is way more fun, and with regular high speed trains between the two, there's a very easy to make the comparison.