“Oh My God” could well become the nickname of the Official Moscow Guide (OMG) website, launched earlier this week with the alleged aim of helping foreigners get around the Russian capital safely.
Available in Russian and (sort of) English, the website features several sections with “hints and tips which will prevent you from wasting your time and money.”
The online resource cost over $840,000 to create, according to Russia’s Tourism Committee deputy head Georgy Mokhov. Twice as much is reportedly needed to promote the new site among tourists.
From highlighting the cream of the crop of Moscow’s museums, restaurants, hotels, theaters and cinemas to advice on obtaining a Russian visa, OMG claims to have it covered.
“We hope that your visit is going to be nothing but fun,” the creators of the website say, adding that “Moscow is like a beautiful Russian ageless woman, traditionally distant, wearing fashionable clothes, warmly welcoming, ready to shower you with gifts and expecting your attention.”
Foreigners are reassured that “both a student living on a modest stipend and a head of a big corporation can find ways to explore Moscow.”
With a population larger than that of the Big Apple, zigzagging across the Russian capital can be a real challenge: Moscow is notorious for its traffic and bad roads. But OMG seems to have a different view…
“What does the trip usually start with? It starts with the road!” the guide proclaims in somewhat dubious English. “In this regard Moscow is one of the most convenient cities of the world because you can get here by air, shore or water. The capital of Russia has a ramified transport system which is capable of taking a traveler even to most remote outskirts of the city.”
The website offers a variety of places to stay, from posh luxury hotels to economy-class spots in the outskirts: “Moscow offers its guests different programs, which fully comply with their taste and financial opportunities.”
So, in the words of the maverick new guide, “Moscow is never enough”.