Novyi (New) Arbat, formerly known as Kalininsky Prospect, is a grand avenue of 1970’s Soviet architecture: tall buildings, a bit like open books at an angle, line both sides of the avenue. There are a host of banks, stores, beauty salons and restaurants located in these buildings and along the avenue. Here you will find one of Moscow’s best bookstores, Dom Knigi, or the House of Books, as well as the Melodiya music store.
If you go along the New Arbat away from the Kremlin you will come to the Krasnopresnenskaya Nabrezhnaia, the location of the Russian Government’s “White House”, the Administrative Offices and Departments of the President of the Russian Federation. Starkly different from the American White House, the Russian White House is strictly closed to the public.
All along both Arbats you will find a labyrinth of small picturesque side streets, whose historic names have just recently been returned or were preserved during the Soviet Era (Khlebny, Skaterny). This area was historically the most prestigious residential area of Moscow and it has retained the prestige until today, despite all the damage which was done to it during the Soviet Era. At least a touch of the atmosphere of what Moscow was like before the Revolution has been preserved here.