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British Marine

  • Yachting World
  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

Gunfleet 43 review: from the archive

Yachting World

  • June 2, 2021

Britain has a new maker of cruising yachts – Gunfleet Marine. Chris Beeson goes to the East Coast to test its first boat, the Gunfleet 43


Performance in a Force 3 breeze was very lively for a round-the-world cruiser. Credit: Gunfleet

Product Overview


For some, Gunfleet conjours up twilight encounters with Dickensian characters on misty salt marshes. Others may see it as an eyesore of a windfarm, we set off to the East Coast to offer our opinion of the Gunfleet 43.

For Richard Matthews, the man who founded and then sold Oyster Yachts, it’s a welcome return to the business of building high-quality cruising boats in Britain.

Performance of the Gunfleet 43

With a light nor’easter, never more than 10 knots, I was concerned that such a heavy boat might struggle to get going but in fact she positively sauntered in long-legged style.

At 35-40° to the apparent wind angle with 12-15 knots over the deck, she logged over 6 knots, peaking at 6.7 knots at the wider angle where she was more comfortable.


The liferaft locker in the transom is opened from the lazarette.

On a fetch, she clocked 5.7-6.3 knots with 9-12 knots of apparent wind and we beam reached at 5.4-6.2 knots before putting up the gennaker and tearing off at 7.1-7.5 knots.

We eased the sheets and broad reached between 120-150° at 5.1-6.9 knots before hardening up the gennaker to 75° apparent wind angle and logging 7.3-8.1 knots in 7-9 knots of apparent wind.

Motoring back, the 55hp Volvo driving a three-blade, folding Radice prop urged her along at 8.7kn flat out, at 2,800rpm, and 7.7kn throttled back to 2,000rpm.

At the helm on the Gunfleet 43

The Whitlock/Lewmar system’s steering cables run straight down then aft to the quadrant, and minimal friction delivers a feeling of power steering.

She’s finger-light but there’s a stately feel about her, like a Bentley at sea, that reminds you there’s a lot of yacht under your command.

The cockpit is positioned well forward in the yacht, which allows for a sundeck and aft deck, but the main feeling is of elevation.


Mainsheet and genoa sheet winches are within easy reach of the wheel.

You’re quite some way up in the cockpit, though the reason for that becomes very pleasantly apparent when you go below.

Coamings surround the cockpit but, while the ideal height for resting an elbow aft, they’re a bit shallow for a backrest.

The helmsman has his own.

Primary and mainsheet winches are within easy reach, likewise the traveller controls.

And the clever Flightdeck system means you’re not reaching through the wheel’s spokes to use the plotter or play with the throttle when manoeuvring.

Design & construction of the Gunfleet 43

The hull is drawn by Tony Castro, variously of Barracuda 46, Challenge 72 and Laser SB3 fame, – she’s got a good pedigree.

Castro also worked with Gunfleet’s own team to optimise her deck design for shorthanded cruising.

Iso/NPG gelcoat provides greater UV resistance and vinylester skin resin ensures water resistance.


The 113% jib is sheeted between the cap shrouds and lowers, so she can pinch up to windward.

She’s made of solid GRP laminate with isophthalic resin up to 20cm (8in) above the waterline where the end-grain balsa core sandwich begins.

Forward of the keel, the hull is strengthened by Kevlar and there’s carbon fibre reinforcement for the rig loads.

She has a composite floor and marine ply bulkheads laminated in place for stiffness, a stainless steel rudder stock and a lead bulb on a cast iron fin keel.

Sailplan of the Gunfleet 43

The 11/12th fractional rig features swept-back spreaders on a Seldén mast and an adjustable backstay above the transom.

She has a 113% jib for easy tacking, sheeted between the shrouds and lowers, and a stackpack main with end-boom sheeting on a traveller aft of the cockpit.

Genoa tracks allow for a larger jib but I’d like to see them extend further forward for effective sheeting, using the adjustable genoa cars, when the jib is deep reefed.

The stats say she’s by no means over-canvassed for a yacht of her displacement, but her performance in relatively light winds defies the numbers.

Deck layout of the Gunfleet 43

She has a big double bow roller with a short bobstay to bear the load of offwind sails tacked to the roller.

There’s a windlass with a warping drum on the deck between the bow roller and the anchor locker.

Big teak toerails keep your feet secure while moving aft through the shrouds, which is easy with the lowers inboard and the shrouds out, but the sidedecks are narrow.

Our test boat had no coachroof grabrail but, wisely, they do feature on subsequent hulls.

Aft of the cockpit is a sundeck and there’s a big lazarette locker on the aft deck with a gas locker in the port quarter.

There’s a winch at the mast for the spinnaker and genoa halyards; the rest of the lines lead aft to Lewmar 45 halyard winches, one of which is electric, to handle the main halyard.

Subsequent hulls also feature a halyard bin at the bridgedeck.

A removable cockpit table attaches to the binnacle but you need the optional footblocks to brace against, as the cockpit is too wide to brace against the leeward seating.

Living aboard the Gunfleet 43

If the topsides look formidable, the sidedecks parsimonious and the helm position elevated, the reason is space below – and it’s remarkable for a 43-footer.

The saloon is cavernous with 6ft 7in headroom at the companionway, 6ft at the forward bulkhead and 6ft 4in at the bar – yes, the bar – to starboard, opposite the forward heads.

Hull ports and huge windows in the coachroof flood the saloon with light and there are twice as many Xenon lights in the deckhead as you’d expect for illumination at night.


Big windows flood the spacious saloon with natural light.

In addition to the grabrails below the coachroof windows, subsequent boats feature a grabrail in the centre of the deckhead, which you’ll need to make moving around below safe at sea.

The sheer volume of this boat becomes even more obvious in the owner’s cabin aft.

It’s vast, with 6ft 3in headroom, and bright thanks to the central strip of decklights and hatch, and the opening hull ports.

It features plenty of stowage including a vast drawer below the berth, great ventilation and some really nice touches, like the small cubbies at the head of the bed for phones and watches.

Forward of the vanity table/desk is the en suite with a shower cubicle.


The palatial aft cabin boasts 6ft 3in of headroom and oodles of stowage.

The Corian sole is standard and there’s plenty of light and opening hatches.

Up forward there’s another large double berth, also en suite, and again very bright because of the acrylic strip running along the centre of the deckhead.

Stowage is abundant in soft-close drawers and lockers.

The design is thoughtful and experienced, the joinery sensational and the quality of materials uncompromising.

Chart table

It’s a good size with stowage below the seat, forward of the knees and in a bin locker outboard.

Facing you is the CZone system from which you can control everything on board, from bilge pumps to steaming lights, and also monitor power draw, tankage and a hatful of other metrics.

There’s another smaller touch-screen panel in the aft cabin so you can run everything from your berth, too.

Experienced sea-cooks have put this galley together.

There’s 6ft 4in headroom so you’re not cracking your skull every two minutes, as you might well be on other centre cockpit boats of this size.

All the Corian surfaces are fully fiddled, to ensure that most spills will stay contained rather than turning the sole into a skidpan.

Lockers, also fiddled, are plentiful and there’s more stowage below the sole.


Abundant stowage, a big fridge-freezer and all the worktops are fiddled so things don’t slide off.

Gunfleet fits a GN Espace stove, which, in addition to gimballing fore and aft as well as athwartships, is designed to use trays that will also sit snugly on ledges in the galley sink and in the saloon table’s central serving space.

Maintenance of the Gunfleet 43

Gunfleet designs luxurious liveaboard yachts and maintenance access is a key factor in that.

If you can afford her, you’re probably in a position to hire someone else to do the maintenance, but rest assured, they will not struggle for access anywhere.

And if you ever have to diagnose and fix an engine fault at sea, you’ll be glad it’s so easy to get to.

Our verdict on the Gunfleet 43

What’s she like to sail.

I was impressed with her performance.

She has a rather low sail area/displacement (SA/D) figure of 16.3. Boats with this sort of SA/D usually have big engines to handle light winds.

To give this figure relevance, the Océanis 43 is 20.7 and the Arcona 430, 26.4.

They would revel in these conditions but I wasn’t expecting more than five knots from the Gunfleet upwind, in maximum apparent wind, and much less downwind. She was very fleet-footed.

Having said that, she’s not designed for pootling around the coast and it’s notable that the two other boats that match her SA/D figure are the Najad 410 and the Malö 40, both solid ocean cruisers designed to lug a life’s worth of kit around the top of the world.

The Gunfleet wasn’t fully loaded but she wasn’t empty either.

The helm position seemed unnervingly high to start with – you stand at a level only just below the sidedeck.

But once you establish that the boom isn’t going to decapitate you, you begin to appreciate the uninterrupted views forward.

The wheel wasn’t as engaging as I’d hoped for, with little in the way of feedback, but as a blue water boat.

She’ll spend the vast majority of her time under autopilot so the fact that she was smooth and light is a big bonus.

What’s she like in port and at anchor?

One thing’s for sure, you won’t be roughing it.

With the space below, and the evident emphasis on light, ventilation and stowage, you wouldn’t need to compromise your standards one iota.

The quality of workmanship is excellent throughout and a huge amount of experience has been built into this boat.

The basic spec is very high, including …

  • CZone systems management touch-screen
  • Shore power cable
  • Battery charger and inverter
  • Antifouling, fenders
  • Mooring lines
  • Wine glasses
  • Whisky tumblers
  • Bone china place
  • Lewmar One-Touch winch handles
  • Spare halogen bulbs
  • Bucket and brush

…. and three bottles of Champagne – ‘one for launch, two to drink.’

You also get tanks two-thirds full and free berthing for the week’s sea trials they will take you through.

The only things you really need to add are a chartplotter, an offwind sail and the extra halyard for it.

I expect most owners will also ask for a TV, generator, watermaker and some sort of satcom, but she’s genuinely ready to go.

Would she suit you and your crew?

She’s no slouch, as we’ve established, but she’s also undemanding as a cruiser in that you don’t need decades of sailing knowledge to get her to perform to a very decent standard.

The deck is laid out to allow plenty of space to move around.

Lunch in the cockpit under the bimini, then lounging in the sun.

Before stepping down onto the aft deck, grabbing your mask and snorkel from the lazarette and jumping into warm, azure water for a poke around the coral.

Below decks, you’ll recognise the build quality as being a bit special and appreciate the fact that everything just works, everything does what it should and does it elegantly.

It’s a prime example of designing with experience and using technology well.

I see her owners as a successful couple looking to slow down their hectic pace of life and add a bit of uncomplicated fun.

I would imagine she’ll be more regularly found further south, where the weather is a bit more reliable, guaranteeing some sun in your busy schedule.

Nor would I be remotely surprised to see her seduce her owners into packing it all in and sailing around the world.

First published in the January 2013 issue of YM

Gunfleet 43

Gunfleet 43


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Bluewater Sailboat – Gunfleet 43

Bluewater Sailboat Gunfleet 43  has a lot of appealing qualities, especially the kind of ergonomics, quality, and attention to detail that come from in-depth research, sound design, and an unwillingness to take shortcuts.

Tony Castro, formerly of the Barracuda 46, Challenge 72, and Laser SB3 renown, drew the hull; she has a solid pedigree. Castro collaborated with the Gunfleet team to improve the deck’s design for cruising with less crew members. Greater UV resistance is provided by iso/NPG gelcoat, and water resistance is guaranteed by vinylester skin resin. She is constructed of solid GRP laminate with isophthalic resin up to a height of 20 cm (8 in), at which point an end-grain balsa core sandwich is added.

The hull is reinforced with Kevlar forward of the keel, and the rig loads are reinforced with carbon fibre. She has a cast iron fin keel, a lead bulb on a composite floor, laminated marine ply bulkheads for stiffness, and a stainless steel rudder stock.

Gunfleet 43

  • LOA   44ft 1in  
  • LWL   38ft 2in  
  • Beam   13ft 4in
  • Draft   6ft 9ft (standard); 4ft 6in (board up); 8ft 10in (board down)
  • Air Draft   63ft 1in
  • Displacement   28,109lb
  • Ballast   7,400lb (standard)
  • Sail Area   937ft
  • Fuel/Water   (GAL) 100/100
  • Engine   Volvo Penta 60hp with saildrive
  • Ballast Ratio   26  
  • SA/D Ratio   16  
  • D/L Ratio   225
  • Designer Castro Naval Architects
  • Builder   Gunfleet Marine, Ipswich, England

For many years, Gunfleet Marine has been one of the most intriguing new boat builders. This British yard is supported by Richard Matthews’ financial clout and expert industry experience, whose understanding of this market segment is unmatched.

The manufacturer promises cutting-edge, opulent, serious cruising yachts with excellent sailing characteristics. 

The first Gunfleet 43, which is a part of a line that also includes a 58-footer and an approaching 74, was introduced in September 2011. The experienced sailors who intend to sail largely as a pair and don’t want to give up the conveniences they take for granted at home are Gunfleet’s target market for the 43.

To develop this cutting-edge, yet rather conventional, cruiser, Gunfleet designers collaborated with naval architect Tony Castro. Her hull is constructed by hand in a female mould using bi-directional glass that is strengthened with Kevlar fabric on the centerline front of the keel. The hull is solid below the water’s surface and has an integrated structural grid made of carbon fibre and E-glass.

Twin rudders and a fixed fin that measures 6 feet, four inches wide make up the Gunfleet’s typical underwater design. However, there is also a variable-draft version that can offer up to 8 feet 10 inches of draught for sailing upwind and consists of a shoal-draft fin drawing 4 feet 6 inches and a 280-pound cast iron hydraulically actuated centerboard.

A twin anchor roller that protrudes from the bow is almost parallel. A modest swim platform and a three-step ladder leading to the deck are built into the reverse transom. With a wraparound windscreen that tapers as it extends aft toward the cockpit, the coachroof is low. The overall design has a good low profile and is contemporary.

The expansive aft deck area of the Gunfleet 43’s center-cockpit design, which features dual sunbathing zones, is its most noticeable feature. A hatch and skylight that lead down into the master suite below divide them. There is also a sizable lazarette where you may store fenders, lines, a rolled-up tender, and other essentials for sailing.

A small cockpit is located directly forward. The majority of this cockpit is devoted to a large centre console, or “flight deck,” which houses a single Garmin display and is surrounded by other switches and controls, including the autopilot. It can be particularly frustrating when docking to have to bend over to reach the engine throttles, which are located below the console but attached. This console has a basket wheel that wraps around it to save space, however, getting past it without getting on the couches is a little difficult.

All the lines are controlled by six Lewmar winches. As for the controls for the wide traveller and German mainsheet system, there are two on the cabintop beside the companionway, two primary controls on the coaming, and two more aft. Shorthanded mariners may easily control this powerful boat thanks to end-boom sheeting located just behind the helm.

An 11/12ths fractional rig with a conventional mainsail and a slightly overlapping (113 percent) genoa on a manual Furlex furler is supported by the Seldén deck-stepped, double-spreader mast. The optional electronic in-mast furling main was installed on our test yacht, enabling quick on-the-spot reefing.

You will come to an undivided anchor locker with a Lewmar windlass as you continue further. For offshore work, the side decks are small and the lifelines are a little low, but the pulpit is beautifully separated and offers easy access when working with the anchor. As befits a yacht of this high quality, teak decks are standard. Overall, the craftsmanship is excellent.

Now you can also precisely calculate the expenses related to boat ownership to make smart choices based on your budget and sailing needs. Use this bluewater Sailboat Calculator to explore different options and make the best decision.

First impressions are of a yacht with luxuriously furnished quarters that are brightly lit and designed to maximise the comfort of the owners. Only a small number of yachts that are 50 feet or even larger can compare to the aft cabin, its spacious ensuite, galley, and saloon. The compromise is that the guest accommodations are less luxurious than those of some competitors, but visitors staying on board for up to a few weeks shouldn’t have any cause for complaint.

When you look further, it does not disappoint; you can immediately see how much attention has gone into creating a superb long-distance cruiser. There are handholds and bracing points conveniently located throughout the lodging despite its light and airy vibe. Even the master cabin’s substantially sized en suite was obviously designed to function just as well at sea as it would in a harbour.

The navigation station, saloon table, and galley worktops all have plenty of storage, and admirably deep fiddles will hold everything in place even in bad weather.

The Gunfleet 43 has two cabins and two bathrooms, making it a yacht for couples. It is possible to squeeze in a third custom stateroom amidships to starboard, but doing so eliminates the forward-facing nav station, which is essential on lengthy trips.

You enter a luxury interior of glistening wood and plenty of natural light, which pours in via the windscreen and a number of small hull openings, after descending the fairly high companionway steps.

A guest V-berth cabin and a wet head that also doubles as the day head are located forward. The salon includes a fold-out table in the middle and straight settees on either side as you move aft. The walkthrough to the master cabin is where you’ll find the galley. The walkthrough to the master cabin is where you’ll find the galley. The chef won’t lack anything thanks to the ample countertop space, several cubbies for food and dishes, a three-burner GN Espace stove, and double sinks.

With a big island berth surrounded by plenty of drawers and hanging lockers to store a lot of clothing, the master suite aft is really stunning. The master bathroom boasts a stylish vessel sink and a separate shower stall. The skylight and hatch above, along with a number of opening hull ports, provide the impression that the cabin is spacious and light. The lee cloth integrated into the master berth is a lovely addition that allows for comfortable passage sleeping even while sailing at a significant degree of heel.

Although cherry, teak, and oak are also available, our test boat had a finish of maple. The exquisite joinery and ample lighting heighten the elegance. Almost every system on board is managed and displayed by a C-Zone digital switching system, which provides some upscale functionality. Nobody will be living in squalor on a Gunfleet.


Don’t let this Bluewater sailboat’s spacious accommodations fool you into thinking that the underwater contour has been excessively sacrificed in order to maximize volume. The relatively thin forward portions contribute to the boat’s easily driven shape, as evidenced by the scant wash produced while cruising in flat water at speeds of more than seven knots. Additionally, a balanced spade rudder and an effective low-centre-of-gravity keel with a sizable lead bulb beneath the cast-iron fin are included.

In test sailing she tacked through 65 degrees in a 14 mph wind and maintained 7.1 knots of boatspeed even when conditions became a little lighter. She moved ahead at 5.3 knots as the apparent wind angle dropped to 120 degrees with 12 knots of genuine wind.

The helm was responsive on all points of sail, and the boat also accelerated well out of the tacks. In addition, the Gunfleet 43 has a sturdy feel that will give cruising couples stuck offshore in choppy weather more confidence.

A Volvo-Penta D2 60hp diesel with saildrive provides auxiliary power. The four-bladed foldable propeller is directly below the engine and has been turned aft to lessen the sound of the prop wash. An 8 kW Fischer Panda genset is located roughly where the engine would typically be, and it can be accessed from the galley. The availability of all engine dip sticks and filters will make maintenance operations considerably simpler.

The 600 Ah worth of house batteries and fuel tanks are all located on centerline below the cabin sole, reducing weight.

Underway she does 7.2 knots motoring at 2,100 rpm on flat water. 100 gal. of water and 100 gal. of fuel are included in the tankage. The boat’s retractable bow thruster makes manoeuvring in confined spaces easier.

Quick Notes

The sixth hull of this design, which was first launched in 2011, was the one we sailed, and it was the first Gunfleet 43 to arrive at American shores. You won’t find the boats supplied by dealers because they are semi-custom, highly personalized, and manufactured to order. Nevertheless, visits during the construction process are welcomed, and the Gunfleet 43 might be exactly the thing for couples wishing to long-distance cruise on a high-quality vessel.

There is no getting around the fact that a yacht like the Gunfleet is a complex craft with the comfort and amenities it has. The unique C-Zone electrical bus system, which was initially created for superyachts, includes integrated fault-finding, so despite the initial impression of opulence, all services were planned with ease of maintenance in mind.

It’s also comforting to know that the business wants to establish enduring connections with equipment manufacturers. Gunfleet looks to be more dedicated to providing excellent customer service than most, preferring to retain a close relationship with owners over a disorganised network of dealers.

Looking for a used sailboat for sale? Check out the Bluewater sailboat data and specs to make an informed decision. Ocean Wave Sail has data for over 10000+ boats that can help you select one to meet your sailing needs.

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Gunfleet 43

The gunfleet 43 is a 44.06ft fractional sloop designed by tony castro and built in fiberglass by windboats marine since 2011..

The Gunfleet 43 is a moderate weight sailboat which is a reasonably good performer. It is reasonably stable / stiff and has an excellent righting capability if capsized. It is best suited as a bluewater cruising boat. The fuel capacity is good. There is a good water supply range.

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Gunfleet Marine

Before creating Gunfleet, Founder, Richard Matthews, spent over 35 years building up one of the UK’s most successful yacht companies, Oyster, which he sold in 2008. Looking for a new challenge, the idea of utilising all these years of experience to form a new yacht building brand proved irresistible and the Gunfleet range of performance, variable draft cruising yachts was launched. The Gunfleet brand is operated by Windboats Marine. Moulding and fitting out is carried out at their two sites in Norfolk, then the yachts are launched and commissioned at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich, where the Sales Office is located. Gunfleet Marine Riverside Fox’s Marina Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8NJ www.gunfleetmarine.com

  • Tony Castro

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Shooter Files by f.d. walker

Street Photography Tips, Interaction, Travel, Guides

Apr 24 2017

City Street Guides by f.d. walker: A Street Photography Guide to Moscow, Russia


*A series of guides on shooting Street Photography in cities around the world. Find the best spots to shoot, things to capture, street walks, street tips, safety concerns, and more for cities around the world. I have personally researched, explored and shot Street Photography in every city that I create a guide for. So you can be ready to capture the streets as soon as you step outside with your camera!

At over 12 million people, Moscow is the largest city in Russia and second largest in Europe by population ( Istanbul is #1). An urban, cosmopolitan metropolis with more than enough glitz and glam to cater to the elite, but without losing its fair share of Soviet era roughness around the edges. It can be fast paced, brash, busy, and trendy like other big cities, but it has its blend of West meets Russia atmosphere and beauty that provides plenty of unique interest. The Red Square is as famous as it gets, but there’s so much more to this city, including the most beautiful subway system you’ve ever seen. It would take years to capture all of Moscow, but that means you have an endless amount of areas to discover.

gunfleet 43 sailboat for sale

So here’s a Street Photography guide so you can be ready to capture all that Moscow has to offer before you even arrive!

  • Patriarch’s Pond
  • Old Arbat Street
  • Maroseyka Street
  • Tverskoy Boulevard

Top 5 Street Spots:

1. red square.

The Red Square is the most famous square in not just Russia, but all of Eastern Europe. The name actually doesn’t come from the color of the bricks or communism, but from the name in Russian, Krásnaya, once meaning “beautiful” before its meaning changed to “red.” This large plaza is what you see on the cover of guide books and magazines for Moscow, with St. Basil’s Cathedral being the center piece next to Lenin’s Mausoleum surrounded by the Kremlin Wall. Of course, the Red Square attracts hordes of tourist due to the main attractions, but all that activity around an interesting atmosphere does provide street photo opportunities. It’s also the central square connecting to the city’s major streets, providing a good starting point to explore outward.

gunfleet 43 sailboat for sale

You’ll also find the popular pedestrian only Nikolskaya Street connecting the Red Square to Lubyanka Square. This line of expensive shops includes plenty of activity, while also leading you to another popular square. Filled with history rivaling any city, the Red Square and surrounding areas are the heart and soul of Russia.

gunfleet 43 sailboat for sale

2. Patriarch’s Ponds

Patriarch’s Ponds is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Moscow. Despite the name being plural, there’s only one large pond, but it’s worth a visit with your camera. It’s a popular spot for locals and expats to come relax or take a stroll around the pond. You get an interesting mix of young and old too, from young love to “babushkas” feeding pigeons. It’s a very peaceful park atmosphere in one of the nicer areas within the city center, while bringing enough activity for street photography. 

gunfleet 43 sailboat for sale

The pond is shallow and in the winter becomes a popular spot for ice-skating too. The area is also well-known for the location in the famous Russian novel, The Master and Margarita. 

3. Old Arbat (Stary Arbat)

Old Arbat is the most famous pedestrian street in Moscow, and dating back to the 15th century, also one of its oldest. Originally, it was an area of trade, but soon became the most prestigious residential area in Moscow. During the 18th century, Arbat started attracting the city’s scholars and artists, including Alexander Pushkin. Cafes lined the streets and impressive homes filled the neighborhood. Since then, New Arbat street was created as a highway in the area, while Old Arbat was paved for a 1km pedestrian only walkway.

gunfleet 43 sailboat for sale

Due to the historic buildings, famous artists that lived here, and the bohemian atmosphere, Old Arbat has become a big attraction for tourists today. Now, there’s a mix of cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, street performers, street merchants and other attractions for visitors, and some locals, to come enjoy. It can get really busy here and there’s usually something interesting going on so it’s a good street to come walk with your camera for guaranteed life.

4. Gorky Park

One of the most famous places in Moscow is Gorky Park. The official name is Maxim Gorky’s Central Park of Culture & Leisure, which gives you an idea of what goes on here. When built, it was the first of its kind in the Soviet Union. Divided into two parts, it stretches along Moscow River. One end contains fair rides, foods stands, tennis courts, a sports club, a lake for boat rides, and more. This end brings more active life due to its number of attractions, while the other end is more relaxed, where you’ll find gardens, trees, older buildings, and an outdoor amphitheater.

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Gorky Park attracts mostly locals so it’s a good spot to capture the non-tourist side of Moscow life. Muscovites come here to escape the city and unwind in a picturesque setting. The park remains alive outside of the warmer months too, especially when the lake turns into the city’s largest outdoor skating rink. I’d recommend taking the metro out here to spend at least half a day exploring the massive park’s life with your camera.

5. Maroseyka Street

Maroseyka Street is a popular area not too far from the Red Square. The long, winding street turns into Pokrovka and is lined with restaurants, cafes, bars and places to stay. It’s actually where I like to stay when I’m in Moscow due to its location and solid street photography opportunities itself. You have Kitay-gorod station near and if you keep walking southwest, you’ll get to the Red Square. But if you walk northwest, as it changes to Pokrovka, you can find a long street of activity for photography with its own interesting atmosphere.

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6. Tverskoy Boulevard

Tverskoy Boulevard is the oldest and longest boulevard in Moscow, beginning at the end of Nikitsky Boulevard, and finishing at Pushkin Square, a spot to come for activity itself. The boulevard is made up of two avenues, with pedestrian walkways in-between. You’ll find grass, shrubbery, trees, benches and more walking it’s almost kilometer length. Many people come here to enjoy some relaxation, walk their dog, or just to use it to walk wherever they’re going. Its center location also provides a nice place to walk with your camera near plenty of other spots you’ll want to check out anyway.

Sample Street Walk:

For a full day of Street Photography, covering some of the best spots, you can follow this sample street walk for Moscow:

  • Start your morning walking around the Red Square (1), while exploring the surrounding area, including Nikolskaya Street
  • Then walk northwest to Patriarch’s Ponds (2) and slowly walk the pond and surrounding area with your camera
  • Next, walk east to the Pushkin Monument and stroll down Tverskoy Boulevard (6)
  • Once Tverskoy Boulevard (6) ends, it will turn into Nikitsky Boulevard. Follow this down until you get to the start of Old Arbat Street (3), across from Arbatskaya station
  • After you’re done walking down Old Arbat Street (3) for more street photography, spend some time checking out Moscow’s beautiful metro stations
  • To finish off the day with more street photography, get off the metro near Red Square (1) again, Maroseyka Street (5) or wherever you’re staying for the night.

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3 Things I’ll Remember about Shooting in Moscow:

1. museum metro.

The Moscow metro system was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union and today includes 203 stations across 340km of routes. The elaborate system has some of the deepest stations in the world too, with escalators that seem to go on forever. None of this is what makes it so special, though. Many of its stations feel like stepping inside a museum, making it without a doubt the most interesting and beautiful metro system I’ve been in.

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When built, Stalin wanted to make the metro stations “palaces for the people” with marble, chandeliers, and grand architecture. The best part is the variety of architecture and styles used, making many of the stations a completely different experience visually. You could easily spend a whole day traveling the stations and there are even tours available for people who wish to do just that. My advice, though, would be just to buy a ticket and hop on and off at different stations, while exploring different lines. The museum-like surrounding mixed with the crowds of characters can make for a great photography experience.

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Since there are so many stations, here are some of my favorites to check out:

  • Novoslobodskaya
  • Mayakovskaya
  • Elektrozavodskaya
  • Komsomolskaya
  • Ploschad Revolyutsii
  • Dostoyevskaya
  • Prospekt Mira

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2. Moscow is Big

It’s no secret that Moscow is a big city, but it can feel even bigger with how spread out much of it is. This is especially true if you compare it to cities outside of Asia. If I compared it to cities in Europe, I’d probably say only Istanbul would warrant more time to really discover the depths of this city. Most only explore around the Red Square and surrounding area, but that is such a small part of the city. Although, that central area does give you plenty to see on its own.

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Fortunately, I had a good friend living in the city to show me around, but it opened up my eyes even more to how much there is to discover in Moscow. It’s a big city with a variety of atmosphere that can take you from “east” to “west” and trendy to rugged depending on where you go. I’d imagine you’d have to live here a while to really know the city.

3. Cosmopolitan Mix of East meets West

Modern skyscrapers mixed with amazing architecture, a world-class metro system with museum-like beauty, trendy fashion and chic clubs, Moscow is a rich mix of Russian culture and history in a more western cosmopolitan package. There is a push to keep the Russian culture, while also pushing forward with a modern metropolis the whole world will envy. This comes with an impressive skyline, that continues to grow, and endless modernities, but with soviet nostalgia and atmosphere mixed in for good measure.

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Mixed in with this grand western cosmopolitan atmosphere, is a strong national pride in Russia. This includes their famous leader, Vladimir Putin. Maybe no other place will you see a country’s leader more often. All over, from the pricey tourist shops to the underground walkway stalls, you’ll find goods with Putin’s likeness covering them. From t-shirts to magnets to Matryoshka dolls. There’s a strong national pride that can be seen around the city, which also extends to their leader. Moscow is many things. It’s East meets West, modernizations meets Soviet era, and a whole lot more.

What To Do For a Street Photography Break?:

Eat at a stolovaya.

Stolovayas are Russian cafeterias that became popular in the Soviet days. You grab a tray and walk down the line of freshly prepared local dishes, and select whatever you want from the chefs. They’re usually inexpensive and a much better value than restaurants, while giving you the opportunity to try from a wide selection of everyday Russian food. They’re also very tasty. I always include some borsch on my tray and go from there. The places themselves are all over Moscow and usually come with Soviet-era aesthetics to complete the experience.

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Street Safety Score: 7

*As always, no place is completely safe! So when I talk about safety, I’m speaking in general comparison to other places. Always take precaution, be smart, observe your surroundings and trust your instincts anywhere you go!

Being the 2nd largest city in Europe with over 12 million people, you’re going to have your dangerous areas, but for the most part, it feels safe walking around. Russia is statistically higher in crime compared to most of Europe, but this generally doesn’t apply to tourists and visitors. Around the Red Square and surrounding city center, you should feel completely safe walking around. Pick pocketing can happen, but no more than other touristic places. I always explore Moscow freely without coming across too much to worry about. It’s a spread out city, though, so of course it matters where you are. Just use basic street smarts, know where you are and Moscow shouldn’t give you a problem. 

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People’s Reaction Score: 7

Moscow is fast paced, big city life, which usually means people aren’t too concerned with you, or your camera. I don’t find people notice or pay much attention to me when I’m out taking photos in Moscow. For the most part, people just go about their day. You shouldn’t get too many looks or concern. But it can depend on the area you are in. The more you stick out, the more you might get noticed with suspicions. I’ve never had any problems in Moscow, or Russia, but just be careful who you’re taking a photo of if you get out of the city center. Other than that, it’s about average for reactions. 

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Street Tips:

Learn the alphabet .

Much of Moscow, including the metro system, doesn’t use english. The Russian alphabet uses letters from the Cyrillic script, which if you aren’t familiar with it and don’t know the sounds, can be hard to decipher the words. This is most important for street names and metro stops when trying to get around. It can save confusion and make it easier getting around if you learn the basic alphabet. At the very least then, you can sound out the words to see which are similar in the english conversion, which can help matching them to maps. When out shooting street photography, getting around is as important as anything. So save yourself some time and frustration by learning the Russian Alphabet.

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Use the metro

While Saint-Petersburg feels very walkable for a city its size, Moscow can feel very spread out, even for its bigger size. Outside of the Red Square area, you can have plenty of walking before getting anywhere very interesting, so you’ll need to take the metro a lot if you really want to explore the city. Maps are deceiving here too, it will always be further than it looks.

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Another reason it’s less walkable than Saint-Petersburg is its completely different set-up. Moscow’s streets are mostly contstructed in rings with narrow, winding streets in-between. This is common with medieval city cities that used to be confined by walls, but you usually don’t have it in a city this massive. Saint-Petersburg has a more grid-like pattern that also uses the canals to help you know your way around. When it comes to navigating on foot in Moscow, it can be more difficult, so bring a map and take the metro when needed. It’s why Moscow’s metro carries more passengers per day than the London and Paris subways combined.

Explore other areas if you have time

Moscow is really big. While most people stay around the Red Square within the Boulevard Ring, there’s so much more to the city. I covered some other spots outside of this circle, but if you really want to see the city, you’ll need time. If you do have time, some other areas I’d check out first are Zamoskvarechye, along some of the south and western Moscow.

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For some more inspiration, you can look through the Street Photography of Moscow photographer Artem Zhitenev  and check out 33 of my photos taken in Moscow .


Moscow’s name brings a certain mystique, but once you’re there it might bring a different atmosphere than you expect. It’s big and sprawling, but beautiful in many ways. It can feel like a European capital on a grand scale, but you can definitely find its Russian side in there.

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The urban sprawl of Moscow can be intimidating, but give it enough time and you’ll be rewarded with plenty to discover. All with the world’s best metro system to take you around.

I hope this guide can help you start to experience some of what Moscow contains. So grab your camera and capture all that Moscow has to offer for Street Photography!

If you still have any questions about shooting in Moscow, feel free to comment below or email me!

(I want to make these guides as valuable as possible for all of you so add any ideas on improvements, including addition requests, in the comment section!)

Click Here For More City Street Guides!

(A New Guide Posted Every Other Wednesday)

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The interior is decorated in laconic light colors, natural wood and stone are used in the decoration. The apartment is equipped with new Italian furniture Visionnaire. There are two fireplaces, one in the living room, the second in the bathroom. Layout: kitchen-living room, bedroom, bathroom, dressing room, hall. The kitchen is equipped with premium Kuppersbusch built-in appliances. Panoramic windows overlook the city, Victory Park and the Moscow River. No one has lived in this apartment yet.

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