Moscow is one of the fastest evolving cities in the world.If you have any interest at all in billiards or pool, it's worth discovering the Russian version while you're here. Called russky billiard or russkaya piramida, the game is played on a table much larger and thicker than a pool table, and with enormous cues. The balls, all one color, are nearly twice as big as pool balls, but the pockets are quite small, making it much harder to score the requisite 71 points. Up to four people can play at once. The game dates back to Peter the Great's time, when he brought back the billiard-table concept after his voyages to the West, and Russians adapted the game to their tastes. Tables run between $3 to $15 an hour depending on the establishment, and few but the most elite spots take reservations for tables. In addition to Russian billiards, most places offer tables and equipment for "American pool," English snooker, and French carambole.
Bowling started in Moscow as a sort of polo for the new rich, with the impeccably buffed lanes costing upwards of $100 an hour. Today bowling is the most popular. There are now dozens of bowling centers all over the city. Most of these alleys are clean, modern and packed with young people. In addition to bowling, these centers offer video games, American pool tables, and even slot machines. At a nice bowling and entertainment center, expect to pay in excess of $30 per lane per hour. On the weekends it is often necessary to book a lane well in advance. Moscow bowling allies usually offer full dinner and bar menus.
• Ball — Choose from a plethora of custom made balls that will impress the local rollers. Prices start from around 3,000 roubles.
• Shoes — Bowl in style and comfort with a pair of fashionable bowling shoes that start from around 1,500 roubles.
• Lessons — Want some help from the best, then look no further than champion Alexei Yakovlev at Kosmik, who offers lessons from 300 roubles an hour plus the cost of a lane.
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