A Gentleman In Moscow: Is The Hotel Metropol Moscow Real?

By Olivia Emily

3 months ago

Inside Ewan McGregor's new series


Have you been watching A Gentleman In Moscow? Ewan McGregor leads this Soviet Era series based on Amor Towles’ 2016 novel of the same name, opposite his wife and fellow actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead. McGregor plays Count Alexander Rostov, a Russian aristocrat on house arrest in an opulent Moscow hotel. But where was A Gentleman In Moscow filmed? And was it in the real hotel? C&TH explains.

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Where Was A Gentleman In Moscow Filmed?

A Gentleman In Moscow was filmed in northern England, including Liverpool, Bolton, Halifax and Leeds. Filming took place between February and June 2023 before being derailed by the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes in July 2023. None of the series was filmed in Russia, nor was it filmed in Paris (where some of the action is set).

Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow episode 1

Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow episode 1, streaming on Paramount+ 2024. © Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

Filming Locations

Victoria Square, Bolton

Greater Manchester’s Bolton was transformed with cars, carriages and a blanket of snow to replicate Moscow, with the town’s neoclassical town hall standing in for ornate Russian architecture. Bolton is a popular filming spot as of late, with Funny Women, Toxic Town and Ridley all shooting here recently.

Find It: Bolton Town Hall, Victoria Sq, Bolton BL1 1RU

Liverpool Town Hall, Liverpool

In a popular ‘destination dupe’, Liverpool stands in for Paris in A Gentleman in Moscow, specifically the area around Liverpool Town Hall. So, when we flashback with Count Rostov to Paris, you’re actually looking at this famous English city.

Find It: Liverpool Town Hall, High St, Liverpool L2 3SW

Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow

Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow episode 2, streaming on Paramount+ 2024. © Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

Halifax, West Yorkshire

On the other side of Manchester, A Gentleman in Moscow was also filmed in Halifax, specifically at Halifax Town Hall and in the India Buildings opposite Halifax Railway Station.

Find It: Halifax Town Hall, Halifax HX1 1ZS

Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds

Nearby, Leeds Civic Hall also features in A Gentleman In Moscow. Sitting in the city’s Millenium Square, the Civic Hall was completed in 1933, and replaced Leeds Town Hall, containing an Assembly Hall, Banqueting Hall and a Council Chamber.

Find It: Civic Hall, Calverley St, Leeds LS1 1UR

Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov and Alexa Goodall as Nina in A Gentleman in Moscow

(L-R) Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov and Alexa Goodall as Nina in A Gentleman in Moscow episode 1, streaming on Paramount+ 2024. © Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

What Is A Gentleman In Moscow About?

Based on Amor Towles’ 2016 novel of the same name, A Gentleman In Moscow follows Count Alexander Rostov (Ewan McGregor), a Russian aristocrat who is arrested and sentenced to house arrest by a Bolshevik tribunal following the October Revolution, after returning from Paris to Moscow. The action begins with his sentencing in June 1922, when the Count is assigned the servants quarters in the attic of The Hotel Metropol Moscow. But, having also been promised room and board, he makes the most of the luxurious hotel’s restaurant and services.

Is The Hotel Metropol Moscow Real?

Yes, The Hotel Metropol Moscow is a real hotel in the centre of the Russian capital, constructed between 1899 and 1905 in the Art Nouveau style. One of Moscow’s largest pre-revolution hotels, the novel’s author, Towles, was also inspired by his own experiences staying at luxury hotels, especially one in Geneva, where he noticed some guests were permanent residents. He combined this with Russia’s long history of house arrest to create A Gentleman in Moscow, with The Hotel Metropol at the centre.

Hotel Metropol Moscow exterior

T3ru, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While A Gentleman In Moscow was not filmed in the real hotel in Russia, Towles drew on the hotel’s real, winding passageways for the story. ‘When I was about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of the novel, I returned to Moscow and spent a week at the Metropol in Suite 217 – the very room in which the first Soviet constitution was drafted in the aftermath of the Revolution,’ Towles said in 2016. ‘While on that stay, the gracious staff gave me a comprehensive tour of the hotel. One of the most eye-opening aspects of that tour was the kitchen – a warren of interconnected rooms covering the expanse of a city block. As the hotel’s manager explained, this was a vestige of the austere early days of Communism, when the hotel had to make virtually anything they wanted to serve. Thus there were butcheries, fish cleaning facilities, vegetable pantries, bakeries, and rows of refrigerated rooms abutting the actual kitchens.’

The Cast

  • Ewan McGregor as Count Alexander Rostov
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Anna Urbanova
  • Fehinti Balogun as Mikhail ‘Mishka’ Mindich
  • Daniel Cerqueria as Vasily
  • Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as Emily Zhukovsky
  • Johnny Harris as Osip Glebnikov
  • Leah Harvey as Marina Samarova
  • John Heffernan as ‘The Bishop’ Leplevsky
  • Paul Ready as Prince Nikolai Petrov
  • Lyès Salem as Andrey Duras
  • Anastasia Hille as Olga
  • Jason Forbes as Nachevko
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Anna In A Gentleman in Moscow

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Anna In A Gentleman in Moscow episode 3, streaming on Paramount+ 2024. © Ben Blackall/Paramount+ With Showtime

Where Is A Gentleman In Moscow Streaming?

A Gentleman In Moscow is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+. The first episode is available on Prime to non-members for free.

Release Schedule

New episodes of A Gentleman In Moscow are dropping every Friday, starting from 29 March 2024 and running for eight episodes until 17 May 2024.

  1. 29 March 2024
  2. 5 April 2024
  3. 12 April 2024
  4. 19 April 2024
  5. 26 April 2024
  6. 2 May 2024
  7. 10 May 2024
  8. 17 May 2024