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Are you thinking of traveling to Moscow? In our guide you will find information on where to stay, what to see, the best activities you can do and many tips that will help you plan your trip. Moscow, capital of Russia, is one of the most vibrant and amazing cities in Eastern Europe.

Moscow, also known as Moskva in Russian, is the center of Russian culture and the capital and most populated city in Russia. It is situated on the Moskva River and features beautiful world-renowned architecture with the city's skyline is quickly modernizing, with several new towers under construction. On the other hand, the city is full of clubs, restaurants, bars and shopping streets.

Named an alpha global city by the globalization and World Cities Research Network, it is no wonder that Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific hub of Russia and Eastern Europe considered/ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer.

It is the largest city (by area) on the European continent and it is home to the largest forest in an urban area within its municipal borders. As one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Moscow is the 14th largest urban area worldwide with the 14th largest metro area and the 18th largest agglomeration.

On one hand, Moscow, like most national capitals, is home to a myriad of foreign embassies and diplomats. Although a while ago Moscow was one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is now much more convenient for tourists.

The city’s skyline displays an impressive investment in architecture going back many hundreds of years and culminating in modern buildings such as the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in Europe; the Federation Tower, the second-tallest skyscraper in Europe; and the Moscow International Business Center.

Moscow is also home to 5 of the 10 tallest buildings in Europe. Until recently the three tallest European buildings were located in Moscow, but Saint Petersburg just constructed the Lakhta Center which is now the tallest on the continent. Considering that the majority of Moscow residents live in high-rise apartment buildings, Moscow can probably claim to be the tallest city in Europe.

things to do in Moscow

Take advantage of your vacation and plan your trip to Moscow with the help of our guide.

1. Saint Basil's Cathedral


First and foremost, there is Saint Basil's Cathedral displaying the epitome of Russian architectural style with a richly and playfully decorated and multicolored façade.

2. Red Square


The best way to explore and marvel at the beauty of this city is by visiting some of its best-known historic buildings. Located on the banks of the Moskva River, its buildings and monuments allow travel to the communist and Tsarist past, while museums, theaters and art galleries make this city one of the most important cultural centers in the world.

The Red Square is the heart and symbol of Russia. Around it are important historical monuments, such as the Lenin's Mausoleum, the Resurrection Gate and the Kremlin Wall. We will also find fabulous churches, such as Kazan Cathedral and Saint Basil's Cathedral, whose colorful bulb-shaped domes are a true postcard of the city. We recommend a tour with a guide to learn about the history of these emblematic places.

Without a doubt, it is the best place to look for accommodation. One of the options to consider if you visit Moscow and do not want to stay in a hotel is to rent an apartment. This alternative will allow you to have more freedom and can be one of the cheapest options if you want to avoid the most basic hotels and hostels.

3. Sparrow Hills


In Moscow there is much more to see than the Kremlin or the Red Square. Its wonderful religious architecture, busy shopping areas, vibrant pubs and restaurants, and fantastic green spaces make visiting this city an amazing and unforgettable experience. Located on the right bank of the Moskva River, the green Sparrow Hills offers excellent panoramic views of the city, surpassed only by those offered by some of Moscow's huge skyscrapers.

You don’t often hear that Moscow leads all mega-cities in terms of green spaces. 54% of Moscow’s land area is dedicated to forests, parks and recreational areas, more than any other city of a similar size. This unique feature makes Moscow one of the coziest large cities.

4. Moscow Kremlin


Next, there is the Kremlin, a fortified complex home to the current President of the Russian Federation, and Red Square, the city’s central square that separates the Kremlin from a historic merchant quarter named Kitai-Gorod (also known as China Town). Many of the city's major streets, which connect to Russia's major highways, originate here at Red square. Both the Kremlin and Red Square were nominated World Heritage Sites in 1990.

5. Lenin's Mausoleum


The visit to Lenin's mausoleum has become a must in Moscow. In a striking pyramid of the Red Square the embalmed remains of the leader of the Bolshevik revolution are preserved.

Bunker 42 is one of the many nuclear shelters that were built in the city during the Cold War. It is also known as the Stalin Bunker.

6. Bolshoi Theater


The city of Moscow is quite unique. Moscow is the heart of Russian performing arts, including ballet and film home to several famous Russian artists, scientists, and sports figures as well as culturally significant museums, academic and political institutions and theatres. The famous Bolshoi theater is the most important in Russia and one of the most famous in the world. Its enormous dimensions make it the second largest theater in Europe.

7. Novodevichy Convent


The Novodévichi Monastery is one of the best known in Moscow. It is an architectural ensemble of Baroque style that is exceptionally preserved. The Novodévichi Monastery is a church and cemetery complex that was founded as a convent in 1524. It is worth knowing this architectural and historical jewel surrounded by walls and a huge park.

8. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour


The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is one of the most imposing buildings in the country. Located in the center of Moscow, near the Kremlin and on the banks of the Moskva River, the original, from the 19th century, was destroyed by Stalin and rebuilt after the World War II.

9. Pushkin Museum


Another must-see museum is the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, which exhibits works and objects from the 8th to the 20th centuries.

10. Museum of Cosmonautics


One of the most famous museums in Moscow is the Museum of Cosmonautics. It is an interesting visit to learn about the history of the Russian space program and the space race between Russia and the United States.

11. Tverskaya Street


To the north of the Red Square, connecting the Manege square with the Garden Ring, the main street of Moscow extends: Tverskaya. One of the most popular streets in Moscow is the Tverskaya or Gorsky Street. On the sides are neoclassical mansions and modernist buildings and houses the most famous and expensive shops.

Tverskaya Street is one of the busiest shopping streets in Moscow, many equate this bustling boulevard to London’s Oxford Street or Paris' Champs Elysees.

Stores are everywhere, filled with everything you may need and much more. The shopping malls are so huge and so accessible that you simply won’t find anything similar in an American city. It is almost overwhelming that half of subway stations have a huge mall with every imaginable brand name store, a movie theater and 10–20 restaurants right next to them.

Interesting fact: Moscow is one of the dozen or so Hero Cities and designated one of three federal cities of Russia—the others being Saint Petersburg in the north and Sevastopol in the south. The hero moniker serves to highlight the superhuman sacrifices made by all those cities and a fortress in World War Two in repelling the invaders and saving the entire nation from being overrun and conquered.

12. Take the Trans Siberian railway


Fares are affordable. Expect to pay from US$400 for a four berth compartment on the train for Moscow to Vladivostok. This is a six night journey. Stop off at several cities along the way for a few days each. You’ll need to book separate tickets for each leg and reserve in advance.

During the multi day trip, you’ll see endless passing forests, lakes, rivers, wooden houses and a procession of freight trains passing in the opposite direction. You may strike up conversations with your fellow passengers. You’ll visit the dining car for a beer or meal. You’ll snooze during the day and may be disturbed during the night: the train ride can be bumpy and you won’t get all the sleep you want.

There’s a real sense of achievement as you travel the length of Russia, crossing 7 times zone and several sizable Arctic flowing waterways with their impressive bridges. There are cities to visit including Ulan Ude or Irkutsk. You pass close to the border of China and Mongolia, you’ll cross the Urals and follow rivers for hours on end.

13. Food in Moscow


Discover the Russian food in Moscow just like a local! Visit hidden gems, learn about local cuisine and Russian culture while smelling, touching, and tasting delicious food and drinks! Enjoy delicious tastings as you walk through the city, including breakfast, desserts, salads, a Monastery visit for tea, dumplings, etc.

When people come to Russia, they are often underwhelmed by the national cuisine. The Western mindset has this idea that national foods are on their best behavior and wearing their best clothes when they are in a restaurant. So the foreigners go to this or that restaurant to try borscht or blini or olivier salad. But in Russia, shchi is just as popular. It is borscht minus beets, hence, the cabbage & veggies soup.

The most popular other soups are chicken and noodles, fish soups, and various veggie soups. A popular summer food is cold Kvass Soup! The ubiquitous sauce and garnish for many dishes are smetana (natural sour cream) and dill (one of the few greens that grow well in Russia). Some people may add mayo.

The traditional first course - one of the oldest in Russian cuisine - of course is cabbage soup. They are lean, only with vegetables and onions, or with meat. Cabbage soup was cooked in Russia, and everyone loved them - from peasants to noble masters. Cabbage soup was cooked in the oven, and then they acquired a special characteristic taste.

Borsch is better known than cabbage soup - it is popular all over the world. Hot aromatic nourishing borsch instantly cheer up and relieve fatigue - this is what the Russian people know very well. Okroshka is a cold dish, and very peculiar. Foreigners may find it unusual to try this soup. The fact is that the basis of okroshka is kvass.

It also includes eggs, onions, herbs, cucumbers, boiled meat, radish - all this finely crumbles. It turns out okroshka, which is eaten in the hot summer. On the second, Russian people like to eat side dishes and meat or fish. Often, the main course serves appetizers in the form of salads and various pickles - sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms, pickles.

The fact is, Russian food is not at its best in a restaurant, but in someone’s home kitchen. The surprising star of the Russian food scene is Georgian cuisine. This stuff takes the cake in a restaurant or at someone’s home and there are many Georgian restaurants in Moscow ranging from the affordable cafe type to world class Georgian restaurants.

If you come to Russia and you want to eat out, get Georgian food. They’ve got the eponymous khachapuri, a kind of baked flatbread with cheese which is probably the best thing to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and delicious roast meats and curious minced root vegetable salads called pkhali. Khachapuri can come plain with smokey, goey Georgian cheese or with other stuff like a pizza.

Pkhali is actually vegan - made with beetroots, spinach or eggplant and walnuts, it is a superb snack on its own or in combination with other food and drinks. Some people eat buterbrody (sandwiches) with cheese and ham or some kind of sausage. And eggs. Pirog can have any fillings, be sweet or savory: ground meat, sauteed cabbage, fish, mushrooms, or berry jam - that’s for desserts, of course.

Other ethnic foods of the Southern Republics and beyond abound in Moscow and they make dining out a treat when you can’t manage to get invited to some tiny Russian apartment where someone’s grandmother makes you 7.3 metric tons of pellemeni, homemade pickled apples and nastoyka.

Restaurants are of a very high quality, and you can have an upscale meal at half the cost of the same meal in Europe or the United States. There are Stabuckses and a dozen other coffee shop chains all over the place. Even fast food places like McDonald’s in Russia feel much more upscale than they do in American cities, and the service is much better, at a cheaper cost.

Hotels in Moscow


Moscow’s city center is the perfect base for both leisure and business travelers. The centrally located Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow is a striking and modern accommodation option seeing as it is one of the city’s most iconic architectural symbols nestled along the banks of the Moskva River.

Due to its location directly on the river, this hotel commands a small fleet of yachts, offering year-round river cruises for a unique perspective of the city’s main landmarks. No visit to Moscow would be complete without taking a cruise down the Moskva River.

The key to visiting a city like Moscow is finding centrally located accommodation in the center of all the action offering excellent transportation to the Moscow metro, to top attractions anywhere in the city, to the railway station that offers trains from Kiev, Bucharest, Budapest, Venice, and more, and to the four surrounding international airports.

Transportation in Moscow


Transportation is extremely easy. You can either take the subway and get to any point in the city in less than 40 minutes for 85 cents, or you can download a taxi app like YandexTaxi or Uber and get a cheap cab to pick you up within a few minutes at any location in the city and take you where you need to go at a fixed low rate, usually around $5-$15.

Moscow has one of the most comprehensive, fastest and dynamic transportation systems with 4 airports, 9 major railways stations, a fabulous Moscow subway, and all kinds of other transportation systems from trolleys, trams and buses to monorail, CarShare and even electric scooters. The Moscow taxi cab system is one of the most convenient and most affordable.

Moscow is served by a transit network that includes, 9 railway terminals, a monorail system and the Metro system. The Moscow Metro is the busiest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. It is also said to be one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world. Subway stations feature a unique architectural style.

One of the most memorable things about the subway is that some of its stations display eye-catching works of art and architecture such as stained-glass windows among the arched and vaulted glittery ceilings. You get to travel and marvel all for the price of a subway ticket. In fact, it is rumored that folks travel those lines not to get from A to B but to hang and bathe in the art and space of those museum stations.

Take advantage of your visit to Moscow to get to know the second largest city in the country, St. Petersburg. Its landscape bridges, canals and domes, its wonderful architecture, its magical atmosphere and its white nights make it a difficult city to forget.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

13 comments:

  1. Oh that is so cool!!! I've never been to Moscow but my parents did a few years ago and they were raving about it and about how gorgeous this city is...Soonnnnnnn

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  2. Moscow is surely a beautiful place to visit, i definitely will consider Moscow when planning my summer trip.

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  3. It looks beautiful! I'd love to visit any of these places!

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  4. Never visited Moscow, hope I can go some day. Very nice descriptions.

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  5. Wow Moscow looks like an absolute dreamy location! I would love to have the opportunity to visit there myself one day... it's definitely on my travel bucket list!

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  6. I'd like to visit Moscow. My second oldest went not too long ago and appreciated it.

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  7. Moscow is really a great place to visit. I've heard that the architecture is amazing

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  8. Moscow is definitely on my bucket list of places to go to. And seeing the Kremlin an Red Square would be at the top of my list for sure. I am going to have to check out the app you talked about. Sounds very useful.

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  9. I have always wanted to visit Russia! Moscow is on my bucket places to see one day!

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  10. Russia is a beautiful place with wonderful architecture. It’ so inspiring. I wish I could go there.

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  11. Moscow is one of my favorite destination of all time.

    I have heard a lot about their architectural excellence.

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

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  12. Moscow seems like a wonderful place to visit. Glad to learn about it here! Lavern Moore

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks like a beautiful place to visit!

    ReplyDelete

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