Moscow is a tricky city. It’s big and fast, people always run somewhere, traffic is hard, weather could be completely different: from real cold to scorching heat. However, it’s an amazing one. There are dozens of attractions. Being one of the most breathtaking capitals in the world, Moscow has a wide range of entertainments and cultural hot spots. So here are our fresh version of things to do in Moscow.
Start from the Alexandrovsky Sad (Alexander Garden), a highlight of Moscow center. The garden is famous for its architectural monuments, incredibly beautiful flowerbeds and history. The Eternal Flame in the memory of the fallen heroes in the World War II glows in front of the Kremlin Kutafya Tower. Alexandrovsky Sad is a place that is impossible to miss, if you are going to the Kremlin, a symbol of the Russian State, one of the greatest architectural ensembles in the world, a treasury of amazing relics and monuments of art. The famousArmory Chamber and the Diamond Fund are real treasure houses. The Kremlin is the official President’s residence and remains a gorgeous political landmark.On the way from the Kremlin to the Red Square, you will find the State History Muzeum, with a wonderful collection of artworks, depicting Russian history.
Red Square remains, as it has been for centuries, the heart and soul of Russia. Few places in the world bear the weight of history to the extent that Moscow’s central square does. From the 16th Century St. Basil’s Cathedral – one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world – to the constructivist pyramid ofLenin’s Mausoleum, Red Square is rich in symbols of Russia’s turbulent and intriguing past.
Right at the Square there is one of the oldest and most remarkable shopping centers in Moscow – the GUM. Just several trading passages in Russia were created over a century ago and successfully operate until nowadays. GUM always was, and remains the greatest country’s store.
To have some rest you can go to the Gallery Moskva, to have a little shopping and a nice dinner in a restaurant «Strana Kotoroy Net» («A Country That Does Not Exist»), with Russian, Georgian, Uzbek and pan-Asian cuisine.
The Theater Square
-> Read our main article about Moscow theatres
Not far from the Kremlin and the main street of Moscow – Tverskaya street you will find the Theater Square. The square is situated over the river Neglinka that was enclosed in an underground pipe in 1819. Now it is a green square with two beautiful fountains.
The area owes its name because of t three theaters located there: a world-famous Bolshoi Theatre, Maly Theatre and Russian Academic Youth Theatre (RAMT).
The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.
Visit the theatre to watch the magnificent Russian operas and ballets. Despite high ticket’s price, you will never be disappointed; it is a real pearl of the world’s theatrical life.
The TsUM is a luxurious shopping mall with recognizable designer labels and expensive goods is also located at the Theatre Square.
A good place to visit in this area is a place called «Denis Simachev Bar», a two-story house in Stoleshnikov Lane. The music and menu are diverse, as well as the audience. A special drink of the bar is cider «Sidor Simachev».
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Start from Ostozhenka St., and lanes around it, to see the charming old Moscow. Despite that Ostozhenka became one of the most expensive streets in the world, with lots of new houses, it preserved unique examples of the 18 and 19 centuries architecture, which you may find in the numerous bystreets. Moreover, Multimedia Art Museum, one of the most interesting art spots in Moscow is located at Ostozhenka, 16.
Follow the street to the city center and you will see the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It is one of the largest Orthodox church in the world. The building is magnificent, but not as old as it looks, it was rebuilt in 2000 (the original was demolished by the order of Stalin). One of the highlights of the Cathedral is the panoramic view from the 40-meter-high observation platform.
Use the footbridge from Christ the Savior Cathedral to get to the former area of confectionary factory Krasniy Octyabr (the Red October) with lots of stores, bars and cultural spots. The Strelka Bar is a good place to have some rest. It is a comfortable urban space for informal and having a cocktail. In summertime, the bar opens a terrace overlooking the Moscow River.
The Gorky Park
-> Read our main article about Moscow Parks
After visiting the previous attraction, you can follow the footbridge and enter the long pedestrian zone at the borders of the Moskva River.
At first, the Krimskaya embankment will lead you to the Museon Art Park, that has a unique collection of 700 sculptures.
Nowadays Museon, together with the Gorky Park and Neskuchniy Sad are much reconstructed. The space of the Museon Park of Arts is perfectly landscaped for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.
Follow the River Bank and you will come to the main leisure and cultural spot of nowadays Moscow – the Gorky Park. It opened in 1928. In 2011, Gorky Park underwent a major restructuring and now has a fresh, vibrant appearance. The park’s recently upgraded design makes it one of the most interesting places to spend your leisure time. About 20,000 visitors visit the 109-hectare park each day.
The park features bike rental stations, a comfortable business area with Wi-Fi, an outdoor movie theatre and a greenhouse where you can buy fresh greens such as basil and lettuce, numerous open-air cafes, yoga classes, film festivals in the summer cinema and classical music concerts. To contemplate the sky and the stars, you can go to the observatory and look through the telescope while listening to fascinating stories from astronomers. You can enjoy many sports in the park such as volleyball, handball, football or a peaceful jog around the beautiful surroundings
If you go further by the riverbank you will reach Neskuchniy Sad, a wonderful place in the Moscow center, one of Moscow’s oldest parks, highly renovated for the past few years. Once an area filled with the summer palaces of Moscow’s wealthiest nobles, it is now a charming slice of wildlife with many activities and places of rest.
Mayakovskaya Metro Station
-> Read our main article about The Moscow Metro
-> We also have great MOSCOW METRO TOUR, running daily
The Moscow Metro has its own unforgettable charm. It was opened in 1935 and became one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects. That is why most of the central underground stations look like a museum. Every station has its own mood, different decorations and fascinating story. Take a journey in Moscow underground to get an unforgettable impression of the city.
The Novodevichy Convent
The Novodevichy Convent, built in the 16th and 17th centuries in the so-called Moscow Baroque style, was part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city. The convent was directly associated with the political, cultural and religious history of Russia, and closely linked to the Moscow Kremlin. It was used by women of the Tsar’s family and the aristocracy. Members of the Tsar’s family and entourage were also buried in its cemetery. The convent provides an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts.
The convent was closed in 1917, and in 1926, it became a branch of the State Historical Museum. The museum`s collection now consist of about 12,000 items, including old Russian paintings, fabrics from the 16th—20th centuries, items from precious metals and stones, liturgical items, and vestments, made by the best artists, jewelers and embroiderers.
The necropolis is one of the convent`s special attractions. The Novodevichy cemetery is divided into «new» and «old» sections. The old cemetery lies within the convent’s walls, and since the early 18th century it was the burial place for eminent and rich people, above all, the tsar’s family. In the 19th century, many prominent Russians were laid to rest here. The new cemetery was had been used from 1898 to 1904. During the Soviet era, the Novodevichy cemetery was second in prestige only to the Kremlin wall necropolis.
The Moscow Planetarium
The Moscow Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Its first name has been Zoological Park and it was opened in 1864. Through 140 years of its history, during times of peace, war, revolution the Zoo was open. Nowadays it is located right in the middle of the big city. The main entrance to the zoo, built in 1997, stands opposite Krasnopresnenskaya metro station. It looks like a fairytale castle with towers and a waterfall. This enter leads to the old part of the zoo, where the highlights include the big cats, a neat underground viewing space below the penguin pool, a dolphinarium, as well as the sea lion enclosure that lets you watch them swim from below. A pedestrian bridge takes you across the street to the New Territory, the most interesting parts of which are probably the primate house and fun children’s zoo.
Near the second enter to the Zoo at the Garden ring The Moscow Planetarium is located. It was first opened on November 5, 1929. After a global reconstruction, it was reopened in 2011. Now it is a multifunctional complex that combines scientific and educational resources: the interactive museum «Lunarium», the Museum of Urania, the Big Star Hall and the Sky Park, family recreation center that is focused on different age groups. The Moscow Planetarium is one of the biggest planetariums in the world.
One of the capital’s most charming and mysterious places – Patriarshiye Prudy or Patriarch’s Ponds.
Until the 17th century, the area has been known by the less-appealing name of «Goat Marsh», apparently because of a nearby goat farm. However, in 1683 when the official residence of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church was built next to this place, the marsh was drained. Instead, several ponds were dug to breуd the fish.
Only one pond survived by now. Patriarshiye is a quiet district that has traditionally been home to poets and artists. The famouse Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov chose the ponds as a backstage for his magical and romantic novel «Master and Margarita». A sculpture, depicting his literature characters is located in the square at the pond’s bank. There is also The Museum of Mikhail Bulgakov, at the “bad” flat from the novel in Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, 10, entrance 6, floor 3, flat №50.
Nowadays this is a nice place to have a walk or to visit one of the numerous bars and restaurants, because Patriarshiye Prudy is a real gastro-heaven in nowadays Moscow. For example, Uilliam’s is cozy restaurant with William Lamberti as a chef, a man with a Michelin schooling. Menu takes one sheet, without excess, the food is simple, but extremely exciting. Another popular place is «I Love Cake». A nice cafe with remarkable American-style desserts.
The VDNKh – the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements – and it remains a fascinating monument to Russia’s transitional period, a mixture of faded Soviet pomp and unregulated capitalism.
Its story began in 1939 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, a monumental paean to the achievements of collectivization. Nowadays the VDNKh is a bizarre juxtaposition: part agricultural fair, part trade expo, part shopping center and part street market, with amusements as diverse as paint-balling and camel rides. The park itself is an intriguing example of 20th century landscaping. The VDNKh buildings, still preposterously magnificent are wonderful example of Soviet architecture.
The VDNKh is truly unique, and worth visiting, especially as there is much more to be seen nearby, including the wonderful Cosmonautics Museum.
It was opened in 1981, to the 20th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin space flight. The idea of creating this museum belongs to famous Russian scientist S.P. Korolev, one of the major figures in rocketry and space ship building of the XX century.
Nowadays a large exposition demonstrates a full-size rocket and space technology. You can try interactive exhibits, such as the one, identical to the Cosmonaut Training Center simulator, virtual international space station and more.
A unique historic place – Kolomenskoe – is situated in the picturesque surrounding over the Moscow River banks. These lands are full of legends. Archeological discoveries state that the first settlements appeared here in the 8th century. It is an ancient and uniquely formed place. Today this is an exceptional complex of cultural monuments of a great historical value.
The chief attraction of the park is undoubtedly the stone Church of the Ascension of the Lord. It was constructed in 1529-1532 by order of Tsar Vasily III to commemorate the birth of his son and heir, Ivan the Terrible. However, there is a lot more to see in the park: the pretty Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan – with its bright azure domes and plenty of gold. Further into the park there is a charming Church of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, built by Ivan the Terrible to mark his coronation.
If you visit this place, you can fully enjoy nature, picturesque views over the Moskva River and learn about Russian medieval architecture. Moreover, many cultural events are held here.