Moscow is the largest city in Russia, being one of the 10 largest megalopolises of the world by population. The most significant sights in Moscow are located downtown, inside the Garden and Boulevard Rings (ring roads).
Navigation (list of 10 sights)
Everyone knows the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, but very few have been inside the Kremlin. You can get ticket for an excursion easily at the ticket office located in the square center (from 9:30 to 16:30, day off ‒ Thursday). You can aso purchase tickets to the Armory and to churches on the Cathedral square on the official website.
The Moscow Kremlin is considered to be a symbol of the Russian statehood and it’s featured on the Unesco list of World cultural and natural heritage. The Kremlin hill still remains the main sightseeing spot in Moscow. The Kremlin is a place of residence of the Russian president and his administration therefore that part of the Kremlin is closed to the public. However access to its main sights (Armory chamber, the Patriarch’s Palace, the architectural complex at Cathedral Square, the Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon) is open to visitors.
Pokrovsky Cathedral (aka Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed) is the heart of Red Square and 100% is worth to be visited inside. Currently in the Cathedral there are over 300 works of old-Russian paintings and applied arts. It is open for visitors as a historical and architectural museum. It was built in 1555-1561 in commemoration of a victory over Kazan in 1552. The tsar Ivan the Terrible wished to unite, in one construction, 8 independent temples devoted to events of the Kazan campaigns. During construction, the plan was corrected and the temple was built from brick and white stone. It is supposed that the original domes were built in the form of helmets. In the 17th century they were remade with a variety of bright, colorful onion tops without which we can’t imagine this construction now. Near the Pokrovsky Cathedral you can also find monument to Minin and Pozharsky (right in front) and the State Historical Museum (red building across).
also Google pictures: Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed inside
500 rub. (8 usd) – adults
600 rub. (10 usd) – an integrated ticket (with a visit to the Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812)
On the Red square you can also find one of the mains shopping malls in Moscow – GUM – that has survived losses and catastrophe for 120 years. There is a fountain inside (in the center line) that is always richly decorated and makes lovely meeting point. Many Russians also have a local tradition to eat ice-cream, that is on sale in every corner of the 1st floor. GUM is a monument of architecture, a comfortable lounge area with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes, ATM cash machines, benches for a short break, decorations and background scenery for taking Instagram photos 😉
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is a Russian Orthodox cathedral on the northern bank of the Moskow River, a few hundred meters southwest of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 103 metres (338 ft), it is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world. Unfortunately, there is no official web-site in English, but (http://www.fxxc.ru/excursion/) you can book sightseeing tour in English or even visit thematic excursion called “capital panorama” with the rise on a roof area telephonically. The number is available on the web-site.
The cathedral was built by Nicholas I after winning the Patriotic war of 1812 (between the Russian Empire and Napoleonic France). In 1931 it was destroyed by communists and the construction of the grandiose building of the Palace of Councils began in this location (the unrealized project of the Soviet government: the palace was supposed to become the 9th, central and main Moscow Stalin skyscraper, the culmination of all high-rise construction of the USSR and the to be the highest building in the world). Construction was interrupted by World War II from 1941-45. Later the base of the unfinished palace was used as a huge outdoor swimming pool. And only in 1994 restoration of the ancient cathedral began.
1700 rub. (30 usd) – adults
+1100 rub. (20 usd) – excursion with the exit to the observation roof area
The Bolshoi Theatre is another timeless symbol of Russia (its iconic neoclassical façade is depicted on the Russian 100 ruble banknote, by the way ;)). It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it has made to the history of the Russian performing arts, mostly theatre and music culture. This history is on-going and today the artists of the Bolshoi Theatre continue to contribute to it many bright pages: the Bolshoi Ballet Academy is a world-famous leading school of ballet.
The Bolshoi Theatre recently underwent restorations, in which many lost features of the historic building were restored and now joins the ranks of the most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world. You can enjoy its excellent facades with Apollo’s quadriga on top or enjoy excellent ballet or opera performances.
Arbat is the central pedestrian street of Moscow (you can reach it via Arbatskaya or Smolenskaya metro stations). It is devided into 2 parts: Old Arbat and New Arbat.
Old Arbat is full of little antiquarian, souvenir and gift shops, various cafes and restaurants, pizzerias and snackbars, 24/7 bars and taverns. In the 19th century Old Arbat became the favorite place of artists, musicians, poets and writers, and other kinds of intellectuals. The special atmosphere is due to the huge number of tourists, street artists, musicians and painters there. It is definitely the biggest place to acquire a wide variety of matryoshkas, ushankas (ear-flaps caps), Soviet badges, flags and souvenirs with symbols of Russia.
You could also take a scenic walk along Tverskaya Street and Pushkin Square, Stoleshnikov Lane, Neglinnaya Street, Nikolskaya Street, around the Central Childrens Store and China Town.
Gorky Park is the capital’s large central park, with more than 40 000 visitors on weekdays and 250 000 on weekends and public holidays. In 2011 the park became Russia’s first world-class park and a space for recreation, sport, dance and outdoor games. Entrance is free and a lot of zones with comfortable areas of relaxation, bicycling tracks, skating, free dance lessons, yoga, ourdoor fitness, wandering, quiet lanes, sunbathing, children playgrounds, sports areas, open-air cinema (in summer time only) and free wi-fi are available.
Moscow City Towers (aka Moscow International Business Center) is a commercial district with skyscrapers. But… you will find plenty of Russian themed and other panoramic restaurants on top floors that provide and excellent combination of bread and shows 😉
Treryakov Gallery is definitely a place for all art lovers. It has two main buildings: one is an extensive museum complex with classical art in Lavrushhinsky Lane and the other is a New contemporary art building located in Krymsky Val. Russian masterpieces from the 11th – early 20th century, temporary exhibitions, educational and cultural programs are incredibly rich and worth visiting. You can order tickets for various exhibitions online.
To immerse yourself in Russian classic art you can also attend The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and visit Moscow Music Conservatory.
500 rub. (8 usd) – Treryakov Gallery entrance ticket
Moscow River walk (on the “water-bus”) is an excellent opportunity to see all the main sights of the city in a few hours (The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, The Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Stalin skyscrapers, the Novodevichy Convent, the Monument to Piter the Great, the landscape park Zaryadye, Gorky Park, Sparrow Hills, Square of Europe and picturesque bridges). Most of the boats have two decks – top and lower and offer 1-2 hour guided excursions. Also there are some river walks with a lunch/dinner at restaurant on board (usually closed ships or yachts which sail away from the embankment at Gorky Park).
400 -2300 rub. (7-40 usd) – cost depends of the location where you start your journey, type of the yacht and does the trip include guide excursion or not (the web-sites are available only in russian language)
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Na zdorovie and welcome to Russia!