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17 Top Tourist Attractions in Moscow

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The capital of Russia is an incredible place to explore. Visitors to Moscow come away spellbound at all the amazing sights, impressed at the sheer size and grandeur of the city. Lying at the heart of Moscow, the Red Square and the Kremlin are just two of the must-see tourist attractions; they are the historical, political and spiritual heart of the city – and indeed Russia itself.

A fascinating city to wander around, stunning cathedrals, churches, and palaces lie side-by-side with bleak grey monuments and remains from the Soviet state. In addition to its plethora of historical and cultural tourist attractions, Moscow is home to world-class museums, theaters and art galleries.

Renowned for its performing arts, fantastic ballets and amazing circus acts, catching a show while in Moscow is a must. The wealth of brilliant restaurants, trendy bars, and lively nightlife means there is something for everyone to enjoy.

See also: Where to Stay in Moscow

17. Tsaritsyno Palace

Tsaritsyno Palace

Once the summer residence of Catherine the Great, the stunning Tsaritsyno Palace is now a museum-reserve. The architecture is magnificent and there is a lovely park surrounding it for visitors to explore.

Located in the south of Moscow, the palace was commissioned in 1775 and recent renovations mean its lavish interior looks better than ever before with its elegant halls and beautiful staircases.

The exhibits on display look at the life of the empress as well as the history of Tsaritsyno itself. The huge palace grounds are also home to some other delightful buildings with the elegant opera house and wonderful brickwork of the Small Palace being particularly impressive to gaze upon.


Starting out in 1935 as the ‘All-Union Agricultural Exhibition’, VDNKh has slowly morphed over the years into the fascinating open-air museum of today. Remarkably, over 400 buildings can now be found within its confines.

The huge park complex has numerous pavilions representing former Soviet republics on show, such as those of Armenia and Turkmenistan and the distinctive architecture of each of the buildings is always interesting to gaze upon. In addition to this there is the fascinating Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics which is dedicated to space exploration and the fun Moskvarium aquarium even offers you the chance to swim with dolphins.

With lots of eateries scattered about and numerous entertainment options such as horse-riding and zip-lining, there is something for everyone to enjoy; the Friendship of Nations fountain truly is wonderful.

15. Kremlin Armoury

Kremlin Armoury

One of the oldest museums in the city, the Kremlin Armoury has a wealth of treasures; highlights include the ornate Grand Siberian Railway egg, the historic Cap of Monomakh and the stunning Imperial Crown of Russia which often has a crowd of tourists around it, jostling to take a photo.

Once the royal armory, there are loads of fascinating objects on display. Perusing the many sabers, jewelry, armor and more is as interesting as it is educational and entertaining and the swords are so finely crafted that you’ll almost wish you could pick up one and wield if yourself.

Established in 1851, the museum is situated in the Moscow Kremlin.

14. GUM Department Store

GUM Department Store

Standing for ‘Main Universal Store’ in Russian, GUM is stunning. Its wonderful skylights and beautiful facades mean it doesn’t look out of place alongside its illustrious neighbors on Red Square.

With over 200 shops, boutiques and upmarket eateries inside, it is a shopaholic’s heaven and concerned partners will be glad to find more affordable options alongside luxury brands such as Dior and Prada.

The main department store in the city, GUM was opened in 1893. The stunning architecture makes it well worth a visit even if shopping isn’t your thing.

13. Moscow Metro

Moscow Metro

It’s not often that public transport looks like a work of art. So many stops on the Moscow Metro will astound visitors with their beauty and elegance.

Decked in marble and with frescoes covering the walls, the stations are amazing to gaze upon and are part of one of the longest metro systems in the world, with the first stations opened in 1935.

Using the metro is the quickest and easiest way to get around Moscow and braving the crowds of commuters is well worth it for the beauty all around you.

12. Arbat Street

Arbat Street

An elegant yet lively street, Arbat is full of impressive architecture and was once a popular place to live for aristocrats, artists, and academics.

A historic place, it is down Arbat Street that Napoleon’s troops are said to have headed on their way to capture the Kremlin.

Nowadays, there are many cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as various monuments and statues to former residents such as Alexander Pushkin who was reputed to be a lover of the Russian Empress due to his massive influence in court.

11. Novodevichy Convent

Novodevichy Convent

Drenched in history, the Novodevichy Convent is located in a striking building that was once a fortress. This captivating place is well worth visiting when in Moscow.

Founded in 1524, the convent houses four cathedrals; Smolensk Cathedral is the undoubted highlight due to its delightful 16th-century frescoes.

Wandering around the grounds is like stepping back in time. The Novodevichy Cemetery is where many famous leaders of the Soviet Union are buried, such as Yeltsin and Khrushchev.

10. Pushkin Museum

Pushkin Museum

Despite its name, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts actually has no connection at all to the famous poet other than that it was named in his honor after his death. A delight to visit, its extensive collection focuses on European art with masterpieces by Botticelli, Rembrandt, and van Gogh all featuring.

Sculptures, graphic art, paintings and more can be found in its beautiful galleries; various sections look at themes and epochs such as the Renaissance, the Dutch Golden Age, and Byzantine art.

Among the many highlights are the clownish characters which can be found in Cezanne’s Fastnacht (Mardi Gras) and the twirling ballerinas who look so elegant in Degas’ Blue Dancers. Picasso’s Young acrobat on a Ball is also well worth checking out for its interesting use of shapes and colors.

9. Christ The Savior Cathedral

Christ The Savior Cathedral

This gorgeous Russian Orthodox cathedral is located on the banks of the Moskva River, just a stone’s throw away from the Kremlin.

The church as it stands today was consecrated in 2000, as the original church that stood here was destroyed on the command of Josef Stalin in 1931 due to the anti-religious campaign.

With its delightful golden dome, spires and dazzling white facades, the Christ the Savior Cathedral is stunning. The interior is just as captivating to wander around, with its beautifully tiled floors and impressive altar.

8. Lenin Mausoleum

Lenin Mausoleum

Opened to the public in 1924, Lenin’s Mausoleum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Moscow. The red granite structure is located at the heart of the city in Red Square.

Lenin’s embalmed body lies in a glass sarcophagus; it is a somewhat eerie experience walking past the former leader of the Soviet Union but is well worth doing as you understandably can’t do it anywhere else in the world.

After visiting the mausoleum, head to the Kremlin wall right next to it for more graves of important communist figures such as Stalin and Brezhnev.

7. Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakov Gallery

Home to the most extensive and impressive collection of Russian fine art in the world, the State Tretyakov Gallery is definitely worth visiting when in Moscow for the wealth of amazing art pieces that it has on display.

Having started out as the private art collection of the Tretyakov brothers, there are now over 130,000 exhibits. Highlights include the iconic Theotokos of Vladimir which you will almost certainly recognise despite probably not knowing the name and Rublev’s Trinity which is considered to be one of highest achievements in Russian art.

An absolute must for art lovers, the State Tretyakov Gallery will delight visitors with all that is has to offer.

6. Kolomenskoye


Once a royal estate, Kolomenskoye is now a museum-reserve and lies a few kilometers outside of the city center. A captivating place to visit, there is a plethora of history on show and the site overlooks the Moskva River.

Consisting of four historical sites, there are extensive gardens for visitors to explore, as well as loads of interesting old buildings, the former village of Kolomenskoye itself and the impressive Palace of the Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich – once considered the Eighth Wonder of the World by contemporaries.

Among the many stunning sights, it is the brilliantly white Ascension Church that is the undoubted highlight – dating back to 1532.

5. Gorky Park

Gorky Park

Lying alongside the Moskva River, the huge Gorky Park is a lovely place to visit. Its extensive gardens are home to numerous cultural institutions and visitors should definitely check out the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and while the eclectic exhibits may not always feature such incredible sights as a balloon-covered rider on a zebra; they certainly always succeed in pushing back the boundaries of art.

Pop-up exhibitions and festivals can be found from time to time in the park itself and there is an open-air theatre and numerous eateries alongside a plethora of leisure activities.

Whether it’s cycling, table tennis or yoga that you are after or beach volleyball and rowing, Gorky Park certainly has it. In winter, there is a huge ice rink for visitors to enjoy.

4. Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre

The Bolshoi Theatre is the main theater in the country. The amazing opera and ballet performances it has put on over the centuries go a long way in explaining Russia’s rich history of performing arts.

While the Bolshoi Ballet Company was established in 1776, the theater itself was opened in 1825. The glittering, six-tier auditorium is lavishly and decadently decorated; it is a fitting setting for the world-class performances that take place on its stage.

Spending a night watching a performance of such classics as The Nutcracker or Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theatre is sure to be a memorable experience and the beauty all around you only adds to the sense of occasion.

3. Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin

This famously fortified complex is remarkably home to five palaces and four cathedrals and is the historic, political and spiritual center of the city. The Kremlin serves as the residence for the country’s president. It has been used as a fort, and this fact is made clear by its sheer size. The Kremlin’s outer walls were built in the late 1400s.

Under Ivan III, better known as Ivan the Great, the Kremlin became the center of a unified Russian state, and was extensively remodeled. Three of the Kremlin’s cathedrals date to his reign that lasted from 1462-1505. The Deposition Church and the Palace of Facets were also constructed during this time. The Ivan the Great Bell Tower was built in 1508. It is the tallest tower at the Kremlin with a height of 266 feet (81 meters).

Joseph Stalin removed many of the relics from the tsarist regimes. However, the Tsar Bell, the world’s largest bell, and the Tsar Cannon, the largest bombard by caliber in the world, are among the remaining items from that era. The Kremlin Armory is one of Moscow’s oldest museums as it was established more than 200 years ago. Its diamond collection is impressive.

The Kremlin’s gardens – Taynitsky, Grand Kremlin Public and Alexander – are beautiful. The Kremlin has also served as the religious center of the country, and there is a tremendous number of preserved churches and cathedrals here. The collections contained within the museums include more than 60,000 historical, cultural and artistic monuments. Those who enjoy the performing arts will want to consider attending a ballet or concert at the State Kremlin Palace. Completed in 1961, it is the only modern building in the Kremlin.

2. Red Square

Red Square

Lying at the heart of Moscow, Red Square is the most important and impressive square in the city. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions due to its wealth of historical sights and cultural landmarks.

Drenched in history, the huge square is home to incredible sights such as the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Mausoleum, among others. Consequently, it is not to be missed when in Moscow as it really is home to the city’s most stunning monuments.

It is here that many important moments in Russian history took place; the former marketplace has hosted everything from Tsar’s coronations and public ceremonies to rock concerts and Soviet military parades. Wandering around the massive square is a humbling experience and undoubtedly one of the highlights the city has to offer.

1. Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Located in the impressive Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral is gorgeous; its delightful spires appear as if out of a fairytale. The most recognizable building in the country, the cathedral is very much a symbol of Russia. No visit to Moscow is complete without having taken in its unique and distinctive features.

Ivan the Terrible ordered the cathedral’s construction in the mid-16th century, and legend holds that Ivan put out the architect’s eyes so that he would be unable to build another cathedral more glorious than St. Basil’s. Designed to resemble the shape of a bonfire in full flame, the architecture is not only unique to the period in which it was built but to any subsequent period. For various reasons, both Napoleon and Stalin wanted to destroy the cathedral but fortunately did not succeed.

Known for its various colors, shapes and geometric patterns, St. Basil’s Cathedral houses nine different chapels that are all connected by a winding labyrinth of corridors and stairways. On the lower floor, St. Basil’s Chapel contains a silver casket bearing the body of St. Basil the Blessed.

Throughout the cathedral are many beautiful murals, frescoes, wooden icons and other art works and artifacts. Outside the cathedral is a lovely garden with the bronze Monument to Minin and Pozharsky, who rallied an all-volunteer Russian army against Polish invaders during a period of the late 16th century known as the Times of Troubles.

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15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Moscow

Written by Diana Bocco Updated Dec 23, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Moscow is one of Europe's most enigmatic destinations, home to a fascinating history and colorful, awe-inspiring architecture you won't find anywhere else in the world. Moscow might be one of the most populous cities in the world with over 11 million inhabitants, but this hasn't changed its strong cultural and social traditions.

Walk the cobblestone streets of the Red Square or the banks of the Moskva River early in the morning, and it's hard to tell what century you're in.

Tsarist architecture, must-see churches, and glamorous shopping opportunities blend together for a visual experience you won't forget. For ideas on what to see and do while visiting Russia, here's our list of top tourist attractions in Moscow.

1. Marvel at the Size of the Kremlin

2. catch a performance at the bolshoi theatre, 3. shop at the luxurious gum, 4. make your way into lenin's mausoleum, 5. spend an hour (or three) at red square, 6. discover history at the museum of cosmonautics, 7. ride the stunning moscow metro, 8. explore the moscow state integrated museum-reserve, 9. spend a rainy day at the tretyakov gallery, 10. walk up and down arbat street, 11. stop by the vdnkh all-russian exhibition centre, 12. wander around gorky park, where to stay in moscow for sightseeing, map of tourist attractions & things to do in moscow.


Moscow's most recognizable structure is without a doubt the Kremlin, a 15th-century fortified complex that covers an area of 275,000 square meters surrounded by walls built in the 1400s.

The Grand Kremlin Palace -which has over 700 rooms- was once home to the Tsar family and is now the official residence of the president of the Russian Federation, although most heads of state choose to reside elsewhere.

The massive complex also includes many other buildings, some of which are open to the public and can be visited regularly. Aside from three cathedrals (including one where the Tsars were once crowned) and a number of towers, the Kremlin is also home to the Armory building, a museum holding everything from the royal crown and imperial carriages to the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible and Fabergé eggs.

Bolshoi Theatre

The Bolshoi Theater is home to the largest and one of the oldest ballet and opera companies in the world . While the theater has undergone several major renovations over the past century-including a recent one in 2011 to restore some of the imperial architectural details-it still retains all of its Neoclassical grandeur.

The Bolshoi Theater you see today opened in 1824, after several older versions burned down. Inside, red velvet, a three-tiered crystal chandelier, and gilt moldings give the place a Byzantine-Renassaince grandiose feel like no other.

Catching a show from the resident ballet and opera troupes is a treat, as the theater often presents a number of classic performances, such as Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa and Rachmaninoff's Francesca da Rimini, both of which originally premiered here.


Moscow's oldest and most upscale shopping center is an architectural marvel. GUM (short for Glávnyj Universálnyj Magazín or "Main Universal Store") was built in the late 1800s in neo-Russian style to showcase a beautiful mix of a steel skeleton and 20,000 panels of glass forming an arched roof.

This was a unique construction at the time, since the glass had to be strong enough to support the snow-heavy Russian winters. The building is just as impressive outside, with all three levels covered in marble and granite.

While GUM is no longer the largest shopping center in Moscow, it's still by far the most beautiful. Home to brands like Gucci and Manolo Blahnik, this might not be the ideal destination for most budget-conscious visitors, but the beauty of the building itself is worth a visit.

On the third floor, there are also great dining options, including a Soviet-style canteen that serves traditional Russian food, and a stand selling ice cream made by hand using an original 1954 recipe originally approved by the Soviet government.

Lenin's Mausoleum

Lenin's Mausoleum, the final resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, occupies a central spot in Red Square. His body has been in the mausoleum since his death in 1924-and although the original plan was for him to be buried after a short period of public display for mourning, the plan quickly changed.

After over 100,000 visited the tomb over a period of six weeks, it was decided that a new sarcophagus and a more permanent display space could actually preserve Lenin's body for much longer than expected-and Lenin's Mausoleum was built.

Over the years, the mausoleum and its marble stairs also became the main spot from where Soviet leaders would watch parades and events happening in Red Square.

Lenin's embalmed body can still be seen today, lying down in a bulletproof glass sarcophagus as if he's sleeping. While a visit to the mausoleum is certainly unusual, it has become a must-do for history buffs looking to understand how Lenin's legacy truly changed the nation. Come ready to wait, though -there are usually lines to get in.

St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square

All of Moscow's main streets start at Red Square, so it's easy to see why this is considered the heart of the city. A massive space of 330 meters by 70 meters, the square is flanked by the Kremlin, Lenin's Mausoleum, two cathedrals, and the State Historical Museum.

In 1945, a massive Victory Parade was held here to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Armed Forces.

St. Basil's Cathedral , one of the most recognizable buildings on the square, was built in 1555. The unique cathedral has architectural details inspired by Byzantine and Asian design, as well as details that resemble those found in famous mosques. There are nine individual chapels inside the church, all decorated with colorful mural art.

Both the square itself and the Kremlin are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites . On weekends, there are sometimes stalls selling souvenirs and traditional items here, such as matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls), at the entrance of the square.

Monument to the Conquerors of Space

At one point, Russia and the US were toe-to-toe when it came to space exploration. While that might no longer be the case, the museum's amazing collection-which includes over 85,000 items-is still awe-inspiring.

Main exhibits include the space capsule used by Yuri Gagarin , the first human to travel into outer space; a USSR flag with moon fragments; a Soviet spacesuit; and a rocket propulsion unit from the 1960s. A special two-story hall showcases sections of the Mir space station interior, and there are also models of the first sputniks and a replica miniature spaceship.

English-language tours are available, and there's also a Cinema Hall showing subtitled short films about the history of space exploration programs and the first manned space flight.

The museum is located inside the base of the monument to the Conquerors of Space, which was built almost 20 years before the museum opened.

Komsomolskaya Station on the Moscow metro

Riding the Moscow metro is an experience all in itself, but even just heading underground to walk through the stations is something no visitor should miss. With 223 stations and 12 metro lines crosscutting through Moscow, however, this can be tricky, so visiting at least a few of the most impressive ones is a good start.

Arbatskaya station was designed by a skyscraper architect, so it's no surprise that it features multicolored granite slabs and impressive bronze chandeliers.

Park Kultury station , located next to Gorky Park, is covered in marble and features reliefs of people involved in sports, while Teatralnaya station is decorated with porcelain figures dancing and wearing traditional Russian costumes.

The metro is open between 5:30am and 1:00am but it's very crowded in the early morning and after 4pm, so it's better to visit in the late morning or early afternoon to really appreciate the architecture without the crowds.

Kolomenskoye Estate

The Moscow State Integrated Art and Historical Architectural and Natural Landscape Museum-Reserve is a cultural open-air museum complex comprised of four different historical sites.

The most important site, the Kolomenskoye Estate, was once the summer residence of Tsars as far back as the 14 th century. The complex, which covers almost 300 hectares, is home to fairy-tale wooden palaces; a tent-roof stone church built in the 1500s; a water tower; fort towers and structures; and the 24-room Museum of Wooden Architecture , which includes the restored dining room of Tsar Alexei I.

Beautiful manicured gardens , riverside picnic areas, and a massive collection of both artifacts and structures make this a great destination to help you see what medieval Russia looked like. English-language tours are available, but you're also free to wander the grounds on your own.

Tretyakov Gallery

The largest collection of Russian art in the world sits here, with over 180,000 paintings, sculptures, and religious art dating back to over a millennia ago. The gallery, built using beautiful red and white colors from classical Russian architecture, is located near the Kremlin and it was built in the early 20 th century.

Significant art pieces include the Vladimir Mother of God; a Byzantine icon of the Virgin and child dating back to the 1100s; Andrei Rublev's The Trinity icon from the 15 th century; and several works by Ilya Repin, the most famous realist painter in Russia.

On the grounds of the museum, there is also an 86-meter-tall statue of Peter the Great, as well as a number of Socialist Realism sculptures.

Night view of Arbat Street decorated for the holidays

Moscow's one-kilometer-long pedestrian street has been around since the 15 th century. Originally a trade route in the outskirts of the city, Arbat Street is now very centrally located, home to posh buildings and lots of places to eat and shop.

Beautiful street lamps and two significant statues-one of Princess Turandot (from Puccini's last opera) and one of Soviet-era poet Bulat Okudzhava-adorn the street, which fills up with both locals and tourists on evenings and weekends.

A great place to pick up souvenirs or sit down at an outdoor café, Arbat Street also offers a chance to visit the former home of poet Alexander Pushkin and the café both Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy used to visit.

VDNKh All-Russian Exhibition Centre and the Friendship of the Peoples Fountain

Although it was originally designed as a general-purpose trade show venue, this park complex now houses amusement rides , ice rinks , and a number of galleries and other attractions for all ages.

The park's most famous landmarks are the Moskvarium, a marine biology center home to over 8000 species of marine animals, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, and a shopping center selling traditional products from former Soviet countries.

There's even a film museum showing Soviet cartoons or even a full-length film (for an extra fee) and an education center offering masterclasses on everything from becoming a barista to video montage (call or write in advance to find out which ones are English-friendly).

Soviet-era pavilions, sculptures, and fountains abound here as well, including the famous Friendship of the Peoples Fountain, which features statues of women dressed in costumes from different former Soviet countries.

Main entrance gate to Gorky Park

Named after the famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky (who was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature five times but never won it) and sitting right across the Moskva River, Gorky Park covers 120 hectares of beautiful ponds and green spaces.

Popular with both locals and tourists, the park offers a variety of things to enjoy-from sunbeds, hammocks, and drinking fountains to free yoga classes and children's playgrounds. There's free Wi-Fi and sockets for charging your phone, as well as many food stands and plenty of wild animals, including deer, rabbits, and pheasants.

Visitors can rent paddle boats and bicycles to explore the park-and from May to October, there is also an open-air movie theater, as well as scheduled presentations by street performers, musicians, and artists. Gorky Park attracts the young and old, so don't be surprised to see a mix of people exercising, playing chess, and sunbathing.

Luxury Hotels :

  • Lotte Hotel Moscow is one of the top 5-star properties in Moscow offering the largest Royal Suite in Russia. The trendy rooms and suites here all have contemporary style and great city views. On-site amenities are plentiful. There are two restaurants: one serving contemporary Italian fare, and the other Japanese. There is an impressively lit indoor swimming pool, a well-known spa, and a state-of-the-art gym.
  • Another excellent luxury hotel is the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow . The residential-style property is in the heart of Moscow just next to the Bolshoi Theatre and within walking distance of the Kremlin and Red Square. The rooms and suites have been opulently designed by Tony Chi. The on-site restaurant serves a mix of European and Armenian specialities. There is also a Japanese sushi bar and a rooftop lounge with fabulous city views.
  • The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya also has a central location just a few minutes from the Kremlin and Red Square. The 5-star property has a mix of elegant rooms and suites, including interconnecting room options for families with kids. There are multiple restaurants on-site including an Italian bistro. Other amenities include the fabulous Iridium Spa, which does a full range of treatments and has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and steam room.

Mid-Range Hotels :

  • Palmira Business Club is a top mid-range choice. The contemporary lifestyle hotel offers well-appointed rooms and suites, including options for families. Suites are quite spacious and have kitchenettes. Amenities here include a complimentary breakfast at the on-site restaurant, a hot tub, sauna, and spa. There is also a fitness center.
  • The trendy Mercure Moscow Baumanskaya offers a mix of rooms and suites with contemporary decor. The mid-range hotel can arrange airport transportation and offers baggage storage. Other amenities include a restaurant and room service. The front desk is open 24 hours.
  • Boutique Hotel Brighton is about 10 minutes from the city center in a leafy park area. It offers excellent value for money and has charming rooms and suites with sound-proof windows and doors, as well as blackout curtains. A complimentary breakfast is served, and there is also an indoor swimming pool.

Budget Hotels :

  • Hotel Ibis Budget Moscow Panfilovskaya is about a 15-minute drive from Moscow's downtown, and it's within walking distance from a metro station that will take you there. The soundproof rooms at this budget property are clean, comfortable, and can sleep up to three people. The hotel is pet friendly, has paid parking available on-site, and also has a salon.
  • If you just need a budget hotel near the airport then check out Aviator Hotel Sheremetyevo . Located right at the airport, it has soundproof rooms, including options for families. Amenities include an indoor play area for kids, a sauna and swimming pool, and a free breakfast.

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Exploring Russia: Whether you are interested in history, nature, or architecture, there's much to see in Russia. For a good introduction to some of the most fascinating spots in the country, take a look at our article on the Best Places to Visit in Russia . For more on Russia's second-largest city and all it has to offer, check out our piece on the Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in St. Petersburg .

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Mission Moscow : A Conversation with Evgeny Kozlov

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Mr. Evgeny Kozlov, Deputy Head Mayor of Moscow Government and Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee, who has come to the city to attain BLTM, the annual prestigious travel event at the Leela Ambience Convention Centre, Delhi spoke with TW Editor Anirban Dasgupta on his vision and goal with the all-new tourism initiatives in Moscow.  

The bond between India and Russia has a long history of culture, literature, love, and of course politics. But recently, there has also been a lot of talk about Gastronomical tourism. Any personal experience with this?

My personal take on the bond between India and Russia stems from my recent experience of trying authentic Indian cuisine in Moscow. I thoroughly enjoyed the spicy flavours of the Curry dish I tried and it left a lasting impression on me. This made me appreciate the cultural exchange between our two countries even more. I believe that Moscow, being a culinary hub, is a great place for people from all over the world, including Indian visitors, to immerse themselves in our rich history and culture. It’s a unique experience that brings people together and showcases the diversity of the gastronomic universe. Moscow has a thriving food scene with various international cuisines to explore, from Chinese to South African and Latin American. This culinary diversity reflects the open-mindedness and curiosity of the Russian people when it comes to trying new types of food. Moscow truly has something for everyone, and I encourage Indian tourists to come and indulge in this gastronomic journey.

Evgeny Kozlov

  How optimistic are the post-pandemic recovery figures?

After the Covid-19 pandemic, we have witnessed a remarkable recovery in tourism in Moscow. In fact, we have been able to restore 90% of the pre-pandemic tourist flow. In the first half of 2023, almost a million foreign tourists visited Moscow, with over 600,000 of them arriving during the summer season. Among the non-CIS countries, China has led the way in terms of tourist traffic, followed by Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and India. Prior to the pandemic, India’s tourist flow was steadily growing at a rate of 12-15% annually. Although we faced challenges during the pandemic, we have now put in place all the necessary conditions for a successful recovery. Moscow is known for hosting numerous international exhibitions, forums, congresses, and conferences, attracting approximately 3.6 million business visitors in the past year alone. Among these visitors, India ranks third in terms of foreign business tourists in Moscow. To further promote tourism, we have initiated the MICE Ambassadors training program in India, which aims to assist Indian businesses in exploring opportunities and selecting relevant events in Moscow.

  Can you please share your vision for future tourism development in Moscow?

Thank you for asking this question. I have a multi-faceted vision for the future tourism development in Moscow.

Firstly, I believe that tourism should provide a personal and authentic experience for each individual. Therefore, customization of experiences is crucial. For business tourists, we aim to offer special infrastructure facilities that cater to their specific needs and requirements. We are closely collaborating with infrastructure providers to ensure seamless experiences for those visiting Moscow for business purposes. On the other hand, when it comes to leisure or family tourists, we recognize the importance of providing a support system and guidelines for those traveling with their families, especially children. We are working with museums, theatres, and restaurants to customize their services and products to cater to tourists of all ages, including children. Furthermore, I envision rearranging tourism in Moscow to encourage visitors to delve into the history and heritage of our country. A significant part of my tourism goal is to motivate and inspire the youth and younger generations to travel to Russia. This involves providing affordable pricing for accommodations, entertainment, museums, and other attractions.

We are already constructing tailor-made infrastructure that specifically targets the young generation in Russia, and by next year, we plan to extend and promote these offerings to international young visitors as well. By rebranding the image of Moscow as a destination for longer stays, relaxation, and enjoying various facilities, we aim to change the perception that it is merely a transit or stop-over city. Lastly, the beautiful weather in Moscow during the summer months provides an opportunity to create delightful memories for tourists. I want every visitor to experience the sunshine, green landscapes, parks, cafes, restaurants, swimming pools, and sports facilities that Moscow has to offer during this time.

In summary, my vision for the future of tourism in Moscow revolves around creating customized travel experiences for every type of traveller.

How do you prioritize sustainability and responsible tourism practices in the development of business tourism?

Evgeny Kozlov

How easy or difficult is it to get a Visa for an Indian Tourist at present?

Acquiring a Visa for Indian tourists has become easier with the introduction of the e-visa system. Since its launch in August 2023, more than 30,000 tourists have already utilized this system. The e-visa offers several advantages over traditional visas, such as avoiding the need to visit consulates or embassies. The application process only requires a digital photograph and a scan of the passport data page. The e-visa has a validity period of 60 days from the date of issuance, with a maximum stay of 16 days in Russia. This convenient and streamlined process is available to citizens of 55 countries, including India. Indian tourists are currently ranked third in terms of business travellers from outside the CIS countries visiting Moscow.


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Business Tourist Flow from India to Moscow is One of the Most Numerous - Evgeny Kozlov

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (NewsVoir) The Moscow City Tourism Committee revealed that Indian businessmen are paying ever growing attention to Russia and its capital, as over the last 2 years the MICE tourist flow from India has grown to become one of the most numerous groups among all foreign business tourists outside the CIS countries. Business + Leisure Travel and MICE 2023 opened on 29th of September at New Delhi with a keynote speech from the Chairman of The Moscow City Tourism Committee, Mr. Evgeny Kozlov. In his speech, the Chairman spoke about the potential for MICE and business tourism in Moscow and the growing number of Indian businessmen who are choosing Moscow as their preferred destination for business events. Mr. Evgeny Kozlov highlighted that the number of business tourists is expected to grow in the coming years. One of the factors supporting the growth of interest from Indian businessmen was the launch of electronic visa program. From August 1, 2023, it has become easier for Indian citizens to organize a trip to Moscow - they can come simply by applying for an electronic visa. The validity period of an e-visa is 60 days from the date of its issuance. You can stay with it in Russia for 16 days. An e-visa has several advantages over a traditional visa. To obtain it, you do not need to go to consulates or embassies, and the only documents required are a digital photograph of your face and a scan of the page with your passport data. “Before the pandemic, the tourist flow from India grew by 12-15 percent annually. Now we are on the road to recovery - all the conditions have been created for this. Every year hundreds of international exhibitions, forums, congresses and conferences are held in Moscow. Over the past year, about 3.5 million people visited the capital for business purposes and a significant share of them are from India,” he said. Evgeny Kozlov emphasized that Moscow is a growing hub for international business events and Indian businessmen could benefit from attending these events to expand their network and explore potential business opportunities. The Moscow MICE Ambassadors program, which also premiered at the exhibition, aims to promote Moscow as a preferred destination for business tourism, and Indian businessmen who have completed the program can serve as valuable resources for organizing conferences and events in Moscow. Furthermore, Moscow offers a range of world-class facilities and services for business travelers, including conference centers, hotels, transportation, and sightseeing. He also mentioned that Moscow's rich cultural heritage and vibrant nightlife could provide Indian businessmen with unique experiences that could enhance their overall business trip. In conclusion, Mr. Evgeny Kozlov expressed his optimism for the future of MICE and business tourism in Moscow. Thus, in October 2023, Moscow will host the largest MICE Congress in Russia. Among the participants are 14 countries, including Indians. The event will provide a platform for businesses in the travel and tourism industry to showcase their products and services. Moscow City Tourism Committee is the executive body of the Moscow City Government that oversees tourist activities in the capital. The Committee is responsible for legislative initiatives, congress and exhibition activities, and event and image projects. As the brand manager for an attractive tourism image for Moscow, Mostourism constantly analyses global trends, offers Russian and foreign tourists what they want, and also uncovers new opportunities for the capital in terms of interesting and rewarding leisure activities. For more details, please visit: (Disclaimer: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with Newsvoir and PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.). PTI PWR PWR

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)

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Moscow courts UAE to bump up inbound tourism

The majority of Moscow's tourism is from internal visitors but it is hoping the UAE and wider Gulf can change that

  • Moscow targetting UAE tourism
  • International visitors 10% of total
  • Gulf tourists spend more

Moscow aims to double the number of annual visitors from the UAE this year, to expand its international tourist base amid headwinds such as the war with Ukraine. 

Bulat Nurmukhanov, head of the International Cooperation Division at Moscow City Tourism Committee (MCTC), told AGBI that while the Russian capital’s domestic tourism has broadly recovered since the pandemic, international tourism has yet to do so. 

Moscow received 24.3 million visitors in 2023, he said, of which 2.3 million were international and the rest were from elsewhere in Russia. In 2019, Moscow recorded 25 million visitors, of which four million were from overseas.  

  • In Dubai, it looks like the Russians are staying
  • Moscow still a key destination for Middle East tourists
  • UAE-Russia trade grows as Putin arrives in Gulf

“Despite the challenges Moscow faces today, it has almost recovered its pre-Covid visitor flow of 2019 – our best year for the industry, helped by the effect of hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2018,” Nurmukhanov said.  

“But most of these are domestic tourists. We hope that by working with new markets such as the UAE, we can restructure the international tourism base and attract more visitors from the Emirates and wider GCC.”

Moscow has yet to calculate the number of visitors from the UAE last year, but it is a small proportion of the overseas total, according to Nurmukhanov. However, it is an important source market because of its higher-than-average spend per visit. 

“They’re helping load Moscow’s five-star hotels”, he said. These are not as popular among domestic tourists and other nationalities as three and four-star hotels. 

Bulat Nurmukhanov of the Moscow City Tourism Committee hopes working with the UAE can ' restructure the international tourism base'

Last summer, MCTC revealed that tourists from the Middle East accounted for more than 30 percent of Moscow’s total tourist flow from outside the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2022. 

“Middle Eastern countries are among the most promising markets for inbound tourism,” the committee noted. 

In the UAE, the number of Russian tourists and investors leapt in the year after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, as Russian businesses sought a safe haven free of sanctions imposed on them by the West. 

Bilateral trade between the two countries has also risen sharply , by 63 percent between January and September 2023 to $9 billion, according to Russia’s government. 

Nurmukhanov said: “We’re already receiving a decent amount of tourists from the UAE and want to make sure that now, we adapt our infrastructure and design new hospitality products, entertainment and offerings that will be in their interest.” 

The strategy includes enhancing relationships between Moscow and UAE hotels, travel agents and tour operators; improving restaurants’ halal offerings; translating menus and other literature to Arabic, and promoting popular activities such as bear hunting, helicopter trips and horse riding.  

Some Moscow hotels even help GCC tourists to purchase warm clothing for their trip, Nurmukhanov said. Gulf visitors can obtain visas on arrival in Russia, and in November a rapid e-visa service was extended to other countries.  

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Top 10 places for a day trip from Moscow

  • #Russian History
  • #Special Interest
  • #Suburbs of Moscow

Moscow offers tourists many great sights to see, but if you ask locals, they will tell you that Moscow is not all there is to Russia, so it’s worth getting away sometimes. Without exploring further, you miss something of the Russian unique character. If you wonder what to visit near Moscow, we recommend you 10 places where a tourist can go for a refreshing recreation, new impressions, and acquaintance with Russian history and culture.

01 Sergiyev Posad

Sergiyev Posad is one of the most beautiful towns located around Moscow. It’s not only famous for its monastery, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, but also for the fact that it’s the only town in the Moscow Region that is included in the Golden Ring of Russian cities. Its cities and towns influenced the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church. But the main thing which one should visit Sergiyev Posad is the Lavra for sure. You may spend there all day, walking around and enjoying the sense of its power and strength. You absolutely have to buy some honey cakes as souvenirs for friends and feed Lavra’s pigeons when entering the monastery. Besides, you may visit Sergiyev Posad State History and Art Museum-Reserve, which has quite an impressive collection, take a look at the displays in the National Museum of Toys, and taste truly Russian food in local cafes and restaurants.

You can reach Sergiyev Posad by suburban electric train, by bus, or by car. The electric train departs from the Yaroslavsky rain terminal every thirty minutes, and the trip lasts for an hour and a half. You may take a bus near the ‘VDNKh’ metro station, and you’ll be in Sergiyev Posad in an hour and a half at least and in two hours at most. Your car will take you there in an hour and a half at most, too. You should drive the Yaroslavskoye highway. 

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If you want to look at a city that combines hi-tech and historical past, you should absolutely visit Kolomna. It is one of the most famous ancient cities in Russia, a beautiful port on the Oka River. Kolomna has its own Kremlin, which is made of red brick, like the Moscow Kremlin. Inside it, you may find many monasteries and churches, including the one in which Dmitry of the Don, Prince of Moscow, and Grand Prince of Vladimir, had his wedding to the Grand Duchess of Muscovy Eudoxia of Moscow. There is still a reserved residential area which is called Posad, right in the Kremlin territory. The buildings date back to merchants’ times. There are some interesting churches, too. In 2006, the Kolomna Speed Skating Center, known as the Kometa Ice Rink, was opened. Its futuristic look contrast the picturesque views of the ancient Kolomna Kremlin and its beautiful churches.

The best way to reach Kolomna is an electric train that departs from the Kazansky rail terminal. The trip lasts for two and a half, or one hour and forty minutes by the Ryazansky express. You can also choose a bus from the Vykhino metro station (1.4 to 4 hrs due to traffic jams) or a car.

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03 Shakhmatovo

Shakhmatovo was a manor of the well-known Russian lyrical poet Alexander Blok. His grandfather Andrey Nikolaevich Beketov bought it, and young Blok used to spend it there every summer. Later, he moved there with his wife Lyubov Mendeleeva, who was the daughter of the famous chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. Blok’s grandfather decided to buy Shakhmatovo because of its picturesque views. They are really very nice, and the better time to visit this place is spring and summer. According to his own project, Blok’s mansion is a wooden house built by the poet but burnt by peasants in 1921. It was rebuilt in 2001, and since that time, it often holds big events and excursions. There is also a stable in Shakhmatovo territory, and everyone interested may ride a horse, or rent a bicycle in the summertime, or ski in wintertime.

Shakhmatovo can be reached by car because other options combine train departs from the Leningradsky rail terminal, then changes to bus till the Tarakanovo manor, then goes by foot, or bus from the Vodny stadion metro station, and then also by foot. Travel time is 1.4 hrs.

04 Zakharovo

It is a manor located in the Odintsovo District of the Moscow Region, where everybody interested may learn more about the greatest Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin. In 1804, Zakharova was bought by his grandmother Mariya Alexeevna Gannibal, and young Pushkin was brought here every summer from 1805 through to 1810. He recalled Zakharovo in his poems as well. Now, the house which Pushkin visited as a child doesn’t exist anymore, but it was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century on the former basis. Now it is a quiet and nice place with a museum dedicated to the famous poet's childhood, where one may spend a day enjoying the spirit of the time when young Pushkin ran across manor’s paths. From that time, linden park, approach alleys, and pond were saved. Not very far away from Zakharovo, another place connected to Pushkin’s name is located. It’s called Bolshiye Vyazyomy, and there the young Pushkin’s brother Nikolenka was buried after his death at the age of six.

The best way to go there is by train, which departs from the Belorussky rail terminal and goes to Zvenigorod. You should leave at the Zakharovo station. Travel time is an hour and a half.

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05 Borodino

Borodino is truly a sacred place for all those who honor the great Russian past. The Borodino Battlefield held the most important fighting during the Patriotic War of 1812. This place was made a museum area in 1839, just after 27 years after the battle. More than two thousand memorable things are stored in the museum, including some monuments of military honor, architectural objects dated back to the 19th and 20th centuries, and fortification facilities. Besides, there is also an exhibition dedicated to the famous novel ‘War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, who visited Borodino in person and described this battle in his book. Every year, reconstruction events occur in Borodino, which is considered the best for visiting. But if you want to feel the spirit of the battle past, it’s better to visit it in more quiet time.

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To go there, you should take a train from the Belorussky rail terminal, leave in Mozhaysk, and then change to the bus. The whole travel time is about 2 hrs.

06 Melikhovo

Melikhovo is considered one of the most important museums dedicated to Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, one of the brightest Russian writers and playwrights. Chekhov had been living in Melikhovo from March 1892 until August 1899 with his parents and close relatives. Melikhovo is where he wrote his plays “Uncle Vanya” and “The Seagull.” He sold this manor before going to the Crimea, and it became vague after the revolution. But in 1939, it was decided to establish a museum based on Chekhov’s place of living. Anton Chekhov’s sister Maria and his nephew initiated the process, and the museum opened its doors in 1941. Now Melikhovo shows the path of Chekhov not only as a writer but as a doctor and public figure as well. Some paintings of famous artists such as Isaac Levitan and Vasily Polenov, who were Chekhov’s friends, are being stored. It’s a nice place to visit to learn more about Chekov’s life and work.

The best way to reach Melikhovo is by bus, which departs from the Yuzhnaya metro station, and goes to Protvino, Obolensk, or Serpukhov, or by the direct 365 bus. Also, you may choose an electric train from the Kursky rail terminal. Travel time is 1,5 hrs.

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07 Abramtsevo

This is another manor connected to the lives of important Russian people — not only writers but also artists. Abramtsevo, located close to Sergiev Posad, was a property of Sergey Aksakov, a writer and a Slavophiles, and later of Savva Mamontov, a well-known patron of the arts. Abramtsevo used to be visited by writers Ivan Turgenev and Nikolay Gogol, poet Fyodor Tyutchev, and such artists as Isaac Levitan, Vasily Polenov, and Mikhail Vrubel, and by the great Russian singer Fyodor Shalyapin as well. The exhibition in the museum is dedicated to famous Abramtsevo owners and guests. It was made a museum in 1917, and its first curator was Alexandra Mamontova, Savva Mamontov’s daughter. The main sightseeing view is a wooden building made in the 18th century and saved in Savva Mamontov's form in the 19th century. There are also some bright buildings such as hut pavilion or hut bath-house. You have to remember that the main manor house may be visited only with an excursion group on the weekend.

Electric train to Abramtsevo departs from the Yaroslavsky rail terminal and goes to Sergiyev Posad or Aleksandrov. You may reach Abramtsevo by bus as well. Travel time is an hour and a half.

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08 Yasnaya Polyana

Yasnaya Polyana is known as a place of residence of the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. He was born there, wrote his novels ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina,’ died and is buried. He’d been living in this manor for fifty years. Yasnaya Polyana is located in the Tula Region, 200 km from Moscow to the south. This manor consists of many interesting and significant objects. For example, the interior of the main house where Tolstoy lived is being kept like it was in 1910 — it was the last year for the writer. All things in the house are considered to be personal belongings of Tolstoy and his family. Besides the main house, the Yasnaya Polyana ensemble includes the so-called Volkonsky house — the house of Tolstoy’s grandfather, the Kuzminskiye wing, which is a part of the oldest house where Tolstoy was born, now non-existent, the birch alley made by Sofya Andreevna, Leo Tolstoy’s wife, stable, ponds, and favorite Tolstoy’s bench. Leo Tolstoy’s tomb is located close to the ravine's edge — it’s where he wanted to be buried.

The whole travel time to Yasnaya Polyana is about 4 hrs as long as it’s located near Tula. It can be reached by train, or by car. First, you should go to Tula by train from the Kursky rail terminal or by bus from the Tsaritsyno, Domodedovskaya, Prazhskaya, or Ulitsa Akademika Yangelya metro stations, and then change to bus, or by trolley bus for Yasnaya Polyana.

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09 Polotnyany Zavod

This place which title can be translated into Russian as ‘linen factory,’ is known for its connection to the Goncharov family, from which Natalia Goncharova, Alexander Pushkin’s wife, originated. The real linen factory was built on the bank of the Sukhodrev River in the Kaluga Region in 1718 by Peter the Great order. Goncharov, Natalia’s great grandfather, was one of the companions who participated in the factory’s development. Every companion built his own manor close to the factory’s building, and even for those times, it was quite an uncommon situation. Polotnyany Zavod was visited by the empress Catherine the Great, the Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, and Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol. In 1999, when everybody celebrated the bicentennial of Alexander Pushkin, Polotnyany Zavod was made a museum, and now it welcomes many guests who come to see dramatized excursions and to learn more about Pushkin times. The poet himself visited this place two times, in 1830 and 1834. Polotnyany Zavod has the most picturesque panoramic view in the Kaluga Region.

To go to Polotnyany Zavod, you should take a bus from the bus station near the Tyoply Stan metro station, and go to Kondorovo. It takes a little more than three hours.

Tarus is just another little town in Kaluga Region, which is considered to be typical Russian. It’s located on the left bank of the Oka River and has really magnificent views. It feels like time stands still there. Tarusa managed to preserve the best from the past, and even now, it consists mostly of one-storeyed houses made of wood or stone. They say it’s because Tarusa residents declined railroad construction. This town became popular among Russian intellectuals at the beginning of the 20th century when famous artist Vasily Polenov discovered it and told about Tarusa to anyone in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Tarusa is known to be a hometown for Russian writer Marina Tsvetaeva, whose family spent summertime there. Tsvetaeva museum is a museum every guest of Tarusa should visit for sure. Besides, Konstantin Paustovsky, another famous Russian writer, lived there till his death and was buried in Tarusa. The absolutely must-do in Tarusa is to walk along the embankment of the Oka River.

The best way to reach Tarusa is by direct bus which departs from the bus station near the ‘Tyoply Stan’ metro station. Travel time is about two hours.

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  • 1. Sergiyev Posad
  • 3. Shakhmatovo
  • 4. Zakharovo
  • 5. Borodino
  • 6. Melikhovo
  • 7. Abramtsevo
  • 8. Yasnaya Polyana
  • 9. Polotnyany Zavod


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Guía turística de Moscow

Planning a trip to Moscow? Our travel guide contains up-to-date, personal information on everything from what to see , to when to visit , where to stay , and what to eat !

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  • What to see
  • How to get to Moscow
  • Where to stay
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Why visit Moscow?

Majestic churches, impressive historic fortresses, and palatial buildings: Moscow is a fascinating city whose emblematic architecture reflects the turbulent history that has defined Russia throughout the centuries.

The traces of the USSR can be found around every corner of the city , side by side with the iconic relics of Imperial Russia , like the mythical Red Square , the imposing Kremlin , and the beautiful  St Basil's Cathedral . 

Discover a fascinating world of Cold War bunkers, golden-domed basilicas, world-class art museums, and the legendary "palace of the people,"  as the Moscow Metro has been nicknamed. Whether you fancy watching a classical Russian ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre , perusing the fine arts at the Pushkin Museum , or marveling at the sheer size of the monuments to the Soviet state's achievements at the  All-Russia Exhibition Centre , this travel guide will help you on your way!

Where to start?

If you're going to travel to Moscow and you don't know much about the city yet, the first thing to do is to dive into its legendary history - understanding the past will help you understand the present. Next, check out our practical hints and tips on traveling to the city before discovering which of its most important museums , monuments , and attractions pique your interest.

Looking for a place to stay?

Booking your accommodation in advance is the best way to get great discounts. Our detailed guide on where to stay in Moscow  will help you decide which neighborhood you'd like to look for hotels or apartments in, and our hotel search engine will find you the best deals!

Why is our Moscow travel guide the best?

Introducing Moscow is a  city guide written by travelers for travelers  and contains personalized advice to help you make the most of your trip to the city.

All the information in this guide is valid as of December 2022. If you find any errors or have any comments, please feel free to contact us .

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5 of Moscow's most BEAUTIFUL districts

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1.  Sokolniki

By 9 a.m., the main square of Sokolniki district in the northeast of Moscow begins to fill up with dog-walkers and cyclists. The mobile coffee shops and hot dog outlets are not open yet; the only sounds are the rustling of the autumn leaves and gurgling of the main fountain, around which sleepy guards walk.

“But on the weekend, there are crowds of people here, as if the whole of Moscow descends on it,” says Raisa Bazarova, a resident of Sokolniki. She says that she literally “married” Sokolniki 21 years ago, in 1999, when she moved from the central Arbat district to live with her new husband.

Police fire station with a tower-tower in Sokolniki

Police fire station with a tower-tower in Sokolniki

It took three years for her to feel at home, finally making friends with the neighbors. Now, Raisa considers it the most beautiful area of ​​Moscow and is fond of its low-rise skyline and architectural monuments.

“As soon as you step out of the subway, you’re in Sokolniki, and the first thing that catches the eye is the pre-revolutionary watchtower [built in 1884]. It saw the old wooden Moscow and has been preserved in all its splendor,” says Bazarova. 

Moscow, park Sokolniki

Moscow, park Sokolniki

Raisa also advises foreigners to visit Sokolniki Park, one of the oldest in Moscow, founded in 1878, with fountains, ponds, a swimming pool, an amusement park and its own rose garden. Sokolniki was adored by Peter the Great and Alexander I and it was here that they often held feasts. For Bazarova, the lush greenery makes it the “lungs” of the district.  

The Viktyuk Theater. The building of the outstanding architect Konstantin Melnikov, 1929

The Viktyuk Theater. The building of the outstanding architect Konstantin Melnikov, 1929

Another must-see, according to Bazarova, is the Roman Viktyuk Theater — if nothing else, then to see one of Moscow’s main architectural gems, designed and built in the Constructivist style that prevailed in the city in the 1920s. Moreover, Russian-speaking theater lovers might want to catch a performance of ‘The Maids’ by French playwright Jean Genet. 

2. Levoberezhny

Galina Yakunina, director of a sports club in Moscow’s north for nine years, walks with unfeigned pleasure along the main alley of Rechnoy Vokzal (“River Station”) Park, which was restored in 2020 under the ‘My district’ city improvement program.

Aerial view is a beautiful panorama of the renovated Northern River Station in Moscow

Aerial view is a beautiful panorama of the renovated Northern River Station in Moscow

In the summer of 2020, the station, which resembles a ship, was enveloped in scaffolding, as the original 1937 edifice was being restored. Today, it is surrounded by fountains with children running around, endless flower beds and an all-new embankment that runs along a miniature replica of the Moscow Canal, replete with children’s paddle boats and other attractions.

“It’s really beautiful. Cruise ships and motor vessels depart from here. Muscovites love it and tourists definitely will as well,” says Yakunina. 

Park Levoberezhnyj, Moscow

Park Levoberezhnyj, Moscow

Her second favorite place for a post-work evening stroll is Druzhba (Friendship) Park, laid out for the 6th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1957. The main features are its monuments and sculptures dedicated to children, international friendship and war heroes, as well as the pond-reflected willows and the playgrounds. Thanks to these two parks, the air in the district differs sharply from that in central Moscow - that she is sure of. 

Park Druzhby

Park Druzhby

In summer, Levoberezhny beach (renovated under the ‘My district’ city improvement program in 2018) becomes the main focal point and Galina heartily recommends it to tourists. 

“The beach is covered with sand, with a cafe, sun loungers and beach volleyball. It’s very relaxing,” she says, describing the place. 

3. Filevsky Park

For social conflict expert Alexei Ivanushkin, Filevsky Park in the city’s west has always been the main symbol of Moscow. 

Fili Park embankment

Fili Park embankment

“I moved here in 2005 from St Petersburg, when the Gorbushka electronics market was one of Moscow’s main draws. There were always crowds of people, poorly dressed, but eager for gadgets. We used to go to the wooded parts of Filevsky Park, clearing branches, because it was impossible to get through. There were bottles everywhere that people had just left. In other words, it was a hub for alcoholics,” Ivanushkin shares his first impressions of the area. 

Church of the Protection of the Theotokos in Fili, 1690-1694, Moscow

Church of the Protection of the Theotokos in Fili, 1690-1694, Moscow

Fifteen years later, the now-landscaped embankment of the park is Alexei’s favorite spot for daily walks and he also advises tourists to visit.

“For me, the place is full of energy and inspires the soul,” says Ivanushkin. 

No less significant is the Baroque Church of the Intercession at Fili, constructed in the late 17th century and financed by the boyar Lev Naryshkin, asserts Ivanushkin. In 1812, Napoleon’s soldiers converted the first floor of the church into a stable. In 1943, the lower church was used as a hospital and then, until 1963, as a warehouse for paper products. Highly recommended to anyone interested in unusual places of worship. 

Gorbunova recreation center

Gorbunova recreation center

“The Suvorov Military School stood opposite the church. And every year at the graduation ceremony, it was a tradition for graduates to secretly raise the flag of the armed forces on the building. They tried to stop it, but no one was ever punished,” recounts Ivanushkin.

To learn more about Russian rock music, Alexei advises a visit to the Gorbunov Palace of Culture, named after Sergei Gorbunov, the director of an aircraft factory and built in 1938. In 1986, it housed the first “rock-n-roll laboratory” in Moscow, earning the building a reputation as the capital’s premier venue for rock concerts and festivals. 

4. Krylatskoe

To learn more about sports facilities built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Krylatskoye is the place to start, says local resident Yulia Zhiltsova, who moved to Moscow from Siberia and has lived in the city’s western part for 21 years. 

Krylatsky hills. Panorama

Krylatsky hills. Panorama

“I love walking around the velodrome and other Olympics facilities. There’s also a speed-skating center and rowing canal. Red Bull regularly organizes the Flugtag competition here, it’s really fun and interesting,” notes Zhiltsova.   

Cycle Track

Cycle Track "Krylatskoe"

In her free time, Yulia enjoys what are perhaps the capital’s most beautiful views from West Krylatsky Hill in the nearby park, offering a panorama of Moscow-City, the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos and the arch of Zhivopisny Bridge.

She advises tourists to climb the hill, take shots of the stunning Moscow backdrops and escape the hustle and bustle of the central historical districts. 

Red Bull Flugtag 2017 in Moscow

Red Bull Flugtag 2017 in Moscow

“Here you feel at one with nature, yet central Moscow is just 20 minutes down the road. There are no crowds, even on weekends. The center is packed and impersonal, but here the atmosphere is a bit more homely,” Zhiltsova explains. 

5. Khoroshevsky

Khodynskoe Field in the Khoroshevsky district is notorious as the site of a deadly crush during celebrations to mark the coronation of Nicholas II in 1905. Today, it looks more like a futuristic city with fantastical towers, art objects in the local park and dancing fountains. By 8 p.m. on weekdays, the park is especially crowded — school students shoot TikTok dance videos and ride skateboards, while children run with their parents through the mirror maze. 

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Local resident Alexander Lyubarsky moved to Khodynka in 2010 and, as a photographer, immediately fell in love with the views. 

“Every part of Khodynsky Park — be it a swing, a pond, a sports ground stylized as an airplane and helicopter, or the fountains behind us — is photogenic,” explains Lyubarsky. The Park appeared in 2018 under the ‘My district’ city renovation program.

Chapel of the Transfiguration of the Savior in the Memorial Park complex of world war I heroes. Built in 1998

Chapel of the Transfiguration of the Savior in the Memorial Park complex of world war I heroes. Built in 1998

His second favorite place for photos is the small Berezovaya Roscha (“Birch Grove”) Park (renovated in 2020 as part of the ‘My district’ program), which, besides birches, is home to maple, ash, and linden trees. 

Every visitor to Khodynka simply must go to the World War I Heroes Memorial Park at the Bratskoe (Fraternal) Cemetery, Lyubarsky insists.

World war I Heroes memorial Park

World war I Heroes memorial Park

“There’s a wonderful chapel with the buried ashes of Grand Duke Nikolai Romanov [the grandson of Nicholas I and an uncle of Nicholas II who was the Russian commander-in-chief during World War I]. Everything’s also very photogenic there,” says Lyubarsky. 

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In his opinion, every foreign tourist should visit Khodynka for a glimpse of what the future Russia might look like. 

“It would be good if all the suburbs could be like this. I’d love this to spread beyond the Moscow Ring Road [MKAD],” he concludes.

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Things to do in Moscow: how to visit Moscow | Unmissable, cool & unusual

  • September 2, 2023

Things to do in Moscow best

What are the best things to do in Moscow? What to do in Moscow? First, I will list the main places to visit by theme, passing by the must-sees, but also more unusual places in Moscow. Then, I will describe what to see in Moscow in one day and how to visit Moscow in 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. Let’s go!

Good to know. For more information, click on the places to open the dedicated blog posts.

Main places to visit in Moscow & best things to do in Moscow

I worked in Moscow and I loved this city for its dynamism and energy. We find there from time to time to see friends, remember good memories and enjoy this giant city! Then the time has come for us to share with you our practical guide.

TOP 5 must-see places in Moscow

  • Moscow Red Square
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • Cathedral of Christ the Savior
  • Bolshoi Theatre

Places of cultural, historical and religious interest in Moscow

  • Novodevichy Convent and cemetery
  • Tretyakov Gallery
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
  • Kremlin Izmaïlovo (pseudo-historic place, recently built in the image of the old, one of the best things to do in Moscow for your Instagram account 😉 )
  • Park and ancient village of Kolomenskoye

Visit Moscow of the Soviet era

  • Moscow State University and Sparrows Hill
  • VDNKh and the Museum of Astronautics, one of the key landmarks of the Soviet era in Moscow
  • GULAG Museum
  • Metro stations
  • The Stalinist skyscrapers, scattered all over the city

Less touristy places in Moscow

  • Gorky Park and the GARAGE museum
  • The old Krasny Oktyabr factory
  • Zaryadye Park
  • Center for Contemporary Art, WINZAVOD
  • Business center, Moscow City

Main districts of Moscow to visit

  • Patriarch Ponds
  • Tchistye Prudy
  • Kuznetsky most
  • Arbat Street

However, regardless of the length of your stay, whether you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days or in 2, you need a visa. The article Obtaining a tourist visa for Russia could then be useful in any case.

What to do and see in Moscow in one day?

List of things to see and do in Moscow in one day:

  • Go to Red Square
  • Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • See Kremlin walls (but not to visit)
  • Visit Cathedral of Christ the Savior
  • Discover Kuznetsky most districts and see Bolshoi Theatre building
  • And if you have time at the end of the day: go to the Sparrows Hill or to the Moscow City for a beautiful view

Things to do in Moscow in 2 days

If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, there are 2 purposes: do not miss the essential places of Moscow and optimize travel.

  • First day: Red Square , Saint Basil’s Cathedral , Zariadye Park, Bolshoi Theatre , Kremlin
  • Day 2: Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the former Krasny Oktyabr factory on Balchug Island, Gorky Park, Moscow State University (one of the Seven Sisters buildings ) and Sparrow Hill

As 2 days os really short, be sure to choose an accommodation in the best districts where to stay in Moscow .

Walking on Red Square in Moscow: one of the unmissable things to do in Moscow

Iconic place and one of the must-see places in Moscow and even in Russia! Besides, if there was only one place to visit in Moscow in 2 days, this place would then be Red Square, without hesitation. Therefore, starting the city tour with Red Square is ideal . Several buildings are on the square, but not all of them have to be visited. Check out my blog post about Moscow’s Red Square in detail to learn more and not miss anything.

Red Square Moscow

Visiting Saint-Basil’s Cathedral inside

Even more emblematic than Moscow’s Red Square! Built in the middle of the 16th century under the orders of Tsar Ivan Le Terrible, this cathedral is one of the most beautiful monuments of Orthodox art, and definitely one of the unmissable places in Moscow. Visiting Saint-Basil’s Cathedral inside is one of the most beautiful things to do in Moscow!

  • Visit estimate time : 1h30
  • Entry ticket : 700 RUB. Tickets can be purchased on the cathedral’s official website 45 days before the tour.
  • Audio guide (recommended): 500 RUB
  • Opening hours : June to August 10 am-6pm; from November to April: 11 am-5pm; May, September, October 11 am-5pm. Cathedral closed on Wednesdays. Entrance is closed 45 minutes before closing.
  • Find out more in the dedicated article: Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Take a walk in Zariadye park: one of the coolest things to do in Moscow after visiting Red Square

Zaryadie Park is just a 10-minute walk from St. Basil’s Cathedral, so it’s easy to include in your itinerary if you’re going to visit Moscow in 2 days. From its heights, you can see the red walls of the Kremlin. But, the most impressive point of view is the platform which overlooks the Moskva river. A must see! And clearly one of the coolest things to do in Moscow!

  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Good to know! Park Zaryadye is also a place to visit in Moscow in winter. Find out more here: What to do in Moscow in winter?

What to do in Moscow

See the Bolshoi Theatre and discover the Kuznetsky Most district

The Bolshoi Theatre is the most famous Russian theater in the world. The most economical way to see a presentation at the Bolshoi Theater is to take the tickets on the theater’s official website in advance, so here is our tutorial to help you: How to buy entrance tickets to the Bolshoi? In addition, several pedestrian or one-way streets

The Bolshoi Theater is the most famous Russian theater in the world. The most economical way to see a presentation at the Bolshoi Theater is to take the tickets on the theater’s official website in advance, so here is our tutorial to help you: How to buy tickets to the Bolshoi? In addition, several pedestrian or one-way streets are located north of the theater. It is therefore very pleasant to find them to leave the main axes of the megalopolis.

IMG_3040 tickets Bolshoi Theatre dress code

Visit the Moscow Kremlin

Visit Kremlin is on top of things to do in Moscow. A place of power for centuries, the Kremlin then shows us a whole different image when viewed from the inside. If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, the Kremlin is certainly one of the must-see places in Moscow.

  • Opening hours : Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursday.
  • See our blog post about visiting the Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin: skip-the-line tickets and 8 things not to miss

Visit the Cathedral of Christ the Savior

This impressive Moscow Cathedral is the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is a must see if you visit Moscow in 2 days and clearly one of the things to do in Moscow. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was first built in 1883 in memory of Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s Grand Army. Then in 1931 Stalin ordered its destruction. It was then rebuilt again (identically) only in 2000.

  • Where? Ulitsa Volkhonka 15. At the foot of the Kropotkinskaya metro station.
  • Opening hours . Daily: 10: 00-17: 00, except Monday: 13: 00-17: 00
  • Free entry (some closing restrictions, for example a short)

Good to know! In orthodox religious places, one must avoid excessively uncovered clothing. Women should cover their heads. After visiting the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you can explore Bolotny Island and Gorky Park. This is one of the routes our guide to Moscow.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior

The old Krasny Oktyabr factory: one of the coolest things to do in Moscow

If you cross the Moskva River by a pedestrian bridge which is located just in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you will enjoy a beautiful view of the city and at the same time you can discover Balchug Island. Furthermore, if you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, you can include this island in your itinerary between the cathedral and Gorky park. Here is the old confectionery factory Krasny Oktyabr, which has gradually turned into a fashionable micro-district. There are then some elements of street art, cafes and restaurants and some Moscow bohemian side. At the end of the island you can see a gigantic 98-meter-high monument dedicated to the Russian reforming tsar Pierre The Great.

Good to know! You can find on this island are the trendiest nightclubs in Moscow. On weekends, there are taxi caps after midnight so there are so many people. On the other hand, if you go there in winter and during the day, the island is quite empty and less interesting to see.

Gorky Park is one of the TOP places to visit in Moscow, because it allows you to better understand the life of the locals and their rhythm. In fact, it’s a huge entertainment park. For example, in winter there is a giant ice rink and in summer – free dance or yoga lessons, sandy beaches for playing volleyball, an outdoor cinema. So, like the locals, have a Stakantchik (ice cream or cooked corn), and enjoy the atmosphere of the place: that’s one of the interesting things to do in Moscow to discover the city.

  • Where? Krymsky Val 9. 20 minutes’ walk from Krasny Oktyabr, along the quays.

Sparrow Hill and Moscow State University

The Sparrow Hill, Vorobiovy Gori in Russian, is the highest point in Moscow. It is rather known to Russians, but less to travelers. A nice view on Moscow opens from the hill, and in particular on the Luzhniki Stadium. In addition, on the hill itself is the Moscow State University: an impressive skyscraper from the Soviet era.

  • How to get there? By bus T7 (35 min) from Oktyaborskaya station, near Gorki Park. By metro (Vorobiovy Gorki station) + climb the hill on foot. On foot along the Moskva along the Gorky Park (1h30) + climb in funiculars.

Good to know! It is possible to cross the Moskva river by funicular. We actually tested it and it was pretty cool! That is one of our favorite things to do in Moscow!

What to do in Moscow

What to do in Moscow in 3 days?

If you are going to visit Moscow in 3 days, it would be interesting to dive into the Soviet era which strongly marked the country and the city. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the capital was transferred from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, in order to mark the change of power. Moscow then became the world showcase for communist ideology. Here are the best things to do in Moscow for 3-day-trip!

VDNKh, visit Moscow of the Soviet era

VDNKh is a large exhibition center in the north of Moscow, where there are still several striking witnesses of the USSR. The most interesting are the Museum of Cosmonauts and the Statue of the Worker and the Kolkhozian , which will certainly impress you with its size!


GULAG History Museum

The explanations of the museum are very well done. We really have the feeling of going back in time. If you are going to visit Moscow in 3 days and you are interested in history and this subject in particular, I recommend this museum. Visit the GULAG History Museum is one of the most interesting things to do in Moscow.

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Discover the Patriarche Pounds district

It’s a nice neighborhood in Moscow where you can come across rather affluent locals, but not necessarily very bling-bling. Take a walk in this area is really a cool thing to do in Moscow! In addition, the Ponds of Patriarch is one of the places of Bulgakov’s novel “Master and Margarita”. As this is an interesting area to see, we have included it in a walking tour of Moscow. The route ends at the Moscow Kremlin, which is very convenient, because you will be able to visit Moscow in 3 days by optimizing your trips.

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What to visit in Moscow in 4 days: TOP things to do in Moscow in 4 days

If you want to visit Moscow in 3 days, you will already see a lot of things. On the other hand, if you stay one more day, you have plenty to do! The Novodevichy Convent, the Tchistie Proudy district and the Izmaylovo Kremlin are very good candidates for you, if you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days.

Visiting Novodevichy Convent in Moscow

The Novodevichy Convent is one of the most brilliant examples of Russian architecture, according to UNESCO. This beautiful complex was built in 1524 and today consists of the convent, but also of a cemetery whose status could be compared to that of Père-Lachaise in Paris. Visiting Novodevichy Convent is one of the great things to do in Moscow, if you want to go a little bit outside of the center!

What to see in Moscow in one day

Discovering Tchistye Proudy district

It’s one of the most popular areas of Moscow, with many cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. It is therefore a place to discover if you want to visit Moscow in 4 days. It is just as pleasant for a stroll as for the discovery of local life. For example, in winter the pond turns into an ice rink.

Visiting the Izmaylovo Kremlin, one of the coolest things to do in Moscow!

The Izmaylovo Kremlin is more of a tourist than a historic place. On the other hand, it is a pretty impressive place to discover, especially on weekends. Inside the Kremlin, there is a flea market where you can find a little bit of everything, but mostly good souvenirs to bring from Moscow. For example, chapka, traditional Russian scarves or matryoshka (Russian dolls). Add the Kremlin and the Izmaïlovo market to your itinerary if you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days, because it is a nice and very colorful place! Visiting the Izmailovo Kremlin is one of the things to do in Moscow, if you want to put colors in your Instagram account! 😉

Things to do Moscow blog

In 4 days, we will have the opportunity to see several Moscow: Classic Moscow, Moscow of old Russia, Soviet Moscow and a little bit of the new Moscow. So what to visit in Moscow on the 5th day of travel?

What to visit in Moscow in 5 days?

Art lovers will be delighted to discover the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, while others will prefer to stroll along Arbat Street, see the buildings of Moskva-City or visit Bunker 42.

Admiring Russian art at Tretyakov Gallery

Founded in 1856 by an industrialist and great lover of art, the gallery has grown over the decades, and then bequeathed to the state. Today the collection includes more than 140,000 pieces, 15,000 of which are paintings. Visiting the Tretyakov Gallery is one of the things to do in Moscow if you want to discover Russian art!

  • Where? Pereoulok Lavrouchinski 10. A 5-minute walk from Tretiakovskaya station
  • Opening hours. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Closed on Mondays.
  • Entry tickets. 500 RUB.

Museum to see

Visiting the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts presents the treasures of ancient Egypt, the paintings of Rembrandt and Cézanne, a fine collection of Impressionism.

  • Where? Ulitsa Volkhonka 12
  • Opening hours. Daily: 10: 00-20: 00, except Thursday: 11: 00-21: 00. Closed on Mondays. The boxes close an hour before closing.
  • Entry tickets. The prices vary according to the collections from 300 to 750 RUB.

Walking on Arbat Street

All Russians know Rue Arbat. So, walking on Arbat street is one of the things to do in Moscow. However, after the years, little by little it became very touristy. This is a pedestrian street only. There are souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes there, but it is no longer the most authentic neighborhood in the city.

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Seeing the buildings of Moskva-City (Moscow City)

Moskva-City is Moscow’s business center, much like Paris’s Defense district. The skyscrapers of Moskva-City are among the tallest in Europe: 373 meters high! Very nice place to see at dusk.

Good to know! You can admire a nice view of Moscow City from the docks of Tarasa Shevchenko. It’s especially beautiful in the evening with all the lights on.

Bunker 42, one of the most unusual things to do in Moscow

Bunker 42 is a secret military complex which was to be used by the Soviets in the event of a nuclear attack: a space of 7000 m² 65 meters underground!

  • Where? 5 Kotelnitcheski Lane, 11.
  • Prices. 2200 RUB per person
  • Opening hours. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Restaurant inside. Original, but rather a tourist trap.

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What to visit in Moscow in 6 days or more?

There are still so many places to see, because Moscow is a big megalopolis and there is always something exciting to do there. For example: the ancient Kolomenskoye village or the WINZAVOD contemporary art center .

If you are interested in history and want to see Russian cities on a rather “human scale”, it would certainly be interesting for you to discover the cities of the Golden Ring . For example, it is very easy to get to Sergey Posad from Moscow (less than 2 hours in train). Visiting the Golden Ring is one of the best things to do in Moscow if you are staying more than a 5-6 days.

There are still plenty of places to see in Moscow, however I did my best to list here the best things to do in Moscow, what to see in Moscow in one day, but also in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days in Moscow!

Moscow travel tips:

  • Airport transfer: how to go to Moscow?
  • Where to stay in Moscow (hotels, districts)?
  • Tourist voucher for Russian visa
  • Christmas and New Year in Moscow
  • What is the best time to visit Moscow?

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25 Places to Visit in Moscow you Can’t Miss

Main Church of the Armed Forces in Park Patriot

25 Places to Visit in Moscow

Do you know what the most populous city in Europe is? Most people wouldn’t guess that it is actually Moscow. There are approximately 13 million people in the Moscow metro area, which amounts to approximately 1/10th of all Russians.

This former capitol of the Soviet Union is still the political and financial center of Russia. Just because it is a current business and government city, in no way means that it is boring and not worth a visit. Assuming the political tensions get solved, Moscow is a fascinating city you need to visit.

While lots of people can’t explain the nuances of Russian architecture, most can spot and appreciate it immediately. One of the best ways to see the historic sites is by taking a boat tour down the Moskva River that meanders through the city.

Overall, navigating the city isn’t difficult as there is phenomenal and cheap public transportation (roughly 30 rubles/35 cents per ride). You can also use a cheap Uber on the three ring roads that circle the city at various distances from the center.

Still wondering why you should visit this historic masterpiece of a city? Read on to see the top 25 things you need to see in Moscow.

The House with Animals

The animal house in Moscow Russia

This former church is famous for the terracotta reliefs of animals that adorn the front of the building. It is a favorite of locals, and famous around the world. It was built in approximately 1900.

Resurrection Gate or Iberian Gate and Chapel

The resurrection gate at the entrance to Red square.

The Resurrection Gate is now one of the most common ways to enter Red Square. This gate is also the only standing part of the wall that was the entrance to to Kitai-Gorod, or Moscow’s historic central business district.

Book your tour: Moscow Kremlin Armory Chamber Entrance Ticket

St. Basils Cathedral

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow Russia.

Probably the most famous of the Red Square attractions is St. Basil’s Cathedral. I don’t know if the legend is true or not, but supposedly Tsar Ivan IV poked the eyes of the architect out after completing it so nothing as pretty could be made again. What an awful boss!

Book your tour: Moscow: Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square Private Tour

Book your tour: St.Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square: Private Tour and Ticket

The State Historical Museum

State Historical museum on Red Square, Moscow.

If you are like me then you can’t help but find all the twists and turns of Russian history fascinating. The State Historical Museum at Red Square is a fantastic place to learn and study the Russian Relics.

Book your tour: Kremlin, Red Square, and Metro Tour with Pick-Up

Moscow River Cruise

Moscow river cruise

The Moskva River cuts directly through the heart of Moscow. Want to see it all but rest your feet? One of the best things to do in Moscow at night is float along on a dinner cruise . The lights of the city are so beautiful. Of course, dinner in included.

Book your tour: Night lights Moscow Cruise (with Dinner option)

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

Machines in Museum of Soviet arcade machines

This is one of the most unique things to do in Moscow. If you know that many American video games paint the Russians as the bad guys, then it’s probably not surprising to learn that you can find an entirely different variety of video games in Russia. This isn’t a recent phenomenon; even historically the video games were different. If you are a video game buff then this stop is for you!

Main Church of the Armed Forces in Park Patriot near Kubinka

Main Church of the Armed Forces in Park Patriot

This church attempts to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as Russian military leader. Yes, it’s an awkward amalgamation. It caused quite a controversy when there were plans to create murals of Vladimir Putin and Joseph Stalin to go along with the ones of Jesus Christ (those plans were scrapped).

Bunker 42 (Cold War Museum)

Meeting room in Bunker 42 Museum of the Cold War - military history museum.

Tunnel at Bunker-42, anti-nuclear underground facility built in 1956 as command post of strategic nuclear forces of Soviet Union.

Americans weren’t the only ones afraid during the Cold War! You can now discover the most secret and secure Bunker of the USSR, Bunker 42. Also known as the Cold War Museum . This former military communication center is now a museum. I recommend this tour that will take you on a private two hour visit of Bunker 42.

If you aren’t interested in a guided tour you can book your tickets in advance here.

Get your tickets: Bunker 42 Admission Ticket and Cold War Tour

Tank Excursion and Bazooka Shooting in Moscow

The main Soviet tank of the Second World War

For real – you can book this tour and actually ride in a tank and shoot off military grade weapons. While that’s not my cup of tea, I know tons of guys would absolutely love to shoot a bazooka!

Book your tour here .

Dormition Cathedral

Dormition Cathedral Moscow

This is another Russian Orthodox cathedral that is located inside the Moscow Kremlin. It is another famous landmark of Moscow. The inside is decorated with ancient frescoes.

The Cathedral of the icon of the Mother of God “Sign”

Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign in the Moscow park Zaryadye

This cathedral is located in Zaryadye Park (adjacent to Red Square). It is also on the Moskva River. The Cathedral of the icon of the Mother of God “Sign” previously was a monastery.

Komsomolskaya Metro station 

Komsomolskaya Metro station in Moscow.

So many of the metro stations are breathtaking works of art. The idea was to create something beautiful that all the regular people could enjoy, or if you are more cynical you could say it was to attempt to show off how well they were doing.

Book your tour: Moscow: Small Group Metro Tour

The Round houses at Dovzhenko Stree t

The Round houses at Dovzhenko Street Moscow

The Round houses at Dovzhenko Street look super cool and futuristic, except like many communist projects didn’t actually work that well. They were supposed to be something new and different from the standard “Soviet Blocks.”

There are a number of problems with this design. Supposedly the acoustics are awful making the apartments perpetually noisy. The inner circle becomes a wind chamber even when it’s not that windy. My favorite weakness is that the trapezoid shape of apartments is hard to decorate and even harder to do maintenance on.

Izmailovo District and Izmailovo Kremlin

Izmailovo Kremlin In The Center Of

This area has to be one of the coolest places to visit in Moscow. It features a park in the middle of Moscow that is over 3x the size of New York City’s Central Park. The Kremlin in Izmailovo is a complex located in the Eastern Administrative District of Moscow that is known as the center of culture and entertainment. The wooden buildings are in Russian architecture of the XVI-XVII centuries (not original).

Izmailovo Kremlin on Google Maps .

Tretyakov Gallery

retyakov State Gallery In Moscow

For those that appreciate fine art this is where you have to go. The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow Russia is the best collection of Russian fine art in the world. The museum previously hosted worldwide chess tournaments (I can’t help be think of the Queen’s Gambit).

Book your tickets in advance here. Tickets cost about $13 per person.

Kolomenskoe Estate

Kolomenskoe Estate in Moscow Russia

This reconstruction of a former royal estate is just a few miles southeast of the Moscow city center. Supposedly really detailed historical plans survived, so the reconstruction and current museum is incredibly authentic. It was completed in 2010.

Old buildings of Arbat

Old buildings of Arbat Moscow Russia

Arbat is an old street, and was previously the “nicest place to live in Moscow. Even though it fell into disrepair, it’s location, it’s historical buildings, and the fact that it is a pedestrian street are quickly making it a top place to live again.

The Melnikov House

Famous house of architect Melnikov on Arbat street in Moscow Russia

Located on Arbat street, the Famous house of architect Melnikov designed this house (and Lenin’s sarcophagus). Melnikov designed it at a time when private ownership was outlawed, but got around this restriction by saying it was an experimental design to maximize space. Even though others weren’t built, he was able to keep it.

The New Maiden Convent

The New Maiden Convent, built was built to resemble a mini-Kremlin. It stands out to me because this “convent” was the place where women who were no longer welcome in the royal court were banished to.

Monument to the Conquerors of Space at the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in the Cosmopark

Monument to the Conquerors of Space at the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in the Cosmopark.

The Americans may have made it to the moon first, but the Russian cosmonauts were first in a number of other achievements. This gigantic obelisk pays homage to their accomplishments.

Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve

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This royal estate was founded by Catherine the Great. She was Russia’s longest serving female leader. It is now a gorgeous museum!

Stalinist Skyscraper tour

Stalinist Skyscrapers called The Seven Sisters

This group of seven skyscrapers are called the Seven Sisters. They were all made in the Stalinist style, and one was previously the tallest building in Europe. If you want to tour them all while learning about their history book here .

Cathedral of Christ the Savior

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow

It’s ironic that a country that was so anti-religion for so long has so many great churches. The Cathedral for Christ the Savior was made to thank Jesus for saving Russia. If you are interested in visiting this and so many other cathedrals in Moscow I recommend this tour that will take you to The Cathedral of Christ the Savior many other popular churches in Moscow.

Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God

Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God  in Red Square Moscow

This church on Red Square is reconstruction of what was previously there but ordered to be destroy by Joseph Stalin. It is a travesty thinking of all the beautiful things that Stalin destroyed to attempt to implement his vision.

Zaryade Park

glass dome in Zaryadye Park in Moscow

Zaryadye Park is one of the main tourist attractions in Moscow. It is located directly next to the Kremlin, and offers truly amazing views. It is also famous for its “floating bridge” and the fact that there are so many unique features underneath it.

Church of Sign of Blessed Virgin in Dubrovitsy Znamenskaya

Church of Sign of Blessed Virgin in Dubrovitsy Znamenskaya church

The Church of the Theotokos of the Sign (Dubrovitsy), or The Church of the Holy Sign of the Mother of God is located in a village amed Dubrovitsy about 20 miles south of Moscow. It is another Russian Orthodox church, but what makes this one unique is that we aren’t 100% sure who made it, or why is has a style that is completely different than other churches of the time.

The Church of Nicholas The Wonderworker

The Church of Nicholas The Wonderworker on Bersenevka in Moscow.

I love the unique style of the Russian Orthodox churches in Moscow. The golden onion domes stand out across the globe. This church dates back to 1657, though it has been partially destroyed a few times since then.

Moscow University

Moscow University in Russia

Moscow University is one of the Seven Sisters that are the “Stalin Skyscrapers.” Previously it was the tallest building in Europe. Though it has lost that title, it is still the tallest “educational building” in the world.

So what do you think? Next trip to Moscow?

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19 Unique And Fabulous Experiences In Moscow

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Thinking of visiting Russia? When visiting such a famous city, one must, of course, visit the iconic landmarks first. Moscow has plenty of those, most of them in the center of the city, which is very well-planned for tourists. Once you’ve seen the sights that are on most travelers’ lists, it’s time to branch out and visit some of the lesser-known sites, and there are some fascinating places to see and things to do.

I know this list is long, but I just couldn’t help myself. You probably won’t have the time to see them all. But that’s okay. Just scroll through the list and choose what sounds the most interesting to you. Where possible, make sure to book in advance, as things can get crowded, especially during high season.

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

1. The Red Square, Kremlin, And Surroundings

Red Square (Krasnya Ploshad) is the heart and soul of Russia, and where much of the country’s history has unfolded. This is the most famous landmark in Moscow and indeed the whole country, it’s an absolute must-do! The square is always full of people and has a rather festive atmosphere!

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

This is the famous church with the rainbow-colored, onion-domed roof. The cathedral was commissioned in the 1500s by Ivan the Terrible and according to legend, the Tsar thought it was so beautiful, that he ordered that the architect’s eyes be cut out afterward, so he could never build anything more beautiful! He wasn’t called Ivan the Terrible for no reason!

Lenin’s Mausoleum

The “love-it-or-hate-it” of tourist attractions in Russia. A glass sarcophagus containing the embalmed body of Russian revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin. It may seem a bit bizarre to display the mummy of a person, but it has been there for almost half a century and the 2.5 million visitors who come each year, clearly feel the queuing and thorough body search are worth it, to be in Lenin’s presence.

Pro Tip: no photos and no loud talking are allowed inside the Mausoleum.

Eternal Flame

There is an Eternal Flame in honor of an unknown soldier on the left side of Red Square. The hourly changing of the guards is worth seeing.

The Kremlin is the official residence of the Russian president. You can see it from the outside, or you can take an excursion to one of the museums located inside. This is the biggest active fortress in Europe, and holds a week’s worth of attractions! Once behind the 7,332-feet of walls, there are five squares, four cathedrals, 20 towers, various museums, and the world’s largest bell and cannon to see. Worth a special mention is the Armory Chamber that houses a collection of the famous Faberge Eggs.

Pro Tip: You can only go inside the Kremlin if you are part of a tourist group.

Interior of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscos

2. Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre translates to “The Big Theatre” in Russian, and the building is home to both the Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera — among the oldest and most famous ballet and opera companies in the world.

Pro Tip: It’s hard to get an inexpensive ticket, so if you’re reading well in advance of going to Moscow then try buying tickets on the official website . Last-minute tickets cost around $250 per person. If this is out of your budget, about an hour before a performance, you can try buying a ticket at the entrance from a reseller. Most can speak enough English to negotiate the price.

Tour the Bolshoi Theatre: You can take a group guided tour of the Bolshoi Theatre which focuses on the history and architecture of the theatre and behind the scenes. There’s an English language tour that lasts 2 hours and costs around $300 for a group of up to six.

GUM, a popular department store in Moscow

3. Luxury Shopping At GUM And TSUM

Russia’s main department store, GUM, has a stunning interior that is home to over 100 high-end boutiques, selling a variety of brands: from luxurious Dior to the more affordable Zara. Even if shopping is not on your Moscow to-do list GUM is still worth a visit; the glass-roofed arcade faces Red Square and offers a variety of classy eateries. TSUM, one of the biggest luxury malls in town, is right behind the Bolshoi and GUM. It’s an imposing building with lots of history, and worth a visit just for its design and its glass roof.

Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow

4. Christ The Savior Cathedral

This is one of Russia’s most visited cathedrals and is a newer addition to the gorgeous array of Muscovite cathedrals, but don’t let its young age fool you. After perestroika, in the early 90s, the revived Russian Orthodox Church was given permission to build a cathedral on this site. It did the location honors and built the largest temple of the Christian Orthodox Church. The façade is as grand as you’d expect, but it’s the inside that will mesmerize you, with its domes, gold, gorgeous paintings, and decor!

The cathedral is located just a few hundred feet away from the Kremlin and was the site of the infamous Pussy Riot protest against Putin back in 2012.

Pro Tip: Bring a shawl to cover your hair as is the local custom.

Gates at Gorky Park in Moscow

5. Gorky Park

Moscow’s premier green space, Gorky Park (Park Gor’kogo) is the city’s biggest and most famous park. There is entertainment on offer here for every taste, from outdoor dancing sessions to yoga classes, volleyball, ping-pong, rollerblading, and bike and boat rental in summer. In winter, half the park turns into a huge ice skating rink. Gorky Park is also home to an open-air movie theater and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. There is also Muzeon Art Park, a dynamic contemporary space with a unique collection of 700 sculptures. It is located right in front of Gorky Park.

6. Sparrow Hills Park

If you take a walk from Gorky Park, along the Moscow River embankment, you’ll end up in the city’s other legendary park, Sparrow Hills. Although the park doesn’t offer as many activities as its hip neighbor, it has a great panoramic view of the city

Pro Tip: You can take a free walking tour to all of the above attractions with an English-speaking guide.

River cruise in Moscow

7. River Cruising

One of the best ways to experience Moscow, and see all the famous landmarks, but from a different angle, is from the Moscow River. Take a river cruise. Avoid the tourist crowds. There are little nameless old boats that do the cruise, but if you are looking for a more luxurious experience take the Radisson Blu cruise and enjoy the sights with some good food and a glass of wine.

Moscow Metro station

8. Metro Hopping

Inaugurated in the 1930s, the Moscow Metro system is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the world. Started in Stalinist times, each station is a work of art in its own right. I’d recommend touring the stations between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This way, you’ll be able to properly see it without the crowds. Ideally, I’d recommend taking a tour with a knowledgeable guide with GuruWalk, who will tell you stories of forgotten stations and how the history of the country is interconnected with the metro development. If going by yourself, then I definitely recommend checking out: Mayakovskaya, Ploschad Revolutsii, Kievskaya, Kropotkinskaya, Kurskaya, and Novoslobodskaya stations.

Visit the free Moscow Metro Museum: For real train enthusiasts, located in the southern vestibule of Sportivnaya station is a small free museum. Here you can take a peek into the driver’s cabin, see a collection of metro tokens from different cities, and see different models of a turnstile, traffic lights, escalator, and more.

Moscow State University at dusk

9. Moscow State University View

In his effort to create a grander Moscow, Stalin had seven skyscrapers built in different parts of town; they’re called the Seven Sisters. The largest of these buildings and the one with the best view is the main building of the Moscow State University. Although this is a little outside the city center, the view is more than worth it.

Izmailovsky Market in Moscow, Russia

10. Izmailovsky Market

Mostly known for the city’s largest flea market, the district of Izmaylovo is home to a maze of shops where you can get just about anything, from artisan crafts to traditional fur hats, handcrafted jewelry, fascinating Soviet memorabilia, and antiquities. It’s also one of Moscow’s largest green spaces. There are often no price tags, so be prepared to haggle a bit. Head to one of the market cafes for a warming mulled wine before continuing your shopping spree.

The History of Vodka Museum is found here, and the museum’s restaurant is the perfect place to sample various brands of the national drink.

Once you’ve covered the more touristy spots, Moscow still has plenty to offer, and the places below will also be full of locals! So for some local vibes, I would strongly recommend the spots below!

The skyscrapers of Moscow City

11. Moscow City

With a completely different vibe, Moscow City (also referred to as Moscow International Business Center) is like a mini Dubai, with lots of impressive tall glass buildings. Here is where you’ll find the best rooftops in towns, like Ruski Restaurant, the highest restaurant both in Moscow City and in Europe. Moscow City is great for crowd-free shopping and the best panoramic views of the city.

Art in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow

12. Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakov Gallery started as the private collection of the Tretyakov brothers, who were 19th-century philanthropists. They gave their private collection to the government after their deaths. If there is just one museum you visit in Moscow, I recommend this one!

Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve, former residence of Catherine the Great

13. Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve

Tsaritsyno was a residence of Catherine the Great more than two centuries ago. It became derelict during the Soviet era but has now been fully renovated. With its opulently decorated buildings, gardens, meadows, and forests, Tsaritsyno Park is the perfect place for a green respite in Moscow.

Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve in Moscow

14. Kolomenskoye

A 10-minute metro ride from the city center is Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve, where you can get an idea of what Russia looked like 200 years ago. You’ll find ancient churches (one dating back to the 16th century), the oldest garden in Moscow, and the wonderful fairytale wooden palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, father of Peter the Great.

Ostankino TV Tower in Moscow at night

15. Ostankino TV Tower

Built in 1967, Ostankino TV Tower was the tallest free-standing construction in the world at the time, it’s still the 8th tallest building in the world and the highest in Europe. It’s also the best observation deck, with a glass floor and 360-degree views. The speedy elevators take you 1,105 feet in next to no time.

Pro Tip: You need to book in advance; entrance is based on specific ticket times and the capacity is limited and only a certain number of tourists are allowed per day. Don’t forget your passport, you’ll need it to get through security.

The floating bridge of Zaryadye Park in Moscow

16. Zaryadye Park

Zaryadye is a newly opened, landscaped urban park so new you won’t find it in a lot of tour guides. The park is near Red Square and is divided into four climatic zones: forest, steppe, tundra, and floodplains, depicting the variety of climatic zones in Russia.

These last three suggestions are a little quirky, but all are really worth checking out.

17. Museum Of Soviet Arcade Games

Release your inner child playing on 66 arcade machines from the Soviet era! What a great way to spend a couple of hours when tired of visiting museums and palaces. The staff speaks excellent English and are happy to explain how the games work.

The rooftops of Moscow, Russia

18. Moscow Rooftop Tour

Take a 1-hour private Moscow rooftop tour with an experienced roofer. I can just about guarantee none of your friends will be able to say they’ve done it! For your comfort, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes. Take your camera, there are some amazing photo opportunities out there!

A pool at Sanduny Banya in Moscow

19. Sanduny Banya

This classical Russian bathhouse opened its doors in 1808 and is famous for combining traditional Russian banya services with luxurious interiors and service. If you enjoy spas and saunas, then you should experience a Russian bathhouse at least once in your life! Go with an open mind and hire a specialist to steam you as it’s meant to be done — by being beaten repeatedly with a besom (a leafy branch)! This is said to improve circulation, but is best done by a professional!

So there you have my list of things to do in Moscow. I could have gone on and on and on, but I didn’t want to try your patience! There are so many things to do in this vibrant city that you’ll definitely need to allocate several days for exploring.

Here are some other reasons to visit Moscow and Russia:

  • 7 Reasons To Put Moscow On Your Travel Bucket List
  • Russia 30 Years (And 30 Pounds) Ago
  • Massive Mysterious Craters Appearing Again In Siberia

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Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, traveler, yoga teacher, trail runner, and mother of two. When she is not climbing or traveling she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides and runs trips regularly in India, Nepal, Tibet, Russia, and Ethiopia, taking climbers up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times a year.


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