Moscow weekend: two great days in Russian capital
January 1, 1970
Throw your glasses at the wall,
Fame and fortune to us all, ho, ho, ho, hey
Moscow, Moscow, join us for a casatchok.
We’ll be dancing ’round the clock ha, ha, ha hey
© Dschinghis Khan
This song was very popular in Russia some decades ago and still comes to my mind when I hear something about Moscow. To be honest, that was my first time in the capital of my country, despite the fact that I have already traveled a lot abroad. I decided to visit this megalopolis and form my own opinion because usually people are divided into two groups: haters or fans, there is no neutrality. Well, I can confess that I am now the biggest fan. Let’s start.
7 a.m., Red Square, Moscow
First of all, I got out the train at 6 a.m. at Yaroslavsky railway station, met there a friend and we continued our tour without any stop. We took metro from Komsomolskaya to Red Square. It is important to remember, however, that there is no metro station “Red Square”. Red Square is a place where you find 3 stations: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya and Ploshad’ Revolucii. When I arrived, I was so happy to see no one there, because normally, as all my friends said to me, you cannot even make a normal picture in the crowd. Moreover, it looks much greater without people, it is easy to observe everything: Kremlin, GUM, Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
If you like shopping, then just turn left if you confront right now Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and go directly to GUM, where you will enjoy peeping into luxury boutiques as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany etc. Other popular brands from all over the world are presented in the big Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center.
To visit Kremlin, which is opened every day, except Thursday, from 10 to 18, you need to pay 350 rub (approx. 5 euro) for adults and 100 rub (approx. 1.5 euro) for children per ticket. Armoury Chamber is also very popular among foreign tourists and people all over Russia. Open hours are 10:00, 12:00, 14:30, 16:30 and tickets on sale for each visit are limited.
The Old Arbat (Stary Arbat)
Arbat, as Wikipedia explains, is “an approximately one-kilometer long pedestrian street in the historical center of Moscow”. This street is very beautiful and I enjoyed ramble and weather in spite of clouds and wind. There is ocean of places to have breakfast/lunch/dinner and some of them are not expensive, for example, we spent approx. 5 euros for English breakfast there.[single_map_place] Вареничная № 1, улица Арбат, Москва, Россия, 119002 [/single_map_place]Russian people know that the most interesting events happen in Moscow: concerts, exhibitions, movies production etc. And even spending only one weekend there I became a witness of serial’s production process with very famous actor Vyacheslav Grishechkin.
Moscow City – One Love
Moscow City is a relatively new project which was created as a world international business center. There are now 21 venues but the concept originally was to organize 31 objects in one infrastructure and allow people to live, make shopping, have entertainments and work there without leaving the complex. The construction is still in process but you can enter some parts (just get out the train on Vystavochnaya metro station) and you will see some shops and cafes opened. Obviously, it is not permitted to visit those high rises where people already live in apartments, although it is so interesting. You can easily find these modern buildings on Presnenskaya quay (Mezhdunarodnaya or Vystavochnaya metro station).
How about museums?
It is not hard to guess that Moscow offers all visitors plenty of museums, galleries, lofts etc. suited to every fancy. Personally, I like visiting galleries and I always do it during my trips, and there was no exception this time. My choice was not hard since I already knew some masterpieces that I truly wanted to see in real life (I.I. Shishkin “Morning in a pine forest”, I.E. Repin “Ivan the terrible and his son Ivan”, I.N. Kramskoy “Painting of an unknown woman”). As you may suggest, I made a decision to go to Tretyakov State Gallery. And I can tell you, fan of art and galleries, it is WOW, nothing else. If usually you spend 2-3 hours in galleries as I do, so this time be ready for 4-6 hours. First of all, I decided not to be so fast because of the weather outside, but then it became really impossible to finish in 2 hours due to enormous number of paintings. I spent the whole day there and I never regret. There are more than 30 halls, 170 000+ works of Russian artists. Repin, Surikov, Vasnetsov, Shishkin, Rublev, Vrubel…if these names are relevant to you, then you will have one of the best gallery experience just for approx. 5-6 euros as normal price or 2 euros if you are a student. To visit Tretyakov Gallery you just need to reach Tretyakovskaya metro station.
VDNKh – All-Union Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy
I even do not know how correctly can I identify this place, but honestly, you will spend there the whole day walking, playing games, organizing picnics, visiting various pavilions that offer activities for different interests: from Cosmic Museum and History of Romanov’s Family to Agricultural exhibitions and farms. Each ticket to pavilions costs approx. 7 euros but the main entrance to VDNKh is free. We firstly walked there, enjoyed weather, fountain and atmosphere like we turned back time and see now all economic achievements of Soviet Union.
Then we continued our tour and somehow came to very beautiful and huge park-garden with zillion of trees, shrubs and avenues. And finally, after 20-30 minutes, we reached Ostankino TV Tower, the center point of russian television, and one of the most important channels – the first channel (Pervy Kanal). If you have time and will, then buy a ticket for approx. 15 euros (adults) or 7 euros (children) and you will be lifted to the tower to see it inside and observe a beautiful panorama (if there is no fog).
To make some conclusion, I would like to welcome all people to this city. I guarantee that each and all will find many interesting activities to do and no one will get bored because if you, for instance, do not like sightseeing, you will absolutely love night life or other events, just google 🙂 And one more remarkable quote to remember “Moscow never sleeps”.