Moscow: what to do and how to move on a solo trip
January 30, 2019
by Eugenia Hernandez
Moscow is an amazing city with a bunch of history and wonderful places. I spent one week and wasn´t enough. It´s extremely big and with a lot of things to do and see. Here are a few recommendations to make your trip unforgettable.
How to get to the city center
There are 3 airports in Moscow, the most famous is Domodedovo. It’s about 47km from the city center and you have a lot of options to get there.
Is the most expensive, the faster and the comfy one. Outside the airport are a lot of taxi cabs which aren’t the option. The yellow ones are going to take advantage of your unknowledge (they don’t speak English) and going to ask you for a bunch of money to take you to the center.
Inside the airport is a stand of an app like Uber and this one is my favorite option. They speak a bit of English and they are cheaper than the yellow cabs. It cost around 1700 rublos.
This one might be the cheapest option but also the most uncomfortable. The bus station is out the airport so if you have luggage you will need to walk like 7 minutes to get there. This cost around 5 euros and I will take one hour and a half to get to the center.
The perfect one. The airport has an own train which takes you a metro station in the center of the city, then you can take a taxi or keep connecting in the metro which maybe isn’t the best idea since it’s really crowded. It’s like 40 mins away and If you buy the ticket online it ´s cheaper.
How to move in the city
Moscow is famous for the metro station and this is really really accurate. They have the most incredible metro, is super fast, cheap and efficient. Besides the metro, you have a lot of buses which goes everywhere. You just need the metro card (you can buy it at any station) and you would be able to take all the transport services.
What to do
The real question is; will you have enough time to do everything?
Like I said before, Moscow is huge and with a lot of things to do and see.
The Red Square
The Square is the most famous place in Moscow. There you will find a lot of historic buildings like old churches and museums. If you walk behind the square, there is a famous street where you can have something to eat or buy. This street is decorated all year and is a good place to take pictures.
Right next to the Square is this luxury shopping mall which you should pass through security to get in. Once you are inside is like a fairytale, it has amazing architecture and it’s all decorated with different colors and flowers. Inside you can find stores like Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, and also an ice cream shop that is really famous and typical of this mall. In the middle of the place is a big fountain decored with flowers and everyone stays there to take pictures and to eat the ice cream. It’s definitely a place to see.
The Bolshoi Theater
After La Scala theater this one is the biggest in Europe. It was built in 1825 by a Russian prince and an American architecture. At first, it was called The Imperial Theather of Moscow. You can book a tour to go in and have a look at the artistic place, this is really worthie. It is also really close to The Red Square, you can get there walking. Don’t forget to take an unforgettable picture in front of the building.
Two famous ones can be the Gorky park which is kinda far from the city but you take a bus from the red square and It’s like 30 minutes. You can’t leave the city without going there, is super big and amazing.
The second one could be Zaryadye Park. This one is just in front of the St. Basilio Cathedral. It’s smaller than the Gorky but It’s really pretty and It has the famous floating bridge where you can take a lot of pictures and have a nice view of the city. In this park, there’s a museum.
The Red October
From the bridge in front of the Church of Christ the Saviour you can see this majestic red structure which has a very interesting history. Founded in 1687 and renamed a lot of time, is an old chocolate factory that moved in 2007. At first, the government planned to build luxury flats but had a short budget so now the place is an artistic island. Inside you will find the most exclusives bars and restaurants in the city, famous designer ateliers, galleries, and more. Also is one of the most famous art academy. So if you are in your party mood you can go to this Soviet Union symbol.
Central Children’s Store and Izmailovo market
There is this big shopping mall near to Lubyanka metro station just for kids. It’s 3 floors full with children stores. It’s like a kids paradise. It’s nice to get in because is really beautifully decorated for kids. At specific times are performances in the central yard. So if you are traveling with kids she/he will love you, and if you are traveling is a nice place to go and have something to eat in the rooftop where you can have a view of the city.
Izmailovo is a market out of the first ring where you can find a small ”red square”. It’s like a kids yard, really cute to see. Right next to the square is the market where you can find anything you can imagine. It’s the perfect place to buy souvenirs at a good price. The only bad part is not really close to the city center but it has his own metro station, so you can take it anywhere you are and just get it by metro and then walk a few minutes. For me, this was the perfect plan for my last day in Moscow.
You will be in a historic spot so you have a lot of museums to go to know more about this beautiful country. Don’t forget to go to the vodka museum (you will have vodka to try). There is a lot of free tours you can take to see the most important places.
Where to stay
Moscow is separate by rings. You can find ring one which is the closest to the center, ring two is in the middle and the third which is the farther from the Red Square. I stayed in the center of the city (Kitai – Gorod at the edge of the first ring) and for me is the perfect spot. If you stay close to the Red Square you are in the center so everything is close. The famous places, the museums, malls, and shops are close to it so you won’t need to take public transport. For me is better to stay here and walk everywhere you can get to know the city better.
In my personal view, Moscow is cheaper than many Europeans countries. I stayed there one week and I just spent 100 euros. I bought a lot of things, I ate out every day, I went to party, and more.
But this is really personal. It depends on where you stay, where you go and what you eat. But in general you can eat really good for 2 euros, you can charge to your metro card 200 rublos and it would be enough. About this, if you stay in the center you won’t need to take a bus or anything, you can walk everywhere.
Note: Do not change your money at the airport, do it in the center close to the red square.
This is definitely the one and only contra. Almost nobody speaks English or Spanish so you will need to practice your mimics habilities before go there. It´s really hard to find someone who speaks English and understands you. Also, most of the Russians get kinda mad when you speak them in English so for the trip your best friend will be the translator. You can downland your cellphone an image translator because for the metro station and the supermarket you will need it.
If you are traveling alone try to make friends or use apps like Couchsurfing so you can hang out with locals which will take you to nice places.
Go in May or June. It’s the best season to go because the weather is perfect to walk. In Russia is really common to rain a lot so you can avoid it on this months.