Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia and in the world and a real paradise for travelers: everyone can find any kind of entertainment for any taste and budget. In this article I will give you a general review of where to go and what to do in Moscow, so you could choose what’s most interesting for you and make your own tour. Here we go!
Red Square and city-center
First thing you remember about Moscow or Russia is, of course, Red Square and Kremlin. Though these sights may seem a little cliché, don’t lose a chance to visit them and take a photo with colorful Saint Basil’s Cathedral in day time or luminous GUM (one of the oldest and most expensive and beautiful shopping centers in Russia) at night. From Red Square you can get wherever you like on foot: the Historical museum, the Bolshoi theatre, Tverskaya street or the Arbat.
A particular part of Moscow most popular sights are religious places. Just imagine: there are about 900 Christian churches and cathedrals in Moscow: from modest small churchlets hidden in cozy lanes of midtown to monumental noble pile of cathedrals like the Cathedral of Christ the Savior or Novodevichy Convent. There are also 6 magnificent mosques and beautiful temples of other confessions.
Theatres and Art-galleries
Moscow is a very attractive direction for all art-lovers, as it is a city of theatres and art-galleries of all kinds: from famous academic ballet and opera of the Bolshoi theatre and the Tretyakov Gallery with thousands of unique masterpieces to modern art museums and experimental studios where spectators become part of the scene. Don’t even hesitate to visit Pushkin Museum, the Armoury Chamber and Ensemble Kuskovo.
City of pride
Staying in Moscow never forget that it is a hero-town, whose people bravely struggled against Nazi-invaders during the WW II, so you can see a lot of memorials dedicated to that terrible tragic period of history. Please, always show your regard and respect to such places.
Moscow outdoor activities
Though Moscow is a very industrial city, still it has vast green territories with lakes and forests. One of the most popular city parks is Gorky park. Situated on Moscow-river side and being connected to Neskuchny Garden and Museon (other popular parks in Moscow) from both parts, it provides both entertainment for children and adults: outdoor theatres and master-classes, yoga, football, cycling and skateboarding all summer. As for hockey, skating or snowboarding – these sports are available in winter, so Moscow is available for sports all the year round!
And the last, but not the least – Moscow Underground. Splendid and vast it stirs the imagination its deepness, scale and, of course, inimitable beauty. Golden decoration and marble, bronze sculptures, frescos and portraits of famous Russian writers, composers and poets in the central stations charm the tourists immediately, so it’s easy to forget what your destination in the first place was.
Moscow never sleeps, as Moscow clubs open their doors on Thursday evening and work till Sunday, while most bars are open daily till almost 6 a.m. As for the music, it can be rather different and depends on the place and party. Usually it is trans or pop music, but some places are specialized in Latin-American or rock music.
The fanciest clubs are situated on Bolotnaya embankment (Muscovites call it “strelka” due to the form of the landscape) – a real party island on the Moscow-river where music, lights, alcohol and fun is never-ending.
The second dancing point is right behind the Bolshoi theatre: here it goes Petrovka, Kuznetsky most, Bolshaya Dmitrovka and other fashionable streets where crowds of hipsters, trendy rich young women and men stand long queues to get in. In some places it’s enough just to look fine and be sober, in others be ready for a strict FC/DC. The majority of bars and clubs have free entrance and sell tickets only for special occasions.
Cuisine: what to eat in Moscow
Moscow is a mix of all possible food and tastes from all over the world: Russian and Ukrainian, Italian and American, Thai and Vietnamese, Latin American and Caucasian, Greek and Israeli and so on. You can easily find an Irish pub side by side with chaikhana (traditional tea room in Central Asia) or eat sushi enjoying a wonderful view from the 89 floor of one of the Moscow-city skyscrapers. In summer Moscow holds a lot of food-festivals in parks where you can taste BBQ prawns, burgers or traditional Russian pancakes – blini with caviar, jam or sour cream.
Where exactly to eat in Moscow? Well, all depends on your preferences and purse. The majority of most popular restaurants are located on central streets: Tverskaya, Myasnitskaya, Kitay-gorod, Piatnitskaya, etc. The most luxurious restaurants are White Rabbit, Nobu, Pushkin, Turandot, Cristal room, la Bella Societa and many others, where you should be ready to spend about 4000-5000 Roubles per person for an average dinner with wine or champagne.
Certainly, there is a huge number of casual dining places with good various food which will be affordable for practically everyone…traditional Russian dumplings (aka “pelmeni”), pasta Carbonara and Pho Bo soup are wide-spread all over Moscow.
Of course, like, I think, everywhere in the world, here you can easily find the fast food restaurants like KFC or McDonalds. And as usual they are situated in big shopping centers and near practically all metro stations. And the icing on the cake…if it’s 2 a.m. and suddenly you want Chinese food or feel an irresistible impulse to buy a screwdriver, you are welcome to visit a local corner shop or supermarket, as many of them are open 24/7, as well as cafes, clubs and restaurants. No matter whether you want to make an omelet at home or order breakfast in the middle of the night: eggs and milk will be available practically anytime for you not to starve.
So, the number of sights in Moscow is practically endless, always changing and it’s impossible to see them all at once, so estimate your time to see and enjoy at least some of them. And, of course, welcome to Moscow!