MOSCOW TRAVEL GUIDE !!
Moscow, the capital city of Russia, is truly enchanting in every sense of the word! Moscow is the heart of Russia that was formed by an intricate fusion of the old and the new. Moscow is where vibrant and upbeat meets culture and history! This 800-year-old vivacious city continues to impress tourists with its grand golden-domed cathedrals set beside futuristic skyscrapers, gripping ballet performances at the glittering Bolshoi Theatre, luscious green parks, and metro stations that can have you easily confused with palaces! A trip to this city will leave you rich with surreal experiences and fascinating sights. There’s literally so much that Moscow has in store for its visitors.
We have curated this travel guide to get you all caught up with the best things to do in Moscow and all the places that you must visit while you’re here! But before we jump into the juicy details about all things touristy, let’s address a few important questions –
Best Time to Visit Moscow?
Winters are brutally cold in Moscow, so the best time to visit the city would be during the summer. However, during the peak summer season, the prices of hotels and airfare increase dramatically. Therefore, the best time to visit Moscow would be during the shoulder seasons, aka, spring and fall. Spring lasts from Aril to the end of May and fall lasts from September to the end of October. We recommend travelling to Moscow during April and May to get the best of everything!
How big of a budget would you need?
Moscow can be quite expensive for travellers. However, you can still find places to stay and things to do that won’t cripple your bank account. Try and visit the city during the shoulder season to grab better deals on stay and airfare and take a metro card as the metro is the easiest and cheapest way of commuting around the city. Many of the attractions and tourist places do not have an entry fee, and the ones that do aren’t too high either. Additionally, you can save a few more pennies by cooking a few of your meals as groceries are very cheap and easily available!
Now that the whens and hows have been answered, let’s get started with the Ultimate Moscow Travel guide-
1. Join a Free Walking Tour of the Red Square
The Red Square is pretty much the heart and soul of the city. It is a prime tourist spot and is always filled with people. The Red Square has several attractions and the best way to learn more about the history of each of them would be to join a free walking tour. The walking tour shall take you to the colorful and enchanting Saint Basil’s Cathedral that was built in the 16th century; Lenin’s Mausoleum which is where the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin’s body has been preserved; the Eternal Flame which is lit in the honor of soldiers, is where you can witness the hourly changing of guards which is definitely a sight to see; the interesting State Historical Museum; and lastly the Kremlin which is the official residence of the President.
The Kremlin is located at the center of the Red Square. Kremlin is the official residence of the President. Not all places within Kremlin are open to the general public. However, some museums and cathedrals can be accessed by visitors, such as the Kremlin Armoury Chamber which houses a collection of unique weapons; the Cathedral Square which houses four beautiful and ornate cathedrals; the historic Great Bell Tower; and the Diamond Fund which exhibits a unique collection of gems and jewelry.
3. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Prepare to be enthralled by the majestic beauty of the largest Orthodox Church in the world! Situated not too far from the famous Red Square, this cathedral is characterized by its gargantuan golden colored copper dome. This enormous church is built right beside the river and is simply beautiful in an almost ethereal way. Furthermore, the entry is free making it all the more reason to visit this stunning cathedral.
4. Zaryadye Park
Another famous attraction that is right next to the famous Red Square is Moscow's first urban park! This 35-acre park is not just a park, it is a breath of fresh air to the city's landscape and a new meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Take a walk around its 35-acre grounds and visit its multiple attractions including two amphitheaters, a market, a restaurant, a world-class philharmonic concert hall, an ice cave, and even a boomerang-shaped bridge floating over the Moscow River!
5. Bolshoi Theatre
If watching ballet and opera performances are your thing or even if it is not, the shows hosted at Bolshoi Theatre is not one to miss! The performances are gripping and will have you fall in love with it in no time. Moreover, the theatre in itself is an architectural marvel with its intricate neo-classical designs and almost Pantheon like structure from the outside. Do book your tickets in advance as last minute tickets can get really expensive.
6. Gorky Park
Gorky Park is Moscow’s most famous park and also is the crowd’s favorite. Pack a picnic and head over to this green zone which has a ton of activities to keep you occupied! You can watch live dancing sessions or join a free yoga class or maybe even rent a bicycle to ride around the park! The park even has an outdoor theatre to keep its visitors entertained! This is not all! Right beside the Gorky Park is the Muzeon Art Park which has a collection of around 700 contemporary sculptures that will leave you completely in awe!
7. Sparrow Hills
A short walk towards the end of Gorky Park will bring you to Sparrow Hills which is an area that sits at a height of 220 meters and offers panoramic views of the stunning city, the serene Moskova River, and the iconic Stalinist Skyscrapers.
8. Moscow River Cruise
After enjoying a nice picnic at Gorky Park, take a short walk to the Moskova River and get yourself a ticket for a sunset cruise. The views are phenomenal and the experience is truly calming. Watch the sun set into the river as you pass by all of Moscow’s stunning landmarks.
9. Moscow Metro
Moscow’s metro is truly the gem of the city! Each station has its own charm- some look like luxurious palaces, some like museums, and some give a whole different meaning to the word modern art. Every station has its own unique decoration, a theme, and a fascinating story behind it. You could spend hours ogling at the intricate carvings, paintings, and structural marvels that have been incorporated into the designs of these stations. To learn more about the architects, the history, and the interesting stories behind each station, we do recommend you to join a guided metro tour.
10. Museums and Art Galleries
Before we talk about the main museums and galleries, let’s talk about some really unusual and unique ones that you will find only in Moscow. Russia is synonymous with vodka and the Russians know that too and hence they have an entire museum dedicated to the famous drink! That’s right! Take a trip to the Vodka Museum, learn about its interesting history and the best part is that you can even sample various brands of vodka at the museum’s restaurant. Up next is the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games! Moscow has an entire museum filled with around 60 arcade games. Bring back the memories from your childhood days and spend a couple of hours or more playing these arcade games.
Apart from the above, you can visit the Tretyakovskaya Gallery that showcases a spectacular art collection of famous Russian artists; the VDNKh which is an open-air museum; the futuristic-looking Museum of Cosmonautics that will take you through the history of Russian Space exploration; and the Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve which is a 400-hectare park which houses a regal palace that once was the residence of Catherine the Great.
11. Ostankinskaya TV Tower
This tower is the tallest in Europe and the 8th tallest tower in the world. You can buy a ticket to one of its viewing decks having a clear glass floor that offers scary yet spectacular panoramic views of the city! The tower even has a revolving restaurant that revolves twice on its axis every 40 minutes, offering diners a 360-degree view while they indulge in some delicious Russian meals!
12. Moscow’s Nightlife
Moscow has a happening nightlife with a variety of nightclubs and pubs to choose from. You could head over to one of these clubs or join a pub crawl that is specifically organized by the locals for tourists.
Moscow exceeds all expectations and offers truly unforgettable experiences to all its visitors! All of these unforgettable experiences that you create deserves to be captured in the best manner possible, and for that we recommend you to hire professional vacation photographers from Travographer. Hire one of our photographers to follow you around as you create beautiful memories in this vibrant and fascinating city! Our photographers are the best at what they do and are locals; hence they'll know all there is to know about the best locations for an incredible photoshoot!!