Things to do in Moscow
Moscow, one of the most vibrant European capitals, is a powerful mix of history and edginess. Russia’s capital has been in existence for more than 800 years and has enough to keep visitors busy for months. Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth. It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in Europe; the Federation Tower, the second-tallest skyscraper in Europe. Moscow is huge and it has plenty of interesting places to visit. There is much more to see in Moscow.
Here is the list for people who have time and the desire to see some attractions in Moscow. You will be able to experience Russia's capital city more fully and gain a complete picture of Moscow life and culture.
Reserve Tsaritsyno is a fantastic place to spend the whole day. It’s a picturesque palace ensemble with huge surrounding forests and lakes. Apart from walking around, during summer you can enjoy a boat trip through the ponds, ride Segways, take an Electromobile tour or have a mini adventure in the rope park. Outdoor music festivals also take place here and they’re sometimes free!
Red Square is the heart and soul of Russia! The most famous landmark of Moscow and the whole country, it is an absolute must do! The square is always full of people and has some special festive atmosphere! If you get lost, you can always ask locals for directions.
GUM and TSUM
GUM (pronounced goom) and TSUM (pronounced tsoom) are the largest, most over-the-top shopping malls in Moscow. GUM faces Red Square; TSUM is across the street, just opposite Karl Marx Place. No one who values value should buy much here, but everyone should make a point of stopping by GUM, strolling through the capacious, architecturally stunning hallways packed with the likes of Burberry, Joop!, Hermès and Moschino, and then moving on to TSUM. After all the window-shopping, Café Tsum, on the fourth floor, is a perfect place to unwind amidst the splendor and pretentiousness.
The biggest active fortress in Europe, Moscow’s Kremlin offers a week’s worth of attractions. Once you get behind the 2,235 meter-long kremlin walls, there are five squares to wander around, various buildings to explore, 20 towers to learn the names of, and the world’s largest bell and cannon to see.
St Basil's Cathedral
At the southern end of Red Square stands the icon of Russia: St Basil’s Cathedral. This crazy confusion of colors, patterns, and shapes is the culmination of a style that is unique to Russian architecture.
Moscow Metro Tour
The busiest European metro system - every day more than 9 million people take a ride in the beautiful Moscow metro. It has 214 stations. On this 3-hour tour, you take in some of Moscow's most important and highly decorated stations. Carrying up to 7 million passengers a day and covering almost the entire city, the Moscow Metro is one of the most extensive mass transit systems in the world. It's famous for the fine examples of social-realism which decorate many of its stations. Visit some of the most important stations and get the chance to admire spectacular baroque-style ceilings, marble statues, busts of Communist heroes, stained glass windows, and ceiling mosaics depicting the bright Soviet future.
This is one of the most beautiful convents in Moscow. Novodevichy Convent is surrounded by high walls, inside which there is a nicely manicured garden, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Smolensk, an octagonal bell tower and some smaller museums. When opened, back in the 16th century, it housed many women of Russian royal families.
Cathedral Of Jesus The Savior
This is an impressive Orthodox cathedral on the banks of the Moskva river. At 103 meters, it is the tallest Christian Orthodox church in the world. The one standing today is a reconstruction since the original one was demolished under the orders of Josef Stalin. The interior is completely covered by frescoes depicting Biblical stories. There is usually a big line to get through security before getting in, which gets even bigger on Orthodox holidays. Taking photos is not allowed inside.
Gorky Park is one of the first and, till date, one of the most popular parks in the Russian capital city of Moscow. The park is located in the heart of Moscow and it is named in honor of Maxim Gorky who was a celebrated writer, and a political activist. This park was designed in the 1920s and the architect credited with the design is avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov. This park is thoroughly enjoyed by the public. Activities that are popular here include cycling, skating, playing sports, and even urban and extreme sports.
In the heart of Russia’s capital city, inside the famous Red Square is what is called Lenin’s Mausoleum, which is essentially Lenin’s Tomb where the remains of the USSR leader Vladimir Lenin currently rests. His body was moved here not long after his death in 1924 and has been preserved and put up for public view. It is said that after Lenin’s death, there was a collective push from the public demanding that the body is preserved and displayed for centuries to come. Supposedly, the government received over a staggering ten thousand telegrams demanding this. The government really had to consider the plea of the public and this led to the building of a permanent mausoleum which was to serve as the resting place for Lenin’s body.
Poklonnaya Hill used to be one of the highest spots in Moscow and is now home to several tourist attractions such as Victory Park. The hill offers stunning panoramic views of the Russian capital. Victory Park, located on the hill, was envisaged as part of an open-air museum to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon.
Much famed as the Lenin Hills until 1999, it is a must for every traveler to include a visit to the Sparrow Hills on their Moscow city tour. Standing tall at an elevation of 220 meters, it is the highest viewpoints in the city that rises above the Moskva River. Get atop the hills to enjoy breathtaking views of the Moscow skyline.
State Historical Museum
State Historical Museum is located between the Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. The museum has a vast range of collections including prehistoric tribal items. It is believed that the museum is home to over a million artifacts. State Historical Museum stands on the site of a former Principal Medicine Store. The museum was founded in 1872 and has worked towards promoting Russian history and heritage.
Taking marine biology and oceanography to a whole new level, Moskvarium exhibits a magical world like none other. Ever since it was established in 2013, it has become one of the must place to visit in Moscow that serves as a home to about 80 aquariums that further houses sea creatures of around 8000 species. Brought together from all around the world, the aquariums feature more than 500 species of fishes including dolphins, 3-meter sharks, killer whales, and Russian sturgeon.
An elegant historic street right in the city center, Arbat is one of Moscow’s most touristy spots. With lots of cafés and restaurants, live music performers and caricaturists, as well as souvenir shops and tattoo salons, monuments and a theatre, Arbat draws crowds of visitors every day.
The largest foreign art museum in Moscow comprises three branches housing a collection of incredible works by masters of ancient civilizations, the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age. The main building contains masterpieces by Botticelli, Tiepolo, Veronese, and Rembrandt, some of which have never been displayed before. The Gallery of European & American Art, located next door, stores an incredible collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings.
The former summer residence of Empress Catherine the Great was commissioned in 1775 and succumbed to deterioration during the Soviet era. The whole of Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve has been fundamentally renovated since the 1980s to look even brighter than the original. With its opulently decorated buildings, gardens, meadows, and forests, Tsaritsyno Park is the perfect place for a green respite in Moscow.
A mine of precious stones, jewelry, Diamond Fund is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Moscow for those whose love for diamonds is limitless. Established by the Emperor Peter I of Russia in the year of 1719, this gem of a place resides within the premises of the famous Moscow Kremlin.
Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics
As the name of this museum suggests, it is all about outer space and space exploration. For those interested in astrophysics and the wonders of the universe and outer space, this is a true haven. The museum opened its doors to the public on 10th April 1981. This date was chosen for the inauguration as it would be exactly two decades since Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, became the first human being to complete a revolution around Earth. This amazing museum is home to over 85,000 artifacts that are related to astronomy, astrophysics, space travel, time and space, technology and the likes. As per statistics from the Russian Tourist Board, the museum sees, on average, 300,000 visitors a year.
Grand Kremlin Palace
Established in the year of 1849, Great or Grand Kremlin Palace is one of those places to visit in Moscow that will leave you beyond astonished. Constructed beautifully and with a great eye for detail, the intricate decor inside the Grand Kremlin Palace reflects the pure charm of the Revival architecture in Russian that blends perfectly with the architectural style of Byzantine Revival.
Moscow Zoo is spread over an area of 21.5 hectares. The zoo was founded by professor-biologists K.F. Rulje, S.A. Usov, and A.P. Bogdanov in 1864. The zoo is home to over 6,500 animals belonging to nearly 1,000 species. It is amongst the biggest zoos in Russia and carries out several functions such as breeding rare, endangered species. The zoo features a fairytale castle-like entrance, decked with a waterfall and towers. The zoo is home to a wide array of animals ranging from big cats including Siberian tigers to penguins. The visitors also get to sea lions here. The zoo is divided into old and new parts, which are connected through a pedestrian bridge. On the newer side of the zoo, visitors can access the primate house. There is also a section devoted to various animals from fairy tales. The section is mainly aimed at young visitors and lets them experience several other things such as watching chicks being hatched. The zoo also has a sea aquarium where you can learn more about aquatic animals. The Creatures of the Night exhibit is especially popular among the visitors. The zoo also has a number of bird species, making it an excellent place for bird watchers.
Photograph by f11photo