The heart of Russia, Moscow, attracts visitors with its ability to satisfy every need and provide any kind of entertainment. Be it the impressive Kremlin, Red Square, Bolshoi Theatre or Lenin’s Mausoleum, everything in Moscow is grand and splendorous. The need to be impressive, even at the cost of being a tad unsophisticated, is carved heavily into the Russian culture, and it shows in Moscow. The city leaves little to the imagination – whether or not is that a good thing, everyone has to answer for himself. Nonetheless, tourists will find Moscow to be one of the most entertaining capitals in the world. The historical legacy of Moscow is simply fascinating, with the monuments of fallen heroes of Communism hidden around every corner. However, despite the historical legacy, Moscow has another side to it – in addition to the golden domes and soaring churches, Moscow features wild nightclubs, avant-garde restaurants and state-of-the-art hotels. This diversity makes Moscow a perfect city for an unforgettable city break, during which you will be able to experience the best of what Russian culture has to offer.
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Moscow
Moscow Metro Tour
While travelling on your own through all of the metro stations of the city is possible, this tour will instead allow you to save some time and have an informed guide tell you about the history of the Moscow metro, as he takes you around five most beautiful metro stations and shows you their sights.
Moscow Must-Sees Private Tour
With a private guide who will provide a personalised experience, this tour allows you and your close ones to enjoy a secluded trip around the city. You can ask any questions to the guide, and he will surely answer, while showcasing to you the highlights of the Old Town of Moscow, along with its culture and history.
Kremlin Small Group Tour
This one-and-a-half hour long tour only takes a small group of tourists to ensure a lot of attention given to every single visitor. The tour will take you through the Kremlin, under the supervision of a knowledgeable guide, showing you the Cathedral Square along with the Assumption Cathedral and Archangel Cathedral.
Communist Moscow – Evening Walking Tour
A tour which will provide you with insights into the rich history of Moscow, with focus on illustrating the Soviet period of its heritage. An English-speaking guide will tell you about the 1917 Revolution as you stand in the Revolution Square, and will later go with you to sights such as the Bolshoi Theater and the Tverskaya Street.
Small Group Moscow City Walking Tour
Taking only two hours of your time, this walking tour will take you along some of the most famous highlights of the city of Moscow. First, you will be led by a guide to explore the areas around the Red Square. Later on, you will stroll through the Nikolskaya Street, towards the lush Alexandrovksy Garden.
City Sightseeing Moscow Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour
Presenting a good alternative to tourists who would rather prefer to discover Moscow in their own pace, this tour offers access to a number of comfortable double-deckers with open tops, which serve between the most important sights in the city. Moreover, you can opt-in for a cruise for a small additional fee.
Private Moscow City Tour
With only a small group of other people who come with you, this tour will take you on a five-hour-long trip around the city. The tour includes seeing the Red Square, the Kremlin, as well as the Kazan’s Cathedral, St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, and more, all with a well-accustomed guide.
Kremlin Entrance with Cathedral Square
This tour guarantees you the opportunity to see the Cathedral Square in Moscow with an admission ticket, as it is hard to squeeze through the lines without it. A guide will show you along the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, as well as the inauguration place of a new Russian president inside of the Kremlin.
Moscow Private Two-Day Tour
Packed full of attractions and monuments to see, this two-day tour will show you around all of the interesting places of Moscow and towns around it. You will be taken to the Kolomenskoye Museum and Tsaritsyno Park, after which you can see the Saint Basil’s Cathedral in the Red Square for yourself.
Moscow Walking Tour through the Eyes of Locals
Covering such spots of Moscow as the Red Square and the highlights surrounding it, this tour is managed by locals to ensure the most truthful sightseeing experience. Skip-the-line tickets to the top tourist attractions are provided, allowing you to visit all the most famous sights without any hassle.
Other Things to See and Do
The obvious thing to see for free during your stay in Moscow is the famous Metro of the city. Many of the stations are made with gorgeous architecture which is absolutely worth seeing, adorned with remnants of Soviet Russia, statues, sophisticated chandeliers, and glass art.
There is a company in Moscow that provides free tours to the tourists every day, covering most major sights which you can enter for free. The guides employed by this company are very likable and enthusiastic, and often know even more about the city than the guides of paid tours.
Located right outside of the Kremlin’s northeastern part, the Red Square is a huge area of cobblestone and is often considered to be the heart of Moscow. The Square features a number of monuments and attractions around it and is in itself a spot where a lot of important events in Russian history took place.
If you are brave enough, you can visit the Lenin’s Mausoleum which holds the tomb of the Soviet leader of Russia, Vladimir Lenin. The body of Lenin is preserved and is put on public display since 1924, and has been constantly there with short exceptions during the war. Make sure to stop by to gaze at its gorgeous sculptures.
St Basil’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as St Basil’s Cathedral, is one of the most famous landmarks of Moscow. The building now functions as a museum and is open for free on every third Thursday of the month, but you can come any time to gaze at its gorgeous colourful towers.
Established in 1906, the Gorky House-Museum is an art nouveau mansion designed by the famous Fyodor Schechtel as a gift to the Russian author Maxin Gorky. Nowadays, the House-Museum’s function is to preserve and show you the lifestyle of the author, along with the rich furniture and murals that adorned his house.
A perfect place to take an afternoon stroll in Moscow is the Alexander Garden, but you should probably avoid it during the rush hours, as thousands upon thousands of tourists do the same. Inside, you will be able to see the famous vibrant flowerbeds, as well as a gorgeous view of the Kremlin in the distance.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Located inside of the Alexander Garden, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument to commemorate all of the soldiers that died during World War II. The soldiers killed during the Battle of Moscow in 1941 were initially buried in mass graves, and this monument was made to give them respect.
Another good place to take a walk are the grounds of the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve, which is an ancient estate placed by the side of the Moscow River. Nowadays, the estate is a combination of churches and gates, along with other buildings, which are all free to see and are definitely worth it.
Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Located southwest of the Kremlin along the Moscow River, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, is an enormous landmark, which is a reconstruction of a 19th church destroyed by Stalin. The demolition of the palace was done in order to make place for a colossal Palace of the Soviets, but it was stopped by German forces.
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Showing the largest collection of foreign art in all of Russia, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is a place worth visiting and provides free admission on every third Thursday of each month. The museum is split into three branches, each showing art of different periods, from antiquity to modern times.
19th and 20th Century Art Gallery
If you are in a mood to see some of the best contemporary art available in Russia, take a walk to the 19th and 20th Century Art Gallery, located right next to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The gallery holds a famous collection of French Impressionist works, along with other representatives of contemporary arts.
As you enter the insides of this glorious fortification looming over the city of Moscow, you can still enjoy its gorgeous architecture from the outside for free. The Kremlin is one of the oldest fortifications in all of Russia, dating as far as the 9th century, and was rebuilt during the 14th century.
The Arbat Street often referred to as just the Arbat, is one of the most famous streets located in the historical centre of Moscow. The street was regarded as the most prestigious area to live in by the Russian nobility, but was almost completely destroyed in the great fire of 1812, but was rebuilt since.
Make sure to stop by the Novodevichy Cemetery, which is free to enter and is the place in Russia where its most important people are buried. The graves of the cemetery hold remains of both political and cultural figures, with such people as Bulgakov, Chekhov, Gogol, Mayakovsky, Eisenstein, and Prokofiev.
Being probably the most famous flea market in Moscow, and maybe in all of Russia, Izmailovo is part of a theme park which hosts a range of shops, restaurants, attractions, and monuments. All of these buildings and stalls are located within a fake Kremlin, with faux walls and towers, making for a unique neighbourhood.
Red October Factory
Famous for its traditional chocolate and sweets, produced mostly during the Soviet history of Russia, the Red October factory is nowadays one of the most prominent spots in the city for art and entertainment. The factory hosts not only a range of events and art galleries, but also clubs, cafes, and even fashion stores.
All-Russia Exhibition Center
Being a vast complex of wide streets and pavilions filled with remnants of the socialist era, the All-Russia Exhibition Center was created in the 1930s as a remnant of the Soviet paradise. Nowadays, the place is open to tourists with wonderful statues and rich fountains and is still free to visit to this day.
Created during the late 13th century by Saint Daniel, the Danilov Monastery is the Moscow’s oldest one and is home to devoted servants of the Lord to this day. The church in the centre of the monastery is said to hold the relics of the saint, and you can even see them for yourself for free.
Otherwise known as the Victory Park, the Park Pobedy is an enormous swath of terrain celebrating the triumph of the Great Patriotic War. The park is filled with fountains and statues, and there is even an on-site museum which is normally not free to enter, but it is free during the free museum day.