Moscow is a large metropolis offering a wide range of activities for city lovers as well as nature lovers. With a population of nearly 12 million this city is always vibrant and never seems to sleep. Besides the must see iconic places and sights such as the Kremlin, the Red Square or Lenin’s tomb there are plenty of exceptional museums and art galleries to visit.
The green parks are the favorite spots of the locals for morning jogging or just for an evening stroll. There are over a hundred green spots around the city, making Moscow one of the greenest capitals in the world. It is easy to stay entertained in the evenings as well, with the opera or the ballet to visit and later on there is a plethora of bars and nightclubs to choose from.
The best time of the year to visit would be springtime from end of April until the beginning of July before the hot summer months. Wintertime is also a great idea, just make sure to wrap up warm and be prepared for the Russian winter.
1. Watch the sunrise over Red Square
The Red Square has been the heart and soul of Russia for centuries. With the most famous building of Moscow, the St. Basil Cathedral from the 16th century and many others like the Lenin Mausoleum, Kazan Cathedral and Kremlin the square is really a stunning spot to start the day at. Have a coffee at GUM shopping mall which was the State Department Store during the Soviet era and today it is the most famous shopping mall with exclusive boutiques. Make sure to try the ice-cream there! If you are happen to be in Moscow during Christmas, the christmas market on the Red Square will definitely put you in a festive mood!
2. Have a stroll on Arbat Street
Photograph by Yuliya Tarasenko
Arbat Street also called ‘Old Arbat’ or ‘Stary Arbat’ was once home to some of Russia’s finest writers and artists. Today it is a mainly pedestrian street with many street musicians, portrait painters, sidewalk cafés restaurants and souvenir stands. It always has a great atmosphere and turns into a snowman crowd during the winter!
3. Visit Moscow’s Leisure Parks
Moscow more than 100 parks within the city limits, not to mention the countless gardens. They are not only green areas but they are also equipped with bike rental stations, business area with Wi-Fi, outdoor cinema and observatory to contemplate the sky. If you like keeping active on your holidays too, have a jog around the beautiful surroundings of the Gorky Park, which was the first holiday park in the Soviet Union with playgrounds and sports stadium.
4. Enjoy the view over the city
The Swissotel Moscow offers a great view from it’s City Space Bar, which is located on the 34th floor. Sip away your cocktail and enjoy the view in the evening when everything is lit up! If you are up to for a walk there is a great view from the Sparrow Hills too, or Vorobyovy Gory in Russian.
5. Visit the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
The Pushkin Museum is one of the largest fine art museums in Europe . It has artworks from the ancient times to the present day including Russian, European, Greek, Egyptian thematic halls. Visitors can see the remarkable works of Rembrandt, Botticelli, Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Picasso just to mention a few.
6. Travel by metro
The subway in Moscow is certainly worths a visit for the fascinating architecture and design. Some stations are beautiful. If you have no problem with crowds visit it in rush hour, it is an experience. There are no English-language signs in the metro, so make sure you get off in time.
7. Visit the VDNKh
Photograph by Raveman
VDNKh is a large exhibition center in Moscow built in the Soviet times. There are beautiful fountains that are operating in the summer months. Have a walk and enjoy the fascinating architecture and colorful flowerbeds.
8. Visit the Russian State Library
The Russian State Library has the largest collection of books (17,5 million) in Russia and the fourth largest in the world. The library has over 275 km of shelves, 13 million journals, 350 thousand music scores and sound records, 150,000 maps and others. It is a truly overwhelming experience to walk down the aisles.
9. Try Traditional Russian Food
If you are not familiar with Russian cuisine you will be surprised by the variety and flavors of the traditional food of the country. There is so much to try! Just to mention a few: borshch the red colored beet soup with meat and vegetables; pirozhki pastries filled with potatoes, meat, cabbage, or cheese; blini served rolled with a variety of fillings, jam, cheese, onions, or even chocolate syrup. And of course, caviar! The best typical Russian breakfast is served in Sheraton Palace Hotel. Click here for TOP 10 Authentic Russian Recipes.
10. The Novodevichy Convent
The Novodevichy Convent was built in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Moscow Baroque style. It the perfect example of the amazing Russian architecture and also a historical monument. It was used by women of the Tsar’s family and the aristocracy. Members of the Tsar’s family and famous Russian people were also buried in its cemetery.