Moscow, Russia Travel Guide: Top Things to Do and See in Moscow
When I announced my trip to Moscow I remember to people asking me: “Why Moscow?” “It is expensive!” “Be careful, it is a dangerous place!”; however, after visiting the city, I can ensure it was one of the cheapest, greatest and most extraordinary places I have ever been to. The city has remarkable history, outstanding architecture and an unique culture.
Places you must go:
- The Kremlin has been the government of the Russian Federation center since the Middle Age (except during the socialism). Inside this fort you can see three Cathedrals, two churches and five beautiful and colorful palaces. To go inside and avoid the queues you can buy the tickets on the official website: http://tickets.kreml.ru/en/#id=1
- The Saint Basil's Cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the world and took six years to be built. The domes have the shape of funny ice creams! Walk around, buy a colorful ice cream and take pictures with it in front of the church!
- Be amazed with the Lenin’s Mausoleum, which is located in the Red Square along with the Kremlin walls. This place has the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Soviet Union. He has been there for more than a hundred years! You can go inside and have a look! Don’t panic at the size of the queue as the wait time is quite short. And remember, it is not allowed to take pictures.
- You can find, the Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Lenin’s Mausoleum, The Kremlin walls and the Historical Museum in the Red Square. There are also markets with souvenirs and traditional food! Several events happen throughout the year here from the Moscow City Racing, Car exhibition and ice skating in the winter.
- Go around by Metro! You can't miss The Metro’ Stations. First because the transportation is good, easy and very cheap, but the main reason is the impressive beauty of them. The stations were built to bring the art and luxury for everyone, not only for those who could live and afford Palaces and Museums. It is breathtaking indeed!
Food and drink
- There are plenty delicious Kebabs in Moscow! Kebab House has tasty and very affordable options
- Oblomov Restaurant: A cozy colonial house featuring traditional, local classic cuisin (Borscht, Stroganoff, Blinis).
- The White Rabbit: A luxurious setting with Russian, modern and provocative food. Tip: make sure to make a reservation beforehand
- You can try different types of Vodkas anywhere in Moscow!
- Eat and Talk Caffe is a good place to try some traditional food, but also pasta, pizza, sandwiches and even sushi!
Where to shop
- Shopping Gum is a luxurious shopping near the Red Square, in front of the Kremlin walls. The imposing entrance is hard to be ignored.
- If you prefer walking on a charming street full of bars, restaurants and souvenirs stores don't miss the Arbat Street!
- Izmailovsky Market has lots of vintages products, you can find from Russian hats, antique cameras, Russian painted plates, traditional Matrioskas to objects from the Soviet Union time.
Useful Information and some tips
- Even though Moscow is more of a tourist destination, it will be harder to find someone who speaks English to help you around. If you need some help, younger people will be more likely to speak English.
- The metro signs can get confusing because they are not in English. Before you go to Moscow, it is better to download the Moscow metro map on your phone. It is easy to use and you can access it offline.
- Always take a small umbrella with you. Moscow’s weather is a bit crazy and you never know whether it is going to rain or not.
- The Kremlin is usually the residence of the leader of Russia, however the current leader, Vladimir Putin, lives in a secret place.
- When you see the beauty of Saint Basil’s Cathedral you never imagine the potential history behind this place. People say that the Tzar, Ivan the terrible, ordered to blind the responsible architect because Ivan didn’t want that any other construction looked like Saint Basil.
- The Russian government spends up to $198,000 per year, to maintain the embalmed body of Lenin. The process of keeping him preserved involves submerging the body in separate solutions of glycerol solution baths, formaldehyde, potassium acetate, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid solution and acetic sodium. The Russian scientists do this every year.