A bit rough around the edges, Moscow is a city that never sleeps. There are interesting sights and activities to experience in every corner of this sprawling metropolis. Moscow is also city of contrasts— open, green spaces and glimmering, golden domes side by side with dreary Soviet housing and gridlocked traffic. As Russia's capital city, Moscow is the center of today’s modern Russia, as well as the seat of Russia's past. There is no shortage of things to see and do in Moscow. Visit museums, Soviet-era monuments and glorious 16th century churches. Try Russian cuisine and experience Moscow's vibrant nightlife. Enjoy world-class theater, ballet and opera. No matter what you do, you'll never be bored in Moscow.
The Kremlin, a walled citadel, is at the center of Moscow and encompasses a number of must-see sights in the city. Located in the southwestern section of the Kremlin, the Armory is one of Moscow’s oldest museums. The museum features some of Russia's most beautiful and valuable treasures, including the imperial crown of Russia, Ivan the Terrible’s ivory throne and the Orloff diamond. In the center of the Kremlin, is Cathedral Square, where past Russian tsars were coronated. The square contains three beautiful cathedrals adorned with gilded golden domes built in the 15th and 16th centuries. While exploring the Kremlin, you can also see the world’s largest bell (Tsar Bell) and numerous other churches and museums.
Red Square and the Lenin Mausoleum
Bordering the Kremlin's east side is Red Square. The Square was the site of many Soviet-era military parades—and continues to play host to modern day events, performances and parades. Red Square is surrounded by a number of bulidings, including the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Lenin Mausoleum. The Lenin Mausoleum, also known as Lenin’s Tomb, holds the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet State. His mummified body has been on public display in Moscow since his death in 1924.
St. Basil's Cathedral
St. Basils Cathedral is probably the most recognizable building in Moscow with its colorful façade and domes. It was built in the 16th century—commissioned by Ivan the Terrible as a tribute to his conquest over the Tartars in Kazan. After you’ve admired the magnificent exterior, visit the museum and learn more about the victory over the Tartars or stroll through the cathedral and admire the rich medieval frescoes that adorn the interior walls.
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What's up in Moscow
Most tourists miss the great stuff by staying in the city. Take a 20-minute trip to Tsaritsyno.
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Looking for Russian antiques? At the Kremlin in Izmailovo, you might just get lucky.
Established in 1880, that's why it's called the Old Moscow Circus.
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This is a bit further off the tourist track and why I love it so much. Take the metro to Tushinkskaya, then bus 541 or 549 and get off at Arkhangelskoy. I just love walking in the gardens there.
Svetlana, ground crew
|Novospasskiy Monastery |
Novospasskiy Monastery is well known as the burial site of the Romanov boyar family. About 70 relatives of the tsar and many noble Russian families are buried here. The monastery was one of the richest and the center of Russian Orthodox culture before Soviet times. The monastery is home to ancient iconostasis (saved during the Soviet era by some miracle) and several alleged miracle icons, one of which is said to cure cancer.
This may not be a top Russian restaurant, but at least you will get real Russian food and the experience of what it is like to be in Moscow.