Hello! It’s me
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything
I am preparing for a small trip to Moscow soon. This is going to be merely the 3rd time I will be in Moscow as a tourist, after living there 4 years. Crazy, huh? For this reason, I decided to share a few insights of what you should totally see in Moscow if you ever want to travel there, apart from the obvious spots. Since I lived there for so long, I know at least 100 interesting places to go instead of visiting the Kremlin. Hell yeah.
But just in case…
Let’s start with the obvious. You saw these places on TV, you know them, you will see them in Moscow whether you want to or not:
Red square. The Kremlin. Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
the big white church which name I never learned Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Bolshoi Theater. The Moscow State University. Gorky Park, and the old Arbat st.
I won’t waste my time speaking about these things because they are famous worldwide and if you don’t know some of these places,
you savage, you can simply google them.
Moving on to the not so obvious
What you want to see in Moscow really depends on what you are going to do there. That is, besides drinking cheap vodka branded to foreigners as the best in Russia. Let’s divide the list into sightseeing, nightlife, and I’ll come up with another category later for some obscure reason since 2 categories is not enough.
There is a lot of sightseeing to do in Moscow. Despite being the financial center of the country and leaving the title of cultural capital of Russia to Saint Petersburg, Moscow still holds a lot of historical significance. There are many historical sites, besides the Kremlin itself, ranging from medieval history up until the Soviet Union. There’s actually a Stalin’s Bunker that you can visit there.
Not-so obvious sightseeing
VDNKh, or the “Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy”: despite the soviet talent for making names look as dull as possible, the place is not only beautifully full of soviet propaganda, it’s also beautiful. You can see a rocket in the center of the park, accompanied by a planetarium, and a beautiful fountain to take selfies at. Also in the nearby area you can check the Museum of Cosmonautics, and the Ostankino Tower is not far. By the way, while linking the Wikipedia page for you lazy readers, I found out that the tower is the tallest freestanding structure in Europe. You can walk there or use the monorail, which is worlds of fun for monorail fans.
If you are going to visit the Moscow State University, maybe consider actually taking the whole day and walk all the way from Muzeon Park, full
of soviet propaganda again, Jesus, they are good at propaganda, statues. Also, don’t forget to check the New Tretyakov Gallery if you are feeling specially artistic this day. Maybe you should check the old one too, but not now.
After that, you can move on to Gorky Park and the Café Museum Garage, then on to Neskuchnyi Garden and get a bit lost in the woods. It’s worth it, believe me. You can sometimes even forget that you are in the center of Moscow while walking around those woods. Before you notice, you will get to the RAN, or Russian Academy of Sciences, with their weird orange squares and a nice overlook. From there you will be able to see the Luzhniki Stadium and Moscow City on the horizon.
Do you still have energy to walk? Just go along the riverbanks or through the paths scattered around the Sparrow Hills, then up a bit, and a bit more. Eventually you’ll find yourself looking at the Moscow State University, with another beautiful spot overlooking the very center of Moscow. I used to love taking these walks during the weekends when I had the whole day for myself!
A few other parks worth seeing are the Tsaritsyno and Kolomenskoye. Both are huge and normally require a whole day’s walk if you want to see the entirety of them. They are beautiful to walk around, though, and specially charming during the Summer and Autumn. Both parks also have beautiful Russian palaces, but with very different architectural styles. Speaking about palaces, you should totally check the Izmailovo Kremlin and the nearby market Vernissazh. Be ready to fill your bags with all the Russian trinkets you can get for the unfortunate friends and family that didn’t go on this trip with you.
And finally, Moscow City. It might not showcase Russian traditional architecture or reflect the Soviet Union’s past, but it offers a refreshing, modern view of the financial center that Moscow has become. It is just amazing, even if it doesn’t really feel like the authentic Russian experience. You will get the best look at it from across Bagrationov Bridge, or across the river from Kievsky Railway Station. There is a small park there, where I used to love sitting at the bench on the hill across the river and looking at Moscow city during the sunset. You can even make a picnic out of it if you want.
I am not an expert in this topic, since I don’t drink.
God, who am I trying to fool? If you don’t know it yet, you will very quickly find out that Moscow has a very cosmopolitan nightlife. Throughout the city center, there are clubs with European techno, western pop songs, and even some Latino music. Most of the nice evening bars are at the Maroseyka and Pokrovka streets, and there are some clubs nearby as well. Anywhere near Lubyanka subway station, you’ll find nice places to have a drink or dance. If you walk from Bolshoi theater to Chistye Prudy, you’ll definitely stumble upon something you like!
If you are looking for something
as expensive as a kidney in the black market more elegant than just a simple night out, I suggest you book a place at Sixty Bar or “Na Svezhem Vozdukhe”. Sorry for the name. I even looked if there was a palatable version in English, but there isn’t. Anyway, despite the names, both places offer great views over all the city, since they are some of the highest restaurants in Europe. Be sure to ask for a window table when you book 😉
Unless you are afraid of heights, then don’t.
I’m not sure why would you go shopping in Moscow, but since everyone has their own crazy habits, a few nice places where you can do that are the AfiMall at Moscow City, TsUM, GUM. Expect some crazy prices, though. I only went to GUM to have delicious Belgian waffles with strawberry jam and whipped cream at the food court on the last floor. And now you want to eat too, I know!
While shopping, you might want to go Detskiy Mir. It’s a huge shopping center for kids, with a playground and an overlook on the roof. I wouldn’t take kids there, though, they will go crazy when they see the toys. You have been warned.
Hey! Glad you got all the way down here and this article didn’t bore you to death. Have I missed something? Would you like me to cover some other touristic attractions? Have you ever been to Moscow? How was the trip? Did you enjoy any place in particular? Just let me know!