Best Attractions You Must See in Moscow
Moscow, Russia's capital city, is a significant political, historical and cultural city. It size by population and the occupied area can impress anybody (the most populated city in Russia and Europe). Moscow offers plenty of sights for travelers so that it is very important to know and plan before your trip visiting its must-see sights and attractions you certainly shouldn’t miss!
Located at the east side of Moscow Kremlin, the Red Square (in Russian “Krasnaya Ploshchad”) is not only Russia's most recognized landmark but is the center of the city (and the country) in a very literal way. At the Red Square you can find several of the country’s most distinctive and important landmarks, such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Spasskaya (Savior’s) Tower of Moscow Kremlin, State Historical Museum and GUM mall, the main store in the capital of Russia. The best time to enjoy the country’s most important square is early morning on a bright day, when the colorful cupolas of St. Basil’s Cathedral shine in the sunlight, or at the end of the day when the ancient towers cast shadows on the cobbles lit bright crimson by the setting sun.
- Opening Hours: daily, 24 hours, besides special events (it can be cordoned for special events and celebrations).
- Admission: Free entrance
Saint Basil’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of the Intercession of Our Lady, better known under the name of St. Basil’s Cathedral, is located on the Red Square for more than four and half centuries. The Cathedral, an outstanding monument of unique architecture, a symbol of Russia and Moscow, is one of the popular museums tourists. It was built in 1555-1561 during the reign of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate Russia’s victory over the Kazan Khanate. During the tour of Intercession Cathedral, you will acquaint with this unique building, the pearl of Medieval Russian Architecture, its history and decoration details of its interior including frescoes and oil-paintings dating from 16th to the early 20th century.
- Opening Hours: Everyday 11:00 – 18:00 in summer (May-Oct); 11:00 – 17:00 in winter (Nov-Apr); the first Wednesday of the month – day off
- Admission: 700 ?
- Address: Red Square, Moscow
- Website: https://en.shm.ru/museum/hvb/
Kremlin Grounds & Cathedrals
Moscow Kremlin is the stronghold of a city and its historical center. Most of the city had been inside the Kremlin walls until the 16th century. Afterwards, the Kremlin became the official Tsars residence with just several most powerful nobles and a head of the Orthodox church, who lived inside. For many centuries, the Kremlin was where the country was run, from its early statehood in the Middle of Ages to the decades of Imperial and then superpower grandeur, excluding the two hundred years when St. Petersburg was the capital of Russian state. In the international political parlance, “Kremlin” has become synonymous with the Soviet regime and its policy. But the Kremlin was originally a fortress, a fortification to protect a town. Many other historical Russian cities (Novgorod, Pskov, Kolomna, Smolensk and Nizhny Novgorod) have Kremlins of their own.
The area of Moscow Kremlin is very large (about 27 hectares), it can take about 1-1,5 hours to discover its territory. On the grounds you can admire the Tsar Bell (the broken bell) and the Tsar Cannon. You will also see the exterior of some important Kremlin buildings, including the Presidential Residence and the Grand Kremlin Palace (also known as the Great Kremlin Palace). Kremlin Churches in the Cathedral Square. There are five churches in the Cathedral Square, which you can visit during your Kremlin tour: Assumption Cathedral (Dormition Cathedral), Archangel Michael Cathedral, Annunciation Cathedral, Church of the Deposition of the Robe of Holy Virgin, Church of Twelve Apostles (part of the Patriarch Palace).
- Photos and videotaping: Visitors can take photos and videotape inside the Kremlin (on the grounds, outdoors), but not inside the museum Churches.
- Opening Hours: daily, except Thursdays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Admission: 500 ?
- Location: The ticket offices and the main entrance to the Kremlin located at Kytafya Tower in the Alexander (Alexandrovsky) Garden.
- NOTE: In summer season it is also possible to overview the Kremlin grounds from observation platform on the 'Ivan the Great' Bell Tower. Sessions start at 10:15, 11:15, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00 with an additional session at 17:00 from 15 May to 30 September. Admission fee to the Bell Tower — 350 ?. Tickets available in the Kremlin ticket offices, but it is not easy to get it, only for small groups.
Kremlin Armory Chamber
The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient state regalia, ceremonial royal clothes and coronation dresses, vestments of Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs, the most extensive collection of gold- and silverware made by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial arms and armour, carriages and horse ceremonial harness.
The State Armoury presents more than four thousand items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th - early 20th century. The highest artistic level and particular historical and cultural value of the exhibits have made the State Armoury of the Moscow Kremlin a world-wide known museum.
- Photos and videotaping: not allowed.
- Opening Hours: daily, except Thursdays, from 10:00 to 5:00, time sessions: 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 2:30 am, 4:30 pm
- Admission: 700 ?
- Location: Moscow Kremlin, entrance from Borovitskaya tower. Metro stations: Borovitskaya, Biblioteka Lenina, Alexandrovsky Sad
The Ceremonial Mounting Parade of the Presidential Regiment
Reinstated in 2005 by the Russian Government, the “Ceremonial Changing of Foot & Cavalry Guards of the Presidential Regiment” is a spectacular military ceremony dating back to the time of Peter the Great. This amazing 30-minute show captivates the audience with its rifle twirling, saber wielding, “goose-stepping” officers, rivaling all similar ceremonial programs in the world. Reestablished to promote Kremlin tours, this exciting military parade takes place during the summer season, running from approximately late April through early September.
- Time of the event: Starts at noon 12:00
- Location: Cathedral Square of Moscow Kremlin
- Admission: 500 ? (by the ticket for visiting the architectural ensemble of Moscow Kremlin.
Moscow's metro system is one of the most beautiful and efficient underground systems in the world. Year by year it becomes more friendly to foreigners. From summer 2018, when Moscow host FIFA World Cup, the old signs were updated with new, more modern and easier to read (navigate), including English translations for foreigner’s convenience. Moscow's metro stations are attractions in themselves, no one design repeats another and decorations were made from fine materials by the best Russian craftsmen, sculptors, and architects. Some of its stations have been awarded at international exhibitions and proclaimed architectural and historical monuments. In present days, Moscow metropolitan is growing very fast and, besides the old stations built in 1930s-50s, the new stations with modern designs are also worth to see, they absolutely breathtaking!
- Opening Hours: daily, 06:00 AM to 01:00 AM
- Admission: 38-55 ? (for one ride) For multiple rides better to buy Troyka card
The State Tretyakov Gallery
The State Tretyakov Gallery is one of the world's greatest museums. The National Gallery's collection consists entirely of Russian art and artists who have made a contribution to the history of Russian art or been closely connected with it. The famous gallery of fine arts was founded in 1856 by Pavel Tretyakov, collector and ardent lover of painting, rich Moscow merchant and industrialist. Located in a quite pedestrian Lavrushensky Lane, the old Tretyakov Gallery attracts every year thousands and thousands of visitors from all over the World to admire the best works of the great Russian painters and sculptors from 11th to 19th centuries, from sacred icons to stunning portrait and landscape art to the famous Russian Realists' paintings. It is housed in the building that once belonged to Pavel Tretyakov and had been reconstructed several times to fit enormous art collection that gained state status at the end of 19th century.
- Work Time: Mon – Closed; Tue, Wed, Sun 10:00 to 18:00; Thu, Fri, Sat 10:00 to 21:00
- Admission: 500 ? for adults; Free for children under 18
- Location: 10 Lavrushinsky Lane, Moscow
- Website: https://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/en/
Cathedral of Christ the Savior
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is a great monument to Russian military glory and a superb example of Russian architecture, painting, and sculpture. It is the largest church of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its height is 105 meters, and its capacity is 10,000 people. The original Cathedral had been under construction for almost 40 years and consecrated in 1887 to commemorate the Victory of Russian Army over Napoleon in the Patriotic War 1812. But the Church that became part of Russian and Moscow life as the main cathedral of the country was destroyed in 1931 by order of Stalin. The new cathedral was reconstructed as an exact replica of its original design in 2000, therefore, it can be called one of the youngest sights of Moscow. After construction, it became a symbol of the capital, like the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral or Red Square. In addition to believers who use the temple, so to speak, for their intended purpose, they come here just to look at this miracle of architectural thought, take a picture against its background.
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is located a bank of the River Moskva (Moscow), and the Patriarchal Pedestrian Bridge goes to the opposite bank from it. This bridge is a good place for photography. Standing on it, you can take beautiful Moscow cityscape with the church itself, the Moscow River with the architectural ensemble of the Kremlin, the monument to Peter the Great, and other interesting sites and buildings in historical center. It is also possible to take a tour on the roof of the Cathedral where you can see excellent views of Moscow from the church’s 130-foot (40-meter) high viewing deck. From the observation deck, you will be able to spot the spires of the Kremlin, home to the Russian government, as well as the trendy district of Zamoskvorechye.
- Opening Hours: daily 10:00 – 18:00, Monday 13:00 – 18:00, services on weekends and the main Church holidays
- Admissions: Free entrance; observation deck on the church roof – 500 ?
- Location: 15 Volkhonka street, Moscow
Founded in 1525 by Great Prince Vasily III (the father of Ivan the Terrible), Novodevichy Convent has been an architectural jewel of Moscow for almost five centuries. The convent has witnessed many dramatic events in Russian history. Its walls saw the ascension of Boris Godunov to the throne, the defeat of Polish troops invading Moscow in 1612, Princess Sofia’s struggle for power, and the events of the Patriotic War against Napoleon in 1812. The Convent’s architectural ensemble had taken shape by the late 17th century, and to this day is one of Russia’s most beautiful sites. In 2004, Novodevichy convent was included into UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Open hours: 10:00 – 17:30 Wednesday – Monday; closed on Tuesdays and for maintenance on the first Monday of each month
- Admission: 300 ? for entrance and 150 ? to take photographs.
- Location: south-west of Moscow, at the curve of the River Moskva (Moscow)
- Address: 1 Novodevichy Lane, Moscow; metro station Sportivnaya
- Website: http://novodev.msk.ru (only in Russian)
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About Me in Short
My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website Moscow-Driver.com from 2002. Read more about me and my services, check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.
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