Moscow is a lively city, full of things to see and places to visit, from the Kremlin to lots of spots for shopping and sightseeing.
The sprawling city of Moscow is a mixture of historical and contemporary sights. A tourist in Moscow is spoiled with choices, from museums and galleries to music venues and festivals. From the Red Square and the Kremlin to tours in the outskirts of the city, there is something for everyone. You can shop, engage in cultural activities in the capital of music and theatre, or simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Moscow.
The Moscow Kremlin is one of the most ancient parts of the city and symbolizes the whole of Russia. It is both a cultural sight, as well as the center of Russia, and the residence of the President of Russia. The Kremlin has a lengthy history. In 1990, the Moscow Kremlin and the Red Square became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are many tours around the Kremlin. Various museums are inside the complex, such as the Armory Chamber, Cathedral of the Annunciation, Cathedral of the Archangel, Cathedral of the Assumption, the Patriarch’s chambers, Church of the Deposition of the Robe, Ivan the Great Bell Ensemble, Sobornaya Square, and the Archeology of the Moscow Kremlin collection.
The Kremlin is open to visitors from Friday to Wednesday between 10h00 and 18h00.
For more information, go to www.kreml.ru.
The Bolshoi Theatre is the most famous theatre in Moscow. The theatre shows around 3-4 different operas and 2-3 ballets each year. The focus is on classical masterpieces from composers such as Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky. Russian ballet is world famous and is an important part of the Russian culture.
For information about tickets and opening times, check www.bolshoi.ru.
St. Basil’s (Pokrovsky) Cathedral
The well-known St. Basil’s Cathedral is located on the opposite side of the Voskresensky Gate of the Red Square. It was built under the rule of Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible in 1554-1560 in honour of conquest of the Kazan Khanate. According to the legend, when the Tsar saw the finished cathedral, he ordered the architects to be blinded so that they would not build such a beautiful building anywhere else.
Despite the gruesome story behind it, the Cathedral itself is an architectural masterpiece consisting of nine altars spread out on one single foundation. St. Basil’s is a must-see for anyone visiting Moscow.
GUM Department Store
The GUM is a huge shopping center, one of the largest in Europe. It is the most famous place to shop in Moscow, but also has stunning architecture. It is on Red Square and the first part of it was built in 1812, under Alexander I.
The shop itself has a luxurious style, selling brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Hugo Boss, and Burberry. There are also many cafes and restaurants.
GUM is famous also as a cultural centere. It hosts art and photo exhibitions, and it is one of the venues of the international art festival Chereshneviy les.
The Moscow metro is famous for its architecture and the stations called “underground palaces of Moscow” have become the main sights of the city.
The old, pre-war stations symbolize the industrialization of Russia, whereas the post-war ones symbolize victory and pride of the nation. The first metro line was the Sokolnicheskaya, built in 1935. Majakovskaya is one of the most beautiful stations. Revolution Square, Kropotkinskaya, Komsomolskaya, and Novoslobodskaya are also interesting architectural monuments from 1930-1950.
Some of them are also protected by the state as valuable cultural objects. The underground complexes are full of statues, monuments, and art such as paintings, mosaics, and stained-glass windows. The idea was to give every station an individual shape and appearance.
This estate was built in the 18th century and is representative of typical Russian estate architecture. It is a magnificent site, with a palace, a large park and ponds. The estate is an ideal place to visit on a nice day out.
In the past, Kuskovo hosted grand parties twice a week for numerous guests, such as estate owners, Moscow’s nobility and even the Empress Catherine II of Russia. The estate itself is very beautiful combination of baroque and classicism. Kuskovo also has a museum, and in the summer it hosts festivals and concerts.
For more information, check www.kuskovo.ru.
Historical Museum (SHM)
The historical museum of Moscow has a vast collection representing every phase of the Russian history. The museum is on Red Square and it has multiple exhibitions, which display Russia from antiquity until the 21st century. The museum is one of the most popular in Moscow. If you are interested in Russian history, this museum is a must-see.
Central House of Artist (CHA)
Central House of Artist is the largest exhibition centre in Russia. Opened in 1979, it consists of 27 halls with 60 galleries. Each year the CHA hosts hundreds of exhibitions from all over the world. There is also a beautiful park with an open air Sculpture Museum, along with recreation areas and playgrounds for children.
CHA also functions as a conference centre, and as a festival and concert venue. Tretyakov Gallery is also in the same building as the CHA.
Guide.moscow.ru / Expatica