The Russian capital Moscow is 860 years old and one of the most historically rich cities in the world. It is the biggest country of the world and the fifth biggest city of our planet. It lies on the banks of River Moskva and is home to over 11 million people. With numerous beautiful architectural pieces, the city is a tourist’s paradise. There is a sheer joy in exploring a place so steeped in history and yet very much urbane that you are flitted from one period to another. In this post I’ll tell you top 10 reasons to visit Moscow and must places to see in the Russian capital.
- Exploring the Moscow Metro, the third largest metro in the world, is the adventure of a lifetime. Built with the typical Stalin signature and extravagance, the marble walls, high ceilings and enchanting chandeliers give it an almost ethereal glow rising to the nickname, “Artificial Underground Sun”.
- The Kremlin, officially known as the Moscow Kremlin is the most famous citadel of the country. It comprises of five palaces and four cathedrals and serves as the Presidential residence. It has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage and is one of the cultural masterpieces of the city with intricate designs, magnificent structures, etc.
- The Red Square is the central square of Moscow and one of the prominent landmarks constructed in Gothic Style. It is the site of public ceremonies and was also used for the coronations of several Tsars. It lies east of the Kremlin and several historical events have taken place at this square. Lenin’s Mausoleum and Saint Basil’s Cathedral are located here. Red Square is the #1 in our rating of must see places to visit in Russia.
- Saint Basil’s Cathedral is one of the primary places of worship in the country, must see in Moscow. It is built in the shape of a bonfire and is not like any other Russian building. In 1990, it was labeled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has eight side churches with narrow vaulted corridors and vertical cylinders.
- Gorky Park is an amusement park, located along the river and is one of the prime tourist attractions. Various rides, a Ferris wheel, hockey and ice skating are some of the prime attractions.
- For the best shopping experience, head over to the Flea market of Izmailovo. It is a large, outdoor shopping area where you can find any kind of artifacts including various paintings by local artists. Remember to stop by a food stall and try the typical Russian Shashlik Kebabs. Don’t forget to read the article “What to eat in Russia” before your visit.
- The Bolshoi Theater is one of the most glittering and enchanting places of the city. Numerous opera and ballet performances are held in this six tier auditorium of this historical theater. The theater’s history is marked by politics and scandal post the breakup of the Soviet Union.
- For an authentic Old Moscow experience, a trip down Old Arbat Street is a must and is strewn with souvenir stalls, local artists and several tourist cafés as well.
- The Tretyakov Gallery is the most important museum of Russian culture. It is housed in a castle in Zamoskvorechie and has an amazing collection of Russian art. The gallery was designed by Viktor Vasnetsov.
- Lastly, after you are done exploring the city, head over to the Sanduny Baths for a Gothic spa experience. It is the oldest Russian banya of Moscow and the interiors are very artistic and the décor very aristocratic. The typical bath involves a hot steam after which the body is whipped by birch branches. While it sounds and is definitely painful, the benefits of the bath are unthinkable.
While the above list doesn’t even begin to cover the many sights of this majestic city, these are some of the places you should visit once in Moscow. Wish you a great trip to the Russian capital! At the end, as a treat, I recommend you to watch a video of how beautiful the Red Square looks in the winter time.