Moscow City Guide travel tourist sightseeing attractions information

Moscow City Guide Business Tourist Travel Information

Moscow sightseeing Moscow attractions Moscow history Moscow weather Moscow crime

Related Pages European rail services to and from Moscow – International Coach services to and from Moscow –  Baltic Norway Arctic and North Pole Cruises

Local Pages  Moscow Airport Public Transport – Russia Recent History & Politics  Russia Country Profile – The Late Alexander Solzhenitsyn St Petersburg Home  Moscow Night Clubs

 Currency the rouble (Rus) Travel Alert   No EU Status

Moscow History & Overview

Moscow is a city which because of its past and present politics many people have not visited or appreciated. The earliest known documentation of this city is 1147 AD. Since then it has been an integral part of Russian society. For the last six centuries it has been the spiritual home of the Russian Orthodox Church. After the 1917 October Revolution many of the Churches were closed down erased or converted into museums. Some though, with customary Russian enigma, were allowed to continue preaching as were churches from other Christian Jewish and Muslim faiths.

Onlookers often have viewed Moscow merely as the seat of political power in Russia – Over the last four – five hundred years it has been the seat of power to governments of very differing persuasions – all of whom have left their own legacies. For generations its has been the core of Russian art and culture. Art music and theatre are part of the city’s way of life. It has, for example, been the home of the Bolshoi Ballet since 1825. Consequently it is a city which today is rich in architecture and culture which can be appreciated even in the depths of the famous Russian winter.

Since the fall of communism it has also become the most economically productive city in Russia. Though famous for its severe winter cold its climate is actually very unstable and consecutive summers and winters often differ dramatically. So much so that many Moscow citizens find the concept of reliable weather forecasts as a delusion. One of the cities daily joys is its apparent low levels of traffic.

Sightseeing & Attractions In Moscow

Moscow has a fascinating story to tell with so many Religious, cultural and Political events forming what we now know as the Russian city of Moscow. They have some awe inspiring cathedrals , a beautiful synagogue created as a tribute to all Russian Jews as well those that were tragically murdered by the Nazi’s during the Holocaust. The Soviet Union and Russia has seen its fair share of adversity and oppression throughout history and there are plenty of landmarks and museums which chronicle some of the events that have shaped modern day Russia. Advocates of Art and culture will not be left dissatisfied as there is a plethora of attractions to keep you busy during your stay in the Russian capital.

The Kremlin And Red Square Moscow

Red Square Moscow The nearest metro is Ploshchad Revolutsi.- Originally in the 18th century named ‘Torg’ (which was Slavic for ‘marketplace) the square became known as Red Square as over time the meaning of Torg changed to beautiful colour. Post WW2 the square became renowned for Soviet military parades annually on Mayday and October 17th (the anniversary of the Russian Revolution), as they saluted the Russian Authorities standing on a platform built on the walls of the Kremlin in 1956. These parades still take place but in a lower vein than before. Other features of the square include in front of the Kremlin Lenin’s Tomb where Lenin’s body can be viewed.  Many visitors believe that the Red Square is best viewed at night when the entire square is lit up by floodlights.
Moscow Kremlin,  Borovitskaya Ulitsa Moscow  – This is a historic complex which overlooks the Moskva River, St Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square.  It is a grandiose complex with four cathedrals,  Four palaces as well as the Kremlin Wall with its Kremlin Towers. The Kremlin serves as the home of the President of the Russian federation.
The original Kremlin was built out of wood in 1156 but was later destroyed by the Mongols in 1237. It was rebuilt using oak over 100 years later in 1339. The Kremlin would go on to become the royal residence of the Tsars and was redesigned at the behest of  Grand Prince Ivan III. The Kremlin appears as it dos today courtesy of the reconstructive work done by the Tsars in the middle ages. The French army invaded Russia in 1812 and  occupied the Kremlin for over a month before Napoleon ordered that this historic site be destroyed. Both Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin requested that the Kremlin be their final abode sometime around 1918.  website http://www.kreml.ru/en/info/visitors/tickets/
The Assumption Cathedral When this building was built in 1479 added using red brick , a setting precedent for future construction. In 1547  it was the scene of the coronation of the first Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, and future Tsars and from 1721 for Several  Russian Emperors.. After Russian Revolution in October 1817 the services in all the Kremlin cathedrals were prohibited though in 1818 Lenin gave permission for a final Easter service. However according to some sources in 1941 as the invading Nazis forces neared Moscow  President Joseph Stalin ordered a special service to be held in the cathedral to pray for the country’s salvation from the Nazis. In 1990 as political change across Eastern Europe and within Russia snowballed  the Assumption Cathedral was handed back to Russian Orthodox Church.
Opening Times and Ticket Prices Fot Attractions in This Section Are Given Below
The Ivan The Great Bell Tower  This bell tower was constructed under the supervision of the Tsar Ivan the Great and was  joined to the Assumption Cathedral in 1508. It is arguably the most popular of the Kremlin’s attractions. The Bell Tower height is 81 metres and has 329 spiral stairs.  The Tower has a presence similar to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia.
There is a popular yet unconfirmed legend that Napoleon attempted to have the Golden Cross of the Annunciation Cathedral taken down around 1812. It is an ensemble with three main components, all three are made from brick and whitewashed like the nearby buildings of  Cathedral Square. The Bell Tower is attached to the Assumption belfry which took 20 years to be constructed between 1523 and 1543.
The Grand Kremlin Palace Kremlin Moscow The palace  was built between from 1837 to 1848 on the site of another palace which was the home of Russian Tsar’s and the former grounds of  Moscow’s first ever church. it was designed underline the importance and power of the Russian autocracy.
The palace has over 700 rooms in several buildings aligned in a rectangle with an inner courtyard. The building appears to be three stories, but is actually two. It has five reception halls that are used today for diplomatic official and state  ceremonies. International treaties are usually signed in the Vladimirsky Hall. The entire palace has been lavishly restored. website http://www.kreml.ru/en/kremlin/buildings/BKD/
Armoury, Moscow Kremiln Aleksandrovsky Sad – The Armoury  was originally founded sometime around 1511 when King Vasily III  wanted a location to produce and store weapons. In later history the armoury would go on to manufacture Jewellery, Embroidery and Icon frames. The Armoury is Kremlin’s most popular attraction drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The Exhibition is full of luxurious Gold and silver  objects made from the 12th to the 20th century.
There are two rooms which feature armoury and weapons that were used in epic Russian battles. Some visitors feel that the inside of this museum was more than a little confusing. There is plenty of jewellery and silverware on display but not enough weapons for somewhere called the ”Armoury”. Opening hours are  10 am, midday 2.30 and 4.30 pm. Admission costs around 8 dollars. The audio guide will cost you about 200 Rubles. website http://kreml.ru/en/museums/armoury
Opening Hours and Admission Prices Open daily except for Thursday’s from 10 am till 5 pm. You can buy tickets for several attractions at different prices. Tickets are available for the Armoury Chamber [700 Rubles], Ivan The Great Bell Tower [500 rubles] as well as the treasures and antiques of the Kremlin Palace [150 rubles]. All prices exclude discounts, which are available for cheaper tickets – check the websites information for further details.
St Basils Cathedral, Moscow Red Square Krasnaya Ploschad tel no: 095-298-3304 – St Basils may be the Russian capital’s most historic and magnificent church. Basils was built in a unique style of Russian architecture. This significant religious landmark was built between 1955 and 1961 by  architects Barma and Postik. many view St Basils as one of the country’s most  symbolic buildings. It was oppressive dictator Ivan the Terrible who commissioned the Church back in the mid 16th century. There are some fascinating rooms on the inside of the Cathedral and a fantastic film to watch about the illustrious history of this church. Many visitors take photos of themselves on the legendary execution block outside. infamous leader Napoleon ordered that St Basil’s be decimated in  1812 but luckily his army ran out of time to finish the job.  Open  11 am till 5 pm Wed-Mon  Adult/student 100/50 rubles.

Other Sightseeing & Attractions In Moscow

The Lubyanka Building, Moscow KGB Headquarters Lubyanka Square – The Lubyanka is a majestic building designed in a  Neo-baroque style.  It was designed at the end of the 19th century and was augmented by Aleksey Shchusev from 1940 to 1947.  It’s original purpose was to be the offices for the All Russian Insurance company but it transformed in to the headquarters of the sadistic KGB  in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution.  In The 1930’s, the Lubyanka building was the site for  some horrific atrocities committed by the Communist leader Stalin and his merciless  troops.  Their headquarters were also utilized as a  prison housing revolutionaries who attempted to defy the KGB’s tyrannical  regime. It is a beautiful piece of architecture with its pale green walls and  parquet floors. website n/a

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Moscow on banks of river around Kremlin – This huge church is one of the biggest places of worship on the continent. It took 21 years to build between 1839 and 1860. The church was erected in honour of the Russian’s triumph over Napoleon. The original building was destroyed by Josef Stalin’s Secular regime.  The church took just two years to resurrect and was unveiled in 1997 to celebrate Moscow’s 850th birthday. This splendid structure is met with a love it or hate it response, but I personally view it as one of Europe’s most beautiful cathedrals. Women must wear headscarves whilst in the church in order to adhere to  strict Russian Orthodox rules. No photos are to be taken. Admission is free of charge and opening hours are  10 am till 5 pm. website  http://www.xxc.ru/

The Sparrow Hills [Observation Platform] Ulitsa Kosygina 18 Moscow Sparrow is a renowned hill also known as Lenin Hills on the bank of the city’s Moskva River. It is one of  Moscow’s highest points with an altitude of about 220 Metres. The Observation Platform offers splendid Panoramic views of Moscow. The Luzhniki Metro Bridge is round the corner from Lenin Hills. The two level Metro Bridge links the two rivers Komsomolsky Prospekt and  Vernadksy Prospekt. The Hills have been spoken about by many famous Russian poets and writers and are supposedly named after Priest Voroby[ Sparrow] in 1451. In modern day Moscow the two major landmarks are the Moscow State University and The Trinity Church which was erected in 1811.website n/aGulag history Museum, Moscow ul Petrovka 16 – The Gulag museum was opened to commemorate all the 18 million victims who suffered at the hands of severe political injustice. The museum has an eerie feel about it as it takes a detailed look at the atrocities that were committed by the Stalinist regime. The Gulag camps began life in 1929 and shockingly some were still in operation up until the late 1980’s. The Guides are dressed like guards and they lead your around the museum describing the sheer horror which took place in these unholy camps. The museum’s location is hidden away in a more lavish part of the city and there are threats of it being closed in an attempt to disguise the horrific consequences of  Stalin’s reign. Open  11 am till 4 pm and entry is free of charge. website  http://www.museum-gulag.narod.ru/Tretyakov gallery Moscow Lavrushinsky per 10 Zamoskvorechie  – This gallery houses the world best exhibits dedicated to Russian Icons, it also boasts a tremendous collection of pre revolutionary Russian art. The building itself was  the brainchild of designer and architect Viktor Vasnetsov. the museum began life as a home to the private collection of Russian brothers  Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov who were 19th century industrialists. The most highly regarded  Peredvizhniki artists work occupies rooms 20 to 30. There are a whole host of Icons on the ground floor including arguably Russia’s greatest ever Rubylov’s Holy trinity. If you are keen to buy some soviet themed postcards and posters then Tretyakov is your best bet as many other shops across the city are likely to extort you. Open 10 am -7.30 pm Tues-Sun ,Adult ticket is 360 Rubles and a student costs 220 Rubles. The audio g costs about 300 Rubles. website http://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/

Holocaust Memorial Synagogue Moscow Poklonnaya Hill Minskaya ul West of City centre tel no: 495-148-1907 – This Holocaust memorial was built in 1998 and the architect was Israeli   Jew, Moshe Zarhi. It was unveiled to the public in 1998 in the presence of former Russian Prime Minister Boris Yeltsin.  There is an exhibition depicting the struggles of  Jewish people throughout the history of time as well as the holocaust. The synagogue is part of an outdoor Museum which also includes a Mosque and Cathedral and celebrates Russia’s victory in the Second World War. Open 10 am to 6 pm Tues-Thurs and Midday till 7 pm on Sunday’s. Admission is free.

The White House of Russia, Moscow Krasnopresnenskaia  Naberezhnaia 2 – The White House of Russia is one of the city’s most distinct modern landmarks.  Muscovites call it the ” Belyi Dom” and it was unveiled back in 1981. The construction took place between 1965 and 1981 and the House  was originally titled ”The House Of Soviets”.  It’s a building which holds great significance and is a symbol of Russian power in many ways. Despite the fact that its only been in existence for just over 30 years The White House had already played a pivotal role in some major political events. It was the site of  The ousting of former Soviet Union  primeminsiter Mikhail Gorbachev. Its open daily to view from the outside and admission is free of charge.

ZKP Tagansky Cold War Museum, 5-y Kotelnichesky per 11 Moscow – This wonderfully designed Neo-Classical building is home depicts the historic events of the Cold War. The Cold War was a long and bitter feud between The communist Soviet Union and  the Western World lead by the United States of America. It took place after the second world war from 1945-1991, when the USSR was dissolved in 1991.  A lot of the museum is actually empty but a few exhibits are available for inquisitive visitors. There is a recreation of the Cold War which is witnessed whilst you are take round by your tour guide. The museum is often referred to as ”Bunker 42” and their documentary film about the Cold War is thoroughly interesting. There is a room where visitors can try on Soviet regalia such as Kalashnikovs and radiation suits. Entry price is a little steep at around 1300 Rubles. You must ring to make an appointment website http://www.bunker42.com/index.php?lang=en

Pushkin Museum of Fine Art Moscow  12 Volkhonka Street Moscow  tel no:495-6-9-95-20 – Puskin is the city’s biggest museum of European art work. It is located opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and has been hosting the  International Music festival ”December Nights” ever since 1981. Professor Ivan Tsvetaev founded the museum and persuaded architects Roman Klein and  Vladimir Shukhov to undertake the construction. It was built between  1898 and 1912.  Notorious impressionist and post impressionist works from the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Matisse are all on display here. Van Gogh’s legendary Red Vineyard painting from 1888 is a prominent feature of the museum. Open Tues-Sun 10 am till 7 pm. The price of admission is good value for money at around 300 Rubles.website n/a
Gorky Amusement Park, Moscow ul Krymsky Val Park   tel no: 495-237-1266 – Gorky is a culture and Leisure park which opened to the public back in 1928. It’s name derives from Maxim Gorky who was a Russian author and radical political activist. The post Soviet era of the 1990’s till the current day the park has been utilized as a children’s theme park with  fun fairs, rollercoaster’s, a House of Horrors and a 15,000 square metre Ice rink. The park’s new director Sergei Karkov made some significant changes which included abolishing the entrance fee.  They offer free Wi-Fi, and host  modern art projects and designer fairs. It isn’t hard to see how this Park has become one of the city’s most popular attractions. Open daily from 10 am till 11 pm.website n/a

The Bolshoi Ballet 1 Teatralnaya. Pl Nearest Metro Teatralnaya.- The internationally renowned home of Russian Ballet and Opera productions includes a magnificent 19th century auditorium. The building re-opened on November 5th 2011 after been closed for a complete rebovation for six years. Visitors should note that tickets for all productions sell very quickly and it is advisable to make advance bookings: website www.bolshoi.ru

Marvelous Moscow Metro The metro stations in central Moscow were built as ‘Public Palaces’. They were lavishly decorated with chandeliers, mosaics, stained glass windows and marble in shades of black, pink and white. These stations have been maintained in their original glory. Commuters on other cities in this world can only hope!

 Restaurants In Moscow

Moscow has numerous cafes and restaurants some (even those open 24 hours) offer exceptional food. A recent addition to the Moscow Cafe Society are the Coffee Bean Cafes which offer superb coffee and enormous cappuccinos – even if the accompanying cakes are not as good. This expanding chain has cafes at 18 Pokrovka, Bely Gorod, 18 Kuznetsky Most Bely Gorod and 5 Pyatniyskaya, Zamoskvoreche. If you like Chinese, Persian or Russian dishes Beloye Solntse Pustyni at 29 Neglinnya.ul is reportedly good value. The service is not outstanding but the food is exceptional and there is an English version of the menu available. The set menu Dastarkhan offers samples of several dishes accompanied by a salad with exceptional vegetables. Tel: 095 209 7525. Metro: Kuznetsky Most.

Another place with good reports is CDL at 50 Povarskaya which sells real Russian food including Beef Stroganoff and Borscht (meat dumplings) in a very attractive wood panelled room.

Good Russian food 24 hours a day is available from Bochka 2.ul. 1905 Goda Tel 095 252 3041. This establishment is expensive but very reliable and frequented by indigenous Russians of all ages especially those in business. On Fridays it has a tradition of roasting wild game (bulls and goats) on a split. Another restaurant that offers good salads and side dishes. One restaurant that is recommended and acknowledged as exceptional in several guides is Pushkin at 26 Tverskoi Bulvar. Open 24 hours and with a very good wine list this restaurant is one of Moscow’s finest. It has an extensive Russian menu including Blini, Caviar and Pelmeni. It also serves good breakfasts. Advance booking on 095 229 5590 is recommended at all times. In the summer patrons are able to dine on the restaurant’s rooftop patio.

Clubbing & Nightlife In Moscow

For our detailed clubbing guide for Moscow with club reviews please follow this link

Recommended External Sites

unclepasha.com There are few sites of this calibre – the range of information and advice that it offers on life in Moscow and Russia in general is amazing. Its author, pulls no punches, has little time for aesthetics and could lecture many tourist boards!. cheap-moscow.com If you have little or no money this site is your survival pack. If you want to meet real people who are not intent on ripping off tourists this site may suffice. Also worth a look is Commercial Moscow
.
Moscow Russia Weather Details:
.
Moscow Russia Weather Forecast
.
monthly average and extreme temperatures Moscow Russia:

sun hours per day

Temperatures
Average Daily
Records
Minimum
Maximum
Lowest
Highest
January
1
-16
-9
-32
2
February
3
-14
-6
-32
3
March
4
-8
0
-28
16
April
5
1
10
-26
25
May
8
8
19
-2
30
June
9
11
21
1
30
July
9
13
23
5
32
August
8
12
22
3
31
September
6
7
16
-2
28
October
3
3
9
-15
24
November
1
-3
2
-22
12
December
0
-10
-5
-27
5
extreme cold
hot

 .

Hungary Village + editorial comment

 

 

air travel coaches cruises ferries rail road travel safe countries features .sitemap

 

 

euromost.info

European City Guides Europe Travel Information


Advertise