Moscow is many-sided and grandiose, each time it turns to the traveler in thousands of different sides. Here, multi-colored domes of Orthodox churches coexist with monumental skyscrapers in the style of the “Stalin Empire”. The rich estates of aristocratic families of the Russian Empire stand next to trendy restaurants and clubs, the spiers of glass high-rises of business districts sparkle against the backdrop of the picturesque Kutuzov Avenue.
In Moscow, a huge number of cultural sites – more than 400 museums, about a thousand monuments, 130 theaters and dozens of concert halls. Most of the country’s high-profile events from premieres to international exhibitions take place in the capital. You need to come to Moscow for a long time to get into the spirit and energy of this dynamic city.
What to see and where to go in Moscow?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and brief description.
1. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square
The most recognizable and visited places in the Russian capital. Red towers of the Kremlin, crowned with stars – this is an established brand, a symbol of Moscow. Since the 12th century, the Kremlin has served as a defensive structure, for centuries it has burned and rebuilt several times. Red Square more than once became the site of important state events. It held folk meetings, fairs, parades, various cultural events.
2. St. Basil’s Cathedral
The cathedral was founded by order of Ivan the Terrible as gratitude to the Lord for help with the capture of Kazan. Initially, the building had golden domes and walls in red and white. After the fire in the XVIII century as a result of the restoration, the church was decorated in bright colors and now it rises above the Red Square like a multicolored gingerbread. The name was given in honor of the holy fool Basil the Blessed, who collected part of the money for the construction of the church and handed them over to Ivan the Terrible.
3. Moscow City
Business quarter of the capital, consisting of modern skyscrapers of futuristic design. The project is unique both for Russia and for the whole Eastern Europe. The tallest tower of the Federation complex reaches a height of 235 meters, other structures are also assigned their own names. Moscow City was nicknamed “Moscow Manhattan”, the quarter was conceived as the Russian equivalent of the London and New York business districts.
4. Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Moscow Cathedral, where the Patriarch conducts divine services. The temple was built in honor of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812, designed by Konstantin Ton, the work lasted more than forty years. During Soviet times, the building was blown up, and the Palace of Soviets appeared in its place, and later the “Moscow” swimming pool. The cathedral was rebuilt in 1994-1997. and now has a maximum external similarity with the original.
5. Novodevichy Convent
The oldest convent of the capital. According to legend, it stands on the spot where, during the rule of the Golden Horde, girls were selected for slavery. The monastery was founded in 1524 by Basil III. Subsequently, many royal personages, as well as girls from princely and boyar families, took vows at the monastery. Many came here not on their own. Architecturally, the monastery is a real fortress with powerful walls.
6. Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye
The temple of the XVI century on the banks of the Moscow River in the park complex in Kolomenskoye. Presumably, Italian architect Petrok Maly took part in the construction of the building. The church is one of the first samples of stone hipped temples in the territory of Russia. The structure was built in the form of an equilateral cross with a 62-meter high bell tower. The architecture of the temple is considered unique.
7. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The main Catholic cathedral of Moscow, built in neo-gothic style at the expense of the Polish community. The main buildings were erected at the beginning of the 20th century according to the project of F. O. Bogdanovich-Dvorzhetsky. The cathedral is a typical example of the architecture of Catholic churches – lancet arches, figured towers skyward, colored stained-glass windows. The church regularly hosts concerts of organ music and other cultural events.
8. Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno
The palace and park ensemble, which occupies an area of more than 100 hectares, is located in the south of the capital. All buildings were created in the XVIII century in the architectural style of “pseudo-gothic” or “Russian Gothic”. Previously, the ensemble served as the royal residence. Nowadays exhibitions, museums, concert halls and greenhouses are located in the park. Thanks to the beautiful landscape, the Tsaritsyno ensemble has become a popular place for wedding photo shoots.
9. Kolomna Palace
The wooden palace in Kolomenskoye Park, which belonged to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. For visitors opened in 2010. The building was laid in the XVII century, its appearance was conceived so as to emphasize the power of the Russian state and the greatness of the king. The interior was different pomp and luxury. Under Catherine II, the palace was disassembled, but its detailed drawings were first made. According to these drawings, the complex was fully restored later.
10. The Kremlin in Izmailovo
Sight of New time in the spirit of Russian architecture of the XVII century, stylized residence of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. The ensemble was built according to old sketches and drawings. The Kremlin appeared in 2007 near the metro station Partizanskaya. On the territory there are craft shops, museums, taverns, a church. The Kremlin was designed by A. F. Ushakov as an attraction to attract tourists.
11. Manor Kuskovo
The mansion of the XVIII century, owned by the Count surname Sheremetyev. The magnificent estate, surrounded by a landscape park, was used for magnificent receptions, balls, festivities and theatrical performances. One of the largest ceramics collections in the world is exhibited in the museum. In Kuskovo, exhibitions, concerts, festivals in the old Russian traditions are constantly held.
12. Krutitsy Compound
An architectural monument of the XVII century in the Tagansky district of the capital. Since 1991, serves as the patriarchal monastery. Here is the Department of Youth Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church. The history of the place began in the XIII century. First there was a monastery, and then the residence of higher clergy. Krutitsy Compound – a place where you can imagine how Moscow looked in past centuries.
13. Bolshoi Theater
The main opera stage of the country and one of the best theaters in the world. The theater was built in 1825, but in 1853 the building burned down. Three years later, Big rebuilt. Large-scale reconstruction was carried out in 1886-1893, in 1958 and in 2005-2011. The monumental building of the theater is decorated with massive columns, the interior is striking luxury. The crystal chandelier in the main auditorium deserves special attention.
14. The State Tretyakov Gallery
Art Museum with a rich collection, founded by the merchant family of the Tretyakovs. In 1861, in his will Pavel Tretyakov transferred the family gallery to the city and determined the sums of money for its maintenance. In 1893, the museum officially opened to the public. The Tretyakov Gallery is the largest (over 180 thousand exhibits) collection of Russian painting, engraving, and icon painting.
15. State Historical Museum
Located in Red Square and is one of the main museums of the capital. Collections are exhibited in countless halls, covering all eras in Russian history from ancient times to the 20th century. Also presented extensive expositions relating to the history of other states. The museum was founded by decree of Alexander II in 1872. In 1990, the building is listed as a UNESCO heritage site along with Red Square.
16. Moscow Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard
The circus was built in 1880 with the money of merchant Danilov. From the very opening, the administration tried to invite only the best teams and attract more visitors to the performances. In 1996, the circus was given the name “Moscow Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard” in honor of the 75th artist Yu. Nikulin. The auditorium is designed for 2,000 people, while modern equipment is used during the performances.
17. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
The museum gallery was opened in 1913, the basis of the collection consisted of exhibits from the collection of the Cabinet of Fine Arts and Antiquities of Moscow University. Later, original samples of the culture of ancient Egypt were acquired. During the XX century, the museum developed and expanded, now it contains about 700 exhibits. In the halls are constantly held various exhibitions of world-famous authors.
18. Bunker 42 on Taganka
Cold War Museum, located at a depth of 65 meters under the ground. The bunker was built in the middle of the 20th century, it was conceived as a completely autonomous shelter in case of a sudden nuclear strike. Here was kept a supply of water and food for a long time. The entrance to the museum is a one and a half door, behind which a long staircase begins. Visitors can explore the atmosphere of the bunker halls during the tour and watch a movie about the Cold War.
19. Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill
Park complex with memorials dedicated to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Before starting construction in 1987, the hill on Poklonnaya Hill was partially razed. Officially, the park opened in 1995. The central monument is the obelisk, surmounted by a statue of the goddess Nike,
20. Sparrow Hills
Sparrow Hills are considered the main observation deck of Moscow, overlooking the valley of the Moscow River, Luzhniki, Stalin’s skyscrapers and Moscow-City skyscrapers. Nearby is the building of Moscow State University. Park area Sparrow Hills – a great place for walking, cycling and rollerblading, jogging. Near the viewing platform for many years, Moscow bikers have been gathering.
21. VDNH (VVC)
A large park area in the North-East of the capital with numerous exhibition halls, well-groomed avenues, fountains, cafes, concert venues. VDNH – one of the most popular holiday destinations for citizens on weekends. Here you can visit the aquarium, the historic pavilion, innovative exhibitions, farmers’ markets, a theater, and even a “port” with a pool and a beach. There are many cyclists, skaters and other athletes at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements.
22. Ostankino TV Tower
The television tower, another important symbol of the capital. The tower provides broadcasting to the whole of Russia, television studios and main channel offices are located here. The height of the construction reaches 540 meters. The Ostankino tower was built in the period 1963-1967, at that time it was considered the tallest building in Europe. For visitors there are special tours to the tower with a visit to the observation deck.
23. Triumphal Gate
Arched gate on Kutuzov Avenue, erected in honor of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812. The building was built by the architect Bove in 1829-1834, later in 1936 the arch was dismantled. The reconstructed gates reappeared on the avenue only in 1968. The inscription on the upper part of the old construction glorified the acts of Alexander I in Russian and in Latin, the new inscription immortalized the feat of the Russian soldiers in 1812.
24. Stalin High-rise
Seven high-rise buildings built in the style of the pompous “Stalin’s Empire” in the middle of the XX century. According to the idea of the leader, these unique buildings should symbolize the power and greatness of Moscow and the whole USSR. The building houses the University of Moscow State University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hotels, and residential apartments. In Soviet times, housing in these elite homes was distributed only to prominent scholars and statesmen.
25. State Department Store (GUM)
Located on Red Square and is one of its main attractions. The history of the building began in the XIX century with the opening of shopping arcades. During the 20th century, GUM gradually became the main and most desirable store in the country – all travelers sent to enter it in order to acquire scarce goods. Nowadays, GUM is the territory of expensive boutiques, historical stores and copyright showrooms.
26. Stary Arbat Street
The famous promenade boulevard of the capital, where, surrounded by the charming Moscow mansions of previous centuries, street performers perform and artists paint portraits. A large number of souvenir shops, restaurants and small interesting museums are concentrated on the Arbat. The street is included in the compulsory visiting program for foreign tourists, so here you can see them in considerable quantity.
27. Hermitage Garden
A small park in the city center, a popular place for walking with locals. The garden was founded by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Ya. Shchukin at the end of the XIX century. The last major reconstruction was carried out in the late 90s. XX century. On the territory of the park there are three theaters and an open stage for summer concerts. In the warmer months, festivals and events are often held here, attracting many visitors.
28. Art Park MUZEON
A large area of art located on the Crimean Embankment. The art area includes open-air exhibitions, landscaped gardens, fountains, modern art objects and numerous walking paths. The Krymskaya Embankment itself is a picturesque pedestrian zone on the banks of the Moskva River, a cozy and romantic place that quickly gained popularity among tourists and Muscovites themselves.
29. Art cluster “Red October”
Numerous art workshops, galleries, design studios, exhibition halls occupying the former building of the Red October confectionery factory. This is a kind of bohemian center of the capital, where events with the participation of fashionable public and famous people constantly occur. The red brick factory building itself is a classic example of the industrial architecture of the beginning of the 20th century.
30. Gorky Park
The park is located on the embankment of the Moscow River. In recent years, the place has changed and became the point of attraction of an advanced public. Here are constantly organized events dedicated to the protection of the environment, vegetarian festivals, skateboarding competitions and other events. The park often becomes a venue for large-scale city holidays, in the winter for several years already there is a skating rink in the territory.