Moscow is the magnificent capital and largest city of Russia. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis that offers a unique blend of rich history, stunning architecture, cultural diversity, and modern urban attractions. In tis article we will discover Moscow and get a complete overview of Moscow for travelers to learn what to do in Russia’s capital.
Is it possible to discover Moscow nowadays?
This is your personal desicion. What we can say in practical terms is despite the conflict and the international sanctions, it is still possible to travel to Russia currently. Consulates issue visas as usual, and life in Russia is completely normal. However, you should take into account the existing limitations when it comes to taking flights, making payments, or booking accommodations.
You can travel to Russia for tourism, visiting relatives, business purposes or even for humanitarian reasons. The Russian border is open. However, the electronic visa process has been suspended since the beginning of the pandemic, so a traditional visa must be obtained.
Russians continue to live their normal lives and besides the e-Visa all the rest of the COVID-related restrictions have also been lifted. However, it is highy recommended to keep yourself updated on the situation in the country, check frequently the foreign affair’s information from your country and never break the Rusian laws during your visit.
Visa to discover Moscow
There are exceptions for some South American countries. If you come from United States or from Europe you need visa to get into Rusia. Since the electronic visa is suspended, currently, you may need to apply for a regular visa, which can be for tourism, business or private trips. A visa invitation is still required to process the regular visa, which you can obtain through a Russian tourist company. However, there is an issue with European Visa or MasterCard cards being restricted in Russian online stores. Nevertheless, some Russian companies like iVisa have adapted to this situation and now allow payment with European or American cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, or American Express) through the Stripe electronic platform or other payment systems such as PayPal.
Discover what is Moscow about
Moscow has a rich historical background spanning over 800 years. It has served as the political, economic, and cultural center of Russia since its foundation. The city is filled with iconic landmarks, such as the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral, which are symbols of its historical and architectural grandeur. The city boasts an impressive array of architectural styles, ranging from medieval masterpieces to modern skyscrapers. The Kremlin, a fortified complex at the heart of the city, showcases stunning Russian Orthodox cathedrals, palaces, and governmental buildings. The cityscape also features the Seven Sisters, seven Stalinist skyscrapers that dominate the skyline.
Moscow is a treasure trove of cultural experiences. The city is home to world-class museums like the State Tretyakov Gallery, which houses an extensive collection of Russian art, and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, known for its European masterpieces. The Bolshoi Theatre is renowned for its ballet and opera performances, while the Gorky Park offers recreational activities and hosts festivals throughout the year.
Russia’s capital offers a vibrant shopping scene, with upscale boutiques, department stores, and designer outlets. The GUM department store, located on Red Square, is famous for its high-end fashion and luxury brands. Additionally, the city features a diverse culinary scene, with a wide range of restaurants offering traditional Russian cuisine, international flavors, and trendy eateries. Moscow’s nightlife is lively and diverse, catering to all tastes. From chic rooftop bars and trendy nightclubs to cozy jazz clubs and traditional Russian taverns, there are plenty of options for entertainment.
Despite being a bustling metropolis, Moscow offers several expansive parks and green spaces where travelers can relax and enjoy nature. Gorky Park, Izmailovsky Park, and the Botanical Garden are popular destinations for leisurely walks, picnics, and outdoor activities.
Things to do in the place
This famous square is the heart of Moscow and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is surrounded by significant landmarks such as the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State Historical Museum, and the GUM department store.
The Kremlin is a historic fortified complex located in the center of Moscow. It serves as the official residence of the President of Russia and houses several cathedrals, palaces, and government buildings, including the famous Armoury Chamber.
St. Basil’s Cathedral
Situated on Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral is an iconic symbol of Moscow. This stunning Russian Orthodox church is known for its vibrant, onion-shaped domes and colorful facade.
A world-renowned opera and ballet theater, the Bolshoi Theatre is a cultural gem in Moscow. Its opulent interiors and outstanding performances make it a must-visit for art lovers.
Known for its exquisite architecture, the Moscow Metro is not only a convenient transportation system but also an underground museum. Many metro stations feature stunning designs, mosaics, sculptures, and artworks.
Christ the Savior Cathedral
This magnificent Orthodox cathedral is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world. It offers panoramic views of Moscow from its observation deck and houses beautiful frescoes and religious artifacts.
Located on the banks of the Moskva River, Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory) provide breathtaking panoramic views of the city. It is a popular spot for leisurely walks and picnics.
Arbat Street in Moscow is a historic and vibrant pedestrian street known for its lively atmosphere, souvenir shops, street performers, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
The State Tretyakov Gallery is a world-renowned museum that houses an extensive collection of Russian art, including masterpieces by famous artists like Andrei Rublev and Ivan Shishkin.
Dedicated to the victory in World War II, Victory Park (Park Pobedy) is a vast memorial complex featuring a grand obelisk, war museums, and the Immortal Regiment memorial march.
Where to eat in the place
- Traditional Russian Restaurants: Try authentic Russian cuisine at restaurants like Cafe Pushkin in Moscow, known for their traditional dishes such as borscht, pelmeni, and blini.
- Soviet Era Dining: Experience a taste of Soviet nostalgia at places like The Apartment in Moscow, which recreates a typical Soviet-era apartment and serves dishes from that period.
- Georgian Cuisine: Explore the flavors of Georgian cuisine, which is popular in Russia. Visit restaurants like Khachapuri Chain or JonJoli in Moscow for delicious Georgian dishes like khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) and khinkali (dumplings).
- International Cuisine: Major Russian cities offer a wide range of international cuisine. Explore restaurants serving Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and other international flavors. Look for highly-rated establishments in your specific city of interest.
- Street Food: Sample local street food like chebureki (deep-fried turnovers) or shawarma from food stalls or kiosks found throughout the cities. Arbat Street in Moscow is a very popular area for street food.
- Soviet-Style Cafeterias: Experience the Soviet-era cafeteria culture at places like Stolovaya No. 57 in Moscow, which offers affordable and nostalgic Soviet-style dishes in a cafeteria setting.
- Fine Dining: Indulge in upscale dining experiences at Michelin-starred or highly acclaimed restaurants like White Rabbit or Twins Garden in Moscow known for their innovative cuisine and stunning views.
- Local Markets: Visit local food markets like Danilovsky Market in Moscow to explore fresh produce, local delicacies, and food stalls serving a variety of dishes.
Where to stay in Moscow
Moscow offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels like The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Hotel Moscow to mid-range options like boutique hotels and serviced apartments, travelers can find suitable accommodations throughout the city.
How to move around and get to discover Moscow
Moscow has an extensive public transportation network to move around, including the metro system, which is not only efficient but also known for its stunning station designs. Taxis, buses, and trams are also readily available for getting around the city.
Moscow is served by three major international airports: Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO), Domodedovo International Airport (DME), and Vnukovo International Airport (VKO). These airports have connections to numerous cities around the world, making air travel a convenient option. From the airport, you can take a taxi, shuttle, or the Aeroexpress train to the city center.
Currently, due to the difficult situation to travel to Rusia, the shortest connections are through Istanbul, Turkey, with Turkish Airlines, or through Belgrade, Serbia, with Air Serbia. Other longer and usually more expensive connecting routes include Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Qatar or Cairo in Egypt. The issue is that Western flight comparison websites have removed flights to Russia, making it impossible to compare prices and connections. However, the Russian flight comparison website OneTwoTrip is still operational, although it may not provide all available connections.
If you enjoy driving or prefer the flexibility of a road trip, you can reach Moscow by car. The city is connected to major highways and road networks, allowing for easy access from different parts of Russia and neighboring countries. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with traffic regulations and parking options in Moscow.
Buses and coaches offer an affordable and convenient way to reach Moscow from neighboring countries. Many European cities have direct bus connections to Moscow, and there are also domestic bus services available within Russia. The companies that operate bus routes are Ecolines and LuxExpress. The most convenient route are from Helsinski and from Tallin.
Moscow is well-connected to various European and Asian cities via train. The Trans-Siberian Railway, for example, provides a scenic and adventurous route to Moscow from cities like Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, and Vladivostok. Domestically, there are also train services connecting Moscow to other Russian cities. The main railway stations in Moscow are Moscow Kazansky, Moscow Leningradsky, and Moscow Yaroslavsky.
If you are traveling from countries bordering the Baltic Sea, such as Sweden, Finland, or Estonia, you can consider taking a ferry to St. Petersburg and then continuing your journey to Moscow by train or plane.
Enjoy our discounts in MOscow
Useful information about Moscow
What are the main landmarks in Moscow?
The main landmarks in Moscow include the Red Square, Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow Metro, Christ the Savior Cathedral, Sparrow Hills, Moscow State University, Tretyakov Gallery, and Victory Park. These iconic sites showcase the city’s history, culture, and architectural grandeur.
Is Moscow safe?
Generally, Moscow is considered safe for tourists. However, like in any major city, it’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Petty theft and scams can occur, especially in crowded tourist areas.
Can I pay with credit card in Moscow?
Due to the sanctions, it is not possible to use Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, or American Express cards in Russia. Therefore, for making payments, there are two options: carrying sufficient cash or acquiring a Tinkoff card.
Can I use my phone in Russia?
Yes, if your phone allows it you can purchase an e-Sim. Nevertheless, the cheapest option is to by a regular Russian sim card on a proper shop in Moscow.
Best experiences in the place
This place has everything a visitor needs to have a great experience. Its natural beauty draws visitors from around the world- along with its numerous important sites and cultural heritage. As far as things to do in the place go, there are plenty of activities available for visitors.
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