At the beginning of the article we list the 10 best places to visit in Moscow (in our opinion) worth visiting. We managed to get around these 10 places in two days. At the end of the article you will find practical advice and insights from Moscow. Have a nice reading 🙂
- Red Square
- St. Basil’s cathedral
- Shopping center GUM
- Gorky park
- Sparrow Hill (beautiful view of Moscow, Moscow State University)
- Park VDNKh (one of the TOP places in Moscow!!)
- View on Delovoy center (naproti přes řeku)
- Novodevichy convent
- Kremlin in Izmailovo
Getting around Moscow
We moved around Moscow by metro and bus. Public transport is quite modernized and runs on time :). Moscow metro is certainly one of the places a tourist must visit. We’ve never seen a metro hall that is so architecturally sophisticated and huge. We were surprised that at the Ploschad Revolyutsii metro station the Russians touch the animal or human statues. But we learned that they were doing it for good luck … We also tried it so let see 😀
Quick breakdown of the itineary of what we did
The beginning of our tour was on the Red Square, which impressed us especially with its size and the dominant cathedral of St. Basil. From the Red Square you can visit the mausoleum of Lenin, Kremlin or the GUM shopping center, where the ordinary tourist does not buy much, but certainly enjoy the architecture and decoration. We found here a fountain full of watermelons 😀
Our tour continued in the direction of Gorky Park, which is primarily a place for rest with a beautiful fountain. After a short sitting in the park we moved to Novodevichy convent, which is the most famous monastery in Moscow. Novodevichy convent is surrounded by a wall behind which are hidden other historic buildings, which are definitely worth seeing. Near this area we bought our first Russian ice cream from Russia and we were excited…here we certainly will not lose weight 😀
Strengthened with ice cream, we head for Sparrow Hills. Near the viewpoint is also Moscow State University, which is the oldest and largest university in Russia. It currently has 40 faculties, which was absolutely unimaginable for us, but when we saw its dimensions, we understood the number. The university building is huge and extensive. We wondered if it looks so good from the inside and we tried to get into it. But when the security wanted to see some card, we turned back through the revolving door and gave up the chance to explore the university.
Sparrow Hills is a view of the historical part of Moscow, which we definitely recommend if you are near the university. Otherwise, we were not so impressed because the center is quite far away and we didn’t see much.
It’s evening and we’re going back to the hotel. We walked 30,000 steps and our feet are protesting. At the hotel we have discovered a beautiful and romantic place for a photo. We are not accommodated in the city center, but the atmosphere of this place really got us 🙂
The next day we went to Red Square early in the morning (6:00) to take a picture at St. Basil’s Cathedral. A few Asian tourists overtook us, but fortunately the square is wide and so they spread in those dimensions. Another picture was taken in Kremlin Ismailovo, next to which is our hotel. It is again a large complex with a church, historic buildings, shops or a museum of vodka (but we missed it :D).
Then we drove to the Moscow VDNKH Exhibition Center, or the exhibition center for the achievements of the Russian economy. The complex is supposed to commemorate the golden era of the Soviet economy and we think it managed it well. VDNKH is a large exhibition and entertainment center with beautiful pavilions, fountains, museums and other interesting attractions (such as the Soyuz rocket). The atmosphere of the place is complemented by relaxing music, people on bikes or roller skates and happy people on benches. This place really excited us and is worth a visit! Perhaps we have never seen so many interesting buildings in one place.
Further continuation of our trip can be found in the article about Trans-siberian Railway here: top-5-must-see-stops-along-the-trans-siberian-railway/
Tips and practical insights from Moscow/ Russia
- Before traveling to Russia we recommend to know Cyrillic alphabet and at least basic words and Russian phrases. In Russia, almost no one speaks English (including the youth) and if you speak to him on the street in English, you will fall into disfavour.
- If you arrive at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, we recommend that you arrive in the city center first by train, which goes directly from the airport and then change to the metro. In our opinion, this is the best budget-speed option.
- Wifi and LTE data in Russia are not a problem. We bought a SIM card for 2 weeks for 500 RUB (approx. 182 CZK), which contains 30 GB of data, unlimited access to social networks and 600 free minutes to call the same operator (Megafon). Moscow is well covered with wifi, even in the subway is not a problem to connect at all stations.
- Public transport in Moscow is also very cheap and well organized (everything runs on time!). Certainly it worth to buy a ticket for more days. For example, we bought a 3-day ticket for 248 RUB (about 90 CZK), which saved us a lot of time during the transfer. In addition, the Moscow metro is a must to visit with it’s unique architecture.
- We were surprised how modern Moscow is. We did not need cash once in three days and we paid everything with a credit card (despite many on-line articles that it is not common to pay by card).
- Moscow is perhaps even more beautiful at night when all buildings, lights and other decorations light up. In addition to Red Square, we recommend visiting the modern part of the city with skyscrapers called Delovoy center in the evening.
- If you are looking for a really cheap accommodation with nice views and interesting surrounding atmosphere, we can recommend Shkatulka hotel (Shkatulka creative house). It is not located in the city center but in the Ismailowo Kremlin, which is also one of the must to see places!
- Pay attention to the expiration date when purchasing food. It happened to us several times that we bought old bread and nutella (even 2 months from the date of consumption).