Russia’s capital may not seem an obvious holiday destination but it should never be overlooked. Rich with history and alive with a cosmopolitan glamour, Moscow offers the opportunity for a trip with a bit of everything.
Explore museums compact with stories from Russia’s sensational past, saunter through the elegant shopping malls, gaze at the diverse architecture that builds the city skyline and indulge on the rich, gooey hot chocolate sheltered from the crisp air outside.
There’s the unmistakable feeling that the Red Square is both the centre and soul of the city. It’s sides are formed by different symbols of Russia’s past and present culture. The Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, State Historical Museum, The Resurrection Gate, and Gum.
The Kremlin is the seat of the Russian Government and has been home to some of the most famous leaders in history. For a look into the political history of Moscow, it’s essential to explore the third of the Kremlin open to the public. Within these walls are enough museums and architecture to fill your trip. The bright white stone of the Ivan The Great Bell Tower stands boldly in the Kremlin skyline and houses the huge 64-tonne ‘resurrection bell.’ Often a visitor favourite is Assumption Cathedral, with its striking golden domes and beautiful art lining the interior. Rumour has it that the work of Fioravanti in creating the Cathedral was so loved by Ivan the Great, that Fioravanti was imprisoned to prevent him from creating such beauty elsewhere.
St Basil’s Cathedral
A riot of colour and an architecturally striking masterpiece: St Basil’s Cathedral stands proudly on the Red Square. It was built in 1552, by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the victory of capturing the Tatar stronghold in Kazan and is today an icon of Russia. Wander the nine chapels or simply admire the exterior as it is unforgettable.
Not your every-day activity, but visiting the preserved corpse of Lenin is certainly a memorable activity. Immediately after Lenin’s, the Father of the Revolution, death in 1924, a mausoleum was erected on the Red Square and thousands of tourists filter through this building to catch a glimpse of this scientific phenomenon every year.
State Historical Museum
Opened in 1894, the State Historical Museum is another impressive building that stands over the Red Square. It’s Neo-Gothic, red, jagged towers attract much photographic attention. The museum holds a rich collection of artefacts ranging from the Paleolithic period to the present day.
The gum department store stands elegantly on the eastern side of the Red Square and offers a taste of elite Russia. New York has Saks, London has Harrods and for Moscow, there’s Gum. It’s particularly magical at christmas when the giant tree is erected in the centre, and sparkling decorations adorn its high walls and balconys.
Of course, Moscow holds plenty to see outside the Red Square too.
Housing the greatest performances in Russia, the Bolshoi Theatre is a must-see. Get tickets to see a masterpiece of ballet or opera, sit back and enjoy the glamorous entertainment in a stunning setting with an unforgettable atmosphere.
Cold War Museum (Bunker 42)
If you don’t get claustrophobic and are interested in the history of Russia in the cold war, this museum is perfect for you. It contains kilometres of tunnels, raid sirens and KGB rooms, as well as mesmerising information on communist Russia.
Tretyakov State Gallery
Of course, there’s more for the art fans. Containing 100,000 works which span across 62 rooms, the Tretyakov is a national treasury of fine art in Russia. The collections span the years from the 10th century all the way to the end of the 19th century and portray the developments of Russia’s greatest artists.
Moscow is a city that never sleeps and its diversity of nightlife will have you endlessly partying. From simplistic bars, to glitzy clubs there is something for whatever night you’re feeling. For techno there’s Arma 17, for hipsters there’s Solyanka, and for decadence, partnered with high prices, there’s Bar Strelka.
Moscow is unmistakably elegant and in order to style yourself up to it’s standards head to our site for a designer glasses bargain.
The art, the fashion, the history… what’s your favourite part of Moscow? Let us know in the comments below.