MOSCOW.

The heart of Russia, Moscow, attracts visitors with its ability to satisfy every need and provide any kind of entertainment. Be it the impressive Kremlin, Red Square, Bolshoi Theatre or Lenin’s Mausoleum, everything in Moscow is grand and splendorous. The need to be impressive, even at the cost of being a tad unsophisticated, is carved heavily into the Russian culture, and it shows in Moscow. The city leaves little to the imagination – whether or not is that a good thing, everyone has to answer for himself. Nonetheless, tourists will find Moscow to be one of the most entertaining capitals in the world. The historical legacy of Moscow is simply fascinating, with the monuments of fallen heroes of Communism hidden around every corner. However, despite the historical legacy, Moscow has another side to it – in addition to the golden domes and soaring churches, Moscow features wild nightclubs, avant-garde restaurants and state-of-the-art hotels. This diversity makes Moscow a perfect city for an unforgettable city break, during which you will be able to experience the best of what Russian culture has to offer.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Moscow

Best Period to Visit Moscow

Accomodation Tips for Moscow

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Moscow

Getting Around Moscow

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Moscow

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Moscow

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Use the metro

If you are going to travel a lot around the city, make sure to use the metro as it is the most affordable method of transportation around, and mostly the only option available. Moreover, the metro of Moscow is famous for its beauty and makes for a sightseeing experience in itself.

Take advantage of the parks

There is plenty of lush green parks around the city of Moscow, which are especially beautiful during the hot months of summer. Make sure you visit some of the parks, as the entrance is free and there is plenty of sights to see and events to attend to, along with concerts and art shows.

Visit the anti-cafes

An interesting phenomenon, which originated in the city of Moscow and is now spreading over the rest of Russia, is the concept of “anti-cafes”. Inside of such establishments, you do not pay for coffee, tea, pastries, or other things you otherwise would, but you pay for the time you spend, and the rest is free.

Find some free museums

While many of the museums of Moscow require you to Buy a Tickets before you enter, there is a special period of time when all of the museums are open. The third Sunday of every month is the Open Museum Day, and every museum in Moscow is then free to enter. Make sure to come early, as the places will be swarmed.

Visit the flea market

While the prices of products in most supermarkets are generally much lower than in Western Europe, you might still strike an even better deal if you stick to the markets. Not only will you be able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, but also to purchase some souvenirs handmade by the locals and foreigners alike.

Find cheap accommodation

You might be better off if you stay away from the most famous hotels in Moscow, as they are generally highly overpriced. It is a good idea to try to search for accommodation which is provided by locals, whether couchsurfing or rooms for rent. You might also want to look for a place near metro stations to save on transport.

Buy day passes

While most of the attractions and monuments of Moscow are located within the city centre, close to each other, you will still need to somehow get into the centre of the city from your accommodation. If you plan on staying for more than a few days, make sure to get a day pass for three days, as it is the best deal.

Search for free events

If you cannot decide what to do on a free evening, take a stroll along the streets of Moscow, and you are sure to find some activities to do. Russian popular music is a fascinating phenomenon and is unlike any other music you might have heard, so make sure to attend street concerts and club performances.

Get a map

One way to save money on vacation in Moscow is to not use the public transport if you do not need to. You can get a map for free in any metro or train station, or at the airport, and it will allow you to see all of the metro stations within the city, along with all of its lines, helping you plan your journey with ease.

Trail the students

While this may sound like a creepy way to approach locals, you can always follow the students of the city if you want to find places with the best prices. Strike a conversation with a local student, and they will surely tell you where you can find a budget meal or a cheap drink, but make sure you learn some Russian first.

Best Period to Visit Moscow

Tourism

Peak tourist season for Moscow falls between June and August – this is also when the crowds are the thickest. If you're not a huge fan of throngs of tourists, then April and May are perfect and offer some nice discounts on accommodation. Winter is really harsh, and that's when tourists try to avoid Moscow at all costs.

Weather

Moscow is the warmest from June to August, with around 22°C highs during these months. Winter is quite extreme with average lows hitting -12°C, but don't take it for granted – some winters were much colder than that.

Money

Winter is naturally the cheapest period for visiting Moscow, as that's when tourists leave the city. From June to August, the city is the most expensive. April and May offer both pleasant weather and reasonable, preseason prices.

Events

Russian Orthodox New Year (January 13)
Russian Fashion Week (March-April)
Usadba Jazz Festival (June)
Moscow International Film Festival (June)
Russian Fashion Week (October)
New Year's (December 3-January 2)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

Moscow offers a diverse choice of apartments all around the city. They come in all shapes and forms, from cheap apartments to luxury apartments for rent so everyone can find something appropriate for his taste and pocket.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn't mean you can't visit it on a budget! Cheap hotels in Moscow provide an efficient alternative to standard and luxury hotels. Make sure to check the location, as some of them are situated a bit far from the tourist attractions of Moscow.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

3- and 4-star hotels in Moscow offer comfortable conditions, satisfying degree of service and better than average location. If you're looking for a hotel which will provide you with easy access to the local tourist attractions, it is this range that you should focus on.

Luxury hotels in Moscow

Luxury hotels in Moscow are truly splendorous. They offer the most spectacular conditions for spending your stay in Moscow, with hotel staff eager to satisfy your every need. Of course, such convenience comes at a price, as nightly rates start around €300.

Getting Around Moscow

Bicycle

While Moscow is still developing its cyclist infrastructure, there are still plenty of streets and sidewalks to ride around the city. You might want to stay away from the city centre when on a bike, as the streets are filled with cars, and they generally pay little attention to surrounding cyclists.
There is also a bike-share programme in Moscow, which is supposed to make the city a healthier place to live in by reducing traffic. It offers more than two and a half thousand bicycles spread around three hundred and fifty stations, and the access to them costs only R150 for a day or R600 for a month.

Metro

The most obvious way to travel around Moscow is the local metro, but it is also the fastest, cheapest, and the most picturesque way to traverse the city. The stations are often filled with marble statues and gorgeous frescoes, and there are more than 150 stations all over the city. The trains often depart with waiting time of less than three minutes, but they often get packed during the rush hours.
An one-ride ticket for the metro costs R55, but you can easily save money and time by getting a multi-ride ticket, which is available in a wide range of options. Make sure to buy the tickets in a machine, as the kiosks often have long queues.
The metro starts its service at 5:30 a.m. and ends at 1:30 a.m. Try to avoid travelling between 8 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., as during those hours the trains get crowded.

Taxi

As in the rest of Russia, taxis in Moscow are quite affordable and a good choice if you need to get into more secluded places. They are also a good way of getting from the airport to your accommodation. Take notice, though, that there are many taxi drivers who do not tolerate the standard flag down, and moreover they do not speak English. A wise choice is to use mobile phone apps for calling a taxi, so you will get an official, registered taxi.

Car and Motorcycle

Since the majority of Russia is open to free car travel, you can get to the city centre by car if you must. It is still a better idea to use public transport, as it is cheaper and far quicker. Take notice that driving around Moscow is a unique experience, as the traffic is absolutely unpredictable and there is a heavy lack of signs. While the fuel is rather cheap in Russia, the long waiting in the traffic jams, which are especially frequent during the rush hours, is generally not worth the hassle.

Boat

If you are looking for a unique way to travel around the city, make sure to hire a boat along the Moscow River. A boat allows you to slowly traverse the city while admiring some of its most beautiful monuments but is also quite pricey. The main routes of the cruises run between the Kievsky vokzal and the Novospassky most, and stop in several other places along the way.

Bus

As in many other places in Russia, the Marshrutki minibusses are cruising around the city. While they are a unique experience, they are generally much slower than metro but are useful to reach the outskirts of the city. You can get tickets for the Marshrutki either at any kiosk, or from the driver, but you will be required to provide exact change. Also, make sure to prepare the ticket before you enter, as the buses are often packed, and it is hard to search your pockets or a bag.

Tickets and Passes

• Single tickets – since Moscow has a unified ticketing system, all of the tickets are viable for both metro, buses, and trams. A ticket for a single trip costs R55.
• Smart card – While getting a single ticket is cheap enough, it is more cost-efficient to get a smart card and fill it with tickets up front, which saves you some money in the process. 20 rides cost R720, 40 cost R1440, and 60 trips cost R1700

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Moscow

Moscow Metro Tour

While travelling on your own through all of the metro stations of the city is possible, this tour will instead allow you to save some time and have an informed guide tell you about the history of the Moscow metro, as he takes you around five most beautiful metro stations and shows you their sights.

Moscow Must-Sees Private Tour

With a private guide who will provide a personalised experience, this tour allows you and your close ones to enjoy a secluded trip around the city. You can ask any questions to the guide, and he will surely answer, while showcasing to you the highlights of the Old Town of Moscow, along with its culture and history.

Kremlin Small Group Tour

This one-and-a-half hour long tour only takes a small group of tourists to ensure a lot of attention given to every single visitor. The tour will take you through the Kremlin, under the supervision of a knowledgeable guide, showing you the Cathedral Square along with the Assumption Cathedral and Archangel Cathedral.

Communist Moscow – Evening Walking Tour

A tour which will provide you with insights into the rich history of Moscow, with focus on illustrating the Soviet period of its heritage. An English-speaking guide will tell you about the 1917 Revolution as you stand in the Revolution Square, and will later go with you to sights such as the Bolshoi Theater and the Tverskaya Street.

Small Group Moscow City Walking Tour

Taking only two hours of your time, this walking tour will take you along some of the most famous highlights of the city of Moscow. First, you will be led by a guide to explore the areas around the Red Square. Later on, you will stroll through the Nikolskaya Street, towards the lush Alexandrovksy Garden.

City Sightseeing Moscow Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour

Presenting a good alternative to tourists who would rather prefer to discover Moscow in their own pace, this tour offers access to a number of comfortable double-deckers with open tops, which serve between the most important sights in the city. Moreover, you can opt-in for a cruise for a small additional fee.

Private Moscow City Tour

With only a small group of other people who come with you, this tour will take you on a five-hour-long trip around the city. The tour includes seeing the Red Square, the Kremlin, as well as the Kazan’s Cathedral, St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, and more, all with a well-accustomed guide.

Kremlin Entrance with Cathedral Square

This tour guarantees you the opportunity to see the Cathedral Square in Moscow with an admission ticket, as it is hard to squeeze through the lines without it. A guide will show you along the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, as well as the inauguration place of a new Russian president inside of the Kremlin.

Moscow Private Two-Day Tour

Packed full of attractions and monuments to see, this two-day tour will show you around all of the interesting places of Moscow and towns around it. You will be taken to the Kolomenskoye Museum and Tsaritsyno Park, after which you can see the Saint Basil’s Cathedral in the Red Square for yourself.

Moscow Walking Tour through the Eyes of Locals

Covering such spots of Moscow as the Red Square and the highlights surrounding it, this tour is managed by locals to ensure the most truthful sightseeing experience. Skip-the-line tickets to the top tourist attractions are provided, allowing you to visit all the most famous sights without any hassle.

Other Things to See and Do

The Metro

The obvious thing to see for free during your stay in Moscow is the famous Metro of the city. Many of the stations are made with gorgeous architecture which is absolutely worth seeing, adorned with remnants of Soviet Russia, statues, sophisticated chandeliers, and glass art.

Free tours

There is a company in Moscow that provides free tours to the tourists every day, covering most major sights which you can enter for free. The guides employed by this company are very likable and enthusiastic, and often know even more about the city than the guides of paid tours.

Red Square

Located right outside of the Kremlin’s northeastern part, the Red Square is a huge area of cobblestone and is often considered to be the heart of Moscow. The Square features a number of monuments and attractions around it and is in itself a spot where a lot of important events in Russian history took place.

Lenin Tomb

If you are brave enough, you can visit the Lenin’s Mausoleum which holds the tomb of the Soviet leader of Russia, Vladimir Lenin. The body of Lenin is preserved and is put on public display since 1924, and has been constantly there with short exceptions during the war. Make sure to stop by to gaze at its gorgeous sculptures.

St Basil’s Cathedral

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as St Basil’s Cathedral, is one of the most famous landmarks of Moscow. The building now functions as a museum and is open for free on every third Thursday of the month, but you can come any time to gaze at its gorgeous colourful towers.

Gorky House-Museum

Established in 1906, the Gorky House-Museum is an art nouveau mansion designed by the famous Fyodor Schechtel as a gift to the Russian author Maxin Gorky. Nowadays, the House-Museum’s function is to preserve and show you the lifestyle of the author, along with the rich furniture and murals that adorned his house.

Alexander Garden

A perfect place to take an afternoon stroll in Moscow is the Alexander Garden, but you should probably avoid it during the rush hours, as thousands upon thousands of tourists do the same. Inside, you will be able to see the famous vibrant flowerbeds, as well as a gorgeous view of the Kremlin in the distance.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Located inside of the Alexander Garden, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument to commemorate all of the soldiers that died during World War II. The soldiers killed during the Battle of Moscow in 1941 were initially buried in mass graves, and this monument was made to give them respect.

Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve

Another good place to take a walk are the grounds of the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve, which is an ancient estate placed by the side of the Moscow River. Nowadays, the estate is a combination of churches and gates, along with other buildings, which are all free to see and are definitely worth it.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior

Located southwest of the Kremlin along the Moscow River, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, is an enormous landmark, which is a reconstruction of a 19th church destroyed by Stalin. The demolition of the palace was done in order to make place for a colossal Palace of the Soviets, but it was stopped by German forces.

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

Showing the largest collection of foreign art in all of Russia, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is a place worth visiting and provides free admission on every third Thursday of each month. The museum is split into three branches, each showing art of different periods, from antiquity to modern times.

19th and 20th Century Art Gallery

If you are in a mood to see some of the best contemporary art available in Russia, take a walk to the 19th and 20th Century Art Gallery, located right next to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. The gallery holds a famous collection of French Impressionist works, along with other representatives of contemporary arts.

Kremlin

As you enter the insides of this glorious fortification looming over the city of Moscow, you can still enjoy its gorgeous architecture from the outside for free. The Kremlin is one of the oldest fortifications in all of Russia, dating as far as the 9th century, and was rebuilt during the 14th century.

Arbat

The Arbat Street often referred to as just the Arbat, is one of the most famous streets located in the historical centre of Moscow. The street was regarded as the most prestigious area to live in by the Russian nobility, but was almost completely destroyed in the great fire of 1812, but was rebuilt since.

Novodevichy Cemetery

Make sure to stop by the Novodevichy Cemetery, which is free to enter and is the place in Russia where its most important people are buried. The graves of the cemetery hold remains of both political and cultural figures, with such people as Bulgakov, Chekhov, Gogol, Mayakovsky, Eisenstein, and Prokofiev.

Izmailovo

Being probably the most famous flea market in Moscow, and maybe in all of Russia, Izmailovo is part of a theme park which hosts a range of shops, restaurants, attractions, and monuments. All of these buildings and stalls are located within a fake Kremlin, with faux walls and towers, making for a unique neighbourhood.

Red October Factory

Famous for its traditional chocolate and sweets, produced mostly during the Soviet history of Russia, the Red October factory is nowadays one of the most prominent spots in the city for art and entertainment. The factory hosts not only a range of events and art galleries, but also clubs, cafes, and even fashion stores.

All-Russia Exhibition Center

Being a vast complex of wide streets and pavilions filled with remnants of the socialist era, the All-Russia Exhibition Center was created in the 1930s as a remnant of the Soviet paradise. Nowadays, the place is open to tourists with wonderful statues and rich fountains and is still free to visit to this day.

Danilov Monastery

Created during the late 13th century by Saint Daniel, the Danilov Monastery is the Moscow’s oldest one and is home to devoted servants of the Lord to this day. The church in the centre of the monastery is said to hold the relics of the saint, and you can even see them for yourself for free.

Park Pobedy

Otherwise known as the Victory Park, the Park Pobedy is an enormous swath of terrain celebrating the triumph of the Great Patriotic War. The park is filled with fountains and statues, and there is even an on-site museum which is normally not free to enter, but it is free during the free museum day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Moscow city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Moscow are: Hotel Metropol Moscow, Golden Ring Hotel Moscow, Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya, National Hotel Moscow and Sheraton Palace Hotel Moscow. Discover the full list of best hotels in Moscow.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Moscow?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Moscow include Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel, Chekhoff Hotel Moscow Curio Collection by Hilton, Radisson Royal Hotel Moscow, The Ritz-Carlton Moscow, InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya, Swissotel Krasnye Holmy and Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Moscow.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Moscow?

    Those trying to visit Moscow on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Cosmos Hotel, Vega Izmailovo Hotel & Convention Center, Holiday Inn Moscow Sokolniki, Izmailovo Beta Hotel, Hotel Metropol Moscow, Novotel Moscow City and Park Inn by Radisson Sadu. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Moscow.

  • What is the best period to visit Moscow for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Moscow for a city break are April, May, October and November.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Moscow?

    Moscow offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Moscow include: Moscow Metro Tour, Moscow Must-Sees Private Tour, Kremlin Small Group Tour, City Sightseeing Moscow Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour and Kremlin Entrance with Cathedral Square.

  • How much does an Moscow city pass cost?

    A city pass in Moscow costs around €50.

  • How much does public transport in Moscow cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Moscow costs around €5.85.

  • What are the best night clubs in Moscow?

    The best night clubs in Moscow include: Krysha Mira, Propaganda, 16 Tons, Pravda Club and Lookin Rooms.

  • What are the best bars in Moscow?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Moscow are: Kamchatka, Like Wine, Strelka, Noor and Mendeleev Bar.

  • What are the best places to eat in Moscow?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Moscow may vary depending on your taste, however, Grand Café Dr. Zhivago, Winil, Severyane and Chemodan are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Moscow?

    Top 5 restaurants in Moscow include: AQ Kitchen, White Rabbit, Café Pushkin, Semifreddo and Severyane.

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