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Visited Moscow in July 2018 for 3 days

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Europe > Russia > Moscow > Trip Briefs
Updated on Aug 28, 2018 Trip Brief

A weekend trip to Moscow

I decided to visit Moscow for a weekend last month. Very enjoyable trip I recommend everyone to visit.


Logistics

  • Visa:
  • Most EU countries need tourist visa to Russia
  • You need an invitation from a friend or registered company in Russia to get the visa. I used this company. Very cheap and fast service at 20 euros
  • Flight:
  • I flew Aeroflot to Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO). Round trip cost me 250 euros
  • Taxi from SVO to my hotel Ararat Park Hyatt was about 2000 rubles (25 euros). Ararat is a beautiful historical hotel very close to the Red Square in central Moscow. From the rooftop bar you can see the Kremlin. Expensive but I highly recommend it
  • Around Moscow:
  • Central Moscow is very walking-friendly. I walked all day on the 1st day. The 2nd day I walked a lot too. I also took the Moscow Metro
  • How to use Moscow Metro:
  • Google Maps is your best friend to show you all the metro stops
  • Look for large red M letters for entrance to the metro stations
  • Buy ticket with cash or credit card at the automatic machines or human counters
  • Ticket prices do not vary by distance. Each trip costs 55 rubles (0,7 euros). Very affordable
  • Stations are only labelled in Russian and announcements were all made in Russian. It is necessary for you to count the number of stops and remember the shape of the Russian script of the station names (again, use Google Maps)
  • For those planning to use the Metro and/or buses, trolleys in Moscow it's good to look into Troika Card, which is a rechargeable card that gets you even cheaper prices on metro (around 30 rubles if I recall). I did not use this option as I mostly walked



Day 1 plan:

  • I visited the central Moscow area around the Red Square all day
  • Very historical area with many many important points of interest for tourists to see
  • All the places I visited were within walking distance from one another


The Kremlin

  • The most important spot in all of Russia, where the government is located. Obviously you cannot visit the government quarters, but there are big areas in Kremlin that are open to tourists
  • Recommend you buy ticket 1-2 weeks ahead of time online. Otherwise big queue. I wrote how I bought tickets online
  • Many things to see I spent the entire morning here (3.5 hours)

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


Red Square

  • Big square with lots of history
  • The Kremlin wall is very imposing. Very impressive square
  • It's free to walk around but be on your best best behaviour many security personnel here
  • I spent 30 minutes here

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


Moscow GUM

  • Beautiful Neoclassical shopping centre
  • Built before Soviet Union. In the Soviet era this was the main department store in Moscow
  • Pronounced like "GOOM"; not "gum" like chewing gum
  • Anyone can walk in and look around. Many tourists
  • I spent 30 minutes here

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


St. Basil's Cathedral

  • The most recognized symbols of Russia
  • Many intricate details on the facade and the interior
  • Unlike the Kremlin you should not buy tickets online. Very short queue. Price is 500 rubles (6,5 euros) Payment with either cash ruble or credit card
  • I spent 40 minutes inside and outside

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


Christ the Saviour Cathedral

  • A BIG Russian Orthodox cathedral located not too far from the Red Square
  • Very beautiful Baroque style church. But in fact it was built in the 1990s
  • I spent 30 minutes here

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


State Historical Museum

  • One of my favourite places in Moscow. Many historical artifact on display that traces Russia's history from a small principality to a superpower
  • I spent 2.5 hours inside. This was the last thing I did before dinner

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


The Bolshoi Theatre

  • I booked an opera performance at the Bolshoi at 19:00
  • Beautiful building and great performance
  • Price of shows:
  • Most shows range from 100 rubles (1,5 euros) to 8000 rubles (100 euros) depending on your seat. I paid 3000 rubles for a great seat for Othello
  • Very popular shows can cost as much as 12000 rubles (150 euros) or even 15000 rubles (190 euros)
  • Price list on the official website
  • Recommend you buy eticket online ahead of time. From its official website
  • You do not need to wear formal wear. But no wear shorts or t-shirts! Bolshoi etiquette

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


Day 2 plan:


State Tretyakov Gallery

  • Vast collection of Russian art from before the 20th century
  • 500 rubles admission ($6.5 Euros)

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


New Tretyakov Gallery

  • The biggest and best showcase of modern art from Russia
  • It's located 30 minute walk away from the New Tretyakov Gallery
  • 500 rubles admission ($6.5 Euros)

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve

  • A large and beautiful former imperial palace in the southern suburbs of Moscow. Main thing to see is the ornate architecture, painting and artifact collections, and relax in the park
  • Best way to get there is taking the metro Line 2 for 50 minutes to Tsaritsyno station, then walk on the main road south east for 10 minutes to the main entrance here
  • Tickets costs 780 rubles for everything inside (10 euros) - you do not need to buy online tickets as there is no queue here and many available tickets on sale

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow

User submitted photo of Moscow


Day 3 plan

  • Nothing. Woke up, ate breakfast at my hotel and went to the airport


Other points of interest on my list but did not have time to check out:

  • Lenin's Mausoleum: where Lenin's body is preserved, right on the Red Square. I did not go because the queue was too long for my itinerary
  • Sparrow Hills: a park with great view over the city because it's the highest point in Moscow. The imposing Moscow State University building sits in the centre of the park
  • Moscow City: the modern central business district of Moscow, like Canary Wharf of London or La Défense of Paris. It has a very beautiful skyline with some of the tallest buildings in Europe
  • Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts: has a big collection of European fine art
  • VDNKh: a building complex that's used as museum and exhibition centre. It's one of the most recognized Soviet-style building, surrounded by a park
  • Moscow Metro: there are many metro stations that are very beautifully constructed with marbles, arches and lavishly decorated in the early 20th century style