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Moscow - Capital of Russia

Situated along the Moskva River in the course of its history the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow, the subsequent Tsardom of Russia, the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation.

Moscow has certainly changed a lot since the 1990's losing its stuffy communist-era ethics and embracing, to a certain extent, popular western cultures.

Rather than queuing for rations at state-owned department stores, these days well-heeled Muscovites sip champagne with sushi at elitny (‘elite’) restaurants and window shop for designer labels at frighteningly expensive boutiques.

Moscow is a very expensive city due to the collapsed and unbalanced economy and, according to one poll, the most unfriendly city in the world.

Nevertheless, it is one of those cities that most of us would jump at the chance to see and experience for ourselves.

Travel Alert: Both the UK government and USA government have issued travel warnings and safety alerts for parts of Russia. Please read them for your safety and find out what guidance your own government has issued.

Top 5 things to do in Moscow

Red Square

Red Square sits at the heart of Moscow with all the major streets radiating out from it.

The space that the square occupies was originally created in the 15 century on the side of the Kremlin that did not have any natural defences.

A high wall was created to protect the Kremlin and the area in front demolished in order to create a field for fire shooting if there were to be an attack.

Originally the square was used as a market place for locals to sell and trade their wears and it wasn't until 1661 when it became known as красная ("red" or "beautiful") square.

The term red has nothing to do with the colour of the bricks around the square nor any reference to communism.

Today Red Square is surrounded by Moscow's most wonderful attractions the Kremlin, GUM Department Store, State Historical Museum and St. Basil's Cathedral as well as being the site of Lenin's Tomb.

Being so central, most of the countries national events and political rallies take place here.


The Moscow Kremlin sits right at the heart of Moscow next to Red Square and overlooking the Moskva River.

A fortified citadel was first built around the 1320s when the seat of Russian power transferred from Kiev to Moscow.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the strategic area has been occupied as far back as 2nd century BC.

The citadel complex has been rebuilt and remodelled many times over the centuries to suit the needs of the Tsars and now the political elite who call it home.

Cathedral Square is the heart of the Kremlin. It is surrounded by six buildings, three of them cathedrals including the Cathedral of the Dormition, completed in 1479 and where all the Tsars were crowned.

Guided tours are available which will take you around the complex including inside to look at the Armory Chamber and the treasures of the Tsars.

St Basil's Cathedral

With its official name of The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, we know it just as well simply as Saint Basil's Cathedral.

The original building, erected around 1555, was known as Trinity Church and later Trinity Cathedral.

The origin of the building's unique design is largely unknown. It is thought to either pay homage to the churches

of Jerusalem or, by building eight churches around a central ninth, representing the medieval symbol of the eight-pointed star.

Whatever the real reason is, the spectacular building is an iconic landmark on the Moscow skyline and world-wide.

The original cathedral was built in white stone to match the Kremlin and the onion domes were gold. The colour and patters were added gradually over an almost 200-year period beginning in the 1680s.

The cathedral is now a museum although one service is held annually in the building on the Day of Intercession in October.

Open daily from 11am until 5pm, closed on Tuesdays.

Pushkin Museum

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is located at Volkhonka street, just opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

The museum's name is misleading, as strangely it has nothing to do with the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

A relatively new building by comparison to others in Moscow with its construction starting in 1898 and finishing in 1912.

Spanning 6 buildings the collection consists of more than 560,000 works of art: paintings and sculptures, works of graphic art, applied art, art photography, archaeological monuments and numismatic items.

The Pushkin Museum is still a main depositary of Troy's fabulous gold looted from Troy by the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann and taken by the Soviet Army from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin at the end of World War II.

The museum is open daily from 10am until 7pm, closed on Mondays.

Gorky Park

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure, or simply Gorky Park to us is an amusement park located at Krymsky Val and situated just across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro Station.

The Park, opened in 1928, was the vision of Konstantin Melnikov, a world-famous soviet avant-garde and constructivist architect.

The park stretches along the banks of the Moskva River, and is divided into two parts. The first caters mostly for children and contains a range of fun fair rides and roller coasters.

The other, older, half of the park is considerably more restrained, consisting of formal gardens and woodland that combine the former Golitsynskiy and Neskuchniy Gardens.

In the winter the footpaths flood over and freeze, which allows ice-skating around the park.

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Other Places To Visit

If you have some extra time in the city, some other worthwhile places to visit are:

  • State Museum - museum of Russian history located just off Red Square
  • Moscow State Circus - opened April 1971, performances held each day, afternoon and evening
  • Moscow Zoo - over 6000 animals representing about 1000 species

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Temperature & Rainfall Guide for Moscow

Climate graph for Moscow

More Moscow details from Climate Charts

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Moscow City Centre Map

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Quick City Info


Ruble руб 1

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Dialling To Moscow

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810 then international #

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Sheremetyevo International

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Moscow has nine main railway stations


Moscow Metro


No local ports


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Travel Essentials

Hotel Deals in Moscow

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Car Hire

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Travel Extras

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