Described by many as the city of superlatives, Moscow is where you will find many of the world’s billionaires and the world’s most expensive cup of coffee. It is, therefore, safe to assume that visiting the city will also mean getting a “superlative” experience from its attractions, nightspots, and shops.
The city’s top spots are something that tourists should not miss when in Moscow. Included here are the Red Square which has often been visitors’ first destination in the city, the St. Basil Cathedral which features an in-house museum, and the Kremlin which is a gigantic site nobody should fail to see. An Armoury showcasing a diamond collection, stunning churches, and lavish palaces are just among the things to look forward to in Kremlin.
Nocturnal people or those who are into the city’s nightlife will not be disappointed in Moscow as it has one of Russia’s most vibrant and most lively nightspots. One of the city’s major and most populous spots at night is at Tverskaya Street. If you are in for a wild party, then this is the place to be.
Around the street, one can find a number of luxurious restaurants and bars to spend the night with.
Shopaholics should get ready with their pockets – and credit cards – as Moscow is home to many extraordinary and high-end boutiques in the country. Many of the world’s biggest name brands and top producers are here to excite shoppers.
The attractions, nightspots, and shops in Moscow are just some of the things to expect in the city. When there, you’ll see more that would keep you in awe and impressed.
Already Europe’s most populous city, Moscow makes up one-tenth of Russia’s entire population. Thus, it is unquestionably the familial heart of the country. Traveling around the city for tourists would mean getting face-to-face to the country’s magnificent ancient spots, museums, cathedrals, and beautiful squares among others.
Overview of the City
A large metropolis located at the Moska River, Moscow had been witness to Russia’s rich history. Until now, it still continues to contribute to the country’s growth. The city’s strong economy has been a constant attraction to many workers (even those illegal ones) not just from Russia but from all over the world as well. Moscow’s internal passport system which makes it illegal for non-residents to stay in the city longer than 90 days, has proven ineffective as more and more people from the neighboring city find a way to come every year.
Architecture and Culture
Many of the city’s culture is manifested in its architecture. The St. Basil’s Cathedral and Kremlin, for instance, will give visitors a glimpse of Russia’s past. The latter will particularly take your breath away in awe and appreciation of the lavish palaces, churches, and armories surrounding it.
Getting in the City
Although Moscow promises a lot of things to explore and experience, getting in the city is not as easy as booking a flight and boarding the plane. Like many cities in Russia, strict visa requirements apply before one can travel to Moscow. You may need to make a thorough research of the things you need to acquire to get a visa going to the city.
The capital of Russia, Moscow, got its name after the Moskva River. It was founded by Yury Dolgoruky, a Russian prince. Below is a dateline recalling how Moscow came to be.
1147 – Moscow was first mentioned when Prince Yury invited the prince of Novgorod-Severski to the city saying, “come to me, brother, to Moscow.”
1328 – Moscow was declared the capital of Russia. During this time, many princes from the city bought more lands within their territories.
1713 – Peter I, an all-Russian Emperor, ordered the transfer of the country’s capital from Moscow to Petersburg.
1812 – During the Patriotic War with Napoleon, Moscow has suffered big fires that destroyed many of its important buildings. Who started the fire, is something that historians could still not answer.
1918 – On March 12, the title of being the country’s capital was returned to Moscow. This was after many of the communists feared to stay in St. Petersburg as it was closer to the borders.
1935 – Moscow Metro’s first line was launched and placed into operation.
1941 – Germans invaded Russia and advanced closer to Moscow (about a few hundred miles).
1980 – Moscow became the host of the Summer Olympics.
1989 – Moscow’s first open elections took place; the last time the event happened was in 1917.
Moscow’s long and colorful history simply added the personality and character of the city. Visiting the place, you’ll still get a few glimpses of the city’s past.
With a strong and growing economy, it is not a wonder why more and more people from other cities in Russia (and some from all over the world) find living in Moscow. For the moment, the city has over 10 million people, making it one of Europe’s most populous cities.
The majority of Moscow’s inhabitants are of Russian ethnicity; making up its largest minority groups are Belarusians, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Tatars, and Armenians.
Many find the Muscovites – a reference to the people of Moscow – to be grim and strict because they rarely smile. However, do not be easily fooled with their looks as they can be very nice and warm individuals. Most Russians do not like to hide their feelings. Frowning and yelling is just a way of being straight and honest. If you get to know them during your visit, you will be pleasantly surprised as to how genuine the Muscovites are.
Among the famous people from the city are playwrights and novelists Mikhail Bulgakov and Anton Chekhov, actor and stage director Constantin Stanislavski, abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, and architect and painter Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin.
Aside from being home to many of the world’s billionaires, Moscow is also where one can find a number of breathtaking attractions and sights. So when in the city, these places should be on top of your itinerary:
The country’s mythic refuge, the self-contained city showcases a wide range of lavish palace, armories that feature rare diamond collection, and churches that somehow mirror Russia’s rich history. wFor those who’ve been in the city, Kremlin will instantly spark images of shining onion domes, formidable walls, and some remnants of the city’s past rulers. However, the place’s name simply refers to a “fortified town”.
Located at Moscow’s hear, Red Square has often been the first destination of many visitors in the city. It surrounded by some of the top architectural sites in Moscow. The square is made up of black cobbles (and not red!); its name came from the Russian word “Krasny” which means beautiful.
Housing the embalmed body of Russian communist politician and Marxist revolutionary, the mausoleum will give visitors a glimpse of the life of the persuasive orator and political scientist. Everybody is free to come but cameras and phones have to be left in the luggage office.
The reconstructed Christ the Savior Cathedral rises 103 meters above the city. It is considered to be the symbol of the city’s awakening. Characterized by glistening domes and crosses, the massive church is one beauty to behold in Moscow.
There are a lot more attractions to see in Moscow. These are just previews of what awaits you in the city.
A trip to Moscow would be incomplete without trying to learn a little bit of its language. After all, what would make your visit better than meeting new people and exchanging a few conversations using the Russian language?
So here are a few tips to learn Russian in Moscow:
Get a Russian Language Course
If your intention is to stay a bit longer in the city, a Russian language course would not be a bad idea at all. Aside from giving you formal lessons about the language, enrolling yourself in a Russian language program will also help you to learn more about the city – including its culture and history.
While exploring the city and meeting new people, do not be ashamed to ask for free lessons on simple and common Russian phrases. Most of these locals would surely appreciate your interest in learning their language, thus, they would so willingly offer you their help.
Bring a Reference Material
If you do not find getting a Russian language course practical or are not that comfortable mingling with the city’s people, then consider bringing reference materials, such as an English-Russian dictionary. It may not be that comprehensive as a formal lesson nor as casual as in asking around, it would at least help you get through with your visit.
Other than making the most of your stay in Moscow, learning Russian could also be beneficial in a number of ways. After all, many would consider learning a new language a good investment.