Top 10 Sights in Moscow

6 min read

When in Moscow, expect to be presented with aesthically-pleasing architecture wherever you go. The capital city of Russia has a lot to offer when it comes to top sites for sight-seeing as the city is mixed with colour and vibrancy. The city sits on the Moskva River and is conveniently surrounded by lush greenery, making tours worthwhile and refreshing. Here in the winter? Not a problem as there are several things to do in Moscow in winter, too.

Like many other cities in Europe, Moscow has great transportation and is safe and convenient enough to explore on foot. At the heart of the city, one can explore the famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral, which has become the de facto face of Moscow's landmarks. From here, explore the rest of the picturesque Red Square, then proceed to the Moscow Kremlin and relax at the Alexander Garden.

Aside from the main sights near the Red Square, tourists can also explore the rest of the city via its efficient metro system. Plus, the stations of the Metro are sights within themselves. Tourists can also relax at the popular Sanduny bathhouse before heading to the Bolshoi Theatre in the evening. Round up the tour with a fun museum hopping tour, which includes stops like the Multimedia Art Museum, the Gorky Park Museum and the State Tretyakov Gallery.

  • 3 day itinerary
  • Average of 4 stops per day

Moscow City Walk

Red Square
Red Square at Night
Red Square at Night by JH Kim
Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Saint Basil’s Cathedral by opsa
Eternal Flame at the Alexander Gardens - Aleksandrovskiy Sad

No trip to Moscow is complete without a photo at the beautiful Saint Basil’s Cathedral. No matter what religion or spiritual practice you follow, you can not deny the beauty that this striking landmark has lent the city through its vivid colours and quirky architecture. Around the Red Square space, which is a central square in Moscow, you will also find other postcard-worthy buildings, so do go for a walk around.

Be sure to also visit the Moscow Kremlin complex, which includes structures such as five palaces, four cathedrals and more. After exploring the Kremlin, one can relax and unwind at the Alexander Gardens - an urban public space great for me-time or quiet strolls.

Red Square

There are many things to do at the Red Square (central square) in Moscow. Free walking tours in the city usually stop here as it is a main square in the city and it is surrounded by other buildings worthy of exploration, such as the Historical Museum, the Lenin Mausoleum, the Moscow Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral and others. If you would like to do some quick shopping, head to the GUM mall (one of Moscow’s iconic shopping areas) nearby.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

The Saint Basil’s Cathedral is also known as the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed. Part of this church is also a museum now, which is great for tourists who wish to do other things aside from religious activities. The name of the official museum is the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat.

There are 9 churches in the whole structure, each one as beautiful as the next. A tenth church has also been erected in honour of St Basil. The Cathedral is shaped like a flame, unique in its time before later-century Russian architecture adapted a similar style. The colours are said to have followed the Bible’s description of the Heavenly City. Be sure to enjoy every detail of this colourful, beautiful structure when visiting!

Moscow Kremlin

Kremlins are citadels, with a literal translation meaning a “fortress in a city”. The Moscow Kremlin is perhaps the best known among the citadels. It houses palaces, one of which is the Grand Kremlin Palace that the former Tsar used to live. These days, it is the residence of the President. Have a stroll around this great place to experience Moscow architecture and a seat of power.

Alexander Gardens - Aleksandrovskiy Sad

A great place for people watching is the Alexander Gardens. Have a quick break from the walking tour in this public park where you can enjoy three gardens. The Upper Garden is where there is an eternal flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies. The Middle Garden is where the Kutafya Tower can be seen from. And finally, the Lower Garden leads to the Borovitskaya Tower and has an entrance to the Kremlin.

Moscow Beyond the Square

A Metro Station in Moscow
The Moscow Metro
The Moscow Metro by falco
Bolshoi Theatre

See what Moscow has to offer through its beautifully designed Metro system. Each interior went through a thoughtful and creative design process, making each stop a destination in itself. When enjoying the Metro, be sure to take in the intricacies in the architecture, such as that of the Kuznetsky Most Station.

If you enjoyed exploring the city the day before, then relax at the city’s oldest bathhouse, the Sanduny, after you finish exploring the Metro stations. The Bathhouse offers relaxation services and facilities, like its version of a sauna, jacuzzi, pools and a spa. Finish off your tour with a great ballet or opera performance at the Bolshoi Theater.

The Moscow Metro

Moscow has outdone itself by merging art, architecture and great transportation service all under one roof. Its Metro is also a prime example of how a city can successfully bring art to its masses. It is said that each station is uniquely made, so take your time when travelling through them.

Start your station hopping with the Kuznetsky Most Station, which is built with marble archways and black granite floors. Other notable stations include Komsomolskaya (Circle Line), Novoslobodskaya, Ploschad Revolutsii and more.

Sanduny Bath House

Aside from beautiful historical structures, Moscow also leaves its mark on the rest and relaxation department. When on vacation, it is important to make your body feel at ease, and the Sanduny Bath House is a great place to do just that. Aside from gender-segregated bathing quarters, Sanduny has excellent facilities, such as swimming and spa areas, steam rooms, authentic Russian stoves and salons. The interiors are tastefully Russian with the architects delivering their best recreations of ancient bathhouses.

Bolshoi Theatre

As with any other city with great regard for history and art, Moscow houses its best opera and ballet troupes in one theatre. Book a show at the Bolshoi Theatre for a great night of art and music. Before sitting down for the show, explore the building and appreciate the architecture as it is not only the oldest theatre in Moscow, but it has survived (but was rebuilt) after a fire and hurricane.

Moscow Through Art and History

The State Tretyakov Gallery from the Outside
Gorky Park
Tour of the State Tretyakov Gallery

Moscow sits at the heart of Russia’s political and historical mainland, and it is only fitting to learn more about its collective history through a museum run. Fortunately, the city has a good number of museums that will enlighten and inform visitors while also giving them a great overview of Moscow’s creative core.

The relatively new Multimedia Art Museum is a treat for modern and multimedia art fans. Across the river is the Gorky Park where the Gorky Park Museum is also situated. Finally, finish the museum hop with the State Tretyakov Gallery, which has an impressive collection of Russian art.

Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow

One of the newest museum destinations in the city is the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, which has seven floors of contemporary art. Those who follow modern art, as well as new multimedia pieces, will find this place great. For those who curate their own Instagram feeds, this is a fantastic museum to get new content from! If you’re travelling with family, this museum also offers movie showings, children’s activities and photography tutorials among others, which will for sure keep the little ones entertained!

Gorky Park Museum 

Gorky Park is another space you can have a 'zen' moment in or just simply relax. The park is named after the founder of socialist realism literature, Maxim Gorky. At its entrance is the Gorky Park Museum where photographs and reels of video are shown with the park as the subject. One can also climb tp the top of the arch (for a fee) to get a good view of the park from above. Once done at the museum, continue strolling in the park to find a carousel, a separate children’s zone, a hockey area and even a skating rink.

State Tretyakov Gallery 

Learn more about Russian history at the State Tretyakov Gallery. One can indeed appreciate a country’s story more from curated art and historical pieces. This Gallery is a major home to Russian fine art, which includes over a thousand paintings, drawings and sculptures. From the outside, the façade looks like a fairy-tale setting, a great preface indeed to the main depository of the country’s art

This article was first published on Jul 15, 2019 22:26 UTC.

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