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An update from Evaneos

Moscow (Russia)

Practical information on Moscow

  • Encounters with locals
  • Romantic
  • Park and garden
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Museums
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
3 hours and 45 minutes by train from St Petersburg
When to go
Avoid the winter because it's very cold. The hot weather (which can be suffocating) starts at the beginning of May.
Minimum stay
3 to 5 days

Reviews of Moscow

Ariadne M Seasoned Traveller
37 written opinions

Sprawling, noisy, polluted and overcrowded - Moscow is good at hiding its attractions and charm.

My suggestion:
Get around by underground or on foot because taxis will often cheat you and the traffic jams can be horrendous. Another piece of advice is that the Second World War Victory celebrations on 9th May each year are super in Moscow.
My review

Without being biased, I think if you are going to appreciate Moscow you need to go there before going to St Petersburg. If you visit St-Pete first during your trip round Russia, you could well be disappointed by Moscow.

In Moscow you constantly see the old and the new side by side. There are a lot of very ugly, grey, pollution stained Soviet style buildings everywhere. Occasionally, an architectural gem cuts the ugliness of the brutalist architecture.

Exploring Moscow on foot means walking enormous distances so use the underground.

All of the ethnic minorities from Russia and Central Asia live in Moscow which is very culturally, ethnically and socially diverse.

In Moscow I love visiting the Kremlin, a lovely place with magnificent old orthodox churches. Red Square is another of my favourite places. Gorky Park is a great place for napping in the sun. And in the evenings, after you have gone home and changed into something super stylish, you can go to Barbados, a club where you can dance with the beautiful people.

A cold autumn day in Moscow
pauline girardey Seasoned Traveller
15 written opinions

Moscow is Russia's beating heart - whether you are talking about the Tsars or the oligarchs - it's a true journey through history to modernity.

My suggestion:
During my trip to Moscow I found an enormous town where the distances are too long on foot. So don't hesitate to use and abuse the world's most beautiful underground system - a cultural visit all by itself.
My review

If you want to visit somewhere timeless in Moscow, then go to Novodevichy Convent. I had hardly entered the convent when I felt time stop and I plunged back into the 17th century. The snow had fallen all night and the golden onion domes of the monastery were covered in an ermine cape. The light was dreamlike, and incredibly soft. Every step you took led to something new and marvellous, hidden behind a frozen willlow branch. It was a unique moment. I loved the silence and the lack of tourists.

If you want another trip outside of time then you should visit the Gorky House Museum. An art-nouveau miracle, where I spend half an hour just climbing the staircase, which is a monumental work of art, meant to symbolise the waves, and crowned with an amazing Medusa lamp. As I walked through the different rooms I felt as though I was back in the 1940s and I imagined Stalin and the era's greatest writers meeting in this house to define the theory of Socialist Realism.

Then, because food for the soul is no good without food for the body, I finished the day in a Georgian restaurant, where you really should try the " Badrijani Nigvzit" (aubergine served with pomegranates, walnuts and spices). Delicious!

The monumental staircase at Gorky House
Our Lady of Smolensk in her winter clothes
Ségolène Renoud-Lyat Seasoned Traveller

Visiting Moscow, the capital of the often controversial biggest country in the world, plunges you into a completely different atmosphere than you would have expected of Russia.

My suggestion:
Don't be afraid to take the underground (some of the stations are worth visiting just for themselves) if you want to go to places that are a bit far from the centre - you'll find some of the most beautiful monasteries there, not to mention guaranteed peace and beauty!
My review

As surprising as it might seem, Moscow made me think of Barcelona. At the end of April it was warm and the walks I took in parks surrounded by water (like Gorky Park) made my trip to Moscow feel really summery.

StrollingaroundtheunmissableRedSquareintheeveningwiththefriendly Moscovites only reinforced my pleasant feelings. During the day the town is so enormous that you know you are going to see lots of different things: orthodox churches with their colourful onion domes, opposite austere, rectangular Stalinesque buildings. In my opinion, if you only have a short stay in Russia, you would do better to avoid the Kremlin and go and spend more time in the churches which are an absolute must.

Novodevichy Convent