WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE IN THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL, YOU HAVE AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES BEFORE YOU. YOU WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING AT ONCE. BUT WHAT IF YOU HAVE LIMITED TIME? WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER AN ITINERARY FOR THOSE WITH ONLY ONE FREE DAY.
Our itinerary covers the most iconic and popular places. It’s easy on the budget, but you’ll need to gather your energy for long walks between the main sights.
Are you ready for this long stroll through Moscow?
Let’s begin our journey with the most important places in Moscow: the Kremlin and Red Square.
The nearest metro stops are Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya, and Ploshchad Revolutsii, the latter two of which are considered to be amongst the Moscow underground’s most beautiful stations.
Just before you reach Red Square, you’ll cross Manezh Square, one of Moscow’s most popular spots for young people. The square is home to the Okhotnyi Ryad shopping centre, with its many boutiques and cafés, and the historic Manezh building, originally a riding school, where you can always find a variety of themed art exhibitions.
Leaving Manezh Square for the cobblestones of Red Square, you’ll see perhaps the most famous and unforgettable of all Russian cathedrals— St. Basil’s. Here too is the Lenin Mausоleum, the venerable GUM shopping mall, and the Kremlin itself in the form of its main gate tower, the Saviour Tower, with its famous chiming clock.
When the Lenin Mausoleum is open to visitors—which is relatively rarely—you can even go inside. Usually a long line forms on such days. Bags are not permitted inside, but you can check them for a fee at the nearby lockers.
You have to purchase tickets to visit the Kremlin museums.
Check in advance at kreml.ru to make sure they are open on the day of your planned visit. You can also use the website to buy your tickets. During high tourist season, it is better to purchase them several days in advance.
From Arbat, you can walk toward Kropotkinskaya metro station. The capital’s main church is located here — the famous Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Manezh Square also leads into the Alexander Garden. There, in front of the Eternal Flame, the changing of the guard takes place each hour. After a stroll in the garden, where you can take beautiful pictures, head toward that world-famous opera and ballet venue—the Bolshoi Theater. From there, walk on to the Lubyanka metro station, where you’ll find the Central Children’s Department Store, with a vast range of goods for the little ones. On its roof is a large viewing platform with a wonderful view of Moscow’s historic center.
Our next stop is the new Zaryadye Park, the path to which runs through the central streets of Kitay-Gorod. The park is divided into four parts: northern landscape, steppe, mixed forest, and floodplains. The underground walkway under the Moscow River Embankment has become an archaeological museum.
The park’s main and most popular attraction is the Hovering Bridge above the Moskva River.
Further along the Kremlin Embankment, across Znamenka Street, you’ll reach Old Arbat Street. Once here, take a look at the famous Pashkov House located at 3/5 Vozdvizhenka Street.
According to one theory, this is where Ivan the Terrible’s library was hidden.
Take a stroll along Old Arbat, and then cross over to New Arbat. There you can enjoy a ride on the swings and have a bite to eat. This part of our itinerary takes approximately five hours of walking.
If you like biking, you can rent a bicycle right on the street. Velobike bicycle rental is the most convenient of all. You can even rent an electric bike.
The rental terms and conditions can be found at velobike.ru. Velobike stands in the city center are located close enough to each other to make it easy to alternate between strolling and cycling.
From Arbat, you can walk along Gogolevsky Boulevard toward Kropotkinskaya metro station. The capital’s main church and the world’s largest Russian Orthodox cathedral is located here—the famous Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
From Kropotkinskaya, you can head to the Vorobyevy Hills station, the first metro station to be built on a bridge over the river. Don’t be in a rush to get back outside, because there are museum artifacts on display right in the station’s lobby. Stroll through the park to the viewing platform with an enchanting panorama of the Moskva River and Luzhniki Stadium. A new 700-meter cable lift connects the viewing platform with the stadium. The main building of Moscow State University is also here, one of the famous “Seven Sisters” skyscrapers from the Stalin era.
Having returned to the metro, you can change to the MCC (Moscow Central Circle) and take a train in the direction of Kutuzovskaya metro station. If you are tired, you can simply ride the full circle.
A beautiful view opens up between the Luzhniki and Delovoy Tsentr stations. If you are ready to continue sightseeing, however, head to the Moscow City station.
There is also a viewing platform there, which can be enjoyed for a fee. This part of your trip takes about three hours.
There are several more iconic places in the capital for you to visit. You can adjust your itinerary in accordance with your stamina. You need to choose what you want to see most of all: VDNKh,Izmailovo Kremlin, Tsaritsyno, or Kolomenskoe.
The Exhibition of Economic Achievements, or VDNKh, built in the Soviet era, is the largest expo complex in the world and one of the most popular recreation areas in the capital. VDNKh boasts fountains of amazing beauty, many pavilions and exhibitions, and a huge oceanarium.
Izmailovo Kremlin was opened fairly recently, in 2003, with the purpose of reviving Russian traditions. You can visit the tallest wooden church in Russia, learn an ancient craft, buy souvenirs, and browse in the antique and flea markets.
Tsaritsyno, a beautiful and cozy parkmuseum, was once upon a time supposed to become a country retreat for Empress Catherine II (“Catherine the Great”).
However, she did not find it to her tastes. Here you can spread out on the lawn and have a picnic, visit the museum, or just sit in a café, and in the evening enjoy an incredible view of the singing and dancing fountains.
Kolomenskoe is another former royal residence, where visitors can enjoy horseback riding, take part in ancient Russian amusements, or pose for photos wearing traditional costumes.
TEXT: ALINA ODOEVA