Moscow

Moscow city

Discover Moscow city, huge and dynamic capital of Russia! ExploRussia offers Moscow tours that you are dreaming of! Visit city of Moscow and find yourself in the biggest city of Europe.

 

Moscow is the capital of Russia, a multinational city on the Moscow River in the Western part of Russia. Catch the rhythm of grand Moscow megapolis! It will overwhelm you with history, many events, and people.  Moscow city is like a magnet that attracts tourists from all over the world with its Orthodox shrines, architectural and historical landmarks, museums with rare works of art and famous theaters.

Good To Know

Population

13,2 million residents

Area

2,511 sq km/(970 sq mi)

Time-Zone

UTC 03:00

Currency used

Ruble

Visa Requirements

Check the requirements in the Consulate of the Russian Federation in your country of citizenship

Travel to Moscow city. Everything you need to know.

 

What should I see and do in Moscow?

 

Any of the most patriotic Muscovite or an art historian will not be able to tell you the whole list of sights of Moscow. The number of museums and monuments is great, and it is impossible to explore them during a lifetime. Numerous exhibitions, theaters and concert halls where the best singers, dancers, musicians and actors of the planet perform and large-scale festivals of everything take place in Moscow from a bell ringing festival to a beer festival. Read about Festivals of Russia in 2019 here.

 

The architecture of Moscow is very diverse varying from monasteries of the 16th century to manor houses of 19th century to impressive soviet architecture style and to modern skyscrapers which make you feel somewhere in the future. As for major sites of Moscow among them are Red Square and Kremlin museum, St Basil’s Cathedral which can be called the heart of Moscow.  Walk along beautiful Tverskaya street and go down to take the gorgeous Moscow Metro. Don’t forget to go local and visit some trendy modern hubs like Red October or ArtPlay districts, Garage or Winzavod, museums of contemporary art. ExploRussia team will be there to customize your trip to Moscow and may organize some extra experiences like a private tour to Bolshoi theater or getting on the top of Stalin Skyscraper or driving a retro soviet car around main USSR landmarks. Read more about Soviet sights in Moscow here.

 

NB! ExploRussia is operating Day Tours under Moscow Urban Adventures global brand. We make excellent excursions with local guides in Moscow. Take a look and book at our Moscow Urban Adventures website. Use promocode EXPLORUSSIA and get your 15% discount

 

How safe is Moscow for foreign visitors?

 

We travel a lot, and we can say that Moscow is safe. Of course do not forget about common sense and unfortunately pickpocketing can happen here in Moscow, but there are no criminal neighborhoods. In case any questions ask the police to help you, the city center is patrolled by friendly and English speaking tourist police.

 

All our tourists found Moscow very safe city. The situation was improved completely after the Olympic Games of 2014 in Sochi and the FIFA World Cup 2018 proved that Russia is a safe and peaceful country to the full extent.

 

If you are still warring, you may visit this site to compare the situation in different cities of the world.

 

If you travel alone read our guide about Travelling alone in Russia, there are tips that may be helpful.

 

Do Russians (particularly living in Moscow) speak English?

 

Most of the personnel  in restaurants and hotels in Moscow speak good English. As for the Russians on the whole, most Russians do not speak English but they are always eager to help and do their best to help a foreigner, so do not afraid to ask.  If you make effort and say only one word in Russian “spasiba” – “thank you” – Russians will be very happy.

 

Does Moscow have good public transportation?

 

Moscow is a big city. To compare, you can cross Paris or Manhattan New York on foot in a few hours but it is not possible in Moscow. This creates certain difficulties for tourists but Moscow public transport will make your life easier.

 

What transport can be used in Moscow? The choice is great: surface transport (buses, trolleybuses, trams), Moscow Metro and Moscow Central Circle trains, Aeroexpresses that help you to get from the airport, in Summer you have a chance to share a bike or a scooter, there is also the option of getting on water, although it is used only for entertainment purposes.

 

The most common, fastest and convenient way to get around Moscow is Moscow Metro. By the way, the Moscow metro is also considered one of the most beautiful in the world and can be called a major sight of Moscow!

 

Learn more about public transport in our Complete Moscow Transport Guide and take Moscow Underground Tour.

 

What is the situation with wheelchair accessible tourism in Moscow?

 

The situation with accessibility in Moscow and in all Russia has been slowly but constantly changing for the previous years. Major cities of Russia became more friendly for people with disabilities, including those in a wheelchair.  In 2011 the government launched a state program, called “Accessible Environment”. It’s aimed at creating barrier-free infrastructures so that people in wheelchairs could get around streets and use social services. Being the capital Moscow makes considerable steps towards the real accessible environment, thus all airports, most tourists sights, public transport are equipped accordingly for wheelchair travellers. Please read our article Wheelchair Accessible Travel in Russia.

 

ExploRussia has successful stories from tourists with mobility challenges and we continue to work in this direction. You may read the reviews here.

 

What should I buy for souvenirs in Moscow?

 

When you think what to buy in Moscow as souvenir magnets, t-shirts, mugs and other stereotypical gifts immediately come to mind. They may be good, local and handmade but there are much more things that can impress your friends and relatives. Among real-Russian things are nesting dolls, shawls, balalaikas and hats with earflaps, valenki. For book lovers you may buy albums with photos of Moscow or album with Russian painters reproductions from Tretyakov Gallery, you may even buy War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in English. For foodies you may buy Alyonka chocolate, Tula gingerbread, Cranberries in sugar or Belyovskaya marshmallow.

 

Read our article  Christmas souvenirs and gifts from Russia to find more ideas.

 

Where to eat in Moscow?

 

In Moscow you may find any food, any cuisine you like in any time of the day. So you will never be hungry here. Russian cuisine is very diverse too. We advise you to make a list of dishes what you want to try.

 

For your inspiration please read the article about best dishes to keep you warm and about the comprehensive Russian cuisine.

 

Is it fun to visit Moscow in winter?

 

Winter is always fun. Winter is the time when you can feel what real Russia is with sunny frosty days, hot tea, banya and winter activities. ExploRussia offers winter tours in Moscow when you can experience New Year and Christmas traditions, try skiing, take part in Maslenitsa Festival. So do not be afraid of frosts. There is a secret not to get stuck like an ice sculpture, and we can share it with you. The secret is warm clothes, layers and good mood! For more info how to experience the Russian winter go here. And welcome to our tours Winter Moscow and Golden Ring and Maslenitsa Winter Festival.

 

What are the best day trips from Moscow?

 

ExploRussia offers day tours for those who want to explore the rural life of small towns near Moscow and dive into Russian culture and traditions.

 

The most interesting destinations for one day are Sergiev Posad town of the famous Golden Ring and Tula with Yasnaya Polyana, the residence of Leo Tolstoy.

 

Perhaps the main thing that attracts tourists in Sergiev Posad is the stunning view of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra with its glittering golden and sky-blue elegant domes. Inside the monastery you will be amazed by the variety of famous architectural styles. The whole architectural ensemble of the Lavra is under the protection of UNESCO.

 

Tula and Yasnaya Polyana

 

Tula is one of the oldest towns in Russia and is located 185 km f,rom Moscow. In short Tula is samovars, gingerbread and weapons. There is a Russian proverb that “one shouldn’t bring Samovars to Tula town” which means that one should not bring to a place what is plentiful there and what the place is famous for. Tula is the town where the first weapon factory was opened in Russia in the 17th century and now there is the Armory Museum which is worth visiting. Tula is one of 12 Hero Cities. This title was given for the heroism during World War IIThe Armory Museum, the Tula Gingerbread Museum and the Museum of Tula Samovars are not the main attractions, the heart of the town is Tula Kremlin built in the 16th century.

 

Most of the tourists are attracted by the “family seat” of Leo Tolstoy Yasnaya Polyana which is located not far from Tula and it’s not by chance. Yasnaya Polyana is not just a memorial. It is a nature reserve and a time machine where you can feel and see the life of Leo Tolstoy, visiting his manor house, sitting on the favorite bench of the greatest novelist of the 19th and 20th centuries, finding his modest grave without a cross, and finally taking a decision to read the “War and Peace” once again. To learn more about the life of Leo Tolstoy jump into our article “Leo Tolstoy as a Trendsetter”.

 

If your inspiration is already here you may require a Tour to Yasnaya Polyana and Day Golden Ring tour right now.

 

Is it usual to see a bear walking around in Moscow?

 

No, there are no bears walking on the streets in Moscow:) But you can meet ExploBear, he likes to greet, give hugs to ExploRussia tourists.  If you are an animal lover Read our article about Wildlife in Russia.