- 22 Aug - 28 Aug, 2020
MOSCOW The Gold Domed City
- 10 Aug - 16 Aug, 2019
- Travel Diaries
Moscow is many things to many people, and everyone finds their own reasons to visit and to keep coming back to the city. Being one of Europe’s great cultural destinations, as well as one of the world’s largest and most populous cities, there is an infinite number of reasons to visit Moscow attractions. And to make it easier for travellers, here’s a list of the top fifteen attractions why everyone should visit Moscow.
Historical and modern artworks
Moscow is a must-visit for every self-proclaimed or certified art connoisseur and historian. The city has numerous historical and contemporary museums and art galleries. Among the plethora of galleries and museums is The State Tretyakov Gallery holding the world’s foremost collection of Russian fine art. Another is the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts that showcases artworks from the ancient times to this day such as the paintings of Rembrandt, Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Picasso. The Moscow Museum of Modern Art, on the other hand, also holds prime importance amongst others as it displays artworks created in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Mighty Red Square
Walk onto the uneven cobblestones alongside the throngs of bustling citizens and you’ll see centuries of Russian (and world) history reflected in the architecture of Red Square, the epicentre of Russia. The country’s major highways and Moscow’s main streets all originate from the Red Square. Not only the heart of Russian streets but is also the heart of Russian history and culture where most of the biggest Russian events and changes unfolded such as high-profile executions and military parades. The city square also served as the main marketplace and site for national public ceremonies and festive processions. Being considered as a sacred place, it is absolutely a must-see.
Together with Red Square, the site was recognised as a in 1990 because of its outstanding design and rich historical and political linkage. Located on Borovitsky Hill just above the Moskva River, the west side of the magnificent Red Square, it serves as the Russian President’s residence and treasure houses such as the Armory Chamber Museum and the Russian Diamond Fund. Two Royal Cathedrals, the Secret Garden, and Ivan the Great Bell Tower are some of the attractions you can visit inside the Kremlin.
In Moscow, the majority of religion belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church which has 320 of total parishes in Moscow alone. Thus, it is not surprising that Orthodox churches and its unique architecture are one of the must-sees when you visit Moscow. Onion domes had long been known as the classic design of Orthodox churches in Russia.
With its golden onion domes, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is the largest cathedral of all Russian Orthodox Church and has the capacity of over a thousand devotees. However, there is another known cathedral with golden domes – the Cathedral of the Assumption. What makes this cathedral different is that its domes are not just gold, but they are also light-reflecting sitting inside the Kremlin.
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed or St. Basil Cathedral is perhaps the most popular and most unusual church in the country. It is located at the Southern end of the Red Square. Built in 1555, the bonfire-flame-shaped-cathedral has nine towers full of colours, shapes, and patterns. It was designed like a maze as a whole while each way leads to nine chapels with creatively decorated interiors.
Known as Moscow’s fashion street, Tverskaya is also one of the most expensive streets in the world, basing from the commercial rental fees. Another fashion district, Kuznetsky Most, is where popular shops such as Kuznetsky Most 20 – a famous concept store and House of Foreign Books (which is the best foreign language bookshop) are located. Ulitsa Varvaka claims to be the oldest street and has the most churches in the city; it also shows the more medieval side of Moscow. If you are looking for high-end souvenirs, take a look at the shops on Arbat Street. Just do not forget to negotiate with the vendors and ask for discounts!
Medieval towns of Golden Ring
There is always more to see beyond the capital city of a country. And in Russia’s case, outside Moscow is the ancient region called the Golden Ring. The region’s name is derived from the golden onion-shaped domes of the churches around the towns and from the ring-like route in which 1967 art historian and journalist Yuri Bychkov travelled.
The Golden Ring is comprised of eight main cities; Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Suzdal, Sergiev Posad, Pereselavl-Zalessky, Rostov Velikiy, Ivanovo, and Kostroma.
Moscow is undoubtedly the party capital of Russia. It has an incredible array of nightlife options. Whether you’re keen to catch a live Russian rock band or slink into a smoky jazz club, Moscow is there for you.
Propaganda, or Propka as what regulars call it, was opened in 1997 and has about the same age as the Moscow club culture. Aside from local drinks and world-class DJs, the club also offers cheap sandwiches and steaks.
Nauka i Iskusstvo (Science and Art) is for you if music is the sole reason for your night out.
Noor Bar, nonetheless, is known for their classic cocktails which can be best enjoyed on Fridays and Saturdays while listening to their DJ sets. Just make sure to go there early to secure a spot.
WHERE TO SHOP
From the most glamorous high-end fashion brands, art and design pieces, to antiques and traditional handicrafts, the opportunities for a hardcore spree are endless. Make sure to drop by the two most famous shopping centres, GUM and TSUM.
More affordable options are in the city’s many bustling flea markets, or in beautiful old boutique stores. Tsvetnoy Central Market and Kuznetsky Most 20 are just two of the known markets in the city where both hot and hippy street brands can be found. Local creative contemporary designers and high-end creatives are also housed in both markets.
WHAT TO EAT
With great food everywhere and available 24 hours, Moscow is also famous for its street food. Chebureki or cheburechnaya are fried triangle-shaped thin dough stuffed with minced meat and spices. Blini is also a better option for those who have a sweet tooth. These are crepes which can be filled with, cheese, jam, honey, ham, condensed milk, or red caviar.
A Russian local snack Kroshka-Kartoshka that translates to ‘tiny potato’, is baked potatoes with cheese, pickled mushrooms, butter, and other fillings. And lastly, Pirozhki which means pie seems to be the symbol of Russian street foods. Try the four local snacks and you’ll realise that every food is stuffed and/or filled with something.
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