Moscow is a beautiful city to visit at any time of year, but Muscovites particularly love spring and summer because of the beautiful, leafy green trees of the parks and warmer weather that is a welcome break from the long winter. The city is especially Russian, unlike its European-style neighbor city of St. Petersburg, and has an incredible history that goes back to the year 1147.
Surprisingly, Moscow is quite warm during the spring and summer, which makes it a great time to visit. There are so many things to do in the city, from an abundance of concerts and performances to walking through expansive parks. You can also find no shortage of places to stay in the interesting central area of the city.
Things to do in Moscow: Discover the cities top attractions!
1. Walk on Red Square
There is no more incredible feeling in Russia than stepping onto Red Square for the first time. With the onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the red stars of the Kremlin in sight, you’ll feel like you’re really in Russia, even if you’ve just gotten off a plane. The nearby GUM (pronounced goo-m) is a famous shopping mall that you should definitely plan to walk through, just for fun.
2. Take a Tour of the Kremlin
See where President Vladimir Putin spends his workdays during your tour of the Kremlin. See ancient Cathedral Square with its multitude of onion domes and even see a concert in this special place. You can purchase tickets online and also learn more about what you will see there.
3. Walk Through Gorkiy Park
Opened in 1928 and subject of the novel Gorkiy Park by Martin Cruz Smith, there is something magical about Gorkiy Park. Situated along the Moscow River, you can walk (or rollerblade) through the park and visit the amusement park area and go on a rollercoaster.
4. Patriarch Ponds
Another beautiful park in Moscow, the Patriarch Ponds are central in Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita and wonderful to visit at any time of year. In the winter, the pond freezes and is open for ice skating, while the summer months are filled with Muscovites taking walks and talking on the park benches late into the evening. The park is a relatively close walk from Tverskaya Street, which is also a lovely street to walk down.
5. Victory Day Parade
May 9th in Russia is Victory Day, where Russia’s victory in World War II is celebrated. Russians are very proud of this part of their history, and so this is an amazing time to be in Moscow. World War II veterans dress up in their uniforms (usually with a lot of medals on them) and the city is planted with beautiful flowers everywhere. Head to Red Square to see the parade (usually of military tanks) or look up in the sky to see Russia’s favorite military planes and helicopters fly overhead.
6. Tchaikovsky’s House
If you want to see the beautiful Russian countryside, go take a day trip to the home of the beloved composer of The Nutcracker. Take a commuter train (elektrichka) to the town of Klin (you can buy tickets at any train station) and then take a taxi from the station to the house. You’ll love the traditional, wooden architecture of the house and the feeling of getting away from the city and seeing the expanses of land and sky.
7. A Ballet at the Bolshoi Theater
The Soviet Union really emphasized excellence in the fine arts, and this has continued in Russia. While a ballet at the Bolshoi is expensive, you’ll notice that other performances are quite affordable compared to other places in the world. Make a point of buying tickets to the Bolshoi, if you can - you’ll be blown away at the technical expertise of the dancers. Take a look at the schedule of performances and start planning your trip! Or visit Tchaikovsky Concert Hall to hear the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra play beautiful music.
Where to Stay in Moscow
A good way to judge whether or not you’ll like the place you’re staying in Moscow is to take a look at the Moscow Metro Map. You’ll want to stay on or inside the ring line.
Some of the better places are near Red Square and the Kremlin; at the Kitay Gorod (Chinatown) station, which has a street of cute shops and pretty old buildings; at Arbatskaya station with a street that is for pedestrians only; and near Tverskaya, Chekhovskaya, or Pushkinskaya station so that you are close not only to the Kremlin, but also to theaters and great restaurants.
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Top spots in Moscow: Dorogomilovo, Presnenskiy, Moscow, Zamoskvorech’ye, Taganskiy, Mar’ina Roshcha, Lefortovo, Ostankinskiy,Matveyevskoye, Krylatskoye, Vorontsovo, Luzhniki, Sokol’niki, Nagatino, Sokol
The Moscow Metro system is considered to be one of the best in the world, and it is definitely the way that you will be traveling during your trip. Most attractions are within easy walking distance of metro stations, but you should plan to do a lot of walking in this city. Rather than taking a taxi from the airport, consider taking the Aeroexpress, which is a very efficient service that connects you to the metro lines in downtown Moscow. This metro app is a great tool to download before you visit.
This article was written by Cathy Trainor.