Moscow Travel Guide
Introduction to Moscow
Serving as the capital of the country that has started to regain the mantle of the world’s second superpower, Moscow is a city that takes its culture seriously.
Whether it is the opulence of Bolshoi Theatre, which boasts some of the best performance artists in the world dating back to the days of the USSR, or the priceless collections of portrait art in the Pushkin Museum, you could never accuse Russia’s capital of lagging behind in this department.
From the power of the Kremlin, to the lightheartedness of Gorky Park, your introduction to Russia will be one filled with great experiences.
Cultural Experiences in Moscow
The face of Moscow is often defined in the popular imagination by Saint Basil’s Cathedral. This Russian Orthodox church stands out from others in the world by way of its kaleidoscopic colour scheme on its exterior, with multi-colored stripes, intersecting loops and checkers covering the onion bulb domes.
Inside this brick structure, visitors will find murals that manage to outdo its outside design in terms of pure visual overstimulation, with complex murals covering the walls, expensive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and altar/sanctuary design that show more ambition than 99% of the religious structures that you have seen up to this point in your life. Simply put, this attraction is a must when you are visiting Moscow.
One of the most famous performing arts venues in the world, there are few better places in the world to see an opera or a ballet than at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Opened in 1825, some of the finest dancers and singers in the world have come out of this place, and have been a source of pride for the nation as a result.
Prices are higher than what you might pay in other comparable theatres in Russia and Europe due to its fame, but for what you get for your money, it will be an experience that will be well worth what you spend.
If you prefer the visual arts instead, the Pushkin Museum will deliver what you are seeking in spades. With portraits on the walls from the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rembrandt, patrons will find plenty to love here, but traditional canvas works aren’t the only the only attractions on offer here, as the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus (an Egyptian artifact that details the intimate knowledge of this science by the ancient civilization) and the Story of Wenamun (which reveals an anecdote about life in Egypt circa 1185 BCE) is also on display.
Other Attractions in Moscow
After taking a day or two to explore Moscow’s culture, go inside the Kremlin, which is a symbol of the power of the Russian Federation, past and present.
Serving as the official residence of Vladimir Putin, the current leader of this powerful country, two thirds of the complex is cordoned off from public access, but what remains contains plenty to explore.
There are no less than seven churches within its walls, as well as four palaces. Other attractions include the Tsar cannon and bell, as well as the Kremlin’s armoury.
Dress and act respectfully (no talking, pictures or recording allowed) when you decide to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum. Serving as the final resting place for the leader that sparked Russia’s Communist revolution in the early 20th century, Vladimir Lenin’s body has been on display to the public since his death in 1924.
Expert embalming but regular maintenance has kept it in presentable shape, which has included the use of vodka to help dissolve the appearance of troubling dark spots on his slowly decaying shell. How Russian is that!
If you need a pick-me-up after the sombre experience of gazing upon the lifeless body of a Russian national icon, heading to Gorky Park will certainly help you in your quest. Home to a roller coaster, expansive lawns, and park-wide free wi-fi, relaxing and/or having fun will be an easy feeling to find in Moscow’s most popular recreation space.