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15 Places to Make You Fall in Love with Moscow

May, 29 || No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

Red Square

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There are few places with such impressive historical buildings like the Moscow Red Square. It is the main square in the Russian capital as from that spot some of the most important Moscow boulevards spread across the city. That is why sometimes this place is referred as the Central Square. Red Square is probably the most famous landmark of Moscow and maybe even of the whole country. Buildings that often are depicted on Russian postcards are located around the square – St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, GUM shopping Mall, and Lenin’s Mausoleum.

There is a widely spread misconception about the Red Square’s name. Some stories tell that it comes from the red color of communism, some say it’s because of the blood spilled on this place, while the others claim the red color of the pavement brought this square its name. Those are all fallacies; the true story is that the translation was bad. The word ‘Krasnaya’ means either red or beautiful. When they were naming it, the Russians thought about the staggering beauty of the buildings surrounding it and gave this square the name ‘Krasnaya Ploshchad’.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

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The building that reminds people of the Moscow is almost always the St. Basil’s Cathedral. This pride of Russian architecture stands on the exact spot where the geometric center of the city is. As their national symbol, it stayed in its place for more than four centuries, even surviving the reconstruction of Moscow during the Stalin era.

Its colorful façade and peculiar design of the bell-towers are not the only things that attract visitors to come to this church. Since 1929, St. Basil’s Church has served as a museum telling magnificent stories from the Russian past. Probably the most interesting legend about this place is from the times when it was built. The story says that during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the best Russian architect designed this cathedral. Czar Ivan was so impressed with it that he blinded the architect so he couldn’t build anything as beautiful as the St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Kremlin

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The Kremlin is the oldest part of Moscow. It was built in the 12th century and since the city has grown around it. Nowadays the Kremlin stands in the very center of the Russian capital. For centuries, it has served as the focus of political life among Russians. It was the place from which Imperials Russia tzars ruled till the 18th century and where Soviet leaders governed the USSR since 1918.

The Moscow Kremlin is actually a complex of buildings surrounded by a two kilometers long wall. The word Kremlin means fortress and there are dozens of Kremlins around Russia. Certainly the most famous one is the Moscow Kremlin. It owes its fame not only to the monumental design of churches and palaces that are part of it, but also to the history and the stories surrounding it. The Moscow Kremlin is basically a huge museum of Russian history. In one of the buildings in the Kremlin a precious collection of Faberge egg is kept, which is a must-see for every art-lover.

The Armory

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The Armory is a part of the Moscow Kremlin and today serves as a museum. The items exhibited here are priceless. From medieval period weapons to modern works of art, this museum represents one of the greatest treasuries of Eastern European heritage in the world.

The most valuable item in the Armory Museum is the collection of ten Faberge Eggs. The eggs represent authentic masterpieces from the late 19th century. It belonged to the royal family until the October Revolution when they got scattered all over the world. In the last couple of years, ten of those were brought back to their home.

Tretyakov Gallery

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Tretyakov Gallery is the best place to feel the real spirit of Russian culture. This museum almost exclusively contains items from their national history, showing the parts of Russian civilization, spanning from the 11th through the early 20th century. Tretyakov Gallery is famous around the world for its collection of religious paintings and Russian Orthodox Church icons. Tretyakov Gallery Is located near the city center, across some of the main tourist attractions, so it’s an unavoidable stop for lots of tourists.

Lenin Tomb

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In the middle of the Red Square rises a large pyramidal structure that serves as the resting place of Vladimir Lenin. It has been a part of Moscow life for more than 90 years. The wooden tomb was built only six days after the leader of the revolution passed away. The stone mausoleum was built in the thirties and stays still intact.

Inside the Lenin mausoleum is the embalmed body of the first Soviet leader. As he was an important part of the Russian nature, visiting his tomb is carefully observed by the security. As a matter of precaution, visitors need to leave their bags when entering the facility.

Bolshoi Theater

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Bolshoi Theater is considered the biggest rival of the Milan Scala for the title of the world’s best theatre. Their rivalry lasts for more than a century, as Bolshoi Theater was built in the mid-19th century. If it wasn’t for this theater, experts agree, the Russian opera would be of much less quality.

Throughout the years, many world-class artists performed in the Bolshoi Theater and that tradition is carrying on today. To watch a ballet performance or an opera would be an unforgettable experience from your Moscow trip.

The Gorky Park

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Gorky Park is an amusement park in the middle of the city, named after the famous Soviet writer Maxim Gorky. The park stretches along the Moskva River making it a very popular destination in summer. During winter months, an ice rink opens, making the Gorky Park one of the crowdiest places in the city.

When it was built, it was meant to be a huge amusement park that will be used as a resort for fun and leisure. It served its purpose for a few decades, but at the turn of the 21st century, it became outdated. The reconstructions carried in the last couple of years, made this park more sport-oriented than before. Now visitors can enjoy watching and playing hockey, basketball, tennis and other matches.

Izmailovo Flea Market

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There is no better place in the whole Moscow to buy some authentic Russian souvenirs at affordable prices, then the Izmailovo flea market. As this is one huge outdoor market, with hundreds of vendors offering different products from all over the Russia. This is the biggest country in the world, so be prepared to see in one place, fish from the Black sea and deer meat from Siberia. Don’t forget to try some traditional Russian meal, for example shashlik, a type of kebab.

Winzavod

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Winzavod is a cluster of galleries, shops and cafés in a former industrial building area that served as a wine factory in the 19th century. ‘Center of modern experience’ is located on the outskirts of the Moscow city, in an area that has always been a working class nightmare.

Polluted air and gray factories were here during the Soviet era, but nowadays it is a gathering place of contemporary Russian artists. This art complex offers exhibitions and performances daily, while fashion shows of world-famous designers are starting to become a regular thing.

Soviet-Style Restaurants

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The USSR was one of the superpowers during the cold war and the largest country that ever existed. Reminiscences of the Soviet era are on every corner in Moscow. From huge residential building on the outskirts of the city to Lenin’s Tomb in the middle of the Red Square, the evidence of the Russian communistic past is everywhere.

But to feel the real spirit of that era you need to visit a typical restaurant from that time and taste the food Soviets adored. Pelmennaya on Krasina Street is that type of fast food restaurant. Here you can try their famous meat dumplings or pelmeni, as the Russians call it, for which this restaurant became famous and got its name.

GUM Shopping Mall

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Built in the late 19th century, GUM shopping mall served as one of the favorite market places for Moscow citizens in the Soviet era. Nowadays, it is owned by a Russian billionaire and the prices are on that level. This department store is worth visiting not because of its offer, but because of impressive design of the building.

In 2007, Moscow was voted for the second time in a row, the most expensive city in the world. One of the things that contributed to that image is definitely this shopping mall. Located in the Moscow area where the most tourists come, the stores in GUM offer luxury items, expensive clothing, but even the prices in the restaurants and cafés are high.

City Space Bar & Lounge

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Moscow is a huge city with a population of over thirteen millions and an area of 1100 square kilometers. To get a 360 degree view of the city would be definitely a thing to remember. City Space Bar & Lounge offer you that.

Located on the top floor of the Swissotel hotel, this place offers the breathtaking cityscape. If the view does not impress you, the place atmosphere really should. City Space Bar & Lounge has been voted as one of the ten best bars in the world.

Krysha Mira

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Moscow is one of the world’s greatest party destinations and the top nightclub there is Krysha Mira. This discotheque offers boiling atmosphere, electronic music, and the great view of the city as it is located on the top floor.

The problem is, this place attracts many tourists, so it can be sometimes overcrowded. The owners are trying to solve that problem by appointing security guards who will choose who can enter. That is why if you want to get in, you better prepare to spend some of your money.

Café Pushkin

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Fine dining and pleasant atmosphere are the main features of the Café Pushkin. Located in the 19th-century building, this restaurant has connected modern with traditional. Here you can taste modern French haute cuisine or try some of the old Russian recipes. As a part of this restaurant are a hundred-year-old library and a rooftop café. This place is open 24 hours and has become a favorite place for foreign tourists.

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