21 Reasons to Visit Moscow
Moscow is an incredible city to visit. Russia in general has been on my bucket list for years, so when I arrived in the Red Square I was like a child at Disneyland for the first time. There's so much to do in this city, and it's a big contrast from St Petersburg, which we visited beforehand. Getting around is very easy with the metro system. It's considered the world's most beautiful metro, with it's over-the-top designs, and there is an app you can download which helps a lot as some of the stations don't have English translations for the lines. You can either get the Troika card, which works like the Oyster card in London, or there is an option for 1, 2, or 3 day passes with unlimited rides, which we found to be a better and cheaper option. Uber is also a great choice if you're too tired to walk around the metro. It's incredibly cheap, and we used it a few times to get between locations. In terms of accommodation, we stayed at Hotel Yakimanka 38 which was perfectly located next to Gorky Park, and right along a metro line. It took us less than 15 minutes to get to the Red Square, and there were lots of nice cafes and restaurants in the area too. You can read about my stay at the hotel here.
We took the overnight train from St Petersburg to Moscow, which brought us into the city by 6am. This saved us money on accommodation too, and we had a full day to explore! There are a lot of websites for booking train tickets, and some of them are not very clear. I used Russian Railways which gives you all the train options for the day you've selected, and shows you the price for the various classes. There are 3 classes to choose from. Third class is the cheapest but the least private. Both sides of the carriage are lined with bunk beds, so it's essentially a giant hostel room. Second class has 2 bunk beds in it, 4 beds in total, so it's a little more private. First class has 2 beds, and you get some other perks such as a television, slippers, and breakfast items. They also wake you up in the morning with some fresh coffee. We went first class, simply because the train originated in Tallinn, so I didn't want to be waking people up in the middle of the night climbing into a bunk bed, and I didn't want to share with strangers either. Some trains also have a business class which provides you with a private bathroom as well. The prices vary depending on the train type and time of the day you travel, but for us, the first class option wasn't too much more than second class.
If you need to get to and from Domodedovo aiport, there is a metro line that connects it to the centre. Or, you can use an Uber like we did which didn't cost much and was a lot comfier than lugging our bags up and down the stairs in the metro stations.
We saw a lot in 5 days. And even though the weather decided not to cooperate and made it feel more like October than July/August, we had an amazing time in the city! There are quite a few free things to do and see in Moscow, but the main attractions are pricey to get into, so make sure you check the prices ahead of time and come prepared. Other than that, everything else was fairly cheap! Check out my top recommendations below!
1. St Basil's Cathedral
2. Tour the Red Square
3. Lenin's Mausoleum
4. Visit the Eternal Flame
5. Walk Along Nikolovskaya Street
6. Window Shop in GUM
7. Ivan the Great Bell Tower: Views of the Kremlin
8. Iberian Gate and Chapel (Resurrection Gate)
9. Browse Eliseevsky
10. Stroll Through Zaryadye Park
11. Novodevichy Cemetery and Convent
12. Go Underground at Bunker 42/Stalin's Bunker
13. Check Out the Bolshoi Theatre
14. The Palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovichin Kolomenskoye
15. Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve
16. VDNKh/All-Russian Exhibition Centre
17. Have a Break at Cafe Pushkin
18. Take in the Views from Sparrow Hills
19. Tour Gorky Park
20. Explore the Izmailovo Kremlin and museum with Tiqets
Let me know any other recommendations you have, I'd love to hear from you!