Moscow is an amazing city full of history. Located in western Russia, on the Moskva River, it has been the capital of the country since the 14th century, with a break of 200 years when the capital of Russia was moved to Sankt Petersburg. This impressive place provides its visitors with a glimpse of Russian traditions and ways of living but also boasts many incredible sights.
Moscow is also one of the most populated cities in the world and the most populated and fastest-growing city in Europe. Visiting it in one day is a challenge, but not impossible. Discover its amazing architecture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and incredible parks because this is one of the greenest cities in Europe, too.
What’s the Best Time to Visit Moscow?
Moscow is a cold city, and if you want to enjoy it fully while it is sunny, the best time to visit it is during summer. However, summer is the most touristy season, and the prices are very high, but the weather is very nice (from June to August the temperature is about 22° – 24°C).
In Moscow, there is more winter than any other season, so autumn turns cold really fast and the spring comes late. If you want to avoid the crowded season, you can visit the city from April to May and during the fall month of September, when the temperatures are more bearable. Winter in Moscow is snowy and incredibly cold, with temperatures of -10°C in December and January. But this is also a part of its charm.
A Few Facts About Moscow
Moscow really is an incredible city, and it has a high number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that mustn’t be missed when you visit it. Its historic buildings describe perfectly the colorful and nice Russian architecture, transporting you back in time. Moscow is also a key element of the political, cultural, scientific, and economic development of Eastern Europe, with some iconic buildings to prove this. These include the Red Square, the Kremlin, and even the largest bell in the world which can be visited anytime.
One Day in Moscow
Spending just one day in Moscow is not enough to discover all of its hidden gems, culture, and history, but it is still a great opportunity to meet this fascinating city. Visit and discover the most iconic places in Moscow and don’t forget to take a lot of pictures.
Start with a Breakfast at Coffeemania (Kofemaniya Moss)
You have a great day ahead of you, so it is better to start it off with a good breakfast. Coffeemania is one of the most appreciated bars by tourists, especially because it is close to the city center. You can choose from a lot of breakfast options, including vegetarian or vegan meals. It is an excellent cafe with characteristic Russian design that makes the morning experience more enjoyable. There are two Coffeemanias in Moscow, one that is in a mall, and this one which is at 1.8 km from the Red Square, just 20 minutes away.
Admire the Red Square
The Red Square has been an important and iconic place for Moscow since 1400. It became popular and famous after all the military parades, demonstrations, and events that took place here. It is definitely one of the places you should not miss when in Moscow, even if you have just one day here. The Red Square is also incredibly beautiful, as evidenced by its Russian name – the Red Square translates to Krasnaya Ploshchad in Russian, Krasnaya meaning beautiful in old Russian.
Soak in the Beauty of Saint Basil’s Cathedral (Khram Vasiliya Blazhennogo)
Saint Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic places in Moscow. Depending on the season, during the day it is very crowded because it is one of the most important tourist attractions. But if you want to visit it during the night, you will be amazed by the combination of lights and colors. Saint Basil’s Cathedral is known for its bright and colorful cherry onion domes, one of the most important cultural symbols of the country. The cathedral was built in 1552 and the legend says that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architects. Why? So that they will not build another structure or replicate the existing one.
Visit Lenin’s Mausoleum
Lenin’s Mausoleum is located in the Red Square and it is also known as Lenin’s Tomb. It became one of the major attractions in Moscow, especially because the preserved mummy of Vladimir Lenin is on public display. You do not have to pay for a ticket because the entrance is free. But during tourist season, you might have to wait in line at a queue.
Discover the Kremlin
The Red Square is a tourist attraction, not only because of its historical and cultural value but also because it is the place where the Kremlin is located. The Kremlin can be seen from the Red Square; however, it takes you 12 minutes to reach it on foot. This magnificent building was built between the 14th and 17th centuries and is one of the most important ones in the country.
Kremlin means fortress inside a city, which pretty much describes it perfectly. Inside the Kremlin are five palaces, four cathedrals, 20 towers, and an enclosing wall. The Kremlin Palace, which is located inside the Kremlin is the official residence of the President of Russia. You can visit the Kremlin, and the ticket is around 700 rubles.
Relax in the Alexander Garden (Alexandrovsky Sad)
The Alexander Garden is one of the first public parks built in Moscow, right near the Kremlin, only 6 minutes away. It runs along the length of the western Kremlin wall and it has three separate gardens.
The Upper Garden is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where people pay tribute to the war veterans. Here you will also find some remains of the buildings that celebrated the victory of Russia over Napoleon (which were later destroyed when France occupied Moscow) and an obelisk from Finland that was re-carved when Lenin ruled the country.
Have Lunch at Beluga
Beluga is close to Alexander Garden and is rated as one of the best restaurants in Moscow. Here you will have the opportunity to taste the Russian cuisine and discover its gastronomy. It is located in a modern hotel that also offers a rooftop view of the most iconic places, such as the Kremlin.
Visit the Theater Square and the Bolshoi Theatre
The Theater Square of Moscow is another square that is iconic for the capital of Russia. Here you can see the Bolshoi Theatre, where you can also go to see an opera and theater performances. It is an iconic place where Russia developed its artistic side, so it is very much worth visiting. It was built between 1821 and 1825 and it takes you just five minutes to reach it on foot from Beluga.
End the Day with a Night Visit to Artbat
Artbat is not so close to the city center, but the visit during the evening or the night is a great idea. From the Theater Square, you can take the M2 tram and reach it in about 20 minutes, or you can walk and reach it in 40 minutes (it’s only 3km away).
Artbat is a street filled with kiosks with a lot of souvenirs, bars, cafes, and restaurants, so you can have dinner here, too. it is a major tourist attraction, but locals love it too because here are the Pushkin House (a museum) and the Vakhtangov Theater where you can see artistic performances.
Where to stay in Moscow?
Moscow is one of the biggest cities in Europe, so it has a lot of accommodation options. But taking into consideration that you only get to spend one day there, you may want to choose a location close to the city center. However, public transportation is organized and accessible, so it will be easy to move between locations.
Ulitsa Novy Arbat, 21 bld. 2, Arbat, 119019 Moscow
As you end the day at Arbat Street, you could book your accommodation at the 4-star Brosko Hotel. It offers high-quality services and impressive rooms. You can also eat at their restaurant, which has options both for meat-eaters and vegetarians, plus they also have airport shuttles.
Kutuzovsky Prospekt 2/1 bld.1, Dorogomilovo, 121248 Moscow
If you are looking for a luxury hotel for your Moscow trip, this is the one. The rooms are modern, with high ceilings and everything you need from a flat TV screen to Wi-Fi and room service. It has about 19 restaurants, and some of them offer you amazing panoramic views over Moscow. And if you want to relax, you can go to the spa and the interior pool, and end the day drinking some cocktails at their Club Restaurant or Lobby Bar.
Ulitsa Pokrovka 6 , Basmanny, 101000 Moscow
This amazing little hotel offers excellent service, great interior design and a fantastic location. And all of that comes at a very affordable price. Guest rooms come with a private bathroom and a fridge, on top of a desk and a flat-screen TV. Excellent!
Day Trips from Moscow
There is a lot of nice attractions and places to explore and visit near Moscow. Some of the best day trips include:
Korolev – located just one hour away from Moscow, it is considered a suburb of the capital. However, it has its own identity, which was shaped during World War II. Here was the industrial area of Russia back at the time and also the base for Soviet Space Exploration.
Borodino – if you want to visit the place where Napoleon was defeated by the Russian army, then a two-hour day trip from Moscow to Borodino is what you are looking for. It is not visited by tourists that much, so you can enjoy it calmly.
Zvenigorod – if you want to discover the Russian cuisine, then you should head straight to Zvenigorod. Besides the beautiful and impressive monasteries, here you can visit the Museum of Russian Desserts. And the best thing about it is that you can taste them, so it will be a nice gastronomical experience.
Extra Tips for Visiting Moscow
Here are some extra trips you should consider before visiting Moscow.
You need a visa (that you need to pay for) to visit Russia or an invitation from an approved organization.
Always have cash with you because not all shops in Moscow accept credit card payments.
You can use the Metro for transportation, as it is one of the most used, fastest, and cheapest means of transportation in crowded Moscow.
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