Top 5 Things to See in Moscow, Russia
"Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma", states the famous quote by Winston Churchill. And that's true, as Russia still remains the most undiscovered European country. Moscow, the Russian capital, is the best place for a foreign traveler to start exploring Russia. It's a vibrant modern city with over 850 years of history. Here are five things that you absolutely must see when visiting Moscow.
1. Red Square
The Red Square lies in the heart of Moscow and is the city's main attraction. The name of the place has nothing to do with the Communist rule and originates from the word "krasnaya", which meant "beautiful" in medieval Russian. And it's true, as the Red Square is indeed one of the most beautiful squares in Moscow and is the home of Russia's most famous cathedral - St. Basil's.
The Red Square is an excellent starting point for walking around Moscow city center. As you enter the square, you see St. Basil's right opposite the entrance. The Kremlin wall is on your right-hand side and the famous GUM store (GUM stands for General Universal Mall) is on your left-hand side. If you walk towards the St. Basil's Cathedral, you will be able to see the Moscow River right behind it.
2. The Kremlin
Right next to the Red Square lies the Moscow Kremlin. That's where Moscow started in 1147. The first Kremlin was built of wood and burnt down in the Middle Ages. The current red-brick Kremlin was built during the Renaissance. It might remind you of Italian castles, which is not surprising because it was built by Italian architects. Buy a ticket and go inside the Kremlin to explore its many museums, cathedrals, walk in the gardens and see the graves of Russian tsars and princes.
3.Christ the Redeemer's Cathedral
This massive snow-white cathedral with a golden dome is visible from pretty much every part of Moscow city center. The cathedral was first built in the 19th century to honor Russian victory against Napoleon, but it was blown up on Stalin’s orders in 1931. Today's cathedral is a replica of the original one. These days it's the main cathedral of Russia.
4. Vorobyovy Hills
Visit Vorobyovy Hills to get a smashing panoramic view of Moscow. Try to go on a bright sunny day and make lots of photos, as a view like that is not to be missed. On top of that, you will be able to see the Moscow State University sky-scraper - a famous building from the Stalin age.
Arbat is an old pedestrian street in the heart of Moscow. It is the place to buy souvenirs, listen to street musicians, have lunch in one of Arbat's many restaurants, and simply get the feel of Moscow.
Of course, there is lots more to see and explore in Moscow and you probably need a month in the city to see everything. But visiting these five places will give you an excellent start and will help you understand Moscow and Russia a bit better.