From Russia with love? Sure! We’re positive that you’ll fall in love with this remote, cold country full of architectural beauty, order, and endless activities for you to enjoy during your stay.
If you think that all there is to see in Moscow is the Kremlin or Red Square, think again. Moscow has been ranked as a city with some of the best urban planning in all of Eurasia. Modern style and history coexist and unite with an impeccably efficient public transportation system, historical buildings with centuries of history, and dozens of tourist attractions. Don’t wait! Get your itinerary ready and add these destinations to your must-visit list.
- Red Square and the Kremlin
We couldn’t resist putting these two iconic destinations on the list first, which is why we’ll be quick and brief with our description:
Located in the heart of Moscow, Red Square is an architectural marvel that attracts millions of visitors per year that are drawn to its magnetic beauty. What was formerly an open-air market for vendors coming from all corners of Russia to sell their wares is now a central tourist attraction for visitors.
From its cobblestone street, you can see the awe-inspiring Kremlin, the Russian fortress with religious and governmental buildings that are the heart of the country and its government. It was constructed by a Russian Czar and then converted into the Soviet Union governmental headquarters after the Russian Revolution.
Inside the Kremlin’s many walls, you’ll find:
- Several museums, historical buildings, and churches
- The famous Kremlin Great Palace
- The incredible Kremlin State Palace
- The Presidential residence and other governmental offices
There’s plenty of tourist information available and passes that you can buy so you can experience these incredible buildings with years of cultural history and value for yourself. Just remember that you might need prior Russian governmental authorization in order to gain entry into some of these buildings.
- Lenin’s Mausoleum
Vladímir Ilich Ulianov, known to the world as Lenin, is possibly the most important figure in modern Russian history. The power of his socialist ideology and convictions transformed the world in ways that we can still see in government policies around the world today.
Just as his ideologies have been immortalized in history, his body has been immortalized in a mausoleum dedicated to him. The mausoleum is now one of the most important places in all of Russia. His embalmed body has been exhibited in a crystal sarcophagus surrounded by Russian folklore since 1924. Due to the place’s iconic inhabitant, you might have to wait in line for a bit before you enter.
- The State Historical Museum
In 1872, Ivan Zbein and Aleksy Uranov designed this incredible castle-like building in the middle of the streets of Russia with imposing towers that scrape the skies with spindles that have become an iconic part of Russian architectural style. Come experience a history like no other.
Here, you’ll find vestiges of ancient prehistoric tribes that once inhabited the steppes of Russia. You’ll also find an incredible collection of coins, medieval manuscripts, paintings from the Romanov dynasty, and priceless treasures with centuries of history.
- The GUM store
Department stores may be an American invention, but for the past 100 years they’ve taken Europe by storm and taken up residence on the streets of some of the chicest cities in the world. Few department stores can compete with the grandeur of GUM, the main mall of Moscow. Enjoy the beautiful architecture and admire the luxurious window displays of over 200 boutiques, including displays from some of the world’s most famous fashion houses such as Prada, Gucci, and Zara. Formerly known as the Upper Trading Rows because they looked like a sidewalk of stores, the now two-floor mall is a watering hole for all those who find themselves near Red Square and want to shop or enjoy a delicious Russian dish.
- The Izmailovsky Market
If you’ve seen Zara and Gucci and are looking for more traditional Russian fare, and if you’re on a tight budget, we recommend that you visit one of the most chaotic flea markets in all of Russia: the Izmailovsky Market. In this market, you’ll find incredible deals on artisanal crafts of all kinds. From the distinctive matryoshka dolls (Russian nesting dolls) to the clothing with brilliant colors and traditional embroidery, you can enjoy the heart of Russian art and its ingenuity at this market.
Don’t forget to buy a traditional Russian leather hat or buy some handmade jewelry while you’re there. We promise that you won’t regret it.
If you feel like the cold is about to give you frostbite, head to a nearby Izmailovsky cafe and ask for a mulled wine so you can warm up and continue to explore every corner of this unique market.
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