Moscow City Break
Are you tired of daily routine? Would you like to have a short break in one of the European cities? Have you thought of Moscow city break? Maybe it is time to get acquainted with a long and fascinating history of Russia and its cultural heritage? It is time, high time to visit Moscow, the city with fabulous history, numerous museums and turbulent nightlife!
How far is Moscow?
Moscow is not so far from Europe. It'll take you only a few hours to get from London, Paris or any other European capitals. A Moscow city break can be easily included in your European trip itinerary.
When to come?
That's the first question many people ask. To give an unambiguous answer is tough. The most experienced would reply the best season is summer. Russian "summer" usually comes in May and stays up to mid-September. The average July temperature is around 25 C (76 F). Warm weather and short nights favor long walks around Moscow.
Planning your Moscow city break keep in mind that summer is also the busiest tourist season. Why not come in a quieter time of the year? Moscow is so charming in the early May, when the nature is waking up and lilac, cherry, chestnut trees are blossoming. Early autumn is also majestic; October brings the stunning colors of falling leaves.
The most courageous are welcomed in winter time. Picturesque snowy scenery will make your city break to Moscow the most memorable. Yes, it's cold (around – 16 C in January), but you'll enjoy this season if you've prepared well. Just pack enough of layers, as it's usually very cold outside and hot inside. Museums are empty and hotels and air companies usually offer good discounts. Winter amusements like skiing, skating (on Red Square!), playing snowballs, sleighing (or may be ice-swimming :) will give you an enormous joy.
Is it expensive?
Moscow is not a common Cheap City Breaks destination. It is often voted as one of the most expensive cities in the world. But this is not always true. A budget hotel will cost you around 80 EUR per night; a dorm. bed in hostel an be only 12 EUR, a meal in a local restaurant can be under 10 EUR. Public transport (metro) in Moscow is convenient and inexpensive. Most of the museum entrances cost 5-7 EUR and there're a lot of free attractions to keep a traveler busy. A Moscow City break can appear a good value for money and there're many ways to do the capital of Russia on a budget.
How to plan your Moscow city break?
1.Get a visa. Here you can find some information about obtaining a Russian visa.
2.Book a hotel. Moscow hotels are usually full and there're no chances to find accommodation on spot. There are definitely numerous options from low cost to luxurious hotels. Learn more about Moscow 3-star hotels, 4-star and 5-star hotels.
3.It'll be a great help if you learn the Cyrillic alphabet. Names of streets, metro signs are often written only in Russian. If you can read these words, you'll manage to get around Moscow on your own.
4.It's better to book your theatre/train tickets in advance. It might be too late when you arrive. Some theatres (Like Bolshoy) have their own websites and you can buy your tickets online.
5. Hire a personal Moscow tour guide. Even a short tour will help you to understand this city better. This is a chance to see Moscow through the eyes of a local.
Now being armed with knowledge of Moscow and a good mood, you are eager to have your Moscow city break. To facilitate your life we have a few Moscow city break ideas.
Ten things to do on your Moscow city break
1.Take a ride in Moscow metroA good way to start your Moscow city break is to learn how to navigate the metro. This is the best way to explore the city and a chance to see "fantastic marble palaces underground". The Moscow metro is not only a convenient transport system; this is a Soviet art museum. Follow the escalator and you'll discover a fantastic world of marble halls, glittering with mosaics and stained glass windows, Socialist realism paintings and heroic sculptures. Al this is hidden 60-100 meter underground.
2. Walk around Red SquareRed Square is the largest and most beautiful square in Russia. This is a top attraction to include in your Moscow city break. Here you'll see many significant buildings in the capital: History museum, the Kremlin wall, Lenin's Tomb, Gum department store. Red square is dominated by the brightest and most enigmatic church of Russia - the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed. Don't miss the opportunity to visit this 16th century church with your Moscow tour guide.
3.Explore the Kremlin, the UNESCO World Heritage siteThe Moscow Kremlin is the oldest architectural ensemble of Moscow. The walls, towers and the magnificent cathedrals of the Kremlin date back to the 15th-16th century. Kremlin was a mediaeval city, a citadel and the residence of Russian rulers. Russian tsars used to live here long time ago. Even if you have a short city break in Moscow, this is a place you shouldn't miss.
4.Come to Sparrow Hills
This is a chance to get an excellent panoramic view of Moscow. Sparrow Hills are on the right bank of the Moskva River, this is one of highest points in Moscow. Standing on top of the hill one can see almost all central Moscow – Novodevichy convent, The Luzhniki Stadium, Christ the Savior cathedral, the Kremlin churches, Christ the Savior cathedral, Stalin's high-rise buildings. Nearby is the famous MGU (Moscow State University), the main University in Russia. MGU is a remarkable building, a must-see attraction to include in your Moscow city break itinerary.
5. Learn more about Russian art in the State Tretyakov Gallery.For art lovers and museum goers the State Tretyakov Gallery is nourishing food to satisfy your appetite. The art gallery houses the largest collection of Russian art in the world ranging from 11 to early 20 century (old building) and 20 century (new one). You will be able to have a tour through the époques of Russian history traced in pictorial images. You will learn about the outstanding person whose name this gallery bears. Tretyakov gallery is worth visiting during your Moscow city break.
Tired of Moscow busy streets and people flow? Then it is time you paid visit to Kolomenskoe, one of the most magnificent sites all year round. Everyone can find something for themselves: peace and silence in the orchard of blooming apple trees, bell ringing on major religious holidays, national festivities, museums and ancient cathedrals. This place can be a good supplementary to the Tretyakov gallery tour. Ask your Moscow guide how to get there.
6.Visit Kolomenskoe, a former summer estate of Russian tsars.
7.Explore the space museum in Moscow
The museum of Cosmonautics was opened in 1981 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the day the first human being, Yuri Gagarin, orbited the Earth. The museum tells the story of the Space exploration, from the launch of the first sputnik up to present-day space programs. You 'll be able to see original space suits, rocket engines, get inside the Soviet space ship, and learn about everyday life of a cosmonaut in space. The museum boasts over 8000 exhibits. If you choose to visit it during your Moscow city break, plan to spend some time in VDNH (this is a magnificent park with more then 250 Soviet-era palaces and pavilions, it's only 2 minutes walk from the museum)
After visiting the Kremlin, Red Square and other must-see venues drop in the local restaurant to taste the authentic food. The variety of national food will impress even experienced gourmet: bliny with numerous fillings, salads, the famous one Olivie known as Russian salad, herring under the fur coat, borsch, pelmeni and many others. Ask your Moscow guide to recommend you a pleasant dining place.
8.Taste delicious national food
Moscow looks majestic at night. It's a pleasure to walk or drive around the city and watch the fantastic dancing of lights. Moscow is the city that never sleeps. Check out one of its numerous night clubs and hang out with the friendly locals. If you love dancing why not spend the night out during your Moscow city break? But better if you don't overdo with vodka.
9.Experience Moscow night life
10. Explore Russian countryside
Those who do not mind having a close contact with locals are advised to take an electrichka (local train) to see the Russian countryside like Sergiev Posad. Plan to have the whole at your disposal to see one of the most ancient and fascinating monasteries the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra founded in the 14th century. This tour can be a good option for an extended Moscow city break.