A. Strengths and Weaknesses of Moscow
Moscow, the capital of Russia and the largest city entirely on the European continent, is highly cosmopolitan while still full of architectural gems from the time of the Russian Empire.
The heart of the city lies at the famous Red Square, which is bordered by one of the Kremlin's long brick walls, the colourful St Basil’s Cathedral with its iconic spiral domes, the historical GUM State Department store, the State History Museum and Lenin's Mausoleum.
The iconic Moscow Kremlin is a historic fortress complex surrounded by red walls and tightly guarded gates, containing different cathedrals, palaces and museums. Tourists are able to visit the cathedrals as well as the extraordinary Armory Museum, one of Europe's finest treasury collections displaying ten Fabergé eggs, elaborate imperial horse carriages, diamond ornamented thrones, imperial dresses and much more).
In a large urban renewal project, a considerable number of streets in the central area have been pedestrianized to transform streets formerly overburdened with cars and make Moscow more liveable and pedestrian-friendly.
Moscow scores high in sights, shopping, nightlife and transport. As well as being one of the most efficient underground transit systems in the world (trains run at intervals of 2-4 minutes, 1-2 minutes during rush hours), the Moscow Metro with its Soviet-era stations is also widely considered the most beautiful. It is by far the best way to get around this city of 12 million people.
Russians have a reputation for being rather unfriendly, especially in Moscow and only few people seem to speak English. Moreover obtaining a visa to Russia is an expensive and rather cumbersome process.
9/10 [12.2 Mio]
B. Best Things to Do in Moscow (Detailed List with Photos and Information)
These sights and attractions contribute to a sights score of 7.85/10.
RED SQUARE 8
This world-famous immense square marks the very heart of Moscow.
It is bordered by some of the cities most iconic sights including St. Basil's Cathedral, the red walls of the Kremlin complex, the massive historic GUM shopping mall, the State Historical Museum and Lenin's Mausoleum.
Square (World Heritage Site since 1990)
CATHEDRAL OF BASIL THE BLESSED 8
Standing proudly at the head of Red Square and completed around 1550, St. Basil’s Cathedral with its vibrantly colored onion-shaped domes is the most recognisable landmark in Russia.
While the exterior is breathtaking, the interior is rather simple. However it offers wonderful views over the Red Square.
Cathedral (World Heritage Site since 1990)
THE KREMLIN 8
As a highlight of every trip to Moscow tourists can visit the Cathedral Square including four white 15th- and 16th-century cathedrals (7), the Armoury Chamber (6) as well as the Diamond Fund (5) inside the unscalable red-brick walls of the mighty Kremlin.
Note that for each of those attractions a separate ticket has to be purchased. Inside the several buildings used for state functions including the famous Grand Kremlin Palace sightseers are not allowed.
Fortified Complex (World Heritage Site since 1990)
C. Other Notable Sights and Attractions in Moscow
-GUM (Department Store) 6
-Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Museum, most famous painting: "The Red Vineyard" by Vincent van Gogh ) 6
-Ostankino Tower (Television Tower (Total height 540 m, observation deck 340 m, completed 1967) 5
-Gorky Park (Park [1.2 km2 [300 acres], created 1928]) 5
-Moscow Oceanarium (Moskvarium) (Aquarium [3.7 million liter tank, short tunnel, opened 2015, #18 in our list of the best aquariums in the world]) 5
E. Top 10 List of the Best Things to Do in Moscow (including close-by excursions)
Famous Cafés in Moscow
Notable Shopping Centres in Moscow
In the City Centre:
-GUM (185 stores, 30,000 m², opened 1887, upscale mall)
-Evropeisky Shopping Mall (500 stores, 180,000 m², opened 2006)
-Okhotny Ryad underground shopping mall (160 stores, 62,000 m², opened 1997)
-Afimall City (450 stores, 320,000 m², opened 2011)
Outside of Moscow:
-AviaPark Mall (with a Four-Story Aquarium, 500 stores, 390,000 m², opened 2014, 10.9 km outside of Moscow)