Tourist Attractions and Places of Interest in Moscow
Information about some of Moscow's main tourist attractions; find inspiration for things to do and places to visit in Moscow…
Moscow offers tourists a wealth of character and tradition and has long been a popular tourist destination.
Red Square (Krasnaya Ploschad’) and the Kremlin
Red Square and the Kremlin are part of the most ancient area of Moscow. The following sights are located in the Red Square and Kremlin area:
- Kremlin complex: On the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1990
- St. Basil’s Cathedral
- Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin
- Lenin’s Mausoleum
Open: 10:00-13:00 (except Monday and Friday)
- Bronze statue: A monument to Minin and Pozharsky
- GUM: Major shopping mall with many stires and restaurants
- Kazan Cathedral (in Russian)
- State Historical Museum
- Iberian Gate and Chapel
This is a historical part of central Moscow (including Red Square) which was originally surrounded by the city wall, fragments of which still remain. In the past the area was a centre of trade in Moscow. Today, this area is still home to many fashionable shops. There are also many churches and cathedrals in this region, including the Trinity Church of Nikitniki and the Kazan Cathedral. Among the architectural points of interest are:
- Theatre Square (Teatralnaya Ploschad): In front of the famous Bolshoi Theatre. The Maly Theatre and Russian Youth Theatre are also located here
- Lubyanka Square: Home of the former KGB headquarters, now home to the Federal Security Service (Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii – FSB)
- Slavyanskaya Square: Containing the Church of All Saints and the monument to Cyril and Methodius (two Byzantine Greek brothers who brought the alphabet to Russia)
- Gostinyi Dvor: Translating as “Merchant’s Yard”, this area served as a main trading location in Moscow in the 17th century
Alexander Garden (Aleksandrovskiy Sad)
This park in the centre of Moscow is named after Alexander II, though it was originally known as Kremlin Garden. It runs from outside the Iberian Gate of the Kitay-Gorod wall, down Borovitsky Hill and along the western wall of the Kremlin, from Revolution Square (Ploshchad Revolyutsii) to the Kremlin Embankment (Kremlyovskaya Naberezhnaya). It is a popular recreational location for both Muscovites and tourists.
- At: Manezhnaya Ploschad’
Metro: Aleksandrovskiy Sad
One of the oldest parks in Moscow, it is located near the centre of the city and open all day long. It is a popular area for mountain biking, roller-skating, tennis, table tennis and chess, and skiing and sledging in winter. From April to October boat trips along the Moscow River are available from the pier.
- At: Leninskyi prospect 30, Moscow
Metro: Oktyabr’skaya station
Founded in 1878, this park has a variety of facilities on offer including amusement parks, a sports and recreation centre, swimming pool, ponds, boating, tennis courts, go-kart track, concert stages, pavilions and library, as well as numerous cafés. In the winter months there is a skating rink, ski trails, ice sculptures and ice slides. The park also houses a Culture and Exhibition Centre. Entrance is free on week-days and on national holidays.
- Sokolniki Park
At: Sokolnichevskyi val 1, Moscow
Open: All day
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
One of the largest Russian Orthodox Churches in Moscow (it can accommodate up to 10,000 people), this is an exact replica of the temple originally erected in the 19th century in honour of the battle against Napoleon’s army, and later destroyed by the Bolsheviks. Built in the Neo-Byzantine style, it has five domes and the interior has paintings by famous Russian artists such as Vasily Surikov, Viktor Vasnetsov, Ivan Kramskoi, and Vasily Vereshchagin.
- Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
At: 15-17 Volkhonka ul., Moscow
Metro: Kropotkinskaya station
Open: Monday 13:00-17:00, Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-17:00
Church of St. John the Warrior
The church was commissioned by Peter the Great and built between 1709 and 1717 in honour of the Christian saint, St. John the Warrior. It is a combination of Europe and Moscow baroque styles and was restored in 1840.
- Church of St. John the Warrior (in Russian)
At: ul. Bolshaya Yakimanka 46, Moscow
Metro: Oktyabr’skaya station
Ostankino Television Tower
A landmark of modern Moscow, at a height of 540m, Ostankino Television Tower is one of the highest freestanding buildings in the world. The Tower broadcasts TV and radio channels over a radius of 140 Km. There are two observation decks on the tower; at 337m (closed deck) and 340m (open deck, April to October).
- Ostankino Television Tower
At: Ak. Korolyova Ul. 15, Moscow
Sometimes referred to as “Old Arbat”, this is one of the oldest surviving streets of Moscow, dating back to at least the 15th century. Arbat Street begins at the Arbat Gate Square (Ploschad’ Arbatskie Vorota) which is about 800m from Alexander Garden and continues to Smolenskaya Square. It is famous not only for its landmarks, but also for its associations with Russian and international writers, poets and musicians. Pushkin, Lermontov, Tsvetaeva and Okudjava lived on Arbat, and it has been written about by Turgenev, Tolstoi and Gertsen. It is now a pedestrian-only street.
- Metro: Arbatskaya station
Unlike the metro systems in many other cities, Moscow metro is not only a transportation network, but also holds considerable architectural and artistic interest and significance. Built under Stalin’s rule, and under his instruction, the stations were designed as Communist Party propaganda to glorify the regime. Many of the stations are ornate and luxuriously decorated; in particular Arbatskaya, Kievskaya, Ploshchad Revolutsii, Teatral’naya, Mayakovskaya, Park Kultury and Avtozavodskaya, among others.
- Open: 05:30-01:00
Stalin’s Empire Style Buildings
After World War II, Stalin ordered the construction of seven buildings in the same style; now known as “Stalin’s Empire Style”. These skyscrapers were intended to symbolise the victory of the Russian nation in World War II. The landmarks of Stalin’s Empire style are:
- Moscow State University’s main building
- Raddison-Royal Hotel (former “Ukraina” Hotel)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs building
- The residential house on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment
- The skyscraper on Red Gate Square (Ploschad’ Krasnykh Vorot)
- The residential house on Kudrinskaya Square
- Hotel Leningradskaya