Kremlin and Red Square
The Kremlin – synonymous with Moscow, the residence of the Russian President and an ancient citadel with enough history to occupy even the most discerning of travelers for a number of days. It has been home to Russia’s rulers for generations and declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, but two thirds of the Moscow Kremlin is actually closed to the public. Fortunately the remaining third is chock-a-block with some of Russia’s most treasured attractions including palaces, cathedrals, museums, squares, bell towers and a few curious and odd artifacts.
The Red Square is like the city of Moscow, ancient, vast and surrounded by styles of architecture from different periods. The Kremlin is on its western side, the State History Museum on its north, the beautiful GUM department store along its whole eastern side, and the world famous colored domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral on the south. These icons all represent Moscow as the political, historical, business and religious center of Russia.
Tverskaya and Arbat Street
Tverskaya is the main street of Moscow, it starts from the Kremlin and goes north through all Moscow. Tverskaya Street is a wide central avenue bustling with life, with large buildings on the sides where there are various shops, clubs, cafes, and restaurants inside. However, the life around Tverskaya (small streets, boulevards around) is quite calm, and it's one of the nicest areas to walk around or to go out in Moscow.
The most famous street in Moscow, Arbat Street is one of the oldest roads in the city with the many cafes and taking strolls along the area's mansion-lined boulevards. Pushkin himself lived here with his wife in house number 53 (the building has since been turned into a museum dedicated to the poet) and Tolstoy resided on the adjoining Kaloshin Lane. In fact Count Fyodor was said to have modelled his famous character Anna Karenina on Maria Gartung - Pushkin's oldest daughter, who also lived nearby.
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Get your fill of Russian religion, history and culture with a trip to one of Moscow’s holiest and also most controversial buildings, then admire stunning views over the Moskva River from outside the Cathedral’s back door. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is worth visiting as much for its fabulous glittering icons as for the pages of fascinating history tucked within its walls.
The Bolshoi Theatre
With its spectacular productions of the works of some of history’s greatest composers, The Bolshoi Theatre is a must for any trip to Moscow, particularly since its main stage has only recently reopened after an extensive six-year renovation. The snowy-white building is located in the very heart of the city, just north of the Kremlin, behind a grand fountain, and is topped with a statue of Apollo driving a pair of horses.
The State Tretyakov Gallery
The State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow is one of the largest museums in Russia with over 100 000 works of art - icons, paintings, graphics and sculpture - spanning the entire history of Russian art. Its collection of Russian realism from the second half of the 19th century is the best in the country. The Gallery collection was started by Pavel Tretyakov, the owner of a successful textile firm, and became famous from the minute it was opened to the public in 1870. After Tretyakov's death the gallery's collection grew rapidly, especially after the October Revolution when museum collections were privatised: art was bought, donated or "transferred" from other museums, private collections, cathedrals and monasteries.
The Novospassky Monastery
Nestled in a small hill downriver from the Kremlin, the Novospassky (New Savior) Monastery is one of the oldest religious institutions in Moscow. As is the case with the city's other monasteries, the spiritual and political are intertwined in Novospassky’s history. Situated on the river and surrounded by gardens, the walls of this working monastery date from the 1640s. A quiet place, the brooding five-domed Cathedral of the Saviour was built in 1645 and attracts a healthy crowd of observers in the evening and has lovely frescoes. Women need to cover their heads and if wearing trousers or jeans they need to don a wraparound skirt as well.
Nestled in a corner to the south of the Kremlin and not far from the Moscow River is an enchantingly beautiful ensemble that reflects centuries of turbulent history. Even native Muscovites are not always aware of Krutitsky Court, located by a lane of 19th-century wooden houses, yet its remarkable display of 17th-century church architecture and ceramic tiles is a unique part of Moscow's cultural heritage.
Moscow International Performing Art Center
The center’s concert management team is involved in organizing the performances of national and foreign symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, solo instrumentalists, opera singers, ballet dancers, theatre companies, jazz bands, variety and traditional ensembles.
It accommodates three concert halls placed on three different levels and having separate entrances. Each hall is executed in its own style and special array. The rows of seats ascend up in a form of an amphitheater providing a good view of the stage from every place of the auditorium. There is a summer terrace on the podium of MIPAC designed for different open-air promenade concerts and festive events. It has a common architectural space with the winter garden and the foyer of the Great Hall.
If your mental picture of a metro is the grubby affairs of the London and New York subway systems or the soulless affairs of the Far East underground, it might be difficult for you to comprehend why the Metro would be listed as a top attraction in a metropolitan city of Moscow’s stature. However, the Moscow metro is like no other and deserves a sightseeing tour in itself. Huge vaulted ceilings, ornate chandeliers, marble columns, intricate sculptures, vivid murals and elaborate mosaics are all present within the underground maze.
The Old Moscow Circus
The Old Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard is one of the oldest circuses in Russia. Circus has an amazing venue for two thousand people, a huge arena, the best clowns, tightrope walkers, acrobats, animal trainers and more. Animals at the circus include elephants, bears, tigers, horses, monkeys, dogs and strange birds. The repertoire of the circus is so extensive that kids and adults enjoy it just as much. For many Muscovites, a visit to the circus is an obligatory, and almost sacred, event. This is where children's dreams come true and a genuine attraction for the whole family.
Gorky Park opened in 1928 and was the first holiday park in the Soviet Union with playgrounds, sport stadiums, exhibition halls and attractions for kids. During the 'perestroika' post-Soviet transition period, the focus was on commercial activities: kiosks, shops, amusement park rides and barbecue cafés were scattered around the park and an admission fee was charged. Now, the concept has dramatically changed, and Gorky Park is a bright spot on the entertainment map of modern Moscow.
Flea Market in Izmailovo
Izmailovo became an art market where paintings, crafts, souvenirs were sold on the Serebryanka river bank in the XVII century. Besides, there was so called grannies' stuff: pharmacy vessels, empty perfume bottles, nacre buttons and many other used things. So original, peculiar, old fashioned articles have had a long story at Izmailovo market which is now located not far from Partizanskaya metro station.