The Most Popular Destinations in Moscow, Things to Do in Moscow
Moscow is world-renowned for its architecture and magnificent sights and settings, making it a great vacation destination. Deemed one of the biggest urban areas in the world, Moscow is also the largest city in Europe. There are a countless number of things to do and places to visit in the busy city, from museums to cathedrals to an intricately-designed transportation system.
One of the most popular destinations in Moscow is Red Square, featuring an extensive mix of attractions. Located within Red Square is Lenin’s Mausoleum, which contains the embalmed body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Soviet Union founder. The Square was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1990 and was historically used to house the city’s premier marketplace. Found at the heart of Moscow’s major roadways, Red Square is often regarded as the central square of the entire country.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral, consisting of nine intricately-detailed chapels, is found at the edge of Red Square. The long-standing church was erected hundreds of years ago and features splendid artwork and architecture throughout. At the front of the Cathedral sits Red Square’s only statue, a bronze commemoration of the rally against Polish invaders, led by Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin.
The Kremlin is another significant tourist destination in Moscow, a historic setting located near Red Square. Containing four palaces and four cathedrals, the Kremlin is also home to the Russian President. It is surrounded by the Kremlin Wall, constructed in the late 1400s and varying in height from five to nineteen metres, also boasting twenty towers, the tallest of which is seventy-one metres high. The Kremlin is often referred to as a “city within a city”.
The central location of the Kremlin is Cathedral Square, which is shadowed by the Cathedral of the Dormition, the Cathedral of the Archangel, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation. Routinely used as the site of presidential inaugurations and well-known for its daily changing of the Horse Guards, it is not unusual to find the occasional entertainment event within Cathedral Square, such as an opera.
The Kremlin further consists of other notable attractions, including the Palace of Facets, the stone-based remnants of a royal palace used in the past as the reception hall for the Muscovite Tsars. At the core of this historical complex is the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the tallest of the bell towers that also contains the largest bell. Although it currently stands at 266 feet, the tower was originally constructed at a lower height, later ordered to be increased by former rules Boris Gudonov to make it taller than all other structures in the city.
In order to enjoy the full experience of Moscow, visitors should take advantage of the many tours offered within the city. Most major attractions are covered by the various tour companies, including the world-famous Tretyakovskaya Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Moscow History. Many tours also include trips to one of the largest zoos in the world, the Moscow Zoo, as well as Arbat Street, a premier location in the Russian capital featuring restaurants and shops.
Moscow is served by three major airports and home to many cruise ship visitors, including those arriving via Viking River Cruises. With twenty-one deluxe vessels and a long list of renowned destinations, Viking River was the first river cruise company to offer Russian river trips. This type of relaxing, enjoyable experience is popular with tourists because meals, hotel accommodations, tours, events and performances are all available as part of an all-inclusive package. Arriving by water also gives visitors an opportunity to view the outskirts of the city in a unique way as it comes into view on the horizon.