Moscow

Moscow

Welcome to Moscow

We take you on a digital adventure through one of the most impressive cities in the world. Moscow is the largest city in Russia, with as many as 17 million people living. The city carries many titles: from the most populous city in Europe to the city with the largest area. Apart from this, Moscow can be said to be one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. Its unique museums, the fabulous Red Square, Lenin's Mausoleum, and other attractions make it a must-see destination for tourist trips. To make it easier for you to prepare for the journey, we have selected all the information about the city, the ways for traveling to it and a tour of the most important facilities. Start a fabulous Russian fairy tale. Enjoy the beauties of the imperial city.

The most important information about Moscow

Moscow is Russia's economic and cultural capital and one of the world's largest cities. It's a lovely city that attracts a large number of tourists each year. You should not miss the opportunity to visit a city that has seen many upheavals and to feel the allure of the city's most prominent buildings and landmarks.
  • History of Moscow - Moscow had to cross a long way to become Russia's capital and one of the world's most famous cities. This city began as a little town, like any other, and was first mentioned in historical documents in 1174. Despite the construction of a massive defense around the Kremlin, the city was destroyed by the Mongols. Several times. This city has seen its ups and downs and has been demolished and rebuilt just to greet Napoleon's arrival. Fights against him were followed by the Industrial Revolution, which made the city flourish. From 1917 to 1991, the Russian capital city was ruled by the Communist regime. Moscow saw many turbulent times, successfully recovered from all the damages, and became the main political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of the whole of modern Russia.
  • Geography and time zone - Moscow is the capital as well as the largest city in Russia. It is located along the Moskva River, within a river basin that includes the Volga, Oka, Klyazma, and Moscow rivers. This is Russia’s, but also one of Eastern European economic, political and cultural centers. Being the largest country in the world, Russia has 11 time zones. But Moscow is under UTC+3 time zone.
  • Climate - Moscow is under a humid continental climate, which is characterized by warm and humid summers, and very long and cold winters. The average temperature during the summer is 24°C, even though it may go up to 30°C. When it comes to winter, it lasts from November to March, when the land is covered in snow for around 2 months.
  • Demography - Around 12.5 million people live in Moscow today. It’s the second-most populous city in Europe, right after Istambul. It’s divided into 12 administrative okrugs (areas) and 123 districts where many nations live. Right after the Russians, there are Ucraninas, Tatars, Armenians, and Jews.
  • Tradition and culture - What is Moscow unique for? - Moscow was under different regimes during its long history. And all of them left their traces in the city. Moscow is unique for its specific architecture, with Red Square as the main landmark and Kremlin as the world's largest medieval fortress. Except for being the economic center, Moscow is the hub of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Moscow Travel Tips

If you're planning a trip to Moscow, this page will provide you with some of the most crucial information. Keep them with you at all times because you never know when you'll need them once you've arrived in the city.
  • Official Language and other languages spoken - The official language in Moscow is Russian. You may come across people who speak English as well but be ready to use a translation app at any time, you may need it. Fortunately, metro stops are announced in English and many signs have translations, so it won’t be that difficult to get around the city.
  • Entering the city: Procedures and requirements - For entering the country, you will need a valid passport and a visa, depending on the country you are coming from. More details about the visa you can get by contacting Russian Embassy in your country. For entering the city, there are no specific procedures.
Important Numbers
  • The dialing code prefix for Moscow, as well as for the whole of Russia is +7.
  • For all the emergency medical, police, fire and rescue, or anti-terror assistance, dial 112. Calls can be answered in both Russian and English. Also, other numbers are available.
  • Moscow City Police - (495) 200 9305
  • Fire and Emergency Service number – 101
  • Police - 102
  • Ambulance - 103
  • Moscow Emergency Gas Service - 104
Money Tips
  • Currency - The currency in Moscow, as in Russia, is the Russian rouble (RUB, ₽). The ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks (kopeyka), and ₽100 equals around €1.20 or $1.38.
  • Regarding European standards, Moscow is considered a very expensive city. In comparison with New York City or Sidney, it’s more affordable but is still pretty costly. If you are planning a more luxurious trip, you may need to set aside around €125 per day. But for a budget trip, you will need less money, around €60. To save money and cut unnecessary expenses, follow our money tips.
  • If you are visiting more than 2 museums per day, buy a Moscow city pass, it will save you some money.
  • Try to use the metro as a primary transport, since it is much cheaper and comfortable than any other. 
  • Visit the Ziferblat cafés. Those are the places where you don’t pay for the goods you use, but the time you spend in there. 
Useful apps, free travel map
During your stay in Moscow, you will need essential apps to help you get around the city. Almost every cafe and restaurant has free wi-fi access if you need it. Also, before using Russian apps, install a Russian keyboard, you’ll need it.
  • Google Translate or any other translation app will come in handy. Often older people don’t speak English, so this will be one of the most important tools during your trip.
  • Yandex Taxi - If you need a taxi ride, the best way to get it is by using this app. just choose the type of taxi, destination and book a ride in no time.
  • Yandex Metro - Since you’ll use the metro a lot, this app will be of great help. Even though many stations now got signs in English, you will need help to get better the metro system and timetables.
  • iGinza - Using this app you will get a chance to search the best places to eat, look at the menus, compare the prices and book a table, all in one place.
  • Ostrovok.ru - Book your accommodation easily with this simple app. 
  • TopTripTip - This app will provide you with all the needed information on your tour through Moscow. It will show you all the landmarks, green areas, offline maps, and audio guides for the most critical sites.

When to visit Moscow?

The best months to visit Moscow are April and May when the temperature is pleasant. Summer would also be a good option since the days are much longer. If you plan on visiting Moscow during the winter, keep in mind that the coldest month is January and that you will need a warm coat and an ushanka hat. 

How to get to Moscow?

Moscow is well-connected to all of the world's major cities. The city is accessible not just by air, but also by other modes of transportation. The most significant information about how to get to Moscow in various methods may be found here.
  • Plane - Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo are the main airports in Moscow. The busiest one is Sheremetyevo, with the most international flights every day. It’s also among the top 10 used airports in the world. With different types of public transport, every one of them is easily reachable. 
  • Train - Since Russia has of the biggest railroad networks in the world, it’s no wonder that the railway in Moscow is well organized. At the link, you can see an interactive map of railways that connect Moscow to other Russian cities, but also different countries.
  • Bus - Traveling by bus to get to Moscow is not much common. Since there are long distances between many cities, it’s easier to use the train or a car. Nevertheless, Moscow is well connected to other cities, so you can use the bus to travel.
  • Car - Moscow is well connected with cities from all sides. Roads are in a pretty decent condition, so it won’t be a problem driving through them. Anyway, be sure to use Google Maps or any other traveling app that will help you on the road. 

Activities for Tourists in Moscow

Moscow is a bustling and lively city with a diverse range of attractions to suit any visitor or traveler. You will enjoy it whether you travel with your friends or family for a vacation or as an adventurer with a backpack. Here are some of the tours and events that you may attend to have the most spectacular time in Russia's most famous city.
Best Tours - Moscow is a significant and city rich in culture and history. Many landmarks and monumental buildings must be seen and the best way to explore them, as the whole city, is by taking one of the many interesting tours. We will recommend you some of them, and it’s up to you to find the one that matches you the most.
  • Walking Tour of Moscow - In 4 hours, you will get a chance to see the most important buildings in Moscow from outside, by walking and taking the metro. 
  • Moscow Kremlin Tour - Is also a walking tour during which you will get to see the whole Kremlin with all the cathedrals and armory chambers.
  • Bolshoi Theatre Tour - This is one of the most famous cultural places in Moscow. This remarkable theater holds ballet and opera performances and it’s worth taking a tour to explore it in the right manner.
  • Soviet Tour of Moscow - Many buildings testimony the 20th century Moscow, which at the time was the center of the USSR power. The city played a big role during WW2 and Cold War, and many other events that marked the 1900’s. It’s a rare and priceless opportunity to discover that part of Moscow that was a big part of creating the world’s history.
  • Vodka Museum and Tasting Session - Vodka is the most famous drink in Russia, and the whole country is proud of it. This drink makes a big part in Russian tradition and culture, and if you are a fan of alcoholic drinks, this tour will be ideal for you.
Best Shopping - People of Moscow are always well-dressed and they nurture a love towards high-fashion designed pieces of clothes, footwear, and accessories. Because of that, many streets are dedicated to fashion and shopping.
  • GUM - This is the largest department store in Russia. It’s located in the 19th-century monumental building, with many impressive stores and boutiques inside, such as Dolce&Gabbana, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, and Saint Laurent.
  • Arbat Street - One of the oldest streets in Moscow has to offer many different stores, where you can buy souvenirs, clothing and then take a break in some of the restaurants and cafes in the street. This is also an excellent street for a walk since there are located small and old buildings.
  • Izmailovo Market - Here, you’ll find a famous ushanka hat, icons, and other handicrafts as well as many souvenirs. This flea market is ideal for someone who likes to bargain and to spend less money.
  • Kuznetsky Most - This is the place where you can enjoy shopping for clothes from all over the world, jewels, and other elegant accessories. Besides that, there are many places where you can find used books if you are interested in reading Russian. 
  • Tverskaya - A famous street for luxury shopping. 
  • Flacon Design Centre - This is a hip and modern place where many modern and young artists and designers will find works
Events and festivals - Moscow is a city that has a lot of very interesting festivals and manifestations. These events are a great opportunity to discover Russian tradition and history: 
  • Winter Festival - Every year Russia celebrates its longest and the most beautiful season. During this period, many squares are transformed into ice-skating rinks, and all over the city are organized many events. Most of them are at Izmailovo Park and Revolution Square, where you can hear Russian music and see traditional dances and costumes. Fairs, ice sculptures, and concerts are just some of many activities and festivities organized from mid-December until mid-January.
  • Moscow Golden Mask Festival - This festival is organized during March and Aprile and it hosts many visual artists. Shows like ballet, opera, drama are performed in these 2 months, representing a miracle for every art lover.
  • Moscow International Film Festival - During this festival around 200 movies are shown from 50 countries all over the world, and they are a major event in the city. This glamorous festival at the end gives an award named Moscow International Film Festival. If you are a fan of cinema, this will be a perfect event for you.
  • The Orthodox Christmas - Christmas is in Moscow celebrated in a more house manner. Nevertheless, this is the happiest holiday in Orthodox Russia. People spend it with their families at home or go to church on Christmas Eve until the morning of Christmas. 
  • Taste of Moscow - Taste of Moscow takes place 27-30 June every year. This is the time when most of the famous restaurants open their doors welcoming guests at the masterclasses and food tastings. 
  • New Year - As it is a tradition in many Orthodox countries, New Year may be celebrated twice. The first one is like for many people, on 31st of December, and the other one, known as the Old New Year is celebrated on the night between 13th and 14th of January. At that point, Russians wait for the famous president’s speech and enjoy events and fairs on the city’s main streets.

Tourist attractions in Moscow

We have made a choice of the most famous attractions that give you the best of Moscow: 
  • Saint Basil's Cathedral - The main symbol of Moscow, as of the whole of Russia is this cathedral. It’s located at Red Square and because of its characteristic appearance it’s impossible not to notice it. You can see it as the main motif at postcards and fridge magnets, the ones you should buy. It was built in the 1500s, during the rule of Ivan the Terrible.
  • Red Square - This is the main square in Moscow and where most of the prominent landmarks are located. The abovementioned Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Kremlin, and Lenin’s Mausoleum are just some of them. 
  • Moscow Kremlin - Kremlin is the most significant active and the most preserved fortress in Europe. Covering an area of 275.000 square meters, this structure has over 700 rooms. Within this fortress are also cathedrals and other important historical buildings. You will need to set aside a lot of time to visit Kremlin, but it’s undoubtedly worth it. 
  • Bolshoi Theatre - This is the home to one of the world's oldest ballet and opera ensembles. Built under Neoclassical style, Bolshoi Theatre has a breath-taking interior, where you can enjoy watching programs worthy of a Tsar.
  • Gorky Park - Named after a Russian writer Maxim Gorky, mentioned in a song by Scorpions, this park is a world-famous attraction. It covers 120 hectares of green fields and small ponds. Here you can see many people enjoying their daily activities and nature.
  • Kolomenskoye - Back in the 14th century this was Tsar’s summer residence. Today this is a museum with churches that conjure how Medieval Moscow used to look like. This complex covers almost 300 hectares, and it’s filled with green gardens and wooden palaces. 
  • Tretyakov Gallery - This gallery keeps the biggest collection of Russian art collected through history. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century in classical Russian style. There you can see, among many other things, an 86-meter-tall statue of Peter the Great, as well as several Socialist Realism sculptures.
  • Lenin Mausoleum - Lenin was an important figure who marked the period of the Soviet Union. This place represents his final resting place and it’s become known all over the world. The most exciting part is that you can still see embalmed Lenin’s body, in a bullet-proof glass sarcophagus.
  • Christ The Savior Cathedral - This church was built by order of Tsar Alexander I after Russia's successful defense against Napoleon’s attack. It’s the tallest Eastern Orthodox Church in the world and one of the main symbols of Russia.
  • Moscow Metro - Don’t use it just for transport. Let yourself enjoy this authentic piece of art. With 223 stations and 12 metro lines, it’s huge and hard to make a complete tour, but you should not miss exploring the most famous stations in the city’s center.

Accommodation in Moscow

Moscow offers different kinds of accommodation for everyone’s taste. Depending on the money you want to spend on it, you can find great places to host you during your stay in the city. 
  • Hotels - If a luxurious 5-star hotel is what you are searching for, you should check out the most famous hotels in the city center. Maybe you’ve heard of Four Seasons Hotel, The Ritz-Charlton, or the Hotel Metropol. One night at these places will cost you from €300 per person. They offer many other amenities that you can enjoy.
  • Rooms and Apartments - Starting from €40 per night, you can find a great private room or apartment. The best way to explore this is by using Airbnb which offers many places you can stay in, with polite and friendly hosts.
  • Hostels and budget accommodation - For even more petite than €10 you can find accommodation in a hostel room. This is also an excellent way to meet other travelers and to share experiences. In this way you will save money on a room, and get a chance to hang out with people from all over the world. 

Best restaurants and places to go out in Moscow

There are many foods and drinks Russia is famous for. And as its capital, Moscow can serve many specialties from all over the country. You should not miss trying Moscow-style Borscht, Pelmeni (dumplings), Beef Stroganoff, and pastries such as Pirozhki, Ponchiki, and the sweetest Blini. When it comes to drinking, Vodka is something you must try when in Moscow. Russians are famous true-lovers of this strong liquor.
  • Where to eat - Moscow has many elegant restaurants where you can have a tasty dinner. Probably you will need daily around €30 per person for meals if you decide to eat at less luxurious places. But if you want a real luxurious experience in a restaurant, you should try visiting restaurants like AQ Kitchen, Café Pushkin, or Severyane. If you would like to try some great street food, there are plenty of places for that, as well. All around the city, for much less money than in a restaurant, you can taste traditional food like Cheburek, Doughnuts, Pirozhki, and Blini
  • Where to go out - A big city such as Moscow must have many various places to go out. Many bars, pubs, and clubs will serve you all night long. Places like Einstein Longue and Mendeleev are the perfect bars for anyone searching for a fancy place to go out and have a nice cocktail. For a more relaxed atmosphere, you can visit some of the numerous pubs, like John Donne Pub, Bobby Dazzler, or City Pub Crawl.

Public transport in Moscow

Public transport in Moscow is not much expensive. Despite that, don’t miss a chance to save money as much as you can. Purchase a Troika smart card, which will make your rides cheaper. A travel card can be used to pay for traveling by the Moscow Metro, the Monorail, the Moscow Central Circle, and all modes of ground public transport.
  • Ground Public Transport - This includes all the buses, tram, shuttle vans, and trolleybuses. They all operate from 5.30 am to 1 am. You will distinguish stops by the color of the plates - yellow one marked with A is for buses, white plates with T is for trolleys, and tram plates are white with Tp sign. Shuttle vans have the same route as buses and trolleybuses.
  • Metro - As already mentioned a couple of times, this is the best and the cheapest way to get around the city. It’s open from 6 am to 1 am and serves most people in Moscow. Besides being very useful and comfortable, the Moscow Metro is one of the most beautiful ones in the world. With its decorated walls and columns, looks like a peculiar museum. So you won’t just use it as a method of transportations, but enjoy it as an architectural and art piece. This map in English will show you all the lines the metro uses.
  • Cycling - Not so long ago, cycling infrastructure has been built in Moscow, so now you can freely ride a bike on your way to explore the city. A bike-sharing system is also present, so you can simply find a bike and use it as long as you need it.
  • Taxi - Taxis are the most expensive way of transportation. All of them are yellow and can be easily spotted. Also, Uber, Yandex Taxi, and Gett Taxi are available in Moscow and may be cheaper than taxis. Always check the price and choose the best way to enjoy your ride.

Frequently asked questions about Moscow

What country is Moscow in?

When should I visit Moscow?

What is Moscow famous for?

Is Moscow safe?

What time zone is Moscow?

Is Moscow expensive?

What do you need to enter Moscow?

What is the best way to get around Moscow?

The most important information before going to Moscow?