What to Do in Moscow in Two Days
By Joselin Vargas |
Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, the main attractions of the Red Square; enjoy shopping at Gum and delight in the landscape of the Moscova River in your next trip to Moscow.
Book lovers have traveled with us to St. Petersburg to tour the city hand in hand with Dostoyevsky’s novels. On the other hand, we’ve taken eco tourists to the border between Russia and Mongolia to find adventure in the mountain landscapes of Ergaki. Now, we propose visiting some of the most beautiful sites in Moscow in a two-day trip. We’ll enter beautiful palaces that will make your jaw drop given the grandness of their architecture, and museums that safeguard the memory of the most determining moments in Russian history. Lastly, you’ll have a moment to spare at the zoo and then walk along the Moscova River, where we’ll find the silver lining of this trip.
Travel to Moscow and Learn About the History of Russia
Moscow is a popular city that both urban travelers and eco-tourists love. We’ll offer something for both tastes and we’ll take you from the heart of the city to a quiet natural retreat. Take into account the following activities DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, has planned for you. They’re perfect to discover iconic sites, take many selfies, enjoy a peaceful meal and do some shopping.
Flights and Trains to Moscow
There are many means of transportation that you can take to get to Moscow. Naturally, the most practical way to get there is by plane. There are three airports: Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo. Then, if you want to go from Moscow to other cities, there are trains that will allow you to have a whole different experience. The most popular ones are: Red Arrow, Train Rail and Golden Eagle.
Day 1 in Moscow: Visit the Red Square
How to Get to the Red Square
The Red Square is your first stop. You can get a cab from your hotel, although they are quite expensive. The subway and bus are cheaper and offer different routes that lead to the square. Once there, you can continue on foot. The closest subway station is Ploschad Revolyucii Line 3. Prepare your camera, wear comfortable shoes and follow the path to the history of Moscow!
Why is the Red Square Called Like That?
The Red Square is very important in the memory of the city. It’s located right in the center of Moscow and the reason for its name is not exactly clear. Some people believe that it’s simply because of the red bricks that were used in the surrounding buildings’ construction. Others say that it makes reference to communism, and some others say that it’s the translation of the word for red in Russian.
Around this square you’ll find places belonging to different times and historic references, and that’s why it’s the ideal place to learn more about Moscow.
Military Parade Around the Red Square
If you travel to Russia in May, you’ll get the chance to see the Military Parade of Victory Day. It takes place on May 9th and it commemorates the anniversary of the Great Capitulation of Nazi Germany. It’s an occasion of great pride for Russians and it’s held in memory of those who fought against fascism. Russians called World War II the Great Homeland War because they wanted to highlight the sense of unity of the Russian people who fought against the Nazis.
St. Basil’s Cathedral
UNESCO listed St. Basil’s Cathedral as World Heritage Site in 1990. The cathedral is located at the Red Square and its architecture reflects the peculiarities of Moscow. Its domes and colorful towers will immediately urge you to take uncountable pictures and also to visit the interior.
St. Basil dates back to the 16th century when tzar Ivan The Terrible ordered its construction in 1561. His purpose was to celebrate his victory over the territories of Kanato of Kazan. Since then, both natural and political situations such as accidental fires and invasions have threatened its existence. The most renowned of said invasions was led by Napoleon in 1812.
What’s the Meaning of St. Basil’s Colorful Domes?
This monumental construction’s architecture has a great symbolic meaning. The domes are shaped as the turbans that the Tartars from Kazan wore during the confrontation against the Russian army led by Ivan The Terrible. It’s ironic to say that the symbol of the Russian victory is at the same time the memory of the numerous war prisoners Ivan beheaded.
Entrance tickets cost 500 rubles (7.50 USD) and opening hours vary depending on the month. Check the cathedral’s official website for the most recent schedules.
Behind the Walls of the Kremlin
The walls of the Kremlin, an architectural complex of great political symbolism, are also an iconic representation of Moscow. About 20 red brick towers connect them. And inside the walls, you’ll find some of the buildings that represent the most transcending centuries in Russian history. They date back to the times of the tsars, to communist Russia, World War II and present-day Moscow. In fact, some of these buildings still serve as seats for the Russian Government. Also, you’ll get to see the Tsar Cannon, the world’s largest cannon as well as the Tsarina Bell, which is also known for its huge size. This area is open to the public from Friday to Wednesdays from 10:00 to 17:00 h.
State History Museum
If you want to learn more about the city’s history, we recommend visiting the State History Museum. It houses a collection of millions of pieces that are as ancient as the Neolithic and as modern as present times. The building is also located at the Red Square and it’s part of the beautiful constructions the area houses. Apart from marveling at the history represented by these objects, you’ll get the chance to continue to enjoy the uniqueness of Moscow’s architecture. The museum opens from Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 21:00 h. Buy your ticket at the museum for 7.6 USD.
Day 2 in Moscow
Gum Shopping Center
We know that you’ll need some time to relax and shop for souvenirs during your trip. For this reason, on your second day in the city we recommend visiting the Gum Shopping Center. It’s one of the most visited malls in Moscow due to the many different luxury shops it houses and its magnificent palace-like architecture. Even though it’s a shopping center, it’s an architectural delight with its arches, trapezoid shapes and glass roofs.
There are many venues where you can have lunch or an ice cream, have a quick bite at fast food restaurants or delight in traditional Russian gastronomy. Try exquisite dishes such as the pelmeni, the blini and borsch soup. Even ice cream and coffee have a peculiar preparation method in the region. Explore new flavors while visiting new places. Gum Shopping Center opens from 10:00 to 22:00 h.
Sunset on the Moscova River
We also recommend visiting the Moscow Zoo. It’s a nice place to find peace amidst the country’s flora and fauna. Then, follow the trails to the Moscova River. If you do it at sunset you’ll get the chance to delight in a beautiful landscape. Later, go on a river cruise (1 to 5 hours, 17-20 USD) and enjoy fine dining with a view of the Kremlin and St. Basil’s. It will be the silver lining of your trip to Moscow.