This page presents general information on the city pattern and major directions in the city centre. See relevant pages of this website for directions to certain places of interest.
Mind that Moscow is a rapidly developing city and some streets may be closed for renovation, which is an open-ended process.
Moscow occupies 2561.5 square kilometres. The distance from the boundary of Moscow proper (the beltway) to the city centre is about 20 kilometres. It means that it takes the whole day to cross the city by foot, if someone is prepared for the challenge.
The city pattern resembles a spider web. The inner circle of the web is Bulvarnoe Koltso (Boulevard Ring), which in fact is a “horseshoe” with a gap in the south rather than a ring. The city’s historical centre and most tourist attractions are located within it. Strolling Boulevard Ring is a good opportunity to see Moscow’s architecture of the past and relax in the shadow of the trees.
Sadovoe Koltso (Garden Ring) runs where an earth wall was built in late 16th century. Beyond this ring, few places of particular interest are located. The gardens along the ring - which is a major motorway - exist no longer.
The Third Transit Ring may present interest for drivers only, as well as the beltway that marks the boundary of Moscow proper. The length of the former is about 35 kilometres and the latter is nearly 110 kilometres long.
The geographical city centre is Manezhnaya Square, near metro stations Okhotny Ryad (line 1, red,) Teatralnaya (line 2, green) and Ploshchad Revolyutsii (line 3, navy blue.)
If you face the equestrian statue of Marshal Zhukov on Manezhnaya Square, Red Square will be in front of you.
On your right, there will be an underground shopping centre, Manege art gallery, the Russian State Library and Alexandrovsky Garden with the Kremlin museums ticket office in it. A walk through the garden will take you to Bolshoi Kamenny Most (Great Stone Bridge) – a good pace for selfies with the Kremlin on the backdrop.
Behind you, Tverskaya street runs to the north-west with plenty of boutiques, cafes and pubs (mostly on the right side and on adjacent bystreets.)
On your left, you will see Four Seasons Hotel, which may remind you of Stolichnaya vodka label. Okhotny Ryad Street behind the hotel will lead you along the State Duma (the lower house of the parliament) building to Bolshoi Theatre, impressive art-nouveauish Metropol Hotel, the Central Kid's Store and the Federal Security Service headquarters on Lubyanskaya Square.
Arbatskaya Square is another major base point near the same-name metro stations on light blue and navy blue lines. Huge building of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff dominates the square.The streets on both sides of the building lead to Alexandrovsky Garden and the Kremlin.
Gogolevsky Boulevard - which runs to the right if you face the General Staff building - will bring you to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and several galleries and museums, including Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
Nikitsky Boulevard behind you is the way to Tverskaya Square in the middle of Tverskaya Street.
Arbat and Novy Arbat streets also start from Arbatskaya Square. The former is a pedestrian mall, a home of numerous souvenir and jewellery shops, while the latter is a major motorway with some restaurants and shops mostly on the left side.