Most standatd walking, bus and boat tours offer you just brief glimpses of major places of interest. To see important details, be prepared to walk a lot. The following tips will help you plan a tour in accordance with your interests.
This tour to the central Moscow will include visiting the Kremlin and seeing some major centrally located attractions.
- Read our Historical museums section for information on the Kremlin opening hours, ticket booking procedures and regulations.
- Book tickets to the Kremlin online and print out the receipts (vouchers).
- Go to metro Alexandrovsky Sad (line 4, light blue,) Biblioteka Imeni Lenina (line 1, red) or Borovitskaya (line 9, grey.) Exit to Alexandrovsky Garden, go to the Kremlin booking office right in front of the metro exit, and exchange your vouchers for official tickets. Leave all large bags at the left luggage room in Kutafiya Tower near the booking office (the lower one.)
- If you are going to visit the Amory, turn right from the tower and follow the signs to the gate in the Kremlin wall. If your aim is the Kremlin grounds only, climb the stairs to the tower and proceed through the gates. Visiting the Armory and the Kremlin grounds usually takes up to three hours.
- Exit the Kremlin through Spasskaya Tower and find yourself on Red Square. St. Basil Cathedral will be in front of you.
- Cross the Square cornerwise to Nikolskaya Street and relax at one of cafes or bars.
- From Nikolskaya, enter GUM – the Main Department Store – to see the impressive interior, have their signature ice cream sold from kiosks on the ground floor, and take an opportunity to visit their luxury restroom. See our Department stores section for more details.
- Go up Nikolskaya and find a bystreet turning left and turn left again. This is a short cut to Manezhnaya Square and Alexandrovsky Garden. Do not forget to pick up your bags left in the garden.
- Time to have a lunch. We suggest Taras Bulba restaurant (8/1 Mokhovaya Street.) The street is parallel to Alexandrovsky Garden. The restaurant offers yummy Ukrainian cuisine at tolerable prices. (See our Dining section for other options.)
- Turn left from the restaurant and have a look at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in front of you and Pashkov House on the opposite side of the street. (See our Architecture section.)
- Head to the cathedral to see the monument to Prince Vladimir the Great at the edge of Alexandrovsky Garden. Then go around the cathedral to Patriarch’s Bridge for spectacular views of the Kremlin and the monument to Peter I. (See our Monuments section.) You may also climb to the viewing terrace on the cathedral. (See our Viewing points section.)
- From Kropotkinskaya station, which is a few steps from the cathedral, metro will take you to Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) in about 15 minutes where you may walk up an appetite before dinner. (See our Viewing points section.)
This tour along pedestrian streets and boulevards will be a relaxing and impressive experience.
- Go to Smolenskaya metro station (line 3, navy blue.) Mind that the other Smolenskaya station (line 4, light blue) is rather far from your starting point.
- Turn twice to the right from the exit and find yourself on Arbat, the busiest pedestrian street in Moscow.
- Look back and up to see the top of one of the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers built in 1950s. This one houses Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
- Stroll Arbat with its numerous jewellery and souvenir shops, cafes and bars, street artists and actors. Turn into adjacent streets to see more architectural monuments mostly dating from the 19th century.
- Do not miss the monument to Alexander Pushkin and his wife Natalia on your left. (See our Monuments section.)
- A few meters short of Arbatskaya Square, turn left to have a look at Novy Arbat, a wide street built in 1960s and nicknamed a “denture of socialism.”
- Take a breather at Zhiguli pub (11 Novy Arbat). This restaurant mimics the Soviet-time beer drinking traditions. (See our Dining Out section for other options.)
- If you feel like shopping, visit some decent boutiques on the left side of Novy Arbat.
- Return to Arbatskaya Square and turn left to Nikitsky Boulevard, which will lead you to Nikitskie Vorota Square. The rotunda on your left houses another monument to Alexander and Natalia Pushkin, who married in the church standing behind the monument. Have a look at Ryabushinsky Mansion, an architectural monument standing to the right of the church. (See our Architecture section.)
- The next boulevard is Tverskoy. It will take you to Tverskaya Street and Pushkinskaya Square with Pushkin cafe (See our Dining Out page for details) and the third (and, yes, the last) monument to Alexander Pushkin on your way. The square is a major meeting point in Moscow with abundance of cafes and restaurants, though mostly expensive ones.
- Cross Tverskaya and turn right. After a few steps, see Eliseevsky supermarket, a Moscow gastronomes’ mecca. Even if you do not plan to buy any caviar or premium vodka at the time, have a look at the store’s impressive interior.
- Go down the street to the equestrian monument to Yuri Dolgoruki. (See our Monuments section.) The building on the opposite side of Tverslaya is Moscow Mayor’s headquarters built in the 18th century as the city’s governor residence.
- Turn left onto Stoleshnikov Pereulok, a pedestrian street and a home of luxury boutiques. This lane will take you to Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street. Cross the street and proceed to the right to see the monument to Maya Plisetskaya, the “prima ballerina assoluta” of Bolshoi Theatre. (See our Monuments section.)
- Cross the street again and turn right onto Kamergersky Pereulok which will take you back to Tverskaya, and then to Manezhnaya and Red Squares, the nodal point of Moscow. Kamergersky also offers a good choice of cafes, restaurants and bars.
- If you proceed down Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street, you will see a pseudo old-Russian building of New Manege and House of the Unions (a concert hall) on your right and soon find yourself near Bolshoi Theatre.
This art tour will include visiting both sites of Tretyakov Gallery, Museon Park, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and spectacular views of old Moscow. See our Museums and Galleries section before starting this tour.
- Go to Novokuznetskaya metro station (line 2, green.) Exit to Pyatnitskaya Street. This is Zamoskvorechye, one of the oldest districts of the city located close to Red Square and the Kremlin but on the other side of the Moskva River. Stroll up and down Pyatnitskaya and adjacent streets for a while to see buildings erected one or two hundred years ago.
- Klimentovsky Pereulok and Bolshoi Tolmachevsky Pereulok will take you to the Tretyakov Gallery’s historical building in about 10 minutes from Pyatnitskaya Street.
- After visiting the gallery, acquire new strength at one on the cafes nearby.
- Go down Bolshoi Tolmachevsky Pereulok and Maly Tolmachevsky Pereulok, turn right to Staromonetny Pereulok and then to Kadashevskaya, Yakimanskaya and Krymskaya Embankments. The embankments face Balchug Island with a former confectionary plant now turned in to a business and leisure area. You will also see the grandiose monument to Peter the Great on artificial island. (See our Monuments section.) The journey will take about 20 minutes and you will reach Museon Park, also known as the museum of fallen monuments, which will be on your left.
- The new building of Tretyakov Gallery stands right beside Museon.
- If fine arts have not worn you down too much, visit Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Cross the Garden Ring, enter Gorky Park through the main gate and head strait along the main alley until you see the glazed building of Garage.
- After visiting the gallery, proceed along the river to Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) for a relaxing evening, or exit from the park. Metro Park Kultury (line 1, red and line 5, brown) will be on your left, and metro Oktyabrskaya (line 5 brown or line 6, orange) will be on your right.