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Things to do in Moscow: how to visit Moscow | Unmissable, cool & unusual

  • September 2, 2023

Things to do in Moscow best

What are the best things to do in Moscow? What to do in Moscow? First, I will list the main places to visit by theme, passing by the must-sees, but also more unusual places in Moscow. Then, I will describe what to see in Moscow in one day and how to visit Moscow in 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. Let’s go!

Good to know. For more information, click on the places to open the dedicated blog posts.

Main places to visit in Moscow & best things to do in Moscow

I worked in Moscow and I loved this city for its dynamism and energy. We find there from time to time to see friends, remember good memories and enjoy this giant city! Then the time has come for us to share with you our practical guide.

TOP 5 must-see places in Moscow

  • Moscow Red Square
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • Cathedral of Christ the Savior
  • Bolshoi Theatre

Places of cultural, historical and religious interest in Moscow

  • Novodevichy Convent and cemetery
  • Tretyakov Gallery
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
  • Kremlin Izmaïlovo (pseudo-historic place, recently built in the image of the old, one of the best things to do in Moscow for your Instagram account 😉 )
  • Park and ancient village of Kolomenskoye

Visit Moscow of the Soviet era

  • Moscow State University and Sparrows Hill
  • VDNKh and the Museum of Astronautics, one of the key landmarks of the Soviet era in Moscow
  • GULAG Museum
  • Metro stations
  • The Stalinist skyscrapers, scattered all over the city

Less touristy places in Moscow

  • Gorky Park and the GARAGE museum
  • The old Krasny Oktyabr factory
  • Zaryadye Park
  • Center for Contemporary Art, WINZAVOD
  • Business center, Moscow City

Main districts of Moscow to visit

  • Patriarch Ponds
  • Tchistye Prudy
  • Kuznetsky most
  • Arbat Street

However, regardless of the length of your stay, whether you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days or in 2, you need a visa. The article Obtaining a tourist visa for Russia could then be useful in any case.

What to do and see in Moscow in one day?

List of things to see and do in Moscow in one day:

  • Go to Red Square
  • Visit St. Basil’s Cathedral
  • See Kremlin walls (but not to visit)
  • Visit Cathedral of Christ the Savior
  • Discover Kuznetsky most districts and see Bolshoi Theatre building
  • And if you have time at the end of the day: go to the Sparrows Hill or to the Moscow City for a beautiful view

Things to do in Moscow in 2 days

If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, there are 2 purposes: do not miss the essential places of Moscow and optimize travel.

  • First day: Red Square , Saint Basil’s Cathedral , Zariadye Park, Bolshoi Theatre , Kremlin
  • Day 2: Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the former Krasny Oktyabr factory on Balchug Island, Gorky Park, Moscow State University (one of the Seven Sisters buildings ) and Sparrow Hill

As 2 days os really short, be sure to choose an accommodation in the best districts where to stay in Moscow .

Walking on Red Square in Moscow: one of the unmissable things to do in Moscow

Iconic place and one of the must-see places in Moscow and even in Russia! Besides, if there was only one place to visit in Moscow in 2 days, this place would then be Red Square, without hesitation. Therefore, starting the city tour with Red Square is ideal . Several buildings are on the square, but not all of them have to be visited. Check out my blog post about Moscow’s Red Square in detail to learn more and not miss anything.

Red Square Moscow

Visiting Saint-Basil’s Cathedral inside

Even more emblematic than Moscow’s Red Square! Built in the middle of the 16th century under the orders of Tsar Ivan Le Terrible, this cathedral is one of the most beautiful monuments of Orthodox art, and definitely one of the unmissable places in Moscow. Visiting Saint-Basil’s Cathedral inside is one of the most beautiful things to do in Moscow!

  • Visit estimate time : 1h30
  • Entry ticket : 700 RUB. Tickets can be purchased on the cathedral’s official website 45 days before the tour.
  • Audio guide (recommended): 500 RUB
  • Opening hours : June to August 10 am-6pm; from November to April: 11 am-5pm; May, September, October 11 am-5pm. Cathedral closed on Wednesdays. Entrance is closed 45 minutes before closing.
  • Find out more in the dedicated article: Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Take a walk in Zariadye park: one of the coolest things to do in Moscow after visiting Red Square

Zaryadie Park is just a 10-minute walk from St. Basil’s Cathedral, so it’s easy to include in your itinerary if you’re going to visit Moscow in 2 days. From its heights, you can see the red walls of the Kremlin. But, the most impressive point of view is the platform which overlooks the Moskva river. A must see! And clearly one of the coolest things to do in Moscow!

  • Open 24 hours a day
  • Good to know! Park Zaryadye is also a place to visit in Moscow in winter. Find out more here: What to do in Moscow in winter?

What to do in Moscow

See the Bolshoi Theatre and discover the Kuznetsky Most district

The Bolshoi Theatre is the most famous Russian theater in the world. The most economical way to see a presentation at the Bolshoi Theater is to take the tickets on the theater’s official website in advance, so here is our tutorial to help you: How to buy entrance tickets to the Bolshoi? In addition, several pedestrian or one-way streets

The Bolshoi Theater is the most famous Russian theater in the world. The most economical way to see a presentation at the Bolshoi Theater is to take the tickets on the theater’s official website in advance, so here is our tutorial to help you: How to buy tickets to the Bolshoi? In addition, several pedestrian or one-way streets are located north of the theater. It is therefore very pleasant to find them to leave the main axes of the megalopolis.

IMG_3040 tickets Bolshoi Theatre dress code

Visit the Moscow Kremlin

Visit Kremlin is on top of things to do in Moscow. A place of power for centuries, the Kremlin then shows us a whole different image when viewed from the inside. If you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, the Kremlin is certainly one of the must-see places in Moscow.

  • Opening hours : Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursday.
  • See our blog post about visiting the Moscow Kremlin

Moscow Kremlin: skip-the-line tickets and 8 things not to miss

Visit the Cathedral of Christ the Savior

This impressive Moscow Cathedral is the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is a must see if you visit Moscow in 2 days and clearly one of the things to do in Moscow. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was first built in 1883 in memory of Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s Grand Army. Then in 1931 Stalin ordered its destruction. It was then rebuilt again (identically) only in 2000.

  • Where? Ulitsa Volkhonka 15. At the foot of the Kropotkinskaya metro station.
  • Opening hours . Daily: 10: 00-17: 00, except Monday: 13: 00-17: 00
  • Free entry (some closing restrictions, for example a short)

Good to know! In orthodox religious places, one must avoid excessively uncovered clothing. Women should cover their heads. After visiting the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you can explore Bolotny Island and Gorky Park. This is one of the routes our guide to Moscow.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior

The old Krasny Oktyabr factory: one of the coolest things to do in Moscow

If you cross the Moskva River by a pedestrian bridge which is located just in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, you will enjoy a beautiful view of the city and at the same time you can discover Balchug Island. Furthermore, if you want to visit Moscow in 2 days, you can include this island in your itinerary between the cathedral and Gorky park. Here is the old confectionery factory Krasny Oktyabr, which has gradually turned into a fashionable micro-district. There are then some elements of street art, cafes and restaurants and some Moscow bohemian side. At the end of the island you can see a gigantic 98-meter-high monument dedicated to the Russian reforming tsar Pierre The Great.

Good to know! You can find on this island are the trendiest nightclubs in Moscow. On weekends, there are taxi caps after midnight so there are so many people. On the other hand, if you go there in winter and during the day, the island is quite empty and less interesting to see.

Gorky Park is one of the TOP places to visit in Moscow, because it allows you to better understand the life of the locals and their rhythm. In fact, it’s a huge entertainment park. For example, in winter there is a giant ice rink and in summer – free dance or yoga lessons, sandy beaches for playing volleyball, an outdoor cinema. So, like the locals, have a Stakantchik (ice cream or cooked corn), and enjoy the atmosphere of the place: that’s one of the interesting things to do in Moscow to discover the city.

  • Where? Krymsky Val 9. 20 minutes’ walk from Krasny Oktyabr, along the quays.

Sparrow Hill and Moscow State University

The Sparrow Hill, Vorobiovy Gori in Russian, is the highest point in Moscow. It is rather known to Russians, but less to travelers. A nice view on Moscow opens from the hill, and in particular on the Luzhniki Stadium. In addition, on the hill itself is the Moscow State University: an impressive skyscraper from the Soviet era.

  • How to get there? By bus T7 (35 min) from Oktyaborskaya station, near Gorki Park. By metro (Vorobiovy Gorki station) + climb the hill on foot. On foot along the Moskva along the Gorky Park (1h30) + climb in funiculars.

Good to know! It is possible to cross the Moskva river by funicular. We actually tested it and it was pretty cool! That is one of our favorite things to do in Moscow!

What to do in Moscow

What to do in Moscow in 3 days?

If you are going to visit Moscow in 3 days, it would be interesting to dive into the Soviet era which strongly marked the country and the city. After the Bolshevik Revolution, the capital was transferred from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, in order to mark the change of power. Moscow then became the world showcase for communist ideology. Here are the best things to do in Moscow for 3-day-trip!

VDNKh, visit Moscow of the Soviet era

VDNKh is a large exhibition center in the north of Moscow, where there are still several striking witnesses of the USSR. The most interesting are the Museum of Cosmonauts and the Statue of the Worker and the Kolkhozian , which will certainly impress you with its size!

Visit

GULAG History Museum

The explanations of the museum are very well done. We really have the feeling of going back in time. If you are going to visit Moscow in 3 days and you are interested in history and this subject in particular, I recommend this museum. Visit the GULAG History Museum is one of the most interesting things to do in Moscow.

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Discover the Patriarche Pounds district

It’s a nice neighborhood in Moscow where you can come across rather affluent locals, but not necessarily very bling-bling. Take a walk in this area is really a cool thing to do in Moscow! In addition, the Ponds of Patriarch is one of the places of Bulgakov’s novel “Master and Margarita”. As this is an interesting area to see, we have included it in a walking tour of Moscow. The route ends at the Moscow Kremlin, which is very convenient, because you will be able to visit Moscow in 3 days by optimizing your trips.

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What to visit in Moscow in 4 days: TOP things to do in Moscow in 4 days

If you want to visit Moscow in 3 days, you will already see a lot of things. On the other hand, if you stay one more day, you have plenty to do! The Novodevichy Convent, the Tchistie Proudy district and the Izmaylovo Kremlin are very good candidates for you, if you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days.

Visiting Novodevichy Convent in Moscow

The Novodevichy Convent is one of the most brilliant examples of Russian architecture, according to UNESCO. This beautiful complex was built in 1524 and today consists of the convent, but also of a cemetery whose status could be compared to that of Père-Lachaise in Paris. Visiting Novodevichy Convent is one of the great things to do in Moscow, if you want to go a little bit outside of the center!

What to see in Moscow in one day

Discovering Tchistye Proudy district

It’s one of the most popular areas of Moscow, with many cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. It is therefore a place to discover if you want to visit Moscow in 4 days. It is just as pleasant for a stroll as for the discovery of local life. For example, in winter the pond turns into an ice rink.

Visiting the Izmaylovo Kremlin, one of the coolest things to do in Moscow!

The Izmaylovo Kremlin is more of a tourist than a historic place. On the other hand, it is a pretty impressive place to discover, especially on weekends. Inside the Kremlin, there is a flea market where you can find a little bit of everything, but mostly good souvenirs to bring from Moscow. For example, chapka, traditional Russian scarves or matryoshka (Russian dolls). Add the Kremlin and the Izmaïlovo market to your itinerary if you are going to visit Moscow in 4 days, because it is a nice and very colorful place! Visiting the Izmailovo Kremlin is one of the things to do in Moscow, if you want to put colors in your Instagram account! 😉

Things to do Moscow blog

In 4 days, we will have the opportunity to see several Moscow: Classic Moscow, Moscow of old Russia, Soviet Moscow and a little bit of the new Moscow. So what to visit in Moscow on the 5th day of travel?

What to visit in Moscow in 5 days?

Art lovers will be delighted to discover the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, while others will prefer to stroll along Arbat Street, see the buildings of Moskva-City or visit Bunker 42.

Admiring Russian art at Tretyakov Gallery

Founded in 1856 by an industrialist and great lover of art, the gallery has grown over the decades, and then bequeathed to the state. Today the collection includes more than 140,000 pieces, 15,000 of which are paintings. Visiting the Tretyakov Gallery is one of the things to do in Moscow if you want to discover Russian art!

  • Where? Pereoulok Lavrouchinski 10. A 5-minute walk from Tretiakovskaya station
  • Opening hours. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Closed on Mondays.
  • Entry tickets. 500 RUB.

Museum to see

Visiting the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts presents the treasures of ancient Egypt, the paintings of Rembrandt and Cézanne, a fine collection of Impressionism.

  • Where? Ulitsa Volkhonka 12
  • Opening hours. Daily: 10: 00-20: 00, except Thursday: 11: 00-21: 00. Closed on Mondays. The boxes close an hour before closing.
  • Entry tickets. The prices vary according to the collections from 300 to 750 RUB.

Walking on Arbat Street

All Russians know Rue Arbat. So, walking on Arbat street is one of the things to do in Moscow. However, after the years, little by little it became very touristy. This is a pedestrian street only. There are souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes there, but it is no longer the most authentic neighborhood in the city.

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Seeing the buildings of Moskva-City (Moscow City)

Moskva-City is Moscow’s business center, much like Paris’s Defense district. The skyscrapers of Moskva-City are among the tallest in Europe: 373 meters high! Very nice place to see at dusk.

Good to know! You can admire a nice view of Moscow City from the docks of Tarasa Shevchenko. It’s especially beautiful in the evening with all the lights on.

Bunker 42, one of the most unusual things to do in Moscow

Bunker 42 is a secret military complex which was to be used by the Soviets in the event of a nuclear attack: a space of 7000 m² 65 meters underground!

  • Where? 5 Kotelnitcheski Lane, 11.
  • Prices. 2200 RUB per person
  • Opening hours. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Restaurant inside. Original, but rather a tourist trap.

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What to visit in Moscow in 6 days or more?

There are still so many places to see, because Moscow is a big megalopolis and there is always something exciting to do there. For example: the ancient Kolomenskoye village or the WINZAVOD contemporary art center .

If you are interested in history and want to see Russian cities on a rather “human scale”, it would certainly be interesting for you to discover the cities of the Golden Ring . For example, it is very easy to get to Sergey Posad from Moscow (less than 2 hours in train). Visiting the Golden Ring is one of the best things to do in Moscow if you are staying more than a 5-6 days.

There are still plenty of places to see in Moscow, however I did my best to list here the best things to do in Moscow, what to see in Moscow in one day, but also in 2, 3, 4 or 5 days in Moscow!

Moscow travel tips:

  • Airport transfer: how to go to Moscow?
  • Where to stay in Moscow (hotels, districts)?
  • Tourist voucher for Russian visa
  • Christmas and New Year in Moscow
  • What is the best time to visit Moscow?

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Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow: The Best of Moscow!

I just got back from one week in Moscow. And, as you might have already guessed, it was a mind-boggling experience. It was not my first trip to the Russian capital. But I hardly ever got enough time to explore this sprawling city. Visiting places for business rarely leaves enough time for sightseeing. I think that if you’ve got one week in Russia, you can also consider splitting your time between its largest cities (i.e. Saint Petersburg ) to get the most out of your trip. Seven days will let you see the majority of the main sights and go beyond just scratching the surface. In this post, I’m going to share with you my idea of the perfect travel itinerary for one week in Moscow.

Moscow is perhaps both the business and cultural hub of Russia. There is a lot more to see here than just the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Centuries-old churches with onion-shaped domes dotted around the city are in stark contrast with newly completed impressive skyscrapers of Moscow City dominating the skyline. I spent a lot of time thinking about my Moscow itinerary before I left. And this city lived up to all of my expectations.

7-day Moscow itinerary

Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow

Day 1 – red square and the kremlin.

Metro Station: Okhotny Ryad on Red Line.

No trip to Moscow would be complete without seeing its main attraction. The Red Square is just a stone’s throw away from several metro stations. It is home to some of the most impressive architectural masterpieces in the city. The first thing you’ll probably notice after entering it and passing vendors selling weird fur hats is the fairytale-like looking Saint Basil’s Cathedral. It was built to commemorate one of the major victories of Ivan the Terrible. I once spent 20 minutes gazing at it, trying to find the perfect angle to snap it. It was easier said than done because of the hordes of locals and tourists.

As you continue strolling around Red Square, there’s no way you can miss Gum. It was widely known as the main department store during the Soviet Era. Now this large (yet historic) shopping mall is filled with expensive boutiques, pricey eateries, etc. During my trip to Moscow, I was on a tight budget. So I only took a retro-style stroll in Gum to get a rare glimpse of a place where Soviet leaders used to grocery shop and buy their stuff. In case you want some modern shopping experience, head to the Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center with stores like New Yorker, Zara, and Adidas.

things to do in Moscow in one week

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To continue this Moscow itinerary, next you may want to go inside the Kremlin walls. This is the center of Russian political power and the president’s official residence. If you’re planning to pay Kremlin a visit do your best to visit Ivan the Great Bell Tower as well. Go there as early as possible to avoid crowds and get an incredible bird’s-eye view. There are a couple of museums that are available during designated visiting hours. Make sure to book your ticket online and avoid lines.

Day 2 – Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Arbat Street

Metro Station: Kropotkinskaya on Red Line

As soon as you start creating a Moscow itinerary for your second day, you’ll discover that there are plenty of metro stations that are much closer to certain sites. Depending on your route, take a closer look at the metro map to pick the closest.

The white marble walls of Christ the Saviour Cathedral are awe-inspiring. As you approach this tallest Orthodox Christian church, you may notice the bronze sculptures, magnificent arches, and cupolas that were created to commemorate Russia’s victory against Napoleon.

travel itinerary for one week in Moscow

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Unfortunately, the current Cathedral is a replica, since original was blown to bits in 1931 by the Soviet government. The new cathedral basically follows the original design, but they have added some new elements such as marble high reliefs.

Home to some precious collection of artworks, in Tretyakov Gallery you can find more than 150,000 of works spanning centuries of artistic endeavor. Originally a privately owned gallery, it now has become one of the largest museums in Russia. The Gallery is often considered essential to visit. But I have encountered a lot of locals who have never been there.

Famous for its souvenirs, musicians, and theaters, Arbat street is among the few in Moscow that were turned into pedestrian zones. Arbat street is usually very busy with tourists and locals alike. My local friend once called it the oldest street in Moscow dating back to 1493. It is a kilometer long walking street filled with fancy gift shops, small cozy restaurants, lots of cute cafes, and street artists. It is closed to any vehicular traffic, so you can easily stroll it with kids.

Day 3 – Moscow River Boat Ride, Poklonnaya Hill Victory Park, the Moscow City

Metro Station: Kievskaya and Park Pobedy on Dark Blue Line / Vystavochnaya on Light Blue Line

Voyaging along the Moscow River is definitely one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the city and see the attractions from a bit different perspective. Depending on your Moscow itinerary, travel budget and the time of the year, there are various types of boats available. In the summer there is no shortage of boats, and you’ll be spoiled for choice.

exploring Moscow

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If you find yourself in Moscow during the winter months, I’d recommend going with Radisson boat cruise. These are often more expensive (yet comfy). They offer refreshments like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and, of course, alcoholic drinks. Prices may vary but mostly depend on your food and drink selection. Find their main pier near the opulent Ukraine hotel . The hotel is one of the “Seven Sisters”, so if you’re into the charm of Stalinist architecture don’t miss a chance to stay there.

The area near Poklonnaya Hill has the closest relation to the country’s recent past. The memorial complex was completed in the mid-1990s to commemorate the Victory and WW2 casualties. Also known as the Great Patriotic War Museum, activities here include indoor attractions while the grounds around host an open-air museum with old tanks and other vehicles used on the battlefield.

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The hallmark of the memorial complex and the first thing you see as you exit metro is the statue of Nike mounted to its column. This is a very impressive Obelisk with a statue of Saint George slaying the dragon at its base.

Maybe not as impressive as Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower , the skyscrapers of the Moscow City (otherwise known as Moscow International Business Center) are so drastically different from dull Soviet architecture. With 239 meters and 60 floors, the Empire Tower is the seventh highest building in the business district.

The observation deck occupies 56 floor from where you have some panoramic views of the city. I loved the view in the direction of Moscow State University and Luzhniki stadium as well to the other side with residential quarters. The entrance fee is pricey, but if you’re want to get a bird’s eye view, the skyscraper is one of the best places for doing just that.

Day 4 – VDNKh, Worker and Collective Farm Woman Monument, The Ostankino TV Tower

Metro Station: VDNKh on Orange Line

VDNKh is one of my favorite attractions in Moscow. The weird abbreviation actually stands for Russian vystavka dostizheniy narodnogo khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy). With more than 200 buildings and 30 pavilions on the grounds, VDNKh serves as an open-air museum. You can easily spend a full day here since the park occupies a very large area.

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First, there are pavilions that used to showcase different cultures the USSR was made of. Additionally, there is a number of shopping pavilions, as well as Moskvarium (an Oceanarium) that features a variety of marine species. VDNKh is a popular venue for events and fairs. There is always something going on, so I’d recommend checking their website if you want to see some particular exhibition.

A stone’s throw away from VDNKh there is a very distinctive 25-meters high monument. Originally built in 1937 for the world fair in Paris, the hulking figures of men and women holding a hammer and a sickle represent the Soviet idea of united workers and farmers. It doesn’t take much time to see the monument, but visiting it gives some idea of the Soviet Union’s grandiose aspirations.

I have a thing for tall buildings. So to continue my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow I decided to climb the fourth highest TV tower in the world. This iconic 540m tower is a fixture of the skyline. You can see it virtually from everywhere in Moscow, and this is where you can get the best panoramic views (yep, even better than Empire skyscraper).

top things to do in Moscow

Parts of the floor are made of tempered glass, so it can be quite scary to exit the elevator. But trust me, as you start observing buildings and cars below, you won’t want to leave. There is only a limited number of tickets per day, so you may want to book online. Insider tip: the first tour is cheaper, you can save up to $10 if go there early.

Day 5 – A Tour To Moscow Manor Houses

Metro Station: Kolomenskoye, Tsaritsyno on Dark Green Line / Kuskovo on Purple Line

I love visiting the manor houses and palaces in Moscow. These opulent buildings were generally built to house Russian aristocratic families and monarchs. Houses tend to be rather grand affairs with impressive architecture. And, depending on the whims of the owners, some form of a landscaped garden.

During the early part of the 20th century though, many of Russia’s aristocratic families (including the family of the last emperor) ended up being killed or moving abroad . Their manor houses were nationalized. Some time later (after the fall of the USSR) these were open to the public. It means that today a great many of Moscow’s finest manor houses and palaces are open for touring.

one week Moscow itinerary

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There are 20 manor houses scattered throughout the city and more than 25 in the area around. But not all of them easily accessible and exploring them often takes a lot of time. I’d recommend focusing on three most popular estates in Moscow that are some 30-minute metro ride away from Kremlin.

Sandwiched between the Moscow River and the Andropov Avenue, Kolomenskoye is a UNESCO site that became a public park in the 1920’s. Once a former royal estate, now it is one of the most tranquil parks in the city with gorgeous views. The Ascension Church, The White Column, and the grounds are a truly grand place to visit.

You could easily spend a full day here, exploring a traditional Russian village (that is, in fact, a market), picnicking by the river, enjoying the Eastern Orthodox church architecture, hiking the grounds as well as and wandering the park and gardens with wildflower meadows, apple orchards, and birch and maple groves. The estate museum showcases Russian nature at its finest year-round.

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If my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow was a family tree, Tsaritsyno Park would probably be the crazy uncle that no-one talks about. It’s a large park in the south of the city of mind-boggling proportions, unbelievable in so many ways, and yet most travelers have never heard of it.

The palace was supposed to be a summer home for Empress Catherine the Great. But since the construction didn’t meet with her approval the palace was abandoned. Since the early 1990’s the palace, the pond, and the grounds have been undergoing renovations. The entire complex is now looking brighter and more elaborately decorated than at possibly any other time during its history. Like most parks in Moscow, you can visit Tsaritsyno free of charge, but there is a small fee if you want to visit the palace.

Moscow itinerary

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Last, but by no means least on my Moscow itinerary is Kuskovo Park . This is definitely an off-the-beaten-path place. While it is not easily accessible, you will be rewarded with a lack of crowds. This 18th-century summer country house of the Sheremetev family was one of the first summer country estates of the Russian nobility. And when you visit you’ll quickly realize why locals love this park.

Like many other estates, Kuskovo has just been renovated. So there are lovely French formal garden, a grotto, and the Dutch house to explore. Make sure to plan your itinerary well because the estate is some way from a metro station.

Day 6 – Explore the Golden Ring

Creating the Moscow itinerary may keep you busy for days with the seemingly endless amount of things to do. Visiting the so-called Golden Ring is like stepping back in time. Golden Ring is a “theme route” devised by promotion-minded journalist and writer Yuri Bychkov.

Having started in Moscow the route will take you through a number of historical cities. It now includes Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Sergiev Posad. All these awe-inspiring towns have their own smaller kremlins and feature dramatic churches with onion-shaped domes, tranquil residential areas, and other architectural landmarks.

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I only visited two out of eight cities included on the route. It is a no-brainer that Sergiev Posad is the nearest and the easiest city to see on a day trip from Moscow. That being said, you can explore its main attractions in just one day. Located some 70 km north-east of the Russian capital, this tiny and overlooked town is home to Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, UNESCO Site.

things to do in Moscow in seven days

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Sergiev Posad is often described as being at the heart of Russian spiritual life. So it is uncommon to see the crowds of Russian pilgrims showing a deep reverence for their religion. If you’re traveling independently and using public transport, you can reach Sergiev Posad by bus (departs from VDNKh) or by suburban commuter train from Yaroslavskaya Railway Station (Bahnhof). It takes about one and a half hours to reach the town.

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a great place to get a glimpse of filling and warming Russian lunch, specifically at the “ Gostevaya Izba ” restaurant. Try the duck breast, hearty potato and vegetables, and the awesome Napoleon cake.

Day 7 – Gorky Park, Izmailovo Kremlin, Patriarch’s Ponds

Metro Station: Park Kultury or Oktyabrskaya on Circle Line / Partizanskaya on Dark Blue Line / Pushkinskaya on Dark Green Line

Gorky Park is in the heart of Moscow. It offers many different types of outdoor activities, such as dancing, cycling, skateboarding, walking, jogging, and anything else you can do in a park. Named after Maxim Gorky, this sprawling and lovely park is where locals go on a picnic, relax and enjoy free yoga classes. It’s a popular place to bike around, and there is a Muzeon Art Park not far from here. A dynamic location with a younger vibe. There is also a pier, so you can take a cruise along the river too.

Random Russian guy

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The Kremlin in Izmailovo is by no means like the one you can find near the Red Square. Originally built for decorative purposes, it now features the Vernissage flea market and a number of frequent fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. Every weekend, there’s a giant flea market in Izmailovo, where dozens of stalls sell Soviet propaganda crap, Russian nesting dolls, vinyl records, jewelry and just about any object you can imagine. Go early in the morning if you want to beat the crowds.

All the Bulgakov’s fans should pay a visit to Patriarch’s Ponds (yup, that is plural). With a lovely small city park and the only one (!) pond in the middle, the location is where the opening scene of Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita was set. The novel is centered around a visit by Devil to the atheistic Soviet Union is considered by many critics to be one of the best novels of the 20th century. I spent great two hours strolling the nearby streets and having lunch in the hipster cafe.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To conclude, Moscow is a safe city to visit. I have never had a problem with getting around and most locals are really friendly once they know you’re a foreigner. Moscow has undergone some serious reconstruction over the last few years. So you can expect some places to be completely different. I hope my one week Moscow itinerary was helpful! If you have less time, say 4 days or 5 days, I would cut out day 6 and day 7. You could save the Golden Ring for a separate trip entirely as there’s lots to see!

What are your thoughts on this one week Moscow itinerary? Are you excited about your first time in the city? Let me know in the comments below!

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24 comments.

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Ann Snook-Moreau

Moscow looks so beautiful and historic! Thanks for including public transit information for those of us who don’t like to rent cars.

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MindTheTravel

Yup, that is me 🙂 Rarely rent + stick to the metro = Full wallet!

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Mariella Blago

Looks like you had loads of fun! Well done. Also great value post for travel lovers.

Thanks, Mariella!

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I have always wanted to go to Russia, especially Moscow. These sights look absolutely beautiful to see and there is so much history there!

Agree! Moscow is a thousand-year-old city and there is definitely something for everyone.

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Tara Pittman

Those are amazing buildings. Looks like a place that would be amazing to visit.

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Adriana Lopez

Never been to Moscow or Russia but my family has. Many great spots and a lot of culture. Your itinerary sounds fantastic and covers a lot despite it is only a short period of time.

What was their favourite thing about Russia?

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Gladys Parker

I know very little about Moscow or Russia for the\at matter. I do know I would have to see the Red Square and all of its exquisite architectural masterpieces. Also the CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR. Thanks for shedding some light on visiting Moscow.

Thanks for swinging by! The Red Square is a great starting point, but there way too many places and things to discover aside from it!

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Ruthy @ Percolate Kitchen

You are making me so jealous!! I’ve always wanted to see Russia.

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Moscow is in my bucket list, I don’t know when I can visit there, your post is really useful. As a culture rich place we need to spend at least week.

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DANA GUTKOWSKI

Looks like you had a great trip! Thanks for all the great info! I’ve never been in to Russia, but this post makes me wanna go now!

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Wow this is amazing! Moscow is on my bucket list – such an amazing place to visit I can imagine! I can’t wait to go there one day!

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The building on the second picture looks familiar. I keep seeing that on TV.

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Reesa Lewandowski

What beautiful moments! I always wish I had the personality to travel more like this!

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Perfect itinerary for spending a week in Moscow! So many places to visit and it looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to climb that tower. The views I am sure must have been amazing!

I was lucky enough to see the skyline of Moscow from this TV Tower and it is definitely mind-blowing.

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Chelsea Pearl

Moscow is definitely up there on my travel bucket list. So much history and iconic architecture!

Thumbs up! 🙂

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Blair Villanueva

OMG I dream to visit Moscow someday! Hope the visa processing would be okay (and become more affordable) so I could pursue my dream trip!

Yup, visa processing is the major downside! Agree! Time and the money consuming process…

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