What happens to be the capital and most populous city in Russia, also known for its treasures of history and mega-cold climates? If you’re thinking Moscow, you’ve got it.
Most people may come to Russia’s capital with simply a list of places to come see, conquer and move on to the next, but we’ve created an itinerary that will give you a true taste of Moscow and savour its rich history and culture -all which can be enjoyed within the span of one day.
Start your morning early at the Red Square
As the most iconic location in Moscow, you could probably spend an entire day here. From the Kremlin walls, Lenin’s Mausoleum, to the St. Basil’s Cathedral, spend your morning learning about the history behind these incredible monuments. While the Red Square can be a little tourist-y, a 24 hour trip to Moscow simply isn’t complete without visiting the city’s ultimate central spot, guaranteed to leave you overwhelmed with amazement as you take it all in. We suggest getting here early in the morning before 9am to enjoy its beauty and scale without the bustling crowds that fill the square later on in the day.
Eat like the locals at a stolovaya.
After you’ve wandered through the magnificent Red Square for the morning, fill your appetite with a traditional Russian meal at a stolovaya. These choose-and-point cafeterias are popular remnants of Soviet days, and the food is freshly prepared. Typical lunch options — soup, cutlet or fish, potatoes or buckwheat, and juice — are an inexpensive taste of everyday Russian food.
For an afternoon snack or dessert, look for stands serving blini, paper-thin pancakes stuffed with fish, sour crème, or chocolate.
Take a lazy afternoon stroll through Gorky Park.
Walk off your meal while enjoying the stunning greenery at Gorky Park, a spot that is often missed when visiting Moscow but is loved all-around by locals. In warm weather, wander around this large green zone along the Moscow river embankment. Check out the huge fountain at the entrance, listen to live piano performances in the evenings, or watch the many other activities going on, from salsa classes to yoga classes to urban festivals. You can also rent a bike there to get around. In cold months, you can take the Radisson boat starting from the Gorky Park embankment. It is great in any season, but in winter you can sit in their restaurant with huge windows and can enjoy all the main sights of Moscow while staying warm.
Enjoy the metro.
It’s said that sometimes, the journey becomes the destination, and this is absolutely true when exploring Moscow. As you’re making your way through the capital, one might be surprised at how completely stunning the city’s metro system is itself, with certain metro stations resembling that of museums and historical monuments. So whether you’re taking the transit to get to somewhere or we recommend taking even an hour out of your day just to go for a ride on the subway, take your time and enjoy one of the most beautiful metro transit systems your eyes will ever see.
If you want to take the metro system simply to enjoy the ride, try following this route to experience the most memorable and intricate subway stations of Moscow: Teatralnaya – Novoslobodskaya – Paveletskaya (get on the ring line) – Taganskaya (ring) – Komsomolskaya (ring) – Kievskaya (ring) – Park Kultury
Explore markets that don’t sell your typical souvenirs.
It’s tempting to be lured by merchants at the Red Square trying to sell you those miniature Russian dolls and what not, but if you’re looking for authentic market finds, head on over to the flea market at Izmailovskaya Park (located at the Izmailovsky metro stop) for interesting, unique antiques and contemporary art handmade by local artists in Moscow.
While you’re using the city’s metro system, you might as well make a stop at Baboushka (Barrikadnaya metro stop), another interesting shop with an intricate five-room collection, including everything from silverware to Christmas ornaments to picture frames, dating from the 1930s through the 1980s.
Grab dinner with a contemporary Russian meal.
Treat yourself to an authentic Russian dinner at LavkaLavka, a restaurant with a warm ambiance and dishes prepared with organic, farm fresh ingredients. Alternatively, try a mix of Russian Ukrainian and Jewish cuisine at Odessa Mama, a wonderful spot frequented by locals. Be sure to try their specialty seafood dishes and drinks! As we all know, it’s not a real trip to Russia’s capital if you don’t try a selection of Moscow’s top drinks. Have a lively night out with good company as you experience Moscow change from day to night with bustling conversations and laughter.