Just one day is too little to see why Moscow is so wonderful. We offer you our 2 days tour, so that you have enough time to explore interesting places, take photos, and try Russian cuisine.
We plan a walking itinerary for the first day. So we strongly recommend that you wear comfortable shoes. The tour begins at the world-famous Kremlin. The Moscow Kremlin, the most ancient part of Moscow, is the main social and political center of the capital. It is also the official residence of the President. Inside the walls of Kremlin you will find the Assumption Cathedral, used for czar’s coronations and royal weddings, the Archangel Cathedral with the 54 tombs of great Moscow princes and tsars, the Annunciation Cathedral, ex-domestic church of the tsars, the Church of the Deposition of the Virgin’s Robe. The Cathedral of Twelve Apostles nowadays functions as the grand entrance to the luxurious Grand Kremlin Palace. The Kremlin Senate is an administrative building that housed the Governing Senate and Vladimir Lenin’s office and apartment. Now Vladimir Putin has his office here. Also of interest are also the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, the highest building inside the Kremlin, the Faceted Chamber and the Patriarch’s Palace in the Cathedral square. The Armory Museum holds precious collections of state regalia, ammunition, clothing, thrones, ambassadorial gifts and so on. Finally, of course, the largest in the world tsar-bell and tsar-cannon are on display.
Lenin’s Mausoleum, on the western edge of Red Square, is a monument to the founder of the Soviet Union. Following his death, Lenin’s body was placed in a temporary wooden mausoleum. The first one was constructed for the day of Lenin’s burial (27 January 1924), and was in the form of a cube, united with a three-sided pyramid. The second version was constructed in the spring of 1924. The laconic forms of the second mausoleum were used in planning of the third, current version from concrete, with brick walls and a granite façade (1929-30). Inside the structure is a vestibule and mourning halls (1000 square meters). In 1930 a new guest platform was added, and the graves near the Kremlin wall established.
St. Basil’s cathedral (Pokrovskiy Cathedral) was completed in 1555 in honor of the conquering of Kazan. Nothing is known about the builders, Barma and Postnik Yakovlev, except their names and the frightful legend that Ivan the Terrible had them blinded so that they could not create anything to compare.
The Russian State Library (also named Leninskaya) is the national library and is one of the largest libraries in the world. The library has over 275 km of shelves with more than 43 million items.
Enter the Alexander Garden, a popular public park named after tzar Alexander I. There are many memorable things, such as the Romanov obelisk, grotto, the Tomb of Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame. Watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony every hour in the summer and every half an hour during the winter.
Opposite the Mausoleum there is GUM, the 1st megastore in Moscow, built over 120 years ago. Nowadays inside are rows of exclusive boutiques.
Next, we go underground to show you the most outstanding metro stations, looking like palaces or museums, decorated with marble, mosaics, statues, bronze, gilding and chandeliers.
We are up again and take course to the Kitai Gorod. Actually it has nothing to do with China (in Russian Kitai means China). Kitai Gorod is called that way only because its walls were made of bushes called Kita. Kitay-gorod is one of the oldest districts in Moscow.
Lubyanka (ex. Dzerzhinskogo Street) was made on the route from Moscow to the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius. In the 16th-17th centuries merchants and craftsmen lived here. Then, during the 18th century, mansions were built for the elite. In the 19th century it became a trade street with many modest high stone buildings. Here is where the KGB headquarters and now FSB (Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) is located.
The Big Theatre has been under reconstruction recently, and is opened now again for the ballet and opera lovers from all over the world.
Arbat has its own atmosphere of entertainers, street artists and musicians. Arbat Street is known for its aristocratic citizens; among them are Pushkin, Gogol and Tolstoy. Arbat is now a fun and entertainment mecca for both Muscovites and foreigners.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is close to Arbat. You will be amazed by this Stalin skyscraper that is distinguished by a huge Soviet coat of arms on its façade.
If you stay near the bank of the Moscow river, you`ll be marveled by the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour with its luxurious gold and bronze interior. The Cathedral is an official headquarters of the Moscow Patriarchy and has an interesting history that includes a delayed project of a 30-meter high statue of Lenin and a swimming pool on the site.
If you are not very tired, visit Tretyakov Gallery, one more symbol of Russia’s legacy of historical fine art. It is a must-see for those who are interested in Russian art, culture and history. The gallery contains works of Russian art from the 10th century up to the present. It was founded by brothers Tretyakov who used their family fortune to make a collection of art. In 1892 brothers willed their collections to the city.
The 2nd day of your journey through Moscow is by car.
First we go to the observation platform on the Sparrow Hills (Lenin Hills). It gives a good panoramic view of the city on a steep bank 85 m above the river. The hill is covered with forest and divided by deep ravines; there are also underground water well springs.
The Moscow State University (MGU), which can be easily observed from the Sparrow Hills, is one of the most beautiful Stalin’s skyscrapers. The MGU is composed of 15 research institutes, 41 faculties, and over 300 departments. The University is comprised of over 600 buildings and facilities with a total area of 1 million square metres. Foundation of the University was proposed by I. I. Shuvalov and M. V. Lomonosov; it was put into practice by Empress Elizaveta Petrovna in 1755. Initially, the University was located in another place.
Our tour then proceeds through Victory Park on the Bow (Poklonnaya) hill (gora), which is a memorial complex, dedicated to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 and to millions Soviet people who lost their lives in this awful war. The central alley is called “Years of War”. It has five terraces, symbolizing five years of war, and 225 fountains – representing the weeks of the war. There are also a memorial chapel, mosque, and synagogue. In the center of the square there is an obelisk, which is 141.8 meters high with featuring the goddess Nike who personifies victory on the top. Near the pedestal of the obelisk on the granite podium, there is a statue of Saint George, killing a serpent with a lance. In Victory Park you can see an open-air exhibition of military equipment and fortification buildings. The main object of the complex is the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. Inside it there are Hall of Generals, Hall of Glory, Hall of Memory and Sorrow.
The New Maidens’ (Novodevichy) Convent is located in the bend of the Moskva River, near Luzhniki. It was founded in 1525 by the Great Prince Basil III. The convent was rebuilt by Peter the Great’s half-sister Sofia in the 17th century. Ironically, later, she was imprisoned in it forever. In the 1930s a branch of the State History Museum occupied the building. Nowadays, the Novodevichy Convent is an functioning monastery. Alongside the monastery is the famous old graveyard.
Now it`s time to have fun! We head over to the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure. The territory of the park constitutes 119 hectares. Gorky Park spreads along the banks of the Moscow River. It contains a variety of entertainment: roller-skating, boating, bungee jumping, tennis, skating (in winter) and so on. The older half of the park is made up of gardens and groves, and buildings from the 18th – 19th centuries.
Then we drive along Crimean (Krymsky) Bridge. Long time ago on that place was a Crimean Tatars yard, that’s why it was called Crimean.
And next, we meet the 2nd Stalin skyscraper – Hotel Ukraina (Radisson Royal Hotel), which is 198 m high.
We then pass the building in which chocolate factory Red October was located.
The Garden Ring is a circular trunk-road in Moscow center. Its length is 15.6 km and width is 60-70 m. The Garden Ring was founded after the 1812 fire of Moscow. At first, gardens and boulevards were the major part, but in the 1930s the Garden Ring was reconstructed as and the gardens were pulled out. Now many of the circle metro stations are situated in the Garden Ring.
We are close to the end of our tour, but first we want you to visit a magnificent place. Kolomenskoye, a former royal residence, is a historical open-air museum. The complex includes the Palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich (17 century), consisting of 270 rooms, The Church of the Ascension, the Palace Pavilion, that served as a tea house or home theater, Front Gate Complex, the main ceremonial gate, Church of Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, which Ivan the Terrible used for holiday worships, Peter I’s House, and many more structures of interest.
Extra Hour price: 1700 rub
Duration: 14 hours
Max 4 person (for more price to be requested)
Starts at: 10:00
Pick up: hotel
Drop off: hotel
Included: tickets to Kremlin
Options: armoury chamber (700 rub per person)