How to Spend 1 Day in Moscow
Few capital cities have seen such dramatic changes over the past century than Moscow, with a cityscape that reflects the architectural legacies of czars, communists, and oligarchs. With just one day here, you’re going to want to see as much as possible. Here are a few ways to spend one day in Russian capital.
Morning: Take in the City’s Sights
Get acquainted with Moscow’s most important sights—many of which are in the center of the city and within easy walking distance. Private or group walking tours can take you to Red Square to see St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, and Lenin’s tomb, and to see the Bolshoi building and Alexandrovsky Garden. Hop-on, hop-off bus tours include additional stops at attractions farther afield, such as Red October Island and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, while allowing you to set your own itinerary and pace. Some also include an optional cruise on the Moskva River.
Afternoon: Delve Deeper
Now that you’ve seen Moscow’s world-famous landmarks, go underground to discover works of art in unlikely settings: metro stations. During the communist era, the design of Moscow’s metro stations was an ambitious project meant to project a bright, bold Soviet future. Today you can learn about the extravagant decor, chandeliers, mosaics, stained glass, and sculptures by joining a guided tour.
Alternatively, you can get a different perspective on Soviet idealism, specifically their pursuit of dominance during the space race, with a private tour of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics and VDNKh park, home to many monuments to heroic Soviet astronauts.
Night: Soak up the Scene
You have time for one last tour before leaving Moscow and have several nighttime options. History buffs can learn more about Moscow’s Soviet era, often shrouded in myth and misunderstanding, with a guided tour designed to explain those turbulent times. Many evening tours will take you to landmarks associated with the era, including the former KGB building and Revolution Square, site of the 1917 revolution.
Another option is to join a nightlife tour that visits the most buzzworthy hotspots and under-the-radar locals’ haunts in one of Moscow’s hippest neighborhoods. These tours typically include drinks and snacks.