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How to Spend 3 Days in Moscow

How to Spend 3 Days in Moscow

As the backdrop to some of the most dramatic events of the 20th century, it comes as no surprise that Moscow is packed full of history and intrigue. Three days in Russia’s capital give you time to see Moscow’s most-important landmarks and explore further afield on a day trip. Here’s how. 

Day 1: Historic Landmarks

Spend your first day in Moscow getting your bearings. Walking tours orient you in the historic city center and tend to cover top sights such as Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, Lenin’s tomb, and the striking GUM shopping arcade. Many sightseeing tours take you to the elegant Bolshoi, home to the famed Russian ballet company, with some even including a tour its interior. Alternatively, taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour allows you to set your own itinerary and pace—some options include a cruise on the River Moskva.

In the evening, sample some of Moscow’s fine dining options before hitting the town and checking out the nightclub scene. Like New York, Moscow is a city that never sleeps. You can also join a nightlife tour that takes you to some of the city’s buzziest hot spots—this way you avoid the risk of falling for overpriced tourist traps.

Day 2: Art and Architecture

Having glimpsed the Kremlin from the outside, spend your second morning exploring the inside of the former residence of Russian emperors. Book a tour that includes a skip-the-line or priority-access admission ticket in order to avoid lines and enter before the general public.

Afterward, make your way to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts to check out some of the best European art in Russia, or to the Tretyakov Gallery, where you’ll find the world’s most comprehensive collection of Russian art and icons. Be sure to squeeze in a tour of some of Moscow’s most impressive yet unexpected art spaces—Metro stations. Thanks to the Soviet’s architectural ambitions, the stations are opulently decked out with chandeliers, mosaics, and sculptures; a tour lets you tick off the best with ease. 

In the evening, opt for the quintessential Russian experience: an opera or ballet performance at the historic Bolshoi Theater. 

Day 3: Back in Time

On your third day, take a journey back in time on a tour to an ancient summer home for Russian princes, the Kolomenskoye Museum and Reserve. Southeast of Moscow, the site features the first open-air museum of wooden architecture in Russia. Visiting as part of a guided tour lets you skip the hassle of figuring out bus timetables—ideal if you don’t read Russian. Tours typically include hotel transfers.

Back in Moscow, round out your trip on a specialized evening walking tour. Options include a Communist-themed tour that focuses on the history and legacy of the Soviet-era, and takes you to landmarks such as the former KGB building and Revolution Square, site of the 1917 revolution. Or, join an alternative tour focused on the city’s sinister past. You’ll hear lesser-known stories about sorcerers and murderers as you visit places such as Khitrovka, 19th-century home of Moscow’s criminals.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Moscow Tours

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Moscow Must-Sees Private Tour with Local Expert Guide

Moscow Must-Sees Private Tour with Local Expert Guide

star-4.5
Check out more than 20 of Moscow's must-see sights on this private tour that provides an introduction to the city's culture and history. Visit attractions such as Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral, Sparrow Hills, Victory Park, and Moscow State University with a private guide who helps you gain insight into both major landmarks and off-the-beaten-path locations.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$ 220.00
per group
From
US$ 220.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Moscow Red Square and City Tour with Bolshoi Visit Option

Private Moscow Red Square and City Tour with Bolshoi Visit Option

star-5
Explore central Moscow on foot on this private 4-hour tour and learn about its imperial and Soviet past. As you walk and sightsee, hear about Moscow’s history and view highlights such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, the GUM shopping arcade, and the city’s renaissance, baroque, and art nouveau architecture. Choose from two options: to explore Red Square and the historical Kitay-Gorod district, or to see Red Square before joining a 1-hour tour of the Bolshoi Theater.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$ 109.00
From
US$ 109.00
Taking safety measures

Early-Admission Kremlin Tour in Moscow: Armory, Diamond Fund Exhibition and Assumption Cathedral

Early-Admission Kremlin Tour in Moscow: Armory, Diamond Fund Exhibition and Assumption Cathedral

star-4
Delve into the opulent depths of Moscow’s Kremlin, the iconic former residence of Russian emperors, on a comprehensive 3-hour tour of three of its architectural highlights. Use your priority-access-pass to enter at the earliest admission time and immerse yourself in a glittering wonderland of diamonds and resplendent decor. Listen to illuminating commentary delivered by an expert guide as you marvel at the Armory, the Assumption Cathedral and the Diamond Fund Exhibition on this incredible tour.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
US$ 262.93
Price varies by group size
From
US$ 262.93
Price varies by group size

Moscow Evening Tour: More Than Just Vodka Spirits

Moscow Evening Tour: More Than Just Vodka Spirits

star-5
Explore Moscow’s most buzz-worthy nightlife district during this guided after-hours food and drink crawl. Discover hidden hotspots only favored by locals, getting a peek at under-the-radar attractions along the way, like the former headquarters of the KGB. Tours include stops at three hip locations, plus craft beer, flavored vodka, a traditional Russian spirit, and an array of hearty local snacks.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$ 96.05
From
US$ 96.05
Taking safety measures

Kolomenskoye Estate Private Tour from Moscow

Kolomenskoye Estate Private Tour from Moscow

star-4.5
Visit the Kolomenskoye Estate with ease on this private tour from Moscow. Learn about the history of Kolomenskoye Estate as a summer retreat for princes from your guide. Pause at the 16th-century Ascension Church and view the Wooden Palace. In the summer, enjoy a tasting of Medovukha, a traditional Slavic honey-based alcoholic drink.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 117.95
Price varies by group size
From
US$ 117.95
Price varies by group size

Russian art through the centuries-Tretyakov Art Gallery and Museon Art Park

Russian art through the centuries-Tretyakov Art Gallery and Museon Art Park

star-5
Spend the day learning about Russia’s fascinating art history while touring the Tretyakov Art Gallery and Muzeon Art Park. Go beyond the famous Russian artists of Kandinsky, Chagall, and Malevich that appeared in the 20th century and see works from the 10th to the 19th centuries. Discover over 700 Soviet sculptures by notable communist artists at the Muzeon Art Park and how Russia has changed in the last 20 years.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 157.28
Price varies by group size
From
US$ 157.28
Price varies by group size

Communist Moscow Tour

Communist Moscow Tour

star-5
Moscow's communist history is misunderstood by many visitors. Separate fact from fiction and deepen your understanding of this era on this tour that takes you to the most important related sites in the city.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 37.22
From
US$ 37.22


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