One of the largest cities of the world and the heart of Russia for centuries, Moscow is a vibrant, eclectic city with a little something for everyone. A three-day visit to this historic city isn’t about relaxation, but about squeezing in as much sightseeing and entertainment as you can!
Day 1: The Beating Heart of Moscow
Spend your first morning in Moscow in its heart: the Kremlin. Dating back to the 12th century, this has long been the center of political activity in the capital. Your ticket will include entry to the churches within the Kremlin walls, as well as the Patriarch’s Palace, but a visit to the Armoury or Diamond Fund Exhibition is extra. Buy your tickets early to check out the precious jewels and Faberge eggs at the Armoury because space is limited. If you don’t get enough opulence at the Armoury, you’ll find even more gold, diamonds and other precious stones at the Diamond Fund Exhibition.
Grab a quick bite to eat and then continue your exploration of Moscow’s core by heading to nearby Red Square. Check your bag and camera at the State History Museum, then line up to visit Lenin’s Mausoleum (no cameras allowed!). Afterwards, head back to the State History Museum to take a deeper look into Russia’s past. Finally, make your way across the square to one of the most iconic sites in all of Russia: St Basil’s Cathedral. Explore all the nooks and crannies of the Cathedral’s many corridors and churches before you head back to your hotel for a much-needed rest.
This evening, you might 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!
Day 2: Arts and Amusement
If you need a boost after enjoying Moscow’s famous nightlife last night, start your day with a cup of coffee at Coffee Bean or Kofe Khaus, two traditional Russian chains with multiple locations throughout the city. Then, make your way to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts to check out some of the best European art on display in Russia, as well as a stellar exhibition of ancient Egyptian artifacts and a unique collection of treasures from Troy. Located next door to the Pushkin Museum, the Gallery of European & American Art of the 19th and 20th centuries houses a vast array of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works, including pieces by Miro, Kandinsky and Gauguin.
After lunch, head to the Tretyakov Gallery, where you’ll find the most comprehensive collection of Russian art and Russian icons in the world. Then, it’s time to relax! Head to Old Arbat Street for some people-watching and souvenir shopping or make your way to Gorky Park along the banks of the Moscow River.
At night, enjoy a circus performance at the Bolshoi Circus on Vernadskogo or the Nikulin Circus.
Day 3: Back in Time
Take a journey back in time today with a visit to an ancient summer home for the Russian princes – the Kolomenskoye Museum & Reserve. Perched above the Moscow River just southeast of the city, this 900 acre site features the first open-air museum of wooden architecture in Russia, including an array of buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Spend a few hours exploring, then head back into the city center for lunch at the renowned Café Pushkin. After lunch, pay a visit to one of Moscow’s most beautiful attractions, the Novodevichy Convent & Cemetery. The convent is best known as the place where Peter the Great imprisoned his half-sister and first wife. The cemetery is the final resting place of famous Russians such as Anton Chekhov, Nikita Krushchev and Boris Yeltsin.
Finally, conclude your time in Moscow by taking in the quintessential Russian experience – an opera or ballet performance at the historic Bolshoi Theatre. Just be sure to buy your tickets a couple weeks in advance as they often sell out!