Leo Tolstoy, Alexander Pushkin, space suits, wooden nesting dolls—these are the common things that usually come to mind when the country of Russia is mentioned. These are all great contributions to the wonderful country, but there are still certainly a lot of things to explore. Below is a quick guide of Moscow for first timers; a look at places, customs, and must-see spots that make this place so unique and beautiful.
Squares, Churches, Sculptures
Considered as the central square of Moscow (the city located in the northernmost part of the world) and Russia, Red Square is one of the places that you simply want to see. This famous and historical city square is home to Saint Basil’s Cathedral (a Russian Orthodox church), The State Historical Museum (museum of millions from the Russian history), and Lenin’s Mausoleum (where visitors could see the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union). Also in this UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to the magnificent sculpted statue of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, who greatly contributed in driving out Poles from the Kremlin.
Shopping and Dining
Moscow knows its fashion, so shopping centers are places where tourists would go crazy while walking through different shops. Crazy because the shops include Burberry, Hermès, Estee Lauder and Christian Dior—shops that will not be really wallet-friendly when you are on a tight budget. If the budget doesn’t allow you to buy that Dior bag, you could just simply walk around the vast area. Cafés and restaurants are all over the place, so you could make a pit stop there.
Did your dreams of being a great cosmonaut when you were kid did not work out the way you wanted it to? This is the best place to rekindle that dream. Since Russia is well-known for space exploration, it is home to many spots that pay homage to space such as the Monument to the Conquerors of Space and the Memorial Museum of Astronautics. It is in these museums where you’ll see a vast collection of rocket models, space equipment, space suits, different space specimens, etc. The walk down the path of the Cosmonauts Alley is already a treat in itself, with monuments of past Soviet space programs.
Walking in the Park
If you fancy having a relaxing afternoon while having a great view of the city, Gorky Park is your best bet. Named after the writer and social realism method founder Maxim Gorky, this is a great place to unwind. You can do different activities such as riding the grand Ferris Wheel, ice skating, having a picnic, people watching, or simply strolling.
Moscow is a place beaming with a history so rich and colorful. You need not to worry about being a first-timer here; you will receive the treatment that everyone gets, and all the magnificent places and historical spots will surely make you be one with the city. You certainly won’t feel like a stranger here.