Moscow (Москва, Moskva)

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St Basils Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow
St Basil's Cathedral, © Can Stock Photo / peterkirillov

Moscow (Moskva in Romanized form or Москва in Russian) is the capital and largest city in the Russian Federation, with a population of more than 11 million.  It’s the second largest city in Europe and the 6th largest in the world.  Luckily for tourists, most of the attractions are all located close together around the Kremlin, Red Square and the Cathedral of St Basil.  Moscow is located on the Moscow River, which supports a major river cruising industry.  Ocean cruises only get as close as St Peterburg, so it is necessary for those passengers to fly to Moscow if they wish to visit.


Moscow is humid year round.  June through August are the best months for temperatures, but these are also the months of heavier rainfall and the busiest for tourism.  Expect average summer highs of 73 F (23 C) and average lows of 54 F (12 C).  The coldest winter months are December - February when average highs are 25 F (-4 C) and average lows are about 16 F (-9 C).



Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) is the international access point to Moscow.  It can be accessed on the Aeroexpress train from Belorusskaya Railway Terminal.  Domodedovo International Airport (DME) is also very busy, but now concentrates more heavily on domestic flights.  Moscow has a series of rail lines and terminals connecting to the city center.  The Moscow Metro is famous for its murals and decor.  The city also has a series of trams and buses.  High speed train is a popular and inexpensive option to connect to St Petersburg in just over 4 hours from the Oktiabrskaia (Oktyabrskaya) Station.  The Trans Siberian Railway takes travelers from Moscow across the continent to Vladivostok on the Pacific.  Language can be a challenge for English speaking visitors.  With Russian (Москва), romanization of Russian (Moskva) and English variations (Moscow), it can be tricky to determine destinations.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Moscow

Cathedral of Christ the Savior, © Can Stock Photo / Paha_L

Attractions in Moscow:

Things to see and do:

  • Red Square, the Cathedral of St. Basil and the Kremlin.  Allow at least a full day for these sites that are all located together.  Red Square and the Cathedral of St Basil are situated immediately outside the walls of the Kremlin.  The Cathedral of St Basil is the most photographed view in Russia.  Lenin’s Tomb is located in Red Square.  Inside the walls of the Kremlin are numerous buildings and cathedrals.  Here you will find the Great Palace, the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, the State Armory and the Tsar Bell and Cannon.  Along the wall, on the outside of the Kremlin, you will find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame.

  • Gum and Tsum shopping malls – located on Red Square (Gum) facing the Kremlin and nearby (Tsum).

  • The Moscow Metro – enjoy murals, statues, mosaics and chandeliers.  The metro is a destination in and of itself.  Try Mayakovskaya Station for a starter.

  • Bolshoi Theatre

  • Pushkin Fine Arts Museum

  • Tretyakov Gallery

  • Gorky Park – transformed in 2011 by removing old carnival rides and modernizing the park into one of the city’s most popular locations.

  • The Moscow Conservatory - Tchaikovsky was a professor here.

  • The Old Arbat – pedestrian district.

  • Take a boat trip on the Moscow River

  • Kolomenskoye Estate Museum – formerly a residence for the tsars.

  • Izmaylovsky Park

  • Novodevichy Convent

  • Cathedral of Christ the Savior 

  • Rublyovskoye shosse - the rouble street which is the expensive residential part of town.

  • Monument to Peter the Great (Monument Petry Velikomu)

  • Bunker 42 - check out the legacy of the Cold War

Skating at GUM Trading in Red Square, Moscow

Skating in Red Square at GUM Trading © Can Stock Photo / Paha_L

Restaurants and Bars

  • Loft Cafè

  • Café Pushkin - the most famous restaurant in Moscow. This is 5 start dining, not a café. 

  • O2 Lounge at the Ritz Carlton.

  • City Space Bar & Lounge on the 34th floor of the Swiss Otel.

Moscow Tours:

Hotels in Moscow:

Hotel Listings for Moscow

Sheremetyevo International Airport - (SVO) - including a list of hotels with a shuttle.

View Moscow map

View Moscow Pics