I’ll be honest – November is not the perfect time to visit Moscow Russia. It’s dark, dirty, muddy and will hardly impress as much as, say, in summer. But that’s when I visited and I will speak of this time of the year. I’ve been looking to visiting this huge city for a while already. As a European national, it wasn’t hard to get a visa. We decided to fly in, so my first impression was Sheremetyevo Airport. It’s huge! passport control is swift and easy, although authorities took their time to inspect my passport carefully. Finally we were out of the gates and met by our dear friends. Here are the Moscow Russia highlights – best of Moscow in November!
Moving around Moscow Russia
Moving around Moscow Russia is complicated. Luckily, we had a car. But even with a car, you might find yourself stuck in traffic jams for hours. By the way, locals use traffic apps to avoid jams. It’s best to combine car and metro sometimes. Our friends live in one of the apartment block districts. My first impression – wow, these houses are huge! Russians like to build big. And they have to – with an eight million people city! The house we stayed in had 20 blocks, and it’s not the biggest out there.
On the next day we went to the most famous attraction of all Moscow Russia (and perhaps all Russia) – the Red Square. To be honest, I expected it to be slightly bigger. In the middle of the square an ice rink was under construction. There seems to be a special love towards ice rinks in Russia – Moscow is full of them, every major park has it’s own. People like to spend time outside of their flats. We walked along the huge walls, admiring the beauty of the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s cathedral. Despite cold weather we saw a lot of tourist – both Russians and foreigners.
Our guides took us to the Cathedral Square. It’s famous as the site of solemn coronation and funeral processions of all the Russian tsars, patriarchs, and Grand Dukes of Moscow. The energy flow is incredible – you can feel the uneasy history of this great land. Admission ticket allows you to enter the cathedrals. Today, they are more like museums with ancients icons and paintings covering the walls, floors and ceilings. I recommend visiting even if it’s going to be the only thing you will have time for.
If you are looking for a European style pedestrian street with shops, cafes and galleries – have a look at old Arbat. The street is not too long and there is a lot to see: many historical buildings, monuments and Russian style gift shops. Although it’s quite commercialized, we loved it nevertheless – it’s a nice break from heavy traffic of other main streets. Make sure to check out Varenichnaya N.1 with it’s famous Soviet style food. The prices are very good and the food is delicious!
Metro in Moscow Russia
Some Moscow Russia metro stations are true pieces of art. The metro was open in 1935 and today it is 5th longest in the world. We visited 3 stations – Kievskaya, Ploshad’ Revolyutsii and Belorusskiy Vokzal. All of them were very pretty, decorated with wall paintings and sculptures. Moscow metro has a long history, during the WWII people were hiding there during the bombings. Residents of Russian capital can consider themselves lucky to be passing such beauty every day on their commute to work or school.
Radisson River Cruise
A great way to end the day in Moscow is to board one of Radisson River cruise ships-restaurants. The ticket costs 750 Rubles (10€). Departure from Radisson Royal Hotel (hotel “Ukraina”). During the 2,5 hour cruise you can observe well lit facades of the famous buildings and parks, while enjoying a cup of coffee or a delicious dinner. Some of the famous attractions along the way include Novodevichy Convent, Moscow State University,Central House of Artists, Peter the Great monument, The Cathedral of Christ the Savior, The Kremlin, Saint Basil`s Cathedral, Kotelnichevskaya Embankment Building and many more.
Some other cool places we visited:
Worker and Kolkhoz woman in Moscow Russia
Originally the statue was designed to represent Soviet Union at the World Fair held in Paris in 1937. Today, this impressive symbol of Soviet past can be seen at VDNKh exhibition center.
This tall and elegant tower was originally built to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. In 1967, when the tower was finally ready, it became the tallest free-standing structure in the world (surpassed Empire State building) and remained so for 9 years.
Commercial district with skyscrapers. Worth a visit, most towers offer guided tours to the top of the building for around 10€.
Yes, we loved Moscow, although the weather was nasty, it was cold and dark and we got splashed with grease from passing cars. It’s all part of the experience. We loved the people. People are really friendly and nice. Of course, there are many tourist traps, just like in any big city these days. But somehow we felt a little but like home. The city is overwhelming – it’s huge! It’s difficult to move around by foot – huge distances are exhausting. So bare in mind – you will need to use the metro a lot. And it’s hell at peak times – very crowded. So planning your visit is essential, especially if you are looking to visit multiple places. I’d say – one major attraction per day is enough. Just take it easy – beauty is in small details. Take your time to slow down and notice them! Oh, almost forgot – please, PLEASE, don’t come here in winter months, because it’s just so much prettier in summer!
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