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Moscow in two days: what to see

Selection of locations for the weekend

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You cannot see that much in two days in the metropolis. Therefore, on the first day, it is worth focusing on a few iconic “visiting cards” of the city, and on the second – to get out for a leisurely long walk. We have compiled a selection of suitable places that will allow you to plan a trip in this format.

Day 1

The starting point of the route is, of course, the Kremlin and Red Square. Here you can just walk or take a tour – for example, visit the Armory, see the cathedrals, the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell. There are a number of other iconic Russian sights around the Kremlin. Every hour from 8:00 to 20:00, the guard of honor at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier changes at the Kremlin Wall from the Alexander Garden. On Red Square are Lenin’s Mausoleum, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the building of the State Historical Museum in pseudo-Russian style, and in winter there is a skating rink at GUM.

Then you can go to the Kitay-Gorod area – it will take just a few minutes on foot. Most of all, the area is loved for its unique architecture: temples, churches, boyar chambers, cathedrals. The historical heritage and sights are concentrated here, and the spirit of the past coexists with the present. The history of the district and its names go back to 1538 – it was then that the Kitay-Gorod fortress wall was added to the Kremlin towers, inside which Veliky Posad, the modern Kitay-Gorod, was formed. To date, only a few hundred meters of brickwork remain from the wall itself, which served as protection against raids: one fragment is located immediately behind the Metropol Hotel.

Very close is the Zaryadye Park, which appeared here several years ago. Plants from the four climatic zones of Russia descend in terraces to the river embankment, in the center of the park there is a philharmonic hall with an unusually shaped glass facade, a spacious media center and an ice cave, the walls of which are completely made of snow crystals. The key attraction is the Soaring Bridge hanging over the river with an observation deck overlooking Zamoskvorechye. You can have a bite in the Gastroport pavilion with eight gastronomic zones.

From Zaryadye to Kuznetsky Most street is about 20 minutes on foot. Before the revolution, it was considered the main shopping street of the city and in the middle of the last century it began to regain this status. It can be said that the present day Kuznetsky Most, with its fashion boutiques, restaurants, and shops, has preserved its historical traditions. The new life of the street is largely owed to the renovation of TsUM (Central Department Store), the main entrance of which opens onto Kuznetsky Most. Since 2012, part of Kuznetsky Most has been pedestrian only. Tourists and residents alike name it one of the most elegant streets in the capital, and it is decorated all year round with LED garlands and sculptures.

You can continue the evening at the theater. Another 10–15 minutes on foot – and you will find yourself at the building of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater, one of the main Moscow stages. Today’s Moscow Art Theater has gathered many stars under its roof, Dmitry Dyuzhev, Mikhail Porechenkov and Irina Pegova play here.

The iconic restaurant of Russian cuisine from restaurateur Andrey Dellos. Book a table in advance for dinner. The restaurant has three main halls: Pharmacy, Library and Entresol. They are stylized rooms of a 19th century mansion with beautiful stucco molding, woodwork and a large collection of antiques. The main attraction of the house is an extensive (more than 3,000 volumes) library. Here are collected editions of the 18th-early 20th centuries and other artifacts of antiquity: an English grandfather chiming clock, a collection of carriage clocks, a floor globe. The menu of the restaurant includes cuisine of the Pushkin era, Russian and French dishes. In warm weather, the rooftop terrace is open from where you can see the historical center of Moscow.

If, instead of a solid dinner, you just want to drink a cup of good coffee, you can go to one of the Double B coffee houses. The nearest coffee shop to the Moscow Art Theater is located in the next building. The Double B team promotes coffee culture, so the menu focuses on drinks: alternative coffee in a funnel or aeropress, signature lavender, citrus and vanilla rafs and coffee classics. The assortment also includes selective teas from Japan, China, India and signature drinks.

After a busy day, it’s nice to take a walk along the Moskva River Embankment – for example, in the Neskuchny Garden, the historical part of Gorky Park. Today here you can see the rotunda in honor of the 800th anniversary of Moscow, built in 1951, a complex of bridges that appeared at the times of Orlov, and the only building that has survived to this day from the time of Trubetskoy, the Hunting Lodge (the filming location for the famous TV game What? Where? When?). The quiet alleys of Neskuchny Garden contrast with the busy central part of Gorky Park. It’s nice to take a leisurely walk here and enjoy tranquility.

An option for a more active evening is shopping. Now Aviapark with an area of 400,000 square meters is the largest shopping complex in Europe. On four floors, there are more than 500 shops, play parks and educational centers for children, an ice rink and a sports arena, as well as numerous restaurants. The shopping complex is adjacent to the Khodynskoye Pole Park with a light fountain, sports grounds and intricate mirror installations.

Day 2

The Dream Island theme park on the shores of the Nagatinskoye Backwater appeared recently and became a record holder in several points at once. The editorial board of the Book of Records of Europe recognized it as the largest indoor theme park in Europe. You can spend the whole day here. Dream Island unites about 120 shops and restaurants and many attractions. Entrance to the theme park area costs 500 rubles on weekdays and 700 at weekends, and prices for unlimited tickets start at 2,000 rubles on weekdays and 2,500 at weekends. Some of the attractions, such as the Smurf Fairytale Village Walk and Dinosaur Adventure, are free. Most attractions are paid separately, the cost is from 200 rubles. The complex also has a cinema with 17 screens, including IMAX, and a landscape park near the water.

One of the main metropolitan parks with many advantages, the main of which are proximity to the center, unique nature and spaciousness. At the top of the slope is the main observation deck of the city overlooking the main Moscow sights. It can be reached by a cable car built half a century ago for a ski jump, and reopened for visitors by the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Despite the location of the park almost in the center of the city, there are ecological trails in it.

This settlement near Moscow, 25 minutes by train from the Kievsky railway station, was one of the main “places of power” of the Soviet intelligentsia. Boris Pasternak wrote “Doctor Zhivago” here, Konstantin Simonov wrote the cult poem Wait for me, Korney Chukovsky was worked on translations. Some of these country houses have now been turned into museums. Near Chukovsky’s house you can see the real embodiment of the Wonder Tree, in the Pasternak mansion go up to the office and explore the writer’s extensive library, and in Bulat Okudzhava’s house you can look at the “singing exhibit” – the famous collection of bells, which began with a gift from Bella Akhmadulina. In addition to museum houses, it is worth visiting the cultural center in Peredelkino, which is located in two adjacent buildings – a former Stalin-era recreation house and an art nouveau building with an intricate winding staircase.

Founded in 2010, the Innovation Center brings together specialists in the field of IT, modern technologies, and entrepreneurship. The territory was built up from scratch and is located not far from the Moscow Ring Road, it is easy to get here through the Skolkovo transfer hub on the trains of the Belarusian direction or the D4 line of the Moscow Central Diameter. Each architectural facility in Skolkovo is unique. For example, the Sber Technopark, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, one of the world’s most sought-after architectural bureaus, is being built here. There is a 5-kilometer walking and cycling path running through Skolkovo, with a family and children’s park en route, where you will find playgrounds and a pond. You can stop for lunch on the 9th floor of the Matrex conference center, where the Matryoshka restaurant is open.

The main business district of the metropolis, which also has a lot of entertainment activities, – you can spend several hours in the City. Over 30 years, 22 unique high-rise buildings, several metro stations, offices, apartments, a shopping mall, as well as street public spaces, including an amphitheater in the form of a hill-tribune, have appeared here. The complex includes two viewing platforms: one is on the 89th floor of the Federation Tower, the second is on the 92nd of the Oko Tower.

In addition, several view restaurants operate on the territory of the City: 360 and Vision in the Federation Tower, Ruski on the roof of the Oko Tower. On the 56th floor of the Imperia Tower there is the first and only Museum of Skyscrapers and High-Rise Construction in the city, where you can find out how Moscow has overgrown with high-rise buildings over the centuries.

Cover photo: Wikimedia Commons

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