Russia’s capital city and one major tourist destination. Moscow is full of cathedrals, museums, restaurants and shops. If you like big cities, then you will enjoy what Moscow has to offer.
Food and Drink to try:
- Borscht (Beetroot soup)
- Shchi (Russian style cabbage soup)
- Oledi (Pancakes)
- Russian Salad (More boiled veg than a traditional western salad)
- Pelmeni (Dumplings)
Things to see and do in winter:
- State Historical Museum
- Saint Basils Cathedral- Look at it from the outside, the interior isn’t that great.
- Moscow Kremlin- lots of cathedrals and the Armoury
- Red Square- Lots of Christmassy stalls and an ice skating rink
- The State Tretyakov Gallery- excellent Russian art
- The Metro stations in Moscow
- Taking a stroll in the Arbat area
- Gum Department store-incredibly decorated high end shopping centre
- Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Things that I wish that I got to do:
- Bolshoi Theatre- for some excellent ballet (not for the budget traveller I’m afraid)
- Ivan The Great Bell-Tower (Closed in winter)
- Gorkiy Central Park in the summer
- Sparrow Hills Vorobyovy Gory for a great view (also in summer)
I personally wasn’t a massive fan of Moscow and after only two days I decided to leave and head to Yaroslavl, but I did return to give this city another chance and I’m glad that I did. The city is beautiful and there is so much to do here if you like spending your time in museums and galleries.
A personal highlight for me has to be making friends with a Chinese girl who was staying at the hostel (the nationality is important for context), she saw the Chinese knot that I had attached to my bag and explained that it symbolised more than just “good luck” and it warded off negativity to protect me, which was great to hear. She was so entertaining as she conversed with me in a mixture of English, Russian and Chinese; often mixing all three in one sentence. Being friends with her became a game of guess work and a series of mimes as we tried to communicate.
One of the days she invited me to go food shopping with her, and as we put our shoes on she explained why she only had a pair of summer trainers with her during a Russian winter, (she didn’t think that it would be this cold when she left China) I couldn’t stop laughing, she was completely serious. And as soon as we started walking along the street she grabbed my arm and linked onto me as though we were old teenage friends. It makes me smile to imagine what we must have looked like. Being friends with her was incredibly entertaining and I quite often found myself being dragged about by my bag straps as she vaguely explained where we were going whilst dragging me in that direction. But she was just so sweet and friendly that I couldn’t help but go along with it.
In all honesty, she is one of the reasons I look back at Moscow with fond memories.
To making friends!