explore Moscow, Russia

Cities near Moscow, Russia

Since Moscow is the biggest transportation centres in Russia and one of main the points of entry for the foreign tourists, it is a convenient starting point for exploring much of European Russia. Even travelling through Moscow to Ukraine and some Caucasian and Central Asian countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan etc.) could be cheaper than direct flights from Europe/North America. Travel deals to Moscow are not rare and ticket prices are often pretty low within the former USSR.

  • Saint Petersburg– 13 different overnight trains leave Moscow for the 7 hr (or thereabouts) journey, arriving the next morning. You can either take the sleeper trains, which is a very interesting experience. Russians have a “train” culture, so it’s very possible that you will meet your bunk mates and have a meal and drink with them. You can also take the high-speed Sapsan trains – they take about 4 hours, and the vistas rushing by are very lovely. You might even consider paying the extra money for a first class sleeper cabin which has two comfortable beds. Included in the price is a small snack for supper and breakfast. There is also an attendant for each carriage who is willing to make tea in classic metal and glass tea glasses. A very civilized way to travel.
  • Arkhangelskoye- One of the finest of Moscow Oblast’s usadbas (estates) is only a short elektrichka ride away from Moscow and makes a fine day excursion.
  • Golden Ring– Old cities and towns rich in historical buildings, situated in the heartland of Muscovy Russia. There are many tourist companies organizing guided tours, but travellers with rudimentary knowledge of Cyrillic alphabet can do it independently. Many guidebooks are available in English.
  • Kubinka Tank Museum- One of finest armor collections in the world. About one hour west of the city, accessible by local train (eletrichka) or REKS express train (blue trains with Dachshund on the train cars), and take cab or marshrutka N59 to the “Tankoviy Muzey” bus stop (after the arriving to the bus stop you should to walk 600 meters on foot along the road until you reach museum checkpoint) from the train station. Earlier access was restricted; previously visitors had to apply for a permit. Only a photocopy of the visa and the passport is required for the entrance (at least for EU citizens). Entrance for kids under 6 years old is free. Definitely worth the bother for any self-respecting tank buff.
  • Leninskiye Gorki- An old country estate, expropriated by the Communist authorities after 1917 and used by V. Lenin as his country residence when he became ill. Large museum, although pretty decrepit now.
  • Borodino battlefield- This is the site of the famous Battle of Borodino. Museum and national historic site. Commuter trains from Belorussky Station; 2-3 daily. Travel time about 2 hours.
  • Monino- home of the Central Air Force Museum.
  • Kulikovo Field- a historical area of famous 1380 Kulikovo battle against mongol invaders
  • Melikhovo (Chekhov’s country house south of Moscow)
  • Sergiev Posad- Famous old Orthodox monastery (Troitse-Sergieva Lavra). Commuter trains from Yaroslavsky Station, several daily; travel time about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Kolomna- A nice medieval town (about 2 hrs from Moscow) with a number of very interesting churches and monasteries
  • Yasnaya Polyana (Leo Tolstoy’s country house close to Tula)
  • Klin- A small town in Moscow Region hosting the House-Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky
  • Peredelkino- a dacha complex just southwest of Moscow with museum-houses of many prominent Russian poets and writers (e.g. Pasternak, Yevtushenko, Okudzhava, Chukovsky)
  • New Jerusalem Resurrection Monastery- A monastery-fortress (male, working) with a number of museums inside and next to the walls: Wooden architecture museum, local history museum, Art and History museum etc. The monastery was founded in 1656 by Tzar Alexis II and Patriarch Nikon (his “cell”, a three-storey house stands in the park outside the monastery walls) to resemble the original Jerusalem. The place is roughly between Novoierusalimskaya (15 min on foot) and Istra (15 min by bus) elektrichka stations, around 60 km from Moscow.
  • Savvino-Storozhevskiy monastery- A beautiful monastery with interesting history, closely connected to Russian Tzars. Commuter trains from Belorussky station to Zvenigorod, several daily; travel time about an hour, but the terminus of the elektrichka is 2 miles from the town, which boasts a number of historically significant churches itself, and about 3 miles from the monastery, which is on a nearby hill.
  • Dmitrov- A town about 65 km North from Moscow (trains from Savelovsky station, several daily, travel time 1 1/2 hours), on Moscow Channel, with old churches, interesting sculptures in the streets and a number of museums. Hot air balloon flights over Dmitrov area are possible.
  • Snegiri- Settlement about 40 km from Moscow (Volokolamskoe hwy) that boasts a monument to the Defense of Moscow during WW2, with a good collection of tanks, and a museum. Trains from Rizhsky Station, several daily, travel time about an hour.
  • Smolensk- A very worthwhile day trip to one of the oldest Russian cities with an ancient fortress. Buses and trains leave from Belorussky Railway Terminal several times a day, cost from 800 RUB and take about 5.5 hours.
  • Balakovo – about a 1000 km south-east from Moscow, a jewel on Volga river with nice natural sceneries, wonderful and cheap food, warm and hospital people. 21hrs train will take you directly from Moscow to Balakovo. Many Moscow inhabitants prefer to spend summer camping on the island Pustynniy Ostrov near Balakovo to enjoy warm beaches, fresh fish and vegetables, as well as to get rest in a quiet place after noisy Moscow life.