What to do in Moscow, Russia
- Bolshoi Theatre, (Metro: Ohotnii Ryad, Teatralnaya or Ploshad Revolutsii.), ([email protected]). The grand theatre in the center of the city. Includes ballet, opera, and classical music performances. Tickets usually sell out well in advance. You do not need to dress up to attend. The historic theatre also offers English tours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:15pm
- Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre, 3/2 Karetny Ryad (Hermitage Garden), ([email protected]). Ticket office is open 12:00-15:00 and then again 16:00-19:00.
- Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, B. Dmitrovka.
- Moscow has two circuses, the Nikulin circus on Tsvetnoi Bulvar (metro Tsvetnoi Bulvar), and the new circus near the University. Touts may be selling tickets outside and can save you a lot of queuing, and they’ll speak more English than the ticket office. Sometimes they are selling tickets at the cover price, and sometime at twice the price. Ask and make sure before parting with your cash.
The Obraztsov Puppet Theatre at the very north part of the Garden Ring has performances during the winter in the evening. Everything is in Russian and meant for children, but the stories are simple and quite understandable even if you don’t understand Russian. There is a small box in front of the building where a puppet appears every hour and does a performance. At 12 midday all of the puppets appear for a short but entertaining appearance.
Make sure you visit a Russian bathhouse (banya) while in Moscow, as it’s an important Russian tradition and Russians, especially aged 40+, go at least once a week. Have a hot steam, followed by a good whipping with birch branches. While it’s not the most pleasant experience, the benefits you’ll receive afterward will enable you to understand why Russians are loyal to their banya.
- Sandunovskye Baths(Sanduny), Neglinnaya Str. 14 Building 3-7 (Metro: Kyznetsky Most or Trubnaya. The oldest and most famous Banya in Moscow, it looks like a palace with enormous halls, marble stairs, and frescos. The restaurant serves drinks for the complete after-banya experience. 90-minute guided tours are available on Tuesday evenings. 4-person bath room:
- Pokrovskie Baths, Bagrationovsky proezd, 12 (Metro: Bagrationovskaya). Has a famous steam room with horseradish-flavored steam. Wide selection of brooms from birch tree, tatarian maple, lime tree, and eucalyptus. Prices are cheaper than other banyas.
- Rzehvskye Baths, Bannyi Proezd 3a (Metro: Prospekt Mira). 9AM-10PM. 120 years old but recently renovated.
- Lefortovskie Baths, Lefortovsky Val, 9A (Metro: Aviamotornaya). Famous for its traditionally-Russian massage with brooms soaked in mead where cold water is poured on you to get the blood flowing.
Like any city with snowy winters, Moscow is a great place to go ice skating.
- Gorky Park is most famous but overcrowded and ice is not always in ideal condition;
- Bosco rink on a Red Square is glamorous and easy, although bit costly and not too favoured by advanced skaters.
- Luzhniki has arguably the best ice, although service can be tough and open hours are not always convenient.
- The winter rinks at Chistye Prudy or Izmaylovsky Park are other alternatives.
- Kva-Kva Water Park, Gostinichnaya str. 10:00-22:00. Water Park affiliated with Maxima Hotels (discounts for guests). There are 7 high thrills (90-120m in length) and a pleasant surprise for extremers – Tsunami trill – unique in Russia. There are also 4-line thrills – Multislide and a special area for kids – a small tropical town with shallow pool. Kva-Kva Lagoone offers hydromassage. There’s also pure Russian bath, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath (hamam) and Kva-Kva SPA-salon.
- Hot air balloon ride(high), Suburban Moscow.
- Moscow Zoo, Bolshaya Gruzinskaya str., 1. The oldest and the biggest zoo in Russia, has over 1000 animal species.
- Russian cooking classesare widely available. Learn how to cook “borsh“, “pelmeni”, “uha”, “kelubyaka”, etc. Neither experience nor deep cooking knowledge are required. The one thing you really need is a good mood, willing to communicate and to actively take part in the cooking. Everybody gets involved. The classes are conducted in English by friendly locals.
- Russia Flight Adventures, [email protected] 11:00-19:00. All the activities you can imagine in the Russian skies: skydiving, hot air balloon, helicopter excursions, mig-29 flights, cosmonaut training center excursions.
Parks and gardens
- Alexander Garden, (Metros: Aleksandrovsky Sad). That is one perfect urban public park to get off from the bustle of such mega polis as it is Moscow. It is located between the building of the Moscow Manege and the Kremlin. There are three separates gardens within it, named Upper Garden, Middle Garden and Lower Garden. You can look from the foothill of the Kremlin walls, downward to the outlines of Moscow city. Very nice paths, alleys, fountains, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the monument of running horses, historical monuments to some glorious moments of Russian past and many other interesting things you can find here. The Garden was built upon the order of the Tsar Alexander I after the Napoleonic Wars.
- Gorkiy Park, (Metros: Oktyabrskaya, Park Kultury, Frunzenskaya. It’s almost impossible to find a parking lot nearby on the weekend without breaking the parking rules, so it’s better to get there by bus or on foot). The most well-known of Moscow’s many parks, Gorky Park is one of the trendiest places in the city due to its cafes, places to stroll, an open-air cinema theatre, free Wi-Fi, and contemporary public art projects. In winter, it’s a popular place to ice skate and it hosts an ice sculpture competition. You can rent a boat or bicycle.
- Victory Park– This massive memorial to WWII was built for the 50-year anniversary of V-E day in 1995. On weekends, it is very popular with newlyweds. The park now has its own metro station of the same name (Park Pobedy, on the Dark Blue line). There is also a museum to WWII worth visiting if you like military history.
- Kolomenskoye(Kolomenskiy park). This former imperial estate is now a very popular weekend destination for Muscovites. It is a vast collection of churches and other buildings from the 16 and 17th centuries, including some wooden architecture that was transported here by the Soviet government from Karelia. Free (the park and museum). There are individual fees for each exhibition.
- Park Sokolniki, Metro Sokolniki (It is a short walk from metro station to main gate along the alley. North of park is also accessible directly from Malenkovskaya train station or via a walk from Moskva-3 train station from Yaroslavl direction train line). A popular recreational park, which also hosts an exhibition centre. The place to go to experience the Russian nature without going far away from the centre. This is the place to experience Shashlik (Russian/Geogeian kebab) at a very low price (compared with other places) they can be found selling under huge tents all over the park. The park has an amusement park for the kids so they don’t get bored. For the want to be hunter there are two Tirs bibi gun shooting ranges with only $1.40 per five shots. If you have a lot of time explore the forest deeper in the park you will find hard-to-find-in-America Birch trees and many people picking mushrooms (a national hobby) if you want to taste real Russian spirt this is the best sample. The area is now infested with many high class hotels, such as Holiday Inn and others. One might like to try the goring church of the Jesus Christ, adjacent to park.
- Patriarshi ponds area, Metro Mayakovskaya (From metro walk along Sadovoye Ring, passing Satire and Mossoveta Theatres to Bronnaya street, then turn left.). There is only one pond left, but it is squared with buildings so it is quite peaceful here despite hectic Sadovoye Ring nearby. Here you can take a nice walk and enjoy the mysterious atmosphere, for which the area is famous – due to the novel of Mikhail BulgakovMaster and Margaret (Master i Margarita), which is well-known for its combination of demonology, mysticism, humour, satire, art and love as well as wonderful depictions of Moscow of the thirties. Some moscovites are eager to take a seat on a bench with their back to Malaya Bronnaya Street, as it is a reference to the novel. edit
- Aptekarskiy ogorod, Metro Prospekt Mira. May-Sept 10:00-22:00, Oct-Apr 10:00-17:00. Garden may be closed for 2-3 weeks in April or in other time due to bad weather; for 1-2 weeks in September for gardening works; for day or several hours in case of various events.. One of the few paid-entrance parks in Moscow. Small but very cozy; very carefully maintained; popular for photo sessions on weddings and babies.
- Japanese garden in Botanichesky Sad, (Closest metro is Botanicheskii Sad and entrance to Gardens via a back gate. Routes from Vladykino metro or Botanicheskaya Street gate only slightly longer). Small and well-maintained; excellent for making photos.
- Zaryadye Park. It is a landscape urban park located adjacent to Red Square on the site of the former Rossiya Hotel. See picturesque view of the Kremlin, which visitors can admire “Zaryadye” from the “floating bridge” over the Moskva River. The “floating bridge” in the park “Zaryadye” is a thin air structure in the form of the letter “V” with a large outward extension of the console above the water. It towers over the embankment and seems to hover over the Moscow River. The bridge is unique in Russia: it has a 70-meter console without a single support. The bearing structure of the bridge was made of concrete, and the decorative elements were made of metal. The deck is wooden; the construction withstands a load of 240 tons, corresponding to 3-4 thousand people.
- In one of the pavilions of the Media centre, viewers are shown films about cultural monuments, protected areas and historical places of Russia. In the cinema, three rows of chairs will be located on a movable platform in front of a concave screen, its shape creating a panoramic image. The only digital media hall in Russia with a cylindrical screen and an interactive image will take viewers during the formation of Moscow.
- Ice caveStylized pavilion with an interactive exhibition will tell visitors about the history of development of the Far North.
- Concert Hall.The Philharmonic project is one of the most difficult in the park. On the one hand, the building will be “dug up” into the hill and it will be possible to walk along the roof. Only the glass facade will remain open.
- The amphitheater adjoins to the philharmonic society. It will be covered with a dome, the so-called glass bark, to protect park visitors from the rain. This is the world’s largest translucent structure that will keep the warm climate under it even in winter.
- Attraction Flight over Russiato see all the beauty and breadth of Russia, to visit the Far North, to admire the Ural mountains and the Caucasus ridges, visitors to the 4D-attraction “Flight over Russia” will be able to find themselves in the Far East and the Baltic Sea.