Top 6 Things to see and do in Moscow, Russia

moscow russia backpacking

Lenin’s Mausoleum – top 6 things to see and do in Moscow, Russia.

Well Russia – it’s been a while. It was almost 6 years since I took my backpack to Moscow in Russia and set about sightseeing in this immense historic capital city. Finally then and just cos (deliberate “working class typing error” there) I’m off to Azerbaijan soon (an ex Soviet state), better late than never is a more condensed overview, my top 6 things to see and do in Moscow, Russia. (I normally do only a top 5 but threw in an extra one).

1. Lenin’s Mausoleum

Get to see the man himself in his Mausoleum in Red Square! Lenin – the revolutionary leader is here in this very obvious building. There are a few things to note, it’s only open early in the morning, and it closes twice a week. You cannot take cameras, videos etc. in with you. Backpacks might also be banned. Wrote an overview here: Red Square/Lenin

lenins mausoleum in moscow

Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow.

2. Gorky Park

I found myself singing the lines “follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park, listening to the Wind of Change” when I was backpacking in Moscow. Gorky Park is a massive central park which is not only famous politically and historically, but it’s been in a few films and was once an amusements park. It’s extremely nice for a walk!

gorky park moscow

Gorky Park – once a theme park!

3. The Kremlin

Where it’s at in Moscow and the second attraction on this list to be in Red Square. Inside its walls are a load of palaces and 5 cathedrals and some striking domes. You can get a tour, but do obey the rules! This is Russia.

moscow kremlin jonny blair

The Instantly Recognisable Kremlin in Moscow

4. Arbat Street

A great quirky street with markets, cobbled stones, bars, restaurants. We did it by day and by night. Yes it’s a tad “touristy” but after all, I was a tourist…at night we just went out on the beers and later had vodka with the locals. There are also places to try local Russian food.

arbat street in moscow

Beers with the lads in Moscow in and around Arbat Street.

5. Stalin’s 7 Towers

These tall towers built by Stalin (well, not personally) are the trademark of Eastern Europe and Communist Russia. I have also seen his towers in Warsaw and Minsk. Moscow houses 7 of them, dispersed in different parts of the city. I made it to two of them, one of which was now a University.

stalin towers in moscow

The towers that Stalin built…

6. St. Basil’s Cathedral

This Cathedral is typical of Moscow and basically it would be ridiculous to go to Moscow and not see it! It’s also the third place on this list that is in Red Square. So if you’re tight for time, you can stroke off a hat-trick easily (The Kremlin and Lenin’s Mausoleum being the other two)

jonny blair moscow

Outside St Basils Cathedral in Moscow in Russia – my early backpacking days in fact…

There’s a few other things you need to bear in mind though, before you head to Moscow, and this is important as you need a Visa:

– Get some flights to Moscow booked (unless of course you’re doing the Transiberian)

– Make sure you book a hotel first in Moscow

– Then get the hotel/hostel to confirm you are staying there (needed for the visa)

– Get your visa (the important bit!!)

That’s all you’ll need to know, and sadly my trip to Russia was only to see Moscow. I am gagging to get back and do the Transiberian Railway as well as maybe St. Petersburg, Yekateringburg (got a mate there) and Vladivostok.

One of my videos from Moscow:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
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8 Responses to Top 6 Things to see and do in Moscow, Russia

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  3. Ray says:

    Did you find getting your Russian Visa was very difficult? I am contemplating going there for the 2018 World Cup, but mainly to watch matches in the obscure host cities, like Samara, Rostov-on-Don, etc. so I could see the “real Russia” while I am there.
    Ray recently posted…Lucas Oil Stadium – My Visit to One of the Top 10 NFL Stadiums!My Profile

  4. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Ray, For the 2018 World Cup, Russia will be visa free for MOST nationalities (probably those who qualify and a few others). It was also the same when they hosted the Champions League Final in 2008. Back in 2007 however, the visa was trickier to get. I got it the same time as my Belarus visa from the Embassies in London and at the time I worked for a PR firm so I had no issues that time. Might see you there in 2018? Safe travels. Jonny

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  7. Joanna: price recruitment says:

    I am really interested by the 7 Towers and the Soviet plans for the city. That and the underground stations which I have read lots about.

  8. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Joanna, thanks for the comment. I hope you enjoy your time in Moscow. Safe travels. Jonny

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