- Main Airports – Domodedovo (DME) and Sheremetyevo (SVO)
- Currency – Russian Ruble (RUB)
- Official Languages – Russian
- Population – 13 million
- GDP – $1.9 trillion (10th Overall)
Moscow is the 860-year-old capital and financial center of Russia, with a population of 13 million. One tenth of Russian citizens live in the Moscow metropolitan area.
American citizens must obtain a tourist visa before traveling to Moscow. This visa will allow you to stay in Russia for up to 30 days for your visit. We recommend applying at least three months before your visit. Note: expect to pay $193 USD for the 30-day tourist visa.
Consider the climate when packing for Moscow! For a typical snowy Russian winter, you should bring your gloves, hats, snow boots and a warm winter coat. On the other hand, their summer temperatures can be higher than 70° F. If going on a summer trip, pack shorts, t-shirts and light jackets for evening walks.
The subway in Moscow is the most popular and one of the cheapest ways to get around the city. The system can get confusing, so it’s a good idea to get a subway map for your backpack.
Also, Google Translate or a small English-Russian dictionary can help you get around. For example, it will help you recognize street signs and ask basic questions
You can change American dollars to Russian rubles in any bank or exchange kiosk. It is not a good idea to change dollars to rubles in airports though because it’s going to be more expensive.
One of the most popular places to visit is the Red Square. It is surrounded by St. Basil’s Cathedral, the State History Museum, Lenin’s Mausoleum and one of the Kremlin’s long brick walls. It is interesting to note that the color of this square is not red. The name comes from the Russian word “krasniy,” which means “beautiful.
Most of the time the Red Square is pretty crowded. If you do not like big crowds, the best time to visit this gorgeous place is either early morning or late evening. If you decide to go in the evening and want to take the subway, remember that the subway is closed after 1 a.m. Admission to the square and Lenin’s Mausoleum is free; however, you will need tickets for St. Basil’s Cathedral and the State History Museum The price of tickets is RUB 350 ($5) for adults and RUB 100 (around $1.50) for students.
The Kremlin Museum Complex
The complex includes the Armoury Collection of royal clothing and chariots, the Diamond Fund, churches, the Patriarch Palace and the Bell Tower (open only in the summer). If you want to have a guided tour, you should book it early, because it fills very fast. Photography is prohibited in most churches and museums. The admission cost is RUB 350-700 ($5-$10).
The Moscow subway has one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Every single station has its own impressive design and architecture. Novoslobodskaya, Komsomolskaya, Mayakovskaya and PloschadRevolutsii are some of the most gorgeous stations in Moscow subway. The price of one ride is RUB 40 ($0.60).
This museum has one of the biggest collections of Russian art. If you have time for just one museum, this gallery should be your choice. Be ready to spend at least two hours walking among masterpieces of the greatest Russian artists. The audio tour may be a good option for you.
Thanks to this service you can learn a lot of interesting information about most of the art pieces in the gallery, in multiple languages. The admission price is RUB 400 for adults and RUB 150 for students and seniors.
Have you been in many famous touristic places and now want to visit parts of Moscow which are not very popular among tourists, but are still very interesting? I have a couple of ideas for you!
Despite the fact that this part of Moscow is not a very popular place for tourists, you can find a lot of things to do there! For example, you can visit numerous exhibitions, listen to live music during summer festivals or rent roller skates or a boat. Concerts are free and museum admissions are RUB 50 (less than one dollar). If you want to rent a boat, you should pay RUB 1000 deposit (around $15).
Wakeboarding in Serebryany Bor
If you love having fun and outdoors activities, this is the perfect thing to do! The price depends on the time you want to spend wakeboarding – RUB 1400 ($20) for 15 minutes, RUB 2800 ($40) for 30 minutes, etc. You will receive special equipment and training with your ride.
Russian cuisine is very diverse because this country is one of the largest in the world. Russians love different kinds of soups, salads with a variety of dressings, and many meat dishes. One of the most famous Russian dishes is a soup called “shchi” – soup based on cabbage and meat. Also, a dish called “blini” is very popular –thin pancakes served with sour cream or caviar. One of the most popular Russian meals is called pelmeni. It is made of pork and beef wrapped in thin dough. If you like delicious and diverse food, you should definitely visit Russia.
Restaurants in Moscow
- Budget – “Yolky-Palky” – the restaurant that serves traditional Russian food. You can order an all-you-can-eat plate for RUB 300 (less than $5).
- Mid-range – “The Old Tower” – here you can find a large selection of Russian cuisine. The price for dinner for two people is around RUB 2000 ($35).
- High-class – “Café Pushkin” – one of the most popular and expensive places to eat in Moscow, this restaurant serves delicious Russian meals and beverages, including shchi and pelmeni. Dinner for two people will cost around RUB 10,000.
If you love amusement parks, you should visit Gorky Park! In the summer there are a number of fun things to do, including roller coasters and live open-air concerts. If you decide to go to Moscow in the winter, you still have many amazing opportunities. There is one of the biggest ice rinks in the word. If you do not have your own equipment, you can rent ice skates for RUB 100-200 per hour.
The Bolshoi Theatre is the most famous theatre in Russia. It has been renovated several times. The main building is the landmark of Moscow and Russia. In the Bolshoi, you can enjoy ballet and opera performances. The ticket prices depend on the performance and the time of the show. The price range is from RUB 3,000 to RUB 40,000.