Top Places To Visit in Moscow
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Weekend Getaways from Moscow
Moscow, the capital of Russia, is emerging as a great layover destination with the Russian national carrier, Aeroflot, providing cheaper flights to Europe, from India, than any other carrier right now. To venture out of the city, you need a transit visa. Russia issues a transit visa for up to three days to Indian citizens on the basis of confirmed tickets and a valid visa/ passport to the final destination country or of a neighbouring Asian country. You can know more and apply for your transit visa for Russia here.What to see in Moscow?You must have at least an eight-hour long layover to explore this city.If you’re in Moscow in the morning or early afternoon, go directly to the main Red Square. The must see sites in the square are St.Basil's Cathedral and Lenin’s Mausoleum. Grab lunch at Varenichnaya, a traditional Russian restaurant serving dumplings, borscht, pork shoulder and other local delicacies.
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St. Basil's Cathedral
The first thing you'll probably notice after entering the Red Square is the beautifully colored onion domes of the Basil Cathedral, and a magical view of one of the most famous landmarks in Russia. But it's interesting to know that the bright colors were only added 200 years later to its exterior walls. Another funny note is that the former dictator Josef Stalin wasn't really happy about how the location of the church blocked the entrance to the Red Square for his mass demonstrations, so he considered demolishing the cathedral. Luckily, someone made him change his mind.
Stalin used to call them the 'palaces of the people', and the Moscow Metro station truly does seem like a palace. Every ride on the Moscow Metro is a majestic journey. You will be amazed by the fancy chandeliers, the beautiful wall adornments and the marble abutments. Every station tells you a different story about Russia's history. Another exciting highlight is the escalators that take you up or down the stations. Sometimes you aren't even able to see the end, especially at the Park Podeby Station where you can find the longest escalator in the world, measuring 126 meters. Nine million people use the Moscow Metro every day. Must visit stations: Mayakovskaya/Маяковская, Prospekt Mira/Проспект Мира, Arbatskaya/Арба́тская Kievskaya/Киевская, Komsomolskaya/Комсомо́льская, Novoslobodskaya/Новослободская, Belorusskaya/Белору́сская
There is no way around the Red Square and the bordering Kremlin. The center of Russia's capital is a magnet for tourists and one of the most iconic squares in the world. As many people assume, the name Red Square does not originate from the pigment of the surrounding bricks nor from the link between the color red and communism. The Russian word "Krasnaya" (The name of the square is Krasnaya Ploshchad) can be translated to either "beautiful" or "red".
Should Lenin finally be buried or not? That is a very common question, as Lenin's embalmed body has been on public display for almost 90 years. During the Second World War his body was brought to Siberia when it appeared that Moscow might be in danger of invasion by Nazi Germany. For a while he was even joined by Josef Stalin. The structure is built with elements of several great mausoleums like Cyrus the Great and the Step Pyramid. The mausoleum opens its gates every day from 10:00 to 13:00 excluding holidays. Try to pay Lenin a visit before he disappears for good.
Ostankino TV Tower
Holy Trinity Church in Ostankino: On the way to Ostankino Tower, we saw a beautiful church and later, we found out that it is the Trinity Church in Ostankino. It is built in the 17th century. We were simply in awe. We went in and I could not help but take a photo of the prayer room.
Ostankino Television Tower
I have a thing for tall buildings and the Moscow TV tower is one of the most impressive towers I have seen. The structure is one of the tallest in the world, measuring 540 meters. For the last couple of years the observation platform has been closed due to a fire in 2000 and has just recently opened to the public again. You can get an amazing view from up there. Parts of the floor are made of glass so it feels like you can literally walk in the sky, but let me warn you, it can be quite scary.
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
The Saviour Church has a very special story to tell. After Napoleon retreated from Moscow the idea was introduced to honor Christ with a church for saving Russia. The church took more than 40 years to be built, only to be blown up in 1931 by the order of Josef Stalin. The demolition was supposed to make way for a 400 meter tall palace with a massive Lenin Statue on the top. While the project never went beyond its fundamental plans and was later withdrawn, the Russian people decided to rebuild the church in 1995. The church is also known for Pussy Riot's infamous protest against Vladimir Putin in 2012.
Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU)
Some of the students claim that it is the tallest educational building in the world. I, at least, can say that it is one of the most beautiful examples of architecture I have ever seen. The main tower is 240 meters tall and was the tallest building in Europe until 1990. It is situated near the Moscow Olympic Stadium and is one of the most tremendous sights of the Russian capital. The complex is so big that some people say it would take you 18 years to visit every room!