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
The travel agency picked out a hotel for us. I was in touch with the head of the reservations department, Melnikov, in the first week of March to request for visa support. Since we were arriving in Moscow at 0530, I asked if we can check-in early. It was kind of him to offer us the room free of charge if our room was available Unfortunately, the hotel was full that day. We had to wait for a couple of hours. Aquamarine Hotel is a four star hotel which is 20 minutes walk from the Kremlin.
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 While the project never went beyond its fundamental plans and was later withdrawn, the Russian people decided to rebuild the church in 1995.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!
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.