Moscow – Russia’s Architectural Wonder !

Delhi to Moscow has been my longest continuous flight till date. Engrossed in my dream book series, six and an half hours didn’t seem too long to a Potterhead like me ! Hence with my glasses half on my nose, I was deep in Harry’s tales of Hogwarts when I heard the announcement to fasten the seat belt for landing. It’s then I peeped out to a lovely bird’s eye view of the Moscow city. Moscow, the current capital of world’s largest country Russia, was named after the picturesque Moskva river which meanders through it.

 

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Aerial view of Moskva river !
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Ground view of the mighty Moskva !

 

From the Sheremetyevo airport we took an airport express to Belorussky train station to reach our hotel. We had a booking for three nights at Holiday Inn Lesnaya. We found the location of the hotel to be ideal for tourists. If you just have backpacks like us, the distance between the station and the hotel can be easily covered by foot.

 

 

Very near to the Belorussky train station was the Belorusskaya metro station, so popular sight seeings were just a metro ride away. Moscow subway system is worldwide famous for its rich art and 44 out of 200 subway stations are rated as cultural heritage sites. Its undoubtedly one of the most beautifully constructed underground metro. The paintings, statues and fountains make it the most accessible art museum ever. Even if metro is not your most favoured conveyance you must visit this cleanest and efficient underground world with cultural significance. Its steep elevators and incredibly fast but economical rides will leave you amazed.

We took a 48 hour metro travel pass and hopped on and off at popular sights, malls and flea markets. All beautifully connected to each other using a circle line for the city centre and radial lines connecting the centre to the suburbs.

 

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Since we spent our early mornings and late evenings in central Moscow, where our hotel was located we could explore it more than the other areas. Adorned by high-rise buildings and churches this business district had enough cafes, eateries, pubs and salons suiting every pocket and temperament. Departmental stores for snacks and knick knacks were scattered all over the area.

 

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Moscow is an architectural paradise with palaces, churches, fortresses, high rise buildings and mammoth bridges. It is also considered as one of the most expensive city in the world. You can spot hundreds of Hummers and Bentleys on the road and high end malls like GUM and TSUM exhibits luxury brands with stunning architecture. GUM mall is also one of the best looking malls in the world.

 

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When it comes to shopping Moscow is pretty diverse too. If you are looking for budget options there are plenty of malls which sell street wear fashion at throwaway prices. We also bought clothes in sale from the Swedish brand H&M at lower rates than our home country. So if you know where to look, Moscow is full of such hidden treasures. Try Okhotny Road mall on Kremlin (opposite to Four Seasons hotel).

 

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Izmailova flea market near Partizanskaya metro station is an all year round market which sells souvenirs at cheap rates. If you are looking for Russian matroska dolls or Soviet army brooches, then this is the right place to buy them in bulk. We bought handmade bottles to be used as showpieces.

 

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With a mere 72 hours in Moscow, we took a 1 day unlimited hop on hop off bus tour with a 360 degree panoramic view of the most popular sights. With some additional charges a boat tour could also be added to this bus tour to get a different view of the sights from the Moskva river. There are red and green colour buses which takes you to 18 and 27 attractions respectively. Board any of them or keep changing according to your convenience and time. Though we immensely enjoyed hopping on and off at sights but we recommend using public transports since it gives you the liberty to roam on your own. Also these tours depend entirely on the discretion of the driver and they sometime stop for long hours without any valid reason forcing tourists to board other red/green buses. In our case the reason was technical break.

 

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On our bus tour and in between walks, we witnessed Moscow’s popular sights which define the city for us. The Grand Kremlin Palace would be one of them. Former residence of the Royal prince, Kremlin is now home for the President of Russia. Built in the 14th century using local pale sandstone, Kremlin is a UNESCO world heritage site.

 

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Grand Kremlin
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Lost in the view of Kremlin while tourists flock around it !

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Right opposite to the Kremlin is the Four Seasons hotel !

 

Up next was St.Basil’s cathedral, the most impressive site in Moscow with its onion shaped domes. History of this legendary cathedral is much similar to the story of Taj Mahal, on its completion the then ruler ordered the architect’s eyes to be cut out so he could never create a masterpiece like it again.

 

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St. Basil’s Cathedral

 

There is so much to see and do in Moscow that any number of hours or words cannot do justice to it. I have highlighted only the most popular and impressive works of art which has left an indelible mark on our mind. I am sure there are many other wonderful places to explore in Moscow, we shall return again and write about the rest in details. Until then, we boarded a yellow cab just like the ones in Kolkata and left for the airport.

 

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Have you been to Moscow? Which other places would you like to add to the list ?

 

 

 

29 Comments Add yours

  1. Dancing with Dreams says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Russia, had no idea there was that much to see. Definitely adding this to my holiday destination list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dancing with Dreams says:

    Brilliant post, would love to visit Russsia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really want to go to Moscow I have been to St Petersburg and loved it but I am a bit wary of travelling there solo for some reason. The architecture does look great though so I might have a look at going in 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eric Gamble says:

    Exploring the Kremlin & St Basil’s are definitely on my Russia Bucket List! I had no idea that the Metro stations were such amazing destinations. I love the art of Train Stations so I will definitely add that too. It does irk me though that it has become such an expensive and commercial city

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joy Generoso says:

    Architectures in Russia are truly impressive. The St. Basil’s Cathedral looks like a candy. Hopefully I’ll get to visit Russia in the future.

    Liz Gen

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Indu says:

    Your beautiful pictorial post brings alive my memories of Moscow. So much to be explored in this architectural wonder and culturally rich city.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. MeaghanC says:

    I have always wanted to travel to Russia and visit Moscow. Loved your post! So much to explore in this diverse city – thanks for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. annakapys says:

    oh Gosh! how much money did I spend on buying souvenirs from that market. Hats, gloves, scarves… Russia is my fave souvenir paradise! I love architecture in Moscow (the soviet architecture is so powerful!!!) and the history – I lived in Russia for 2 months last summer and it was great. To your Moscow list I would add VDNKh park and the cosmonautics museum nearby – these are my fave!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow what a great tour you have here. this is my dream destination, I would really want to come here and visit this incredible place. Basil’s Cathedral is amazing I have read its history and I love it. Anyways I love your photos and I’ll surely take that hop on hop off bus tour with a 360 degree panoramic view as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jem says:

    Looks like you packed a lot into such a short time frame! Beautiful pictures and wonderful description!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bookmarking this post for a ready reference whenever I plan to visit Moscow! Thanks for the great writeup…almost felt like traveling through Moscow. You should write for Lonely Planet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Some great photos, I would love to visit Moscow one day!

    Like

  13. Manoj says:

    Moscow is a historical place and the land of literature. Love it. Your post is a reference guide for Russian travellers. Thanks for the share,

    Like

  14. postcardstoriesblog says:

    The city that is larger and richer than some countries 🙂 It’s on my wishlist for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s two posts about Russia I’ve read today. I’m taking this as a sign that I’ll be visiting soon! Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Some stunning views that is just made have to add Russia to my bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Alexander Popkov says:

    🙂 Nonono , go St. Petersburg instead. that isn’t that good. Kidding, I am from St. Petersburg, and we have “friendly competition” with Moscow. I haven’t been to Moscow for long, the city has changed a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Chronis says:

    Pretty nice post! A lot of info and pics too! Moscow looks like such an interesting place, I would love to visit the city one day!!

    PS. HP is life 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I had never thought about subway stations as possible heritage sites. That is so cool. What an amazing place to visit (though I’m sure you wish you had more days there to explore!)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’ve heard the designs of the subway stations in Moscow are beautiful and your photos of St. Basil’s Cathedral are amazing. You’re totally making me wanna go to Russia!

    Like

  21. Travelquartz says:

    My longest flight was from Delhi to SF …. I think Moscow is beautiful ,Great pictures shared, noted for my future visit. Really fun place .

    Like

  22. GetLost&BeFound says:

    Great post! I have always wanted to see St. Basil’s Cathedral in person. I didn’t know there was so much more amazing architecture in Moscow beyond it!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This trip takes me back to my Scandinavian adventure, where Russian influence is evidently visible in the architecture and culture..Although, after reading your post I’m more tempted to visit Russia for its subtle architecture and heritage..cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. What a beautiful place and so full of history. What great pictures.

    Like

  25. Teja says:

    Were there really mosques (like, plural!) where you stayed? That’s something new I didn’t know before.

    Like

  26. Alexander Popkov says:

    Haven’t been to Moscow for long! More than 7 years. Looks like the city has changed for the better.

    Like

  27. Shaily says:

    Moscow looks incredibly beautiful! I love the fascinating architecture of Grand Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral. I would love to explore the cultural heritage subway station – sounds impressive! Moskva river looks stunning. Seems like a lovely way to explore the city. I like those hand made bottles as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Eva says:

    The longest flight I’ve been on was a 16-hour flight from San Francisco to Bangkok. I thought I was going crazy towards the end cause I struggle with sleeping on flights (as in I can’t). The city is beautiful…but the malls look amazing! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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