15 Things to Do in Moscow If You Are Visiting for the First Time

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Moscow is a fascinating city that is rich in both history and culture. Several attractions are packed into Russia’s capital and they range from stunning to quirky. The sheer number of sights to see and things to do make planning a trip here can be quite daunting, especially if it’s your first time. But don’t worry as this list will guide you on the many fun and satisfying experiences in Moscow.

15. Visit the Cosmonaut Museum

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Russia was among the countries heavily invested in the space race and this museum features exhibits related to the country’s space exploration activities. Among the displays here include a replica of the MIR station. Plus, you can experience what life in space is like by trying out some astronaut food.

14. Spend time exploring the Moscow Metro

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The train stations in Moscow are more than just buildings that people pass through to get to their destination; they are a work of art. The Metro connects different stations and each one is as extravagant as the last. So do take time to explore these palace-like structures when traveling the city.

13. Try out some Soviet-era arcade games

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Just like its name suggests, The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines features arcade machines from the Soviet Union. The machines aren’t just there for display – they can be played too.

12. See a performance

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Moscow has more than 90 professional and amateur theaters so you have no shortage of options should you want to see a performance. The Bolshoi Theatre features world-class performers while theaters such as the Maly, Art, Vakhtangov and Taganka have received recognition for staging classical plays.

11. Watch talented cats perform

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The Kuklachyov Cat Theater features different breeds of cats doing all sorts of stuff on stage. It’s a treat for those who love furry felines with an added bonus of seeing them perform stunts.

10. Go on a walking tour

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Walking is one of the best ways to explore a place that’s new to you and Moscow is no exception. Through this excursion, you get to take in many centuries of the city’s history as well as see some lesser known sites. If you don’t like doing this on your own, you can hire a guide to help you out.

9. Enjoy a sauna

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What better way to relax after touring the city than going to the sauna? Open since 1808, the Sanduny Baths is the oldest one in Moscow. If you’re not coming in for the service, seeing the building’s interior is enough.

8. Visit a flea market

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Heading to the markets gives you a taste of local culture. Not only are the stalls filled with items to commemorate your trip, you can also enjoy the local cuisine.

7. See the statue of Peter the Great

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As his name suggests, Peter the Great was one of the best rulers of Russia. One of his legacies is the establishment of the Russian Navy. To commemorate the 300th year of its establishment, a 98-meter high monument was erected near the Moskva River.

6. Go church hopping

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St Basil’s Cathedral is a colorful delight but there are so many more that dot Russia’s capital. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is another gem as is the The Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin.

5. Visit an art gallery

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Moscow is home to several art galleries and one of the most popular is the Tretyakov Gallery, where a number of Russian fine art is displayed. Other places to view art include the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Dom Nashchokina Gallery and the Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art.

4. Explore a museum

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You won’t have a difficult time finding a place to visit should you want to go on a cultural trip to Russia. With more than 450 museums to choose from, you may even find it daunting to pick just one. There are so many good options including the Armoury, the Bunker-42 Cold War Museum, the Gulag History Museum, the Jewish Museum and Centre of Tolerance, the Tolstoy Estate Museum, the Gogol House and the Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, among others.

3. Stroll around a garden

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Be it parks, formal gardens or botanical gardens, there are a number of options for strolling about in nature in Moscow. The Kuzminki Park is best visited in the spring and the Alexandrovsky Garden next to the Kremlin is best for when you’re already in the Red Square.

2. Eat like a local

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There are a number of impressive restaurants popping up all over Moscow but one of the best local life experiences you can have is drinking vodka chased by salo, which is pork that is low in meat but high in fat; it helps you stay sober.

1. Take in the wonderful sights of the Red Square

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Where better to start a tour of Moscow than at the Red Square? It’s the heart and soul of Russia and the structures you get to see are a feast for the eyes. This is where you’ll find the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral and Lenin’s Mausoleum – just to name a few.

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