As a city that has been around for over eight centuries, it’s no surprise that Moscow is filled with plenty of history to explore. Beneath the huge glass and steel skyscrapers of the city, there are many historical sites in Moscow that visitors can’t afford to miss out on. If you’re planning a walking tour of Moscow to visit all of the most important and most popular historic sites, here are some of the key areas that you can’t miss.
As the political center of the city over the centuries, the Kremlin is the residence of the Russian president and is a must-see for most visitors to the city. Not only can you get amazing views and photographs of the building from the outside, but you can also take a Kremlin tour to learn more about its history and its several cathedrals, the Armory and Ivan the Great Bell Tower. If you’re planning a trip to Russia, the Kremlin is a historical building and the iconic calling card of Moscow that simply can’t be missed.
St. Basil’s Cathedral:
Built to celebrate the conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible, St Basil’s Cathedral is considered by many to be one of the most iconic sites in all of Russia. With unique onion-shaped domes and a colorful façade, it’s one-of-a-kind in Russian history. It’s included in all good walking tours of the city, where you can hear more about the building and its interesting history.
Head to the red square, situated adjacent to the Kremlin and an area that has held a significant place in Russian history for centuries. Beginning life as a marketplace, the Red Square became a popular place over time for ceremonies, religious processions, coronations, and public proclamations. There are various attractions surrounding Red Square including St Basil’s Cathedral, the Kazan Cathedral, and the famous GUM department store. Several key museums are also located here including Lenin’s Mausoleum and the State Historical Museum. Most tours of Moscow will stop here.
Kitay Gorod Neighborhood:
Situated adjacent to Red Square you will find the Kitay Gorod neighborhood, which is one of the oldest quarters in the city. It was first settled in the thirteenth century and is home to a range of sixteen- and seventeen-century churches. You’ll also find the Romanov house, which was built by the grandfather of the first Romanov tsar, Mikhail Romanov.
State Historical Museum of Russia:
Finally, no historical tour of Moscow would be complete without a visit to the State Historical Museum of Russia, which offers millions of exhibits from the Stone Age through to the 19th century where you can explore the history of Russia over time. Here you will find several interesting exhibits including the largest collection of coins in Russia, gold artifacts from the Scythians, a Greek sarcophagus from the fourth century BC, and a replica of the throne of Ivan the Terrible.
As Moscow and Saint Petersburg are pretty much inseparable and are often visited during one trip, you can spice up your travel by adding Finland to the mix! You can start with the Helsinki trip, then take a fast Allegro train to St. Petersburg to stay there for a few days, before setting off to the country’s capital on a St Petersburg to Moscow train! Sounds like an awesome vacation, right?