Qualified today as the largest capital of Europe with its ten million inhabitants, Moscow is a holiday destination that is both authentic and original.
Unfortunately, a one week stay is not enough to tour this magnificent megalopolis.
The great classics of Moscow
It was only when I arrived there that I realized how seven days were too fair to explore the must-see sights of the Russian capital. I had no time to waste. So, just an hour after arriving at my hotel, with mera in my hand, I stormed the very famous Red Square.
The nerve center of Moscow, the place truly lives up to its reputation. And for my greatest happiness, its pharaonic paved esplanade of fifty-two thousand square meters is entirely pedestrianized. From there, I headed without further ado to the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed, the very symbol of classical and traditional Moscow architecture (photo above).
It is of course its red brick facades and the roofs of its multicolored dome-shaped chapels that are the focus of attention. However, if you have time, do not miss to visit its basements either. After having stocked up on photos, my next stop was Lenin’s Mausoleum. The remains of this communist leader are in fact on display there to the general public.
However, seeing the very long queue in front of the entrance to the site, I preferred to visit the State Historical Museum instead. The following days, I devoted myself entirely to the Kremlin, a high place of history which also houses many monuments and religious buildings. Among the must-sees in this area are the Grand Kremlin Palace, The Arsenal, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Cathedral of Archangel St. Michael.
Where to go shopping in Moscow?
But fortunately, the leisure and activities of the capital do not boil down only to the exploration of its historical and religious buildings. The city is also full of shopping and shopping centers. Having opened their doors at the end of the nineteenth century, the shopping arcades of Goum ( Glavny Ouniversalny Magazin ) are extremely popular with Russians and therefore very busy.
It is also a popular place for tourists. What’s more, the building sits at the very heart of Red Square. Nearly two hundred shops share the endless marble alley of Goum. You can easily rub shoulders with millionaires and the nouveau riche of Moscow. However, oddly this excess and this luxury did not really mark me.
Indeed, I was especially impressed by Arbat Street. Whatever time of day, this bustling commercial artery has no shortage of small local shops. They are warm and welcoming signs ideal for finding vacation memories to bring back to family and friends. Cafes and restaurants also abound here for those who want to sample the local cuisine. Otherwise, matryoshkas, traditional clothes, lacquered boxes in the style of Fabergé eggs are traded at high prices on the Izmaylovo flea market. For those who speak Russian, haggling is very common there.