The famous Red Square (Krasnaya Ploshchad) has always been a place of great public events like political rallies, demonstrations and military parades.
The square has a slight curvature and dimensions of about 400 m length and 150 m width.
It is surrounded by many well worthseeing sights like the Lenin Mausoleum, St. Basil's Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, the Lobnoe Mesto, the GUM Department Store, the Kremlin Walls and the Historical Museum.
For detailed information about some of these sights, please have a look at my "Things to Do Tips".
Go right to the heart of the...
Go right to the heart of the city. RED SQUARE is where you should start your adventure. To see ST. BASILS CATHEDRAL for the first time is magical. Seeing the KREMLIN walls with its 3 ton red star on top of the KREMLIN CLOCK TOWER. You realize you are not in kansas anymore.
telephony in Moskve
One thing you may notice, and it may confuse you, is that there are many different city codes for Moscow when dialing. This is not surprising in a city the size of Moscow with a population of more than 12 million inhabitants and almost as many mobile phones.
So to dial from abroad you do not drop the zero as is common in Continental Europe. For example the country code for Russia is 7 and one of the city codes for Moscow is 095, therefore you would dial +7 095 555 8888, if that was the number you needed. Using whatever international access code as required be it 011 from N. America or 00 from the rest of Europe.
The city codes most commonly used are
095 landline & MTS mobile
and the new 499 dialing code. Depending on who the mobile phone provider is?
Most landlines are 095 in the city center. When dialing from within Moscow, drop the +7 and add a +8 for local numbers. If you already have +7 095 555 8888 preprogrammed into your mobile, for example, it will still work.
Mobile cards are prepaid cards and not billed monthly. Therefore, you have to make sure you have enough money on your card, which can be tricky, especially if you are using a Russian phone card, but traveling outside of Russia. If your card runs out, you cannot make anymore calls until you get back to Russia and make a payment on your account. You get used to it, but if you are used to receiving a monthly bill it is annoying at first. Calls within Moscow are extremely cheap. International calls on your mobile telephone are very expensive, regardless of whether you initiate the call or receive it, as you get billed roaming charges. I had an MTS phone card and an international call to Germany cost me approximately $2.00 per minute. In comparison a call from Germany to a landline in Moscow only costed $0.02 using one of those cheap dialling codes at the time.
Dialing emergency services of Moscow (01, 02, 03, and 04) as well as exact time service (100) has remained unchanged for both 499 as well as 095 code for MGTS subscribers.
For more information please refer to Moscow City Telephone's (MGTS) webpage:
Maslenitsa – Pancake week
Maslenitsa is celebrated a week before Lent. Celebration is organized in most parks, squares, where you can taste pancakes cooked in different ways with different stuffing, buy souvenirs, take part in games, funny competitions. If you are lucky to be in Moscow at this time visit some celebration places and…… forget about diet! ;)
Waffles and Coffee and Kvas
What you see the people lined up here for, are a kind of Russian waffle that comes sprinkled with powdered sugar. Every one of these little places seems to have lines ten deep or more. What we bought here in this place, was Kvas, a kind of Russian soft drink with a peculiar taste. Not everyone is supposed to like this bread-derived beverage the first time, but after a few it starts to grow on you.
Coffee tends to be served very strong, like a lot of Russian tastes. Its also quite expensive by comparison to other drinks. Sugar is always served alongside, but you normally have to ask for cream.