The Archeological Museum actually isn't off-the beaten track, but right in the centre on Manezhanya Square. It's an underground museum though and the entrance can easily be overlooked next to that huge construction site of the former Moskva hotel.
The museum is built around the excavation of a bridge over the Neglinnaya river (which has long disappeared into tubes). Coins, tools, clothes and other artefacts which were found during the excavation are displayed.
Openining times are from 10am to 6pm from Tuesday to Sunday and admission is 60 Roubles.
Built in 1900, the Gorky House-Museum (also called the Ryabushinsky Mansion) is a fine example of the Art Nouveau architecture of Fyodor Shekhtel. The building served as the residence of Russian writer Maxim Gorky during the final years of his life, from 1931 to 1936.
Amid all the wavy forms and floral designs typically associated with Art Nouveau, the highlight of your visit will without a doubt be the staircase. As you walk around, try to imagine how Gorky, a staunch defender of proletarianism, must have felt to receive this mansion (as well as a dasha in the country).
The Gorky House-Museum is located at Malaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa 6/2 (Pushkinskaya metro). It is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Entrance is free, but you must pay a fee to take photos.
If your in Moscow and have the time, I highl recomend you go see the World War II museum. Russian's call it the Great Patriotic War, so that might help in any language problems. Its a great place to think of all the people who died in this war, and pay respect. Especially cool is the 25 million or so links of small chain that looks like rain.....this represents all the Soviet Union citizens/soldiers who perished in this war.
Also some cool recreated battle scenes of Stalingrad, St. Pete (Lennigrad in WWII), Moscow, and Kiev.
Inaugurated in 1997, the Moscow Archeological Museum traces the history of the city with displays of artifacts dating back as far as the 12th century AD. Situated in a specially renovated underground venue on the edge of Manezhnaya Square, the museum's highlight is undoubtedly a substantial section of the limestone arches of the Voskresensky Bridge, which once spanned the Neglina River from the Bely Gorod quarter to the Resurrection Gate of Red Square.
entrans fee - 1 USD
Manezhnaya Ploshad 1a, Moscow
Metro: Okhotny Ryad
Behind the Gate-Tower, removed from Nicolo-Korelsky Monastery, you can see the tower from the Bratsk Stockade built in 1652 by the Cossacks near the river of Angara in Siberia.It was a rather small fortress, comprising a wooden stockade with four corner towers. One of them was transported to Kolomenskoye in 1959. The tower is rectangular in shape and has a battlement. One section of the upper battlement is a turret accessed by an external staircase. The ground floor of the tower was used as a guard-house for the Cossacks. This is a small room with narrow windows and a chimneyless stove, so that the smoke had no other smoke-stack beside the windows. The interior of the tower recreates a Cossack dwelling.
Recognizing its outstanding value for humanity, UNESCO decided to inscribe the church on the World Heritage List in 1995.
One of Moscow's finest examples of the art nouveau architecture of Fyodor Shekhtel, also known as the Ryabushinsky Mansion. The building served as the residence of the great writer Maxim Gorky from 1931 to 1936. Built just after the turn of this century, the mansion is appealing for its remarkable design and decoration, both inside and out. Shekhtel's design is an almost hallucinatory masterpiece of wave forms, floral mosiac and stucco decorations, and vibrant hues--the uncontested highlight is the sinuous main stair. All of this contrasts strongly with the building's significance as the home of one of Russia's greatest "proletarian" writers, but the irony merely adds interest to a visit.
Malaya Nikitskaya 6,
metro - Arbatskaya
Just went here by chance as I had to deliver some papers for a friends. So once being there I decided that I might aswell have a look inside... And I was positively suprised: there's a great collection of art from China, Japan, India and other Asian countries.
Admission: 50 Roubles
If you wonder where all those statues of the Soviet heroes went, come to the Sculptures Park. Here you'll find a collection of Stalins, Lenins, Brezhnevs etc besides some new modern pieces of art.
The park is situated behind the huge Central House of Artists, opposite Gorky Park
Metro: Park Kultury/Oktyabrskaya
This 96m high titanium obelisk is a monument to the glory days of Soviet space flight. In its basement you find the Cosmonautics Museums with artefacts from different Soviet/Russian missions into space.
Admission is 30 Roubles
When you take the metro to metrostation Sportivnaya (near the footballstadium of Spartak Moscow), you'll be close to the metromuseum of Moscow. This is one of the museums you should see when you are interested in the most beautiful metrosystem in the world, the one of Moscow
Bill Viola Video in Pushkin State Museum was kind of a surprise for me to see in Moscow. I guess and from what I actually saw from Russian audience, people are not very used to this kind of media relating to what art is concerned as I found very much a sense of academism and traditionalism from the XIX and early XX century towards art.
This video wanted to bring back Renaissance way of living to the video in this kind of dramatic and theatrical way.
I put this as off the beaten path cos I guess you saw it saw it, you didnt will never see it again in Moscow or at least in this museum as it was a temporary exhibit...
The huge 360° painting depicts the battle between the Russian and the Napoleonic army at Borodino in August 1812.
It's well worth a visit if you're interested in that part of history
Kutuzovsky Prospekt 38
Museum is situated in Kubinka, near Odintsovo. This is about 1 hour by car from Moscow. It is situated on the territory of a millitary base, so for foreign visitors there are special rules, that one must read carefully: Information for Foreign Visitors
Museum of Armored Vehicles and Equipment has one of the largest collections of armored vehicles in the world. Vehicles from 11 foreign countries are represented. The 290 items range from 3-5 ton light tanks and armored cars to a super-heavy, 180 ton monster. There are 40 self-propelled guns from 57 to 600 caliber, 30 armored cars, 10 reconnaissance and command vehicles, and a variety of technical and engineer support vehicles.
One of the most interestin exhibits - one of the first tanks in the world - British Mark IV, the gift of Her Majesty the Queen.
In 2000 year the old vehicles were re-painted in original manner by the Russian specialists of the historical society. Now tanks look like in their historical period.
During World War II the USSR received American tanks under Lend-Lease. The bulk of foreign tanks in the collection was captured during World War II. Others were obtained by exchange with the British Armor Museum or were given by Soviet allies and clients from items they captured in Viet-Nam, Korea, Cuba, Middle East Wars, etc.
There are 129 Russian items including many prototype models of vehicles that were not produced in quantity.
Long time the owner of this tank collection was the special secret soviet military Institution (Laboratory) specializing for the testing any kind of tanks.
Check out Gorky's creepy house! It was renovated and rebuilt for him by Stalin, despite the fact that Gorky didn't want to own property, as he thought it would be a bad example for him, a Communist, to set. When Gorky came back to Moscow from his travels, though, Stalin had the house ready for him, and forced him to move in. Rumor has it that Stalin had the bedroom walls painted with toxic paint to hasten Gorky's death; I can't confirm or deny that, but I CAN tell you that the house is creepy as hell, and the stairs are mighty slippery. Poor elderly Gorky.
Admission is free, but photography indoors is not allowed - if you want pictures, you have to buy them from the museum (not expensive.). The museum ladies are very pleasant and enthusiastic about the history of the building; free guide pamphlets are available in French and English for those of you non-Russian speakers out there.
From metro Biblioteka im. Lenina, go straight on Vozdvizhenka until you hit Hikitskii. Turn right. Go down Nikitskii until you hit Mal. Nikitskaya, turn left. Walk a few blocks. The house is bright pink and on the right side of the road - you have to go around to the back out the house to find the opening in the gate.
A visit to the Gorky House-Museum shouldn't be missed, for the design elements alone. The entrance is free, but you're welcome to leave a donation on your way out (considering some of the repair work that the exterior needs, please be as generous as a normal entry would cost).
The silver molding around the column at the top of this gorgeous staircase is of lizards. . .one of many fantastic little details that make the visit worthwhile.
Ryabushinsky, the original owner, was a member of the Old Believers sect and there is also a small collection of Old Russian art and icons on the second floor.