Fun things to do in Moscow

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Moscow

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    Moscow Free Tour

    by Muscovite Updated Jun 4, 2014

    Like many other big cities, Moscow has now a Free walking tour.
    And, like in other places, it's free, absolutely free - but tipping is very welcome, as the guides have to eat not to stop guiding!

    A very smart way to skip with taxes, I guess. Not such a bad income either:
    a group of ten conscientious tourists,
    tipping some 5 - 10 USD each,
    and with just one 'free' 2.5 hours' tour in the open air one gets more than a senoir cubicle dweller for his 8 hours' office day...

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    Moscow: 100 years ago and today

    by Muscovite Written Apr 3, 2014

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    Shame indeed I could not come to this wonderful exhibition earlier – you don’t do much running with a double eye surgery.
    More than half a thousand photos – old and new paired so that you see the same building from the same angle as the photographer at 1912 – 15.
    The rare black-and-white photos were commissioned and put in order by the famous Moscow art connoisseur Emile Gautier-Dufayer . Yes, he was French, his ancestors came to Russia from Picardie in 1764 – a very popular way to prosperity in 18th century; were not many European/American fortunes made in 1990s Russia, too?
    In 1915 he donated the collection to the city of Moscow; today it is contained in the State Library (formerly Lenin Library).
    You can still catch this thorough retrospective display if you come quickly.
    The entrance is just about 2 euro!
    P.S. The interior is the former Ministry of Defense garage skillfully adapted for exhibition space.

    The museum buiding now and in 1910s
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    Maxim Gorky museum (Ryabushinsky mansion)

    by Muscovite Updated Jan 15, 2014

    I wonder if you have ever heard the name.
    For Soviet Russia Maxim Gorky was an iconic figure, sort of Leo Tolstoy the novelist and Anton Chekhov the dramatist put together (Gorky was on very good terms with both), with the sparkle of Alexander Pushkin the poet in his younger days (that Ethiopian fellow got shot in a duel too early to befriend the equally hair-rich son of the river Volga).
    This does not mean he had no talent altogether, in fact, his plays are staged both in Russia and abroad and get very enthusiastic reviews – here is a recent one about his “Sunny kids’ in London’s National theatre. http://www.londontheatre.co.uk/londontheatre/reviews/childrenofthesun13.htm

    I’ll leave it to philologists to tell you further about Russian literature, we are here to visit Gorky’s home – which, in fact, was not really his. In a nutshell the story goes this way:
    ‘The great proletarian writer’ was not very happy with the revolution 1917 and soon left for the beautiful island of Capri in Italy, where he spent over 10 years, until his money lasted. Then he returned to the Soviet Union, like many other writers of smaller caliber, lured by general respect from the readers and exclusive living standards from the authorities. Among other things, Gorky received the mansion, designed by the prominent art nouveau architect Fyodor Schechtel for the rich Ryabushinsky family (they were sensible enough to leave for France in good time).

    The place is now a memorial museum, but art-lovers go there not so much for Gorky’s connections, but mainly to admire the beautiful interior. The first floor is very impressive, and the splendid staircase with stained-glass windows is cited in all architecture guide-books.

    The English-language site is next to non-existent, and the Russian version is not much better, to be honest.
    Open: Wednesday to Sunday 11 – 17.30
    Closed: Monday, Tuesday, every 4th Thursday.

    The good news: FREE entrance!
    P.S. The museum is free – but not it’s toilet :)

    'Toilet 10 rbl, key in the cloakroom' Gorky's son on the photo
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    Vodka Museum

    by Muscovite Updated Jan 13, 2014

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    Can you believe it – there is a vodka museum in Moscow!
    (In fact, there were two, but one of them disappeared without traces; must have been done away with by the competitor’s sponsors, ‘Russian Standard’ heads the list – you may have seen this vodka in your wine shops).
    The existing one is located within walking distance of the Izmailovo hotel at the Izmailovo Kremlin, a kitsch pseudo-historic aggregation.
    The museum has an entertaining collection of exhibits telling the history of vodka starting from year 1386. They even have their own guides, a guided tour will cost about $ 10. To sweeten the loss they serve a free shot of vodka to everyone over 18 years of age!
    Then you can go on tasting Russian cuisine in the neighbouring pub – the museum’s main attraction, I guess.
    Open daily 10 - 20
    Entrance fee - 180 rubles, foreign students -100 rubles (like ordinary Russian citizens)
    There is an English-language site, fairly informative, though they spell ‘site’ as ‘sight’.

    P.S. The have ‘The Vodka Day’ January 31 – you may still get to Moscow in time…

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    Leo Tolstoy’s literary museum

    by Muscovite Written Jan 10, 2014

    The building (year 1817) is absolutely splendid, as you will see after opening the museum’s link, it’s one of the best examples of the ‘Moscow empire style’.
    However, I have no idea why on earth it was chosen for Leo Tolstoy’s literary exposition; it has no connection whatsoever to the writer’s life or work. They say the founder of the museum fell in love with this place and persuaded the authorities that such a grand building should become home for a no less belles-lettres genius.
    If you are not a literature student or speak Russian, I would, frankly, choose the other Tolstoy museum. Not sure they speak foreign languages here, the site is Russian only.
    Entrance fee – 200 rubles
    Photos – 150 rubles
    Open – Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun – 10 - 18; Thu – 12 – 20
    Closed – Mon

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    Leo Tolstoy’s home museum

    by Muscovite Updated Jan 10, 2014

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    They say Oprah Winfrey has made America read ‘Anna Karenina’. You may surpass the feat by visiting the writer’s estate in Moscow.
    Of course, it is not the original home where Leo was born, that’s in Yasnaya Polyana about three hours away from Moscow on rail. He bought this house in 1882 and lived there for 20 years or so with his long-suffering wife, sensible daughters and riffraff sons. The place is really unique – there are not many wooden houses having survived the great Moscow fire of 1812.
    Among other things that attracted Tolstoy was a lovely garden; you can still see it, though mostly behind the fence. The keepers are not very keen on visitors, taking photos will make you $ 10 poorer (that’s not including $ 5 entrance fee).
    I do recommend visiting this museum, nonetheless. It is very well located, just 10 minutes’ walk from Park Kulturi metro station – passing the picturesque St. Nicholas church on your way is a bonus.
    I am not sure anyone speaks English or any foreign language in the museum, anyway, their site does not.
    Entrance fee – 200 rubles
    Photos – 350 rubles
    Open – Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun – 10 - 18; Thu – 12 – 20
    Closed - Mon

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    Moscow Greeters

    by Muscovite Written Jan 9, 2014

    Just found a nice way to discover Moscow - and free!
    The idea is simple:you meet a volunteer, and they take you around for about 2 hours or so.
    The global Greeter Network has expanded to Moscow in 2010, and they already seem to be quite a success.
    The difference is that Moscow greeters do not mind donations at all; in fact, encourage them - both to the project and personally to the guide.
    Note:
    Remember to book your trip 2 weeks in advance by e-mail - they don't seem to have a phone, or a visiting address.

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    Ostankino estate

    by Muscovite Written May 13, 2013

    When in Moscow, and especially if you stay at the huge hotel Cosmos, you may be tempted to visit Ostankino estate

    Please note:
    The palace is under maintenance until September 30, 2013.
    Individual visitors are admitted on Saturdays and Sundays ONLY, and then they have to follow a group guide. (I considered going there last weekend, but dropped the idea)
    You can do an online-tour instead – the interior is fabulous!

    They used to have wonderful summer concerts, that will wait until the end of the works - shame indeed.
    Failed to find any English-language site – you will have to use an online-translator

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    How much time is not too much for Moscow?

    by Muscovite Written Apr 25, 2013

    Now this is really a philosophical question! Depends on your idea of what is worth your time, you know…
    If you want to visit all the sights worth visiting, you will have to turn into a cat and use all your nine lives.
    On the other hand, I know people who are pretty happy with a half-a-day jet tour.

    The usual tourist programme for Moscow is:
    Day 1: Kremlin (morning) city sightseeing (Red Square, St. Basil’s, Moscow university, Novodevichy convent - afternoon) – or vise versa
    Day 2: same, but in depth – Kremlin Armoury (morning), metro tour/ Moscow river boat trip + Kolomenskoye / Tsaritsyno / Kuskovo estates (afternoon)
    Day 3: museums – Tretyakov (Russian art - morning), Pushkin (European, Byzantine, Egyptian art – afternoon)
    Then you add objects indefinitely…

    ���Excursions���
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    House on the embankment

    by Odiseya Written Dec 23, 2012

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    House on the embankment is popular name for VTsIK Residential Complex. It has and another name it is a "Mercedes house" because of dominate Mercedes sign on the top. This huge complex was build in period from 1928 till 1930 according to decision of communistic government. Author was Boris Lofan.
    This complex was formerly housing for top Communist Party functionaries, sits conveniently across across the river from the Kremlin.

    House on the embankment
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    St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Chapel

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 6, 2012

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    St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Chapel is one of chapel that I saw in Moscow. There is interesting surroundings and stairs near chapel with anticking-looking-like street lamps.
    St. Nicholas of Myra, The Wonderworker is the most honorable saint in Russia. Thousand of Russian churches and chapels across the country was named after this saint.
    On December 19 and May 22, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Nicholmas – the holiday of St Nicholas of Myra, The Wonderworker.

    St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Chapel
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    Bell tower of Pokrovsky monastery

    by Odiseya Written Dec 5, 2012

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    Bell tower of Pokrovsky women monastery (Russian: Колокольня Покровского женского монастыря) is part of Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery complex.
    First documented evidence of presence of belfry is in 1763 and it was made from stone. In 1799 it was rebuilt in a three-tier Nemetskom stile with a spire and cross more then 15m high.
    The first level of the bell tower, cell buildings and the fence with the towers and gates (dated back to the 19th century) are extant. The bell tower was reconstructed in period from 1999 till 2002. Finally, the tower and bells was consecrated by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and and All Russia Alexy II in 4th October 2002.
    Work hours: Monday - Saturday from 07.00 till 20.00, Sunday from 06.00 till 20.00.

    Bell tower of Pokrovsky monastery I Bell tower of Pokrovsky monastery II
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    Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery (Russian: Свято-Покровский ставропигиальный женский монастырь) is very interesting and important Russian Orthodox Monastery in Moscow.
    This Monastery is also refer as Monastery "Protection of the poor houses". It was founded by Tsar Michael Feodorovich on the burial place of the homeless, tramps, wanderers suddenly died in 1635.
    On territory of the today monastery are two temple: the temple of the Resurrection (rebuilt in the 19th century) and the temple of the Holy Virgin (rebuilt in the 19th century). There is also and interesting bell tower.
    As in many monasteries there is many sacred relics. There is also and important necropolis. In the necropolis of this monastery are buried representatives of the Moscow merchants and the nobility of the Georgian royal and princely houses of 19th century and the clergy.
    Since 1870 there was a missionary monastery. Here was the school for choirboys and alms-house for the old long time ago. In 1916 here was opened the field hospital for the injured and sick soldiers. It was closed in 1920 and then destroy by the end of 20th of last century. Instead, long time there ware various institution and conduct various activities such as printing house, library or gym. In October in 1995 they was renovated as a Monastery.
    This is for all believes very important - since 1998 in the monastery are the relics of Blessed Matrona of Moscow.
    On the entrance of big complex there is sign - "Saint Blessed old woman Matrona, praying to God for us" (Russian: Святой блаженная старица МАТРОНО, моли Бога о нас).
    Work hours: Monday - Saturday from 07.00 till 20.00, Sunday from 06.00 till 20.00

    Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery II Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery wall Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery wall II Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery gate
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    The Church of the Resurrection Slovusheye

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    The Church of the Resurrection Slovusheye (Russian: Храм Воскресения Словущего) is part of Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery.
    This church was build in 1682 thank the financial support of the tsar Fedor Alexeevich. This was the stone church and it was dedicated in the name of All Saints. Later, in 1792-98, it was rebuilt. Today look is from 1854-55 thanks the design of the architect M. D. Bykovsky.
    Finally, it was consecrated (again) in honour of the Resurrection Slovusheye or Renovation of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem.
    Work hours: Monday - Saturday from 07.00 till 20.00, Sunday from 06.00 till 20.00

    The Church of the Resurrection Slovusheye
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    The Church of the Protection of the Holy Mary

    by Odiseya Updated Dec 5, 2012

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    The Church of the Protection of the Holy Mary (Russian: Храм Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы) is part of Svyato-Pokrovsky Stavropegial Monastery.
    Thanks to the financial support of tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in 1655 the stone church was built, then re-build in 1808. There are relics of St. Matrona of Moscow moved on the 1st of May in 1998 from the Danilovskoe cemetery.
    Work hours: Monday - Saturday from 07.00 till 20.00, Sunday from 06.00 till 20.00

    The Church of the Protection of the Holy Mary
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