Russia encompasses two continents – Europe and Asia, has 11 time zones, and covers an area of over 17 million square kilometres. In short, it’s the largest country in the world.

Its capital – Moscow, at more than 2,500 square kilometres, is the largest city in Europe which is a fitting distinction. Furthermore, Moscow was designated as an Alpha world city by the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute as of 2015. This means that the city is of significant importance in worldwide relations across various factors, including economical, cultural and political.

Not surprising that a planned trip here can give you a lot of potential attractions to visit. To help you narrow down the list, check out the top places to see in Moscow, recommended by both locals and foreign travellers.

THE KREMLIN AND RED SQUARE

When you think about Moscow, the first image you probably see aside from Putin is The Kremlin. Across the centuries, The Kremlin and the nearby Red Square have been the center of historical events in Russia, the former being the seat of the Russian government. These two spots were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and The Kremlin is now once again open to visitors thanks to a presidential decree by Putin.

Top Places to See in Moscow

ST. BASIL’S CATHEDRAL

Ironically, St. Basil’s Cathedral was built as a monument for military dominance by Ivan the Terrible, the first Tsar. Other strange facts surround the structure, but nevertheless, it is an iconic symbol of Russian architecture and a building like no other in the world.

Top Places to See in Moscow

OSTANKINO TOWER

Ostankino Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in Europe, and 8th in the world. Aside from being a broadcast tower for radio and TV stations, it’s also a main attraction in the city due to its unique architecture. An observation deck is open for tourists which give magnificent skyline views of Moscow.

Main tourist attractions in Moscow

MONUMENT TO THE CONQUERORS OF SPACE

As cool as its name, a titanium rocket sits atop the Monument to the Conquerors of Space, seemingly launching towards space. It stands at 110 meters high, and has the National Space Museum in its base which contains items linked in honor of the Russian Space Program.

Top Places to See in Moscow

MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY (MSU)

The main building of MSU is one fine piece of architecture, and it certainly doesn’t look like other contemporary structures. At 240 meters, it held the record as Europe’s tallest building until 1990.

Top Places to See in Moscow

CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR

Another grandiose example of construction, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was built as a symbol of thanksgiving after the Russians successfully took back Moscow from Napoleon. In the manifesto by Tsar Alexander I regarding the plans for erecting a cathedral, it was stated that the building will “signify Our gratitude to Divine Providence for saving Russia from the doom that overshadowed Her.”

Top Places to See in Moscow

GUM & TSUM

Whether you’re a shopaholic, an art enthusiast or just a plain tourist, make sure to visit Gum and Tsum, Moscow’s biggest shopping complexes. They have beautifully designed hallways and an overall splendor which rivals other prominent structures in the city. GUM also hosts art and photo exhibitions, including the international art festival, Chereshneviy Les. Needless to say, the displayed works go well with the building itself.

Top Places to See in Moscow

Getting There and Getting Around

Moscow is served by its three main airports, all of which cater to thousands of passengers each day. Flight durations depend on where you’re from, but coming from other major cities, such as London for instance, it will take you a about 4 hours. From New York, it will take you half a day.

Getting around the city is relatively easy, considering it has a lot of public transportation options including trains and buses. Given that the city is so large, however, you might have to add in more hours to your travel time especially when going to tourist spots which are far from the stations.

If you want to cut it short, another choice is to rent your own car and just plan your routes in advance. You can have the vehicle waiting for you after exiting the terminal as there are options such as valet service and other. This is more or less the same with other main airports like Charles de Gaulle in Paris or Gatwick Airport in London, which has a short stay car park situated between its terminals.

Now that you can make your own list of destinations, the rest is the usual straightforward process you go through when traveling. To sum it up, these are just a few of Moscow’s wonders. What about adding more to the list by posting them in your comments?

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