One day in Moscow – impressions and interesting facts

Let’s not cheat ourselves – one day for visitng Moscow is not enough. However, sometimes due to busy schedule or tight budget we can’t spend as much time in a given place as we would want to. During my six weeks internship in Saint Petersburg we took a daytrip to Moscow. We didn’t manage to stay there longer, some of our group were on a tight budget. We decided to take a night train there and back – this way we could have a full day for sightseeing and we didn’t have to worry about the costs of accommodation in Moscow.

What to do for one day in Moscow?

Our day began in an interesting way because as soon as we got off the train, police stopped our Italian friend and checked his documents, he looked suspicious to them (have you ever seen an Italian before a morning coffee?). But it was only getting better after that 🙂
From Leningradsky railway station we took a metro to go to the city centre. For those of you who have never seen Moscow metro plan, here it is:

2_01
One day in Moscow, metro plan in 2014.

A number of lines is… big. I’ve just checked it and they say it’s 12… Really only 12?! It looks for me like 112 at least 😉 It’s very well developed. Moving between the lines is easy because of “kolcevaya linya” (кольцевая линия), a ring line. The underground is a key mean of transportation in the city, it’s the fifth most crowded one in the world (after Beijing, Tokio, Seoul and Shanghai).

Anyway. We took the metro to go to the city centre and we went straight to…

1. The Red Square

It doesn’t matter if you are in Moscow for two months or two hours, the Red Square is a must see. We could enjoy it that early morning because it was still quite empty. On the other hand, all attempts to take a good picture were a fail. Bad camera, even worse skills, morning sun shining from the front…

One day in Moscow: The Red Square
One day in Moscow: Lenin’s Mausoleum
We decided to walk around a bit and then come back on Red Square to take some better pictures.
First thing we did under pressure of the Italian was to grab a coffee… 🙂 And then we walked along one of the most famous streets in russian capital.

2. Tverska street (Тверская улица)

One day in Moscow: Tverska street

There is quite a lot of history related to this street because it’s been a very important throughfare in Moscow and then it became a center of social life in the city. Unfortunately, during communistic times a lot of historic buildings and churches was destroyed and replaced by low, soviet buildings. That’s why from touristic point of view there’s not too much to see on Tverska (that’s just my personal opinion, I’ll be glad to know others :)). However, since I’ve started talking numbers, taking into consideration the rents it’s the third most expensive street in the world… 🙂

3. Bolshoi Theatre (Большой театр)

This famous theatre looks really great. Maybe not really on my picture, but believe me, it’s much better in reality. Oh how I would love to see some ballet there! For now, I had a pleasure to see Moscow City Ballet here in Katowice, which is a good start 🙂
One day in Moscow: Bolshoi Theatre

4. The Red Square for the second time

One day in Moscow: The Red Square
One day in Moscow: The Red Square
One day in Moscow: The Red Square
One day in Moscow: The Red Square
One day in Moscow: The Red Square

 It’s awesome to be there actually. Red Square is quite often present in media and it appears on every second page of all Russian language coursebooks. That’s why getting there seemed a bit unreal for me… 🙂 But I also felt a bit disappointed. Saint Basil’s Cathedral, which in my opinion is the most beautiful building on Red Square, doesn’t make a stunning impression if you have seen the Church of Saviour on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg before. But I may not be objective (ok, I’m for sure far from objective because I simply love to watch this church in Petersburg! For the curious ones, you can see it here)

We didn’t visit Lenin in his tomb – the queue was really long. The Mausoleum itself is a bit controversial because it was Lenin’s will to be buried in St. Petersburg on Volkovo Cemetery together with his mother and sister… well, for now the government is not interested in closing the Mausoleum and fulfilling Wladimir Uljanow’s will. He probably should start haunting them… 🙂

5. Alexander Garden

Due to limited time we didn’t enter the Kremlin either, but we went to Alexander Graden. There is a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and plaques commemorating the “cities-heroes” of the War.
One day in Moscow: the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
One day in Moscow: Cities-heroes of the war

The day is long, a lot of sightseeing before us and our stomachs started to remind us about their existence. That’s why we decided to eat lunch in the park… We prepared pasta which we wanted to eat in the train, but we simply forgot. And now imagine a group of four people on a bench in the very centre of Moscow near Kremlin walls, eating pasta from one flowery pot. We became quite an attraction, some people were taking pictures of us (really). I have this on a picture, but it’s not something I want to make very public, so just trust your imagination. The best lunch ever 🙂

 

6. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

After our elegant meal we moved on and went to see the Cathedral. It’s hard for me to pick the right words to describe it. My first impression was quite primitive and can be described like “WOWOWOW the church so big, me so small”… Pardon my language, but it’s just f***ing huge! It’s really big and no picture can show this impression well.

One day in Moscow: Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

The history of this cathedral is also very interesting (tell me in case all this is only interesting for me and I’m boring you to death…;)). The original building was raised as a thanksgiving for saving Russia from Napoleon’s invasion and it was being built for many years. When it was finally finished, it didn’t last longer than 60 years because communistic government decided to demolish it, like that:

Source of the picture

They simply blew the building up. They wanted to build a Palace of the Soviets there, but eventually the only thing that was built there was Moscow public swimming pool. The current church was rebuilt in the nineties. Don’t miss this spot while visiting Moscow, really.

7. The Arbat

After seeing the church we went to the Arbat, a famous street in Moscow. It’s a good place to walk around and grab a coffee, but don’t expect anything really special 🙂

8. Izmailovsky Kremlin

It’s not very popular touristic destination in Moscow but for me, along with the Red Square and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Izmailovsky Kremlin was one of the best places we’ve seen in the city. It’s like taken out of a fairy tale! We were there in the evening, so it was empty and nothing was happening there. I would love to come back there and see this place “alive”. But anyway it really enchanted me, amazing.

 

One day in Moscow: Izmailovsky Kremlin
One day in Moscow: Izmailovsky Kremlin
One day in Moscow: Izmailovsky Kremlin
One day in Moscow: Izmailovsky Kremlin

 

To sum up, one day is not enough to visit Moscow. The city didn’t have enough time to fully enchant me and if I was to advise whether to choose a trip to St. Petersburg or to Moscow, the capital wouldn’t have big chances (again, I’m far from objective!). But I will be back there… 🙂

Have you ever been to Moscow or would you like to go there? Let me know 🙂

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