1. Bolshoi Theatre
2. Alexander Garden
3. The Kremlin
4. Red Square
5. St. Basi's Cathedral
6. Zaryadye Park
7. Christ the Savior Cathedral
8. Moscow Metro
In only one day in Moscow you can see quite a lot. This walking tour is for 5-6 hours including the time of lunch, pictures taking and buying tickets.
Start at the Theatre Square. Many hotels are located around - Metropol, Ararat Hyatt, National, Marriott Aurora, 4 Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, St Regis, Savoy Hotels. Take a picture in front of the Bolshoi Theater – a classical building where famous Russian ballet is performed for over 150 years. This building is depicted on a 100 rubles note.
Walk 500 meters, passing 4 Seasons Hotel and Manezh Square, to the gates of Alexander Garden. To the left of the gates, next to the Kremlin wall you will see the Unknown Soldier Tomb. Two soldiers always solemnly stand by its sides. With the beginning of every hour the guards change. Watch it if you will be around in a right time!
Kremlin ticket office and the entrance are here, in the Garden. The Kremlin is open daily except Thursday. It is recommended to buy tickets online beforehand to avoid lines to the ticket box which can be very long and slow. You will still have to exchange your e-ticket to the paper one, but there is a separate window for that, with much shorter queue. The Kremlin is a walled piece of the city and its oldest part. The Kremlin is not only a historical sight, but is also a place where the president of the country works. Inside you can’t walk everywhere, but its biggest part is open to public. Don’t throw away your ticket! You will need it at the entrance to cathedrals.
Inside you can see and visit:
Cathedral Square with Assumption Cathedral where all Russian tzars were crowned, Archangel Michael Cathedral where most of them are buried and Annunciation Cathedral where they prayed every day.
Tsar Cannon – the cannon of the biggest caliber in the world
Tsar Bell – the heaviest bell which never rang
There are two museums in the Kremlin – Armoury Cahmber and the Diamond Fund, you can add to your tour for a more complete experience.
It is strongly recommended to buy Armoury tickets in advance. You can do it on the Kremlin website (www.kreml.ru). Then exchange them to paper tickets in the same window of ticket office you got your Kremlin tickets.
The Diamond Fund has a stunning collection of raw diamonds, golden nuggets, other precious stones and priceless pieces of jewelry, including the Crown of the Russian Empire made for the empress Catherine the Great. You can buy tickets on the spot (500 RUB) or, to be sure you wil have them, in the Alexander Garden ticket office.
Red Square is next to the Kremlin. You can get there through Spasskaya Tower exit.
The Red Square is a large, but cozy (400x150 meters) cobble-stoned square which used to be a market square one day and in the 20th century – a venue for military and workers parades.
The main square of the country has several sights:
St Basil’s Cathedral – a church with a pile of colorful domes (entrance - 1000 RUB)
Lenin’s Mausoleum – an embalmed body of the Soviet Union founder is lying here (free; open Tue-Thus and Sat-Sun 10 am – 1 pm. The queuing time is over an hour)
GUM Department Store – an elegant 19th century store with glass roof and a fountain.
(The Red Square is sometimes closed completely or partially for preparation for a state event or a festival).
Go behind St. Basil’s Cathedral and cross the road on the left – you will get to Zaryadye Park. It represents 4 different landscape types of Russia – forest, steppe, swamps and polar tundra. On the top of its artificial hills you can find great views of St Basil’s and the Kremlin.
There is also an observation platform above the river. From there you can see a big golden dome of another popular attraction – Christ the Savior Cathedral.
You can walk there along the embankment or take a taxi. Christ the Savior Cathedral is the main church of Russia, where the liturgy is often conducted by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church - the Patriarch. This cathedral is a monument to the Russian Victory over Napoleon in 1812 following a long-standing Russian tradition of erecting churches to express gratitude to God for a victory. The entrance is free of charge. There is a dress-code: no shorts and open shoulders.
Walk behind the Cathedral. There is a pedestrian bridge over the Moscow river, with the great views.
Finish the day with a tour of the most beautiful stations of Moscow Metro. Each of its marble-faced stations has a unique design and resembles a palace room. Revolution Square, Mayakovskaya, Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Kievskaya are especially remarkable.
Duration: 4-6 hours
Spots for lunch: Bosco Cafe in GUM, Voskhod restaurant and Gastrocenter in Zaryadye Park, Il Patio near Christ the Savior Cathedral.
Book One Day Tour with a private guide