From ornate imperial palaces and centuries-old ballet theaters to trans-Siberian trains and vodka, the vast size of Russia and its mysterious history is part of its appeal and what makes it an intriguing cultural destination for travelers.
Iconic Architecture in Moscow
Your arrival to Moscow will be met with excitement and anticipation as you take in the sheer magnificence of Russia’s iconic buildings. The Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral are conveniently located right next to each other, and in fact many people mix them up and reportedly look for glimpses of President Putin in the wrong windows. While the chances of seeing the leader of Russia are probably minuscule, this fabulous display of colorful architecture truly lights up at night, making them the perfect backdrop for an Instagram post.
Travel Tip: Given the immense history of The Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral, a guided tour is recommended to give insight into the historical significance of these two buildings.
The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
World renowned, The Bolshoi is Moscow’s premier ballet theater that has been showcasing dancing talent since the early 19th century. While tickets may be hard to come by, Great Value Vacations can advise how to book tickets for live ballet and theatrical performances. Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake, which premiered at the theater on March 4, 1877, remains the most famous. Renovated in 2011, The Bolshoi Theatre is a dazzling experience for lovers of dance and opera.
Museums and the Underground Art Scene
For art enthusiasts, Moscow has no shortage of museums. The Museum of Moscow has a vast number of exhibits depicting life in Moscow over the past two millennia. It is a fascinating museum and well worth visiting to understand the history of Russia. Travelers to Russia must visit the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, which is the largest museum of European art in Moscow.
While the Museum of Modern Art is also very popular, head into the Moscow underground metro stations that need to be seen to be believed and definitely one of the many hidden gems of Moscow. You'll find amazing art deco murals painted on walls, hanging chandeliers and beautiful ornate carvings in some of the subway stations.
Yeliseev’s Food Hall, Moscow
Yeliseev’s Food Hall in Moscow is the perfect place to pick up local delicacies like Russian caviar, but if you want it served to you in luxury, the Astoria Cafe at Hotel Astoria is the place to go. Be sure to order caviar with blinis, hard-boiled eggs, sour cream, capers and chives - and vodka, of course.
Your travels to Russia are not complete without a visit to St. Petersburg, Russia's cultural center. A major bucket list item is the 1,500-room Winter Palace, which from 1723 to the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917, was the official residence of the Tsar and the royal family. After a visit to the State Russian Museum which houses orthodox Russian paintings including some of Kandinsky’s most important abstract artworks, you will have experienced an incredible day of traveling in St. Petersburg.
When planning your travels to Russia, you may consider a train journey on the Trans-Siberian Rail which traverses epic mountains and valleys across Russia, through tiny snow-covered villages of Mongolia and onwards to Beijing in China.
Visa Requirements for Traveling to Russia
While traveling to Russia is now a lot easier than it was back in the USSR days, a tourist visa is still required. Our travel consultants at Great Value Vacations can guide and assist with your questions on visas for Russia.