MOSCOW TRAVEL GUIDE
Moscow Travel Guide - Majestic, monumental Moscow. With its fantastically brutal and bloody past it seems rather apt that the largest city in Europe is also the capital of Mother Russia and the power core of a vast landmass that stretches from Europe to the far reaches of Asia. Today, the heavy curtain of Communism has been torn down as, once again, the city reinvents itself for the next passage in its long history. And this is a metropolis that thrives on contrasts. Home to the largest numbers of billionaires in the world who reside in splendid opulence next to the bitterly poor who, in particularly bad winters, commit crimes just so they can spend the night in a warm prison cell. Sparkling, modern tower blocks prop up the slate-grey Soviet structures while flagship capitalist stores pepper the heart of the old Soviet Empire. But among all this emerging modernity, the iconic symbols of past days can still be marvelled at, particularly at the glorious Kremlin, Lenin’s mausoleum on the Red Square and the gorgeous St. Basil’s Cathedral, a mainstay on Moscow’s postcards.
The medieval centre of the city forms a triangle on the banks of the Moskvar River and the modern streets fan out from this central point. Red Square makes a good starting point for any sightseeing trip, and, just up the road the Manezhnaya pl can be found. At the north-west end an immense shopping centre satisfies any consumer cravings - although prices are higher than in other parts of Europe - and on the south-west side the huge Moscow State University can be found. Heading north from Manezhnaya pl, the exquisite and world-famous Bolshoi Theatre dominates the Teatralnaya pl, with a night at the ballet being a must for all visitors.
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Tverskaya ul and ul Novy Arbat are the main shopping streets where Russia’s manicured masses strut up and down the pavements to the rhythm of the piped background music. This is also the best area for sampling the excellent nightlife and clubs Moscow now has to offer.
If life in the metropolis becomes a little too hectic then escape to one of the smaller towns further into the countryside known as the ‘Golden Ring’ thanks to their abundance of gorgeous monasteries and churches. In Suzdal you will be able to glimpse the ‘authentic’ Russian life that is drowned out by Moscow’s frenetic energy, with green fields stretching right into the town and wonderful wooden cottages (izbas) dotting the landscape. Alternatively, Sergiev Posad boasts a 15th century monastery and the beautiful Trinity Cathedral, modelled on the Kremlin, which can be easily reached on a day trip.
Although visa’s are still required to visit the country, it is a small price to pay for experiencing the fusion of ancient and modern worlds in a city that hasn’t yet been overrun by tourists.
Moscow Hotels are easily located when you ask for a map at the local tourism office This way you will always find a suitable hotel.