Monday, 30 March 2015

Most Favorable Places to Visit in Moscow

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Moscow to me has always been one of those favorable places in a far off land… But only a three and a half hour flight away from London to Moscow, it’s much closer and a lot less scary than I first thought.

I had booked a 3 night stay at the Mercure Arbat Moscow hotel located just off of the main street of Arbat, opposite Smolenskaya Metro station and only a 25 minute walk into Red Square.

1. Domodedovo Airport

Arriving into a snow covered Domodedovo Airport I got my first sniff of a Russian winter and it was nippy. Travelling with my partner and brother, we took the Aeroexpress train into central Moscow which took 45 minutes (avoid the pushy touts offering taxis, the traffic looked a nightmare) and then dove straight into the infamous metro system.

2. My Favourite Metro's:

My personal favourites were Mayakovskaya and Ploschad Revolyutsii. The metro was built under the direction of Josef Stalin and the grand, decadent stations felt at odd with the socialist ideal of the Soviet Union in the 1930s. It is one of the busiest underground systems in the world and the preferred mode of transport for the masses.

3. Grand Kremlin Palace

At first sight of Red Square it’s hard to relate it to the news clips of marching soldiers and the austerity that I associate with communism. It is huge, lined one side with the walled Kremlin, the other with the glizy GUM shopping mall and at the far end the iconic sight of St Basil’s Cathedral with its coloured onion domes.

4. Cosmonaut Museum

The next day we explored the outer reaches of the city, starting with the Cosmonaut Museum an ode to extraordinary achievements and the first man in space. The All Russia Exhibition Centre is also nearby, a display of Soviet monuments and an amusement park which seems to be where Muscovites spend their weekend.

5. Lovely restaurants with Khachapuri

Russia from what I had been told is not known for its great food but we found some lovely restaurants around the Patriarch Pond area. Khachapuri (named after the Georgian cheesey bread) is a trendy little place packed to the ratfers for it tasty food and lemon vodka.

Moscow is a much friendlier place than I was anticipating and I was surprised at how many people spoke English, or at least enough to get by. It’s big, a bit rough around the edges but it has a soft centre and it’s ready to captivate even the most seasoned of travellers.


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