We have 4 full days in Moscow, but don't like to run around like crazies.....what would you suggest as an itinerary? And since I am traveling all next week for business, let me say thanks in advance for your suggestions.
It depends what you are interested in. Moscow is a huge city. There is so much to see that having just 4 days you will have to be brutally selective. I can only say what I would choose for myself.
As always, start by looking at a guidebook. But make sure it's a current one; more than a place like Paris or Rome, Moscow changes fast, and information gets outdated quickly.
Since I was last there in 2010, I'll follow my own advice and not try to act like an expert. But here's some things that won't have changed, and are not the obvious attractions like the Kremlin:
1) You'll be taking the Metro a lot, as it's by far the best and easiest way to get around. But be sure to see some of the particularly amazing stations, many on line 5 (the ring line). The following are some of the ones worth making a special trip for:
Mayakovskaya on line 2 (amazing mixture of materials, and great mosaics)
Kievskaya on line 5 (more great mosaics)
Komsomolskaya on line 5 (high vaulted ceilings)
Novoslobodskaya on line 5 (stained glass)
Taganskaya on line 5 ("cameo brooches," but huge)
Google for pictures of these, and you'll get some idea.
2) Another amazing thing to see is the statue of the Worker and Collective Farm Girl. Pictures cannot do this justice, because its sheer size is hard to capture. It's at the Izmailovsky Park metro.
3) If you like Art Nouveau, don't miss the Gorky House. The amazing stone stair railing is alone worth the price of admission.
I see that I've used the word "amazing" a lot in the above descriptions. It was not conscious; it's just my reaction to these places. Looking at my pictures, I'm still blown away by them.
Do try to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, as it will make navigating much easier; for instance, there is no Roman alphabet in the Metro.
Harold - very helpful! Thanks....and I googled the metro stations....amazing!!
We were in Russia in 2012 and spent 4 days in Moscow. Agree with suggestions on this thread. Its important to use your time in Moscow as efficiently as possible as it is a huge city. There are several guide books that are great at using your time productively.
As well as the already suggested places to visit - the grounds of the university are beautiful and has an outlook over the city - on a clear day its beautiful. Also the "graveyard of the 2nd honour" is well worth a visit. Check it out. If your hotel is centrally located its an easy walk to red square and kremlin. Dont be surprised that you will have to check your backpack etc. before you are allowed entrance. I seem to remember that we werent not even allowed water bottles, but were allowed to take our cameras.
Just a suggestion - we hired a guide and driver for two hours in the morning to drive us around. This was intended so that we didnt waste alot of time trying to find our way around. It worked well for us. We then had the afternoon to explore on our own.
As well try to treat yourself to tickets to Bolshoi Theatre. I know its a bit expensive but the theatre is absolutely gorgeous and well worth the cost. BEsides, when will you have a chance to visit again. We ordered online and bought medium price tickets. Upon arrival to pick up tickets, found that we had been upgraded to first class tickets.
Learning the alphabet would be greatly helpful and its not difficult to learn. Dont be frustrated with the lack of english spoken in russia, especially at the metro stations, some restaurants etc. The metro is well worth visiting. We wrote out our destination when we bought our tickets at the metro - it was our experience that the clerks are mostly older women with no english spoken.
Saying that the younger generation speaks english well for the most part and may come up to you to practice their english.
Have a great trip.
Thanks, Holly. I will try to save my euros for the Bolshoi!
We went for a few days one January (yes January) and we hired this kid one of the days: http://www.waytomoscow.com/ Glad we did as he sort of dragged us down into the more daily activities as well as helped us past lines at the tourist traps (kremlin, etc). I wouldn't spend my money in Russia right now though and sort of sorry I spent it then.
Moscow is a beautiful city and veeeery nice people ;)
here are some facts and figures to help you on your way!
hope it helps
Thanks, TC...great site!
waytomoscow.com is Dan Petrov. We used him, too and he was excellent. We still keep in touch with him and are using him when we return to Moscow in July 2015.