Moscow is believed to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. However this is not always true. The public transport and local food do not cost much and travelers can easily explore this city on a budget. Here we offer a list of Moscow attractions that one can visit for free. (Photo Credit: Alan Cordova/Flickr)
Streets and squares
It’s so nice to explore the historic center of Moscow on foot. Walk around the Kremlin and visit the magnificent Red Square, stroll along atmospheric Arbat street, explore Varvaka strret with its amazing old churches. It’s worth visiting Sparrow Hills (South –West of Moscow) to see a fantastic panoramic view of the city. Standing on a platform one can see the historic center and modern Moscow, mediaeval Moscow churches and solemn Stalinist high-rise buildings. One of the most famous buildings in the area is the Moscow State University. This temple of knowledge looks spectacular on a hill.
Moscow historic shops
Even if you don’t like shopping it’s worth visiting Moscow old shops. Everyone visiting Red Square remembers an elegant beige-colored building stretching opposite the Kremlin wall. This is the oldest Moscow shop – GUM. It was built in 1888-93 as a department store. The beautiful interiors have survived up to now. Another impressive building is Eliseevsky grocery store. It’s not far from Red Square on Tverskaya street. It offers not only exquisite selection of delicacies but also breathtaking Art Nouveau interiors and decorations.
Moscow churches and monasteries
The oldest buildings that survived in the city are churches. In Moscow there’re plenty of beautiful old churches and monasteries. Some of them have been turned into museums (in this case you pay to get inside) but working churches welcome all visitors. Here’re some ideas of what to see in Moscow : Krutitsy Metochion ( a unique ensemble of the 17th century architecture), Andronikov monastery, (The great medieval painter Andrei Rublev spent the last years of his life at the monastery and was buried there. The cathedral from the 1420s is the oldest surviving building in Moscow.), Christ the savior Cathedral (this is not an old building, but the cathedral has impressive interiors and today it’s the main church of Moscow).
Probably the most famous grave in the city is the mausoleum of Lenin on Red Square. Some people find it strange that a beautiful public square is the cemetery at the same time. But the Moscow authorities decided to keep the tomb as a tribute to the Russian history. The embalmed body of Lenin can still be viewed; the mausoleum is open 10-13 every day except Monday and Friday.
Behind Lenin’s mausoleum is the Kremlin wall necropolis. Here’re graves of the most important personalities of the Soviet times – Stalin, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko and others.
The most famous cemetery in the city is Novodevichye cemetery. In the Soviet times burial in the Novodevichy Cemetery was second in prestige after burial in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis It’s the final resting place of important politicians and leaders: Nikita Khrushchev, Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s wife Raisa Gorbacheva, writers: Gogol, Chekhov and Bulgakov, composers Shostakovich and Prokofiev. There’re also some notable graves on Donskoy monastery necropolis. Here’s the grave of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the memorial to victims of Stalin’s purges (people executed by NKVD were secretly buried here). In Peredelkino Necropolis one can find the grave of Boris Pasternak.
Parks and Gardens
Kolomenskoye (metro Kolomenskoye) used to be the residence of Russia tsars. It is truly one of the most beautiful parks in the city. It’s also an amazing ensemble of old Russia architecture. A must-see building is an elegant Church of the Ascension. It was constructed in the 16th century to celebrate the birth of Ivan the Terrible. Tsaritsino (metro Tsaritsino) is a picturesque landscape park. This residence was originally meant for the Russian queen Catherine the Great. Those who like the Soviet architecture should go to VDNKh (metro VDNH). This park was laid out in the Soviet times as an exhibition of the achievements of the Soviet industry and culture.
Christ the Savior Cathedral museum (15 Volkhonka street, Metro Kropotkinskaya) – tells the story of 1912 war and the history of the cathedral
Gorky house-museum (6/2 Nikitskaya street, metro Pushkinskaya, arbatskaya) (Gorky lived in one of the most beautiful houses in Moscow, the fantastic interiors have survived)
Water museum (13 Sarinsky pr, metro Proletarskaya) (the history of water pipe construction)
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