destination-hero

Courtesy Ritz Carlton

Moscow is often treated as St. Petersburg’s underrated, disgruntled sister, but the city has much to offer. Starting with the Diamond Vaults of the Kremlin, which display jewels the likes of which are only surpassed by the British Crown Jewels, and ending with the Bolshoi, more of a cultural mecca than just a theater.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…at the Park Hyatt or the Ritz Carlton on the club floor
  • Experience…the thrill of seeing royal treasures in the Diamond Vaults of the Kremlin
  • Splurge…on a private visit to the Kremlin before the gates are opened to the public
  • Eat…fresh sushi at Vogue Café amid the models and the moguls
  • Drink…cocktails or smoke hookah pipes at Cherdak, the hip restaurant/club
  • Savor…a morning amid great masterpieces at the Pushkin Museum
  • Visit…the Bolshoi for a behind-the-scenes tour and then a performance
  • See…the incredible Russian impressionists and icons at the Tretyakov Museum
  • Shop…for furs and stilettos at the legendary department store G.U.M
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations, special access activities and itineraries.

Lay of the Land

“Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma...”
~Winston Churchill

The largest city in Russia, Moscow is a sprawl divided into six districts (okrugs). Visitors will spend most of their time in the center of the city, surrounded and lined by several ring boulevards. The inner-most ring is the Boulevard Ring, which begins at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and runs the path of the 16th-century city walls; the one beyond it, comprising most major museums, is the Garden Ring. Similar to Paris, Prague and Budapest, the city is sliced in half by the Moskva River, but unlike those capitals, sights are not evenly distributed. The lion’s share of what you will tour is located on the north bank.

Kremlin/Red Square:
The heart of the city is made up by this massive city within a city. The Kremlin requires at least a half-day worth of touring (the diamonds in the Amoury alone are worth a visit). Though they are technically situated in the Petrovka district, two of the city’s best hotels, the Ritz-Carlton and Park Hyatt are located within walking distance to this seat of Russian power.

Tverskaya Street District:
Also known as Gorky Street, this is Moscow’s most well known thoroughfare and home to its most expensive shops, trendiest restaurants and cafés. Tverskaya runs north from Red Square and the surrounding streets and boulevards also contain many of Moscow’s best addresses, particularly Tverskoy Boulevard, home to such restaurants as Turandot and Café Pushkin.

Petrovka:
North of the Kremlin and east of Tverskaya Street lies this district, which is primarily known as the home to the Bolshoi Theatre. Several good restaurants are also situated here.

Arbat District:
Old Arbat Street is quite touristy, but its historic legacy, starting in the 15t century, makes it a must-visit. The pedestrian street was once a preferred address for Russian nobility, as well as for artists and academics, and its many historic buildings are incredibly photogenic. It’s chock-a-block with vendors hawking kitschy souvenirs. Don’t miss Arbat Square, the notable statues (including two of writer Nikolai Gogol) and the much-photographed street lanterns lining the pedestrian street. And though they are technically part of another district, this area is an easy jumping off point for touring the Pushkin Museum and Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Zamoskvarechya:
This district lies south of the river Moskva (its name translates as “the land beyond the Moscva River”) and overall, it feels more laid-back and easygoing than the rest of Moscow. Formerly a district of artisans and guilds, it holds several antiques shops, cafés and what is perhaps the city’s most impressive art museum: the Tretyakov State Galleries. One major luxury hotel is based here as well: the Kempinski Baltschug, which has spot-on views of Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Common Abbreviations:

Street: Ulitsa (Ul.)
Avenue: Prospekt (Pr.)
Square: Ploshchad (Pl.)
Embankment: Naberezhnaya (Nab.)
Island: Ostrov
Bridge: Most

Indagare Tip

You must have a visa to enter the country, and to secure them you will need paperwork from your confirmed hotels. For expediting assistance, Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team. Also be sure to hold on to your entry card; you will need it to check in at each hotel and for exiting the country.

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Beyond… Moscow

Consider combining your trip with one of these destinations.

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