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