This city of 10 million is Russia's heart, economically and culturally. From theater to big business and even transportation, all roads lead into and out of Moscow, so there's no shortage of choices for visitors who want art, culture, nightlife, or shopping.
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- Red Square at night is an icon of Russia. From the onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral to the Red Star of the Kremlin, it lives up to the hype and then some.
- The arts are central to the Moscow experience, from the Bolshoi (renovations will be finished this year) to the Conservatory.
- An amble down Tverskaya is essential. Moscow's Fifth Avenue hums in summer with people browsing the chic shops and enjoying the Art Nouveau buildings.
- The city celebrates Victory Day in early May with fireworks.
- The 30-year-old International Film Festival rolls into town in early June.
- Kolomenskoye is a great way to sample the outdoors around Moscow, on a bluff overlooking the Moskva River.
- Visit Zagorsk, 47 mi/76 km from Moscow, for one of Russia's most beautiful monasteries.