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Top Things to Do in Moscow
No matter how many times you walk on the uneven cobblestones of Red Square, the view is awe-inspiring and the experience monumental. Stand in the center and let your mind wander as centuries of Russian history unfold in the architecture. Tsars were crowned and traitors beheaded just outside of St. Basil's Cathedral's colorful domes. Soviet tanks once rolled ceremoniously across as Stalin surveyed from the sidelines, and Lenin's mausoleum is still guarded by stern-faced soldiers.
The Kremlin and Armory Chamber
The first walls of the Kremlin were erected more than 850 years ago and continue to symbolize Russian power today. Don't miss the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Gardens, a popular place for newlyweds to have their first photo taken. The Armory Chamber is the jewel of the Kremlin and contains one of the richest collections of silver, gold, diamonds, and Fabergé eggs in the country. Several halls display more than 4,000 artifacts dating back to the 12th century, including diamond-encrusted coronation thrones and extravagant Russian armor.
Moscow's oldest—and most famous—theater recently reopened after a complete renovation that took six years. Watching a ballet performance of a Russian classic, such as Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, on the main stage is unforgettable.
Wander through the rooms of Old Tretyakov's extraordinary collection of famous Russian icons, landscapes, and portraits housed in an early-20th-century building that feels more like a castle. The museum boasts one of the largest and most renowned collections of work from the prerevolutionary Russian realists known as the Wanderers.
After a recent renovation, this "Park of Culture" has once again become a very popular spot for Muscovites. The dilapidated Soviet buildings and Ferris wheel have been torn down and replaced with modern art galleries, cafés, and playgrounds. Young and old will find plenty to do here, from simply strolling around the vast green space to renting paddleboats, bicycles, or rollerblades. There are concerts and art shows in the summer, and snowboarding and ice skating in the winter.
If the imposing marble exterior of this Soviet-era iconic structure doesn't intimate you, the soldiers standing guard inside might. The stern guards are there to watch over Vladimir Lenin's embalmed body and ensure visitors maintain a respectful silence around the former leader of the Russian Revolution. Gigglers will be scolded. While admittedly morbid, the experience of seeing one of modern history's most noteworthy figures is certainly a can't-miss Moscow sight.
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Opened in 1912, the museum holds Moscow's largest collection of European art. Broken up into several wings, it contains both rotating and permanent collections of fine art and archeological treasures from Central Asia to Europe. The private collections wing has some outstanding art collected over the years by prominent Russian collectors.
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