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A Walking Tour of Moscow

Moscow can at once overwhelm and awe. The city's sights are somewhat spread out, meaning you'll need a few days to see them. The outlined walk is designed to weave you around the city center for an introduction to the city, allowing you to pick and choose where to spend more time later.

Ulitsa Tverskaya: Moscow's Main Drag

The statue of Russia's most beloved poet, Pushkin, is a popular meeting spot for Muscovites and a great starting point. Ulitsa Tverskaya, in various forms, has been the main drag of Moscow for centuries. Shops and government buildings line the sides of its wide street, which is often blocked with Moscow's worst inhabitant—traffic. Stroll south, making sure to stop and browse in Yeliseyevsky Grocery at No. 14. Despite its ornate chandeliers and stained glass, the store's prices are reasonable, making it a favorite of Muscovites.

The mayor's office is just another block down, housed in a red building with white Corinthian columns across the street from a commanding statue of Moscow's founder, Yuri Dolgoruky.

Pereulok Kamergersky to Kuznetsky Most

You can while away a day sitting at one of this pedestrian street's sidewalk cafés. Making your way east, Kuznetsky Most is chock-full of interesting, prerevolutionary architecture, such as the art-nouveau apartment building at 3 Kuznetsky Most. Look up at the colorful mosaics on the facade. The intersection at ulitsa Petrovka is the heart of Moscow's high-end shopping district. Take note of the Central Department Store, or TsUM, which has been completely remodeled and now serves as a hub for expensive Russian and foreign labels. Continue on Kuznetsky most as it winds up past more high-end shops, cafés, and student hangouts. Secreti Bulochka at ploshchad Vorovskovo is a cozy café with cakes and sandwiches if you need a break.

Ploshchad Lubyanskaya to Ploshchad Teatralnaya

On the northeast side of ploshchad Lubyanskaya, the yellow stone building was once the KGB headquarters and notorious Lubyanka prison. It remains the offices of Russia's security services, as well as the starting point for exploring Kitai Gorod's winding streets and trendy bars and restaurants. Down proyezd Teatralny, you'll pass Destky Mir (Children's World), a store dear to every Soviet childhood, as well as the luxury-shopping lane, pereulok Tretyakovsky, on your left. The 19th-century remodeled archway bumps up against 16th-century walls that once fortified the ancient Kitai Gorod. Farther down, the Metropol Hotel stands across from ploshchad Teatralnaya and the pink Bolshoi Theatre.

Ploshchad Teatralnaya to Red Square

You're now entering some of the oldest parts of Moscow. Facing Zhukov atop his horse, you can enter Red Square from the right or left of the red State Historical Museum. Either way, coming onto the square is breathtaking. The walls of the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, and GUM surround you as you absorb the centuries of history that have unfolded here.

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