Moscow is a very popular tourist destination and indeed a stunning city. It is the capital of Russia – a country famous for its unique and very obvious cultural diversity, rich history and turbulent politics, outstanding architecture and superb art – therefore an undeniably special country.
Moscow is known for its numerous architectural masterpieces, in particular, its churches and cathedrals with multiple golden or brightly colored domes (e.g. Saint Basil’s Cathedral – wow!), prominent museums and neat gardens. The city underwent drastic political and cultural changes, which is clearly reflected in the architecture, the people, and the spirit of the city. It is the center of Russian culture and thereby the home of many famous scientists, artists, and sportsmen.
We love Moscow for its unparalleled architecture and culture, its deep historical roots, locals’ hospitality (although at first sight, they appear serious and unfriendly), and their beautiful language.
As the largest city in Europe, it offers a large variety of cultural, sports, academic, and political institutions, and a long list of romantic activities and adventures.
Things to see
• Red square (the main city square and the heart of Moscow)
• The Resurrection Gate (the main entrance to the Red square)
• Kremlin (A fortified complex on the Red Square, which serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation. Within the complex, there are several important landmarks, like the Grand Kremlin Palace (formerly it was the tsar’s residence in Moscow, today it is used for official ceremonies), the Cathedral of the Annunciation (a Russian Orthodox church, home church of the royal family), the Cathedral of the Archangel, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower (the tallest tower in Kremlin), and the Tsar Kolokol Bell (a royal bell, the largest bell in the world).)
• St. Basil’s Cathedral (the iconic 16th-century cathedral, known for its multicolored domes, located on the Red Square)
• Lenin’s mausoleum (the resting place of Vladimir Lenin- the Russian communist revolutionary; located on the Red Square)
• GUM (the well-known large department store from the Soviet times, located on the Red Square)
• State Historical Museum (a museum of Russian history with an imposing exterior, located on the Red Square)
• Kazan Cathedral (a beautiful Russian Orthodox church located on the Red Square)
• Alexander Garden (a lovely public park, located between the Kremlin and the Manezhnaya square)
• Manezhnaya square (a large square at the heart of the city)
• Bolshoi Theatre (a historic theater, which holds performances of Russia’s world-famous Bolshoi ballet and opera)
• Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery (a world-famous church and a very popular tourist site)
• Moscow’s best museums and galleries include the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of fine arts, the Tsaritsyno Museum and Reserve, Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve, Kremlin Armoury museum and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
• Gorky Park, Park Pobedy (two of many beautiful parks in Moscow)
• Seven Sisters (seven imposing skyscrapers, built in the Stalin era; one of them is the main building of the Moscow State University)
• VDNKh (an amusement park and exhibition center, glorifying the communist ideology and displaying Soviet monuments, famous for its gold Friendship of Nations fountain)
• Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
• Moscow metro was built in the Soviet era and has without a doubt some the most beautiful metro stations in the world. Some of them are a true masterpiece and definitely an attraction of its own.
Things to do
• Go to the Sparrow Hills, one of the highest points in the city and enjoy the lovely panoramic view.
• Try some of the most famous dishes, like borscht (beet and cabbage red soup), blini (Russian pancakes with sweet or salty fillings), shashlik (meat on skewers), pelmeni (Russian dumplings), beef stroganoff, pirozhki (stuffed bread), caviar and of course, drink some vodka! 😉 If you want to turn a simple meal into a romantic historical experience, visit the Café Pushkin or the Turandot restaurant – two of the most elegant and breathtaking restaurants in Moscow.
• If you’re interested in Russian spirituality, you should visit a Russian Orthodox church.
• Take a city tour and enjoy the incredible sights. There are walking tours, bus tours, and scenic river cruises available.
• Take a Moscow metro tour and admire the most beautiful stations.
• Visit the Old Arbat area. It is an old pedestrian zone, known for many historic buildings, street artists, souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can buy some souvenirs here, have a snack and enjoy the lively bohemian atmosphere.
• See a Russian ballet or opera performance at Bolshoi theater.
• The Hermitage garden in the center of the city is one of the most romantic spots in Moscow. During the winter you can go ice skating and have some mulled wine, and when the flowers come into bloom, the park host many festivals and other cultural events. And in the middle of the park, there is a big sculpture of a heart, which is without a doubt a contributing factor to the romantic atmosphere.
• After the dark, you should head to the O2 lounge, the rooftop bar of the Ritz Carlton hotel, where you can enjoy the best view of the Red Square.
• Warm up in a banya – the Russian sauna. This old tradition is relaxing, detoxifying and potentially very romantic.
• If you get the chance, visit a dacha (a summer holiday retreat in the countryside, where the locals go to escape the city).
• Buy a Matryoshka, the iconic Russian nesting doll, which is considered the symbol of Russia and a very popular souvenir. It is actually a set of wooden dolls of different sizes, so you can place them one inside the other.
Accommodation in Moscow is affordable (if you’re not too picky). You can get a private room for around 25 EUR (27 USD), even in the city center. Nicer business hotels, on the other hand, are ridiculously expensive. In restaurants, where locals eat, prices are reasonable (starting at 10 EUR – 11 USD for a meal). If you plan to eat at restaurants for tourists, expect to pay at least three times as much. Transportation is cheap. Metro is the cheapest (and fastest) transport in Moscow (and an important landmark of its own). Fares start at 32 RUB (0,51 EUR/0,55 USD).
Where to stay
You can find nice accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Moscow experience.
Best time to go
If you visit Moscow during the winter, you will sure experience the famous Russian cold. In June, July or August, on the other hand, the temperatures reach a comfortable 20 to 26 °C. The high season is during the summer, so if you want to avoid the crowds, but still have nice weather, spring is the best time to visit Moscow.
♥ Top romantic experience
In Moscow, you can find romance in ballet, architecture, colorful domes, their rich history, telling monuments, and numerous beautiful parks. During the winter a perfect date would include ice skating on the Red square, surrounded by so many historic buildings and afterward a sauna for two. If you’re planning to visit the city during the summer, a picnic in the idyllic Hermitage garden would be our top pick.
♥ Top adventure
If you’re craving for adventure, you can rent a bike or scooter to explore the city, visit an adventure park, go diving in the Akvanavt Diving Centre, go skiing or ice skating, enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city on a hot air balloon ride or fly the legendary MiG-29. Yes, it’s possible, but only in Russia! The tour includes transportation from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod, where the adventure takes place, and back. Do you dare?! 🙂
Have you already been to Moscow? We invite you to share your top romantic experience and top adventure in the comment section below. 😉