48 Hours in Moscow, Russia: 10 Cool Things To Absolutely Do

1. Visit Red Square and the Kremlin

Moscow’s iconic Red Square is a must-see for any visitor. The square holds historical significance, featuring impressive landmarks such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, and the State Historical Museum. The imposing Kremlin complex, situated adjacent to the square, is equally mesmerizing with its centuries-old fortifications and stunning cathedrals. Exploring this area offers a unique glimpse into Russia’s rich history and architectural marvels.

For a comprehensive experience, consider taking a guided tour of the Kremlin, where you can explore the opulent interiors of the cathedrals and visit the Armory Chamber, which houses a remarkable collection of Russian treasures, including Fabergé eggs and imperial crowns.

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Red Square
Kremlin

2. Admire the Treasures of the Hermitage Museum

No trip to Moscow is complete without a visit to the striking Hermitage Museum. Located in the heart of the city, this world-renowned art museum boasts an extensive collection of over 3 million artworks and artifacts. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to European masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt, the Hermitage Museum offers a fascinating journey through different periods and styles of art.

Spend hours wandering through the museum’s opulent halls, marveling at the intricate details of each artwork. If time is limited, be sure not to miss the museum’s highlights, such as the fascinating collection of Impressionist paintings and the stunning Peacock Clock, an animated masterpiece of late 18th-century engineering.

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Hermitage Museum

3. Explore the Vibrant Arbat Street

Step into the lively atmosphere of Arbat Street, one of Moscow’s oldest and most famous streets. This pedestrian-friendly avenue is lined with charming shops, cafes, and street performers, making it an ideal place for leisurely strolls and people-watching. Immerse yourself in the city’s artistic scene by visiting the numerous art galleries and souvenir shops that showcase Russian craftsmanship.

Arbat Street is also home to several iconic buildings, including the Vakhtangov Theatre, where you can catch a captivating performance of Russian theater, and the Pushkin Museum-Apartment, the former residence of the renowned poet Alexander Pushkin. Don’t forget to try some traditional Russian treats from the street vendors, such as freshly baked pastries or delectable honey-based sweets.

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Arbat Street

4. Marvel at the Beauty of the Bolshoi Theatre

No visit to Moscow would be complete without attending a performance at the world-famous Bolshoi Theatre. Known for its breathtaking opera and ballet productions, this historic theater is an architectural masterpiece that exudes grandeur and elegance.

Book your tickets in advance to witness the enchanting performances by world-class dancers and singers on the grand stage. If seeing a full-length production is not feasible, you can still admire the theater’s beauty by taking a guided tour, which grants access to the majestic auditorium and backstage areas.

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Bolshoi Theatre

5. Enjoy a Boat Cruise on the Moscow River

Indulge in the serene side of Moscow by embarking on a boat cruise along the beautiful Moscow River. This leisurely journey allows you to soak in panoramic views of the city’s skyline, witnessing its iconic landmarks from a unique perspective.

Choose from one of the many boat tour options available, including short cruises or longer excursions that take you to see lesser-known parts of the city. Some tours even offer dining experiences, allowing you to savor a delectable meal while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

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Moscow River Boat Tours

6. Delve into Russian History at the State Historical Museum

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the State Historical Museum is a fascinating journey through Russia’s past. Housed within a striking red-brick building, the museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Explore the museum’s many exhibits, including ancient Slavic artifacts, medieval weaponry, and intricately designed Fabergé eggs. The museum also regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific periods or themes, providing further insights into Russian history and culture.

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State Historical Museum

7. Experience Traditional Russian Cuisine

No trip to Moscow is complete without indulging in the rich and flavorful delicacies of traditional Russian cuisine. Explore the city’s diverse culinary scene and savor authentic dishes such as borscht (beetroot soup), pelmeni (dumplings), and blinis (thin pancakes).

Head to a traditional Russian restaurant, known as a “stolovaya,” to sample a wide range of traditional dishes served cafeteria-style. Alternatively, try the modern twists on Russian classics at one of Moscow’s contemporary eateries, where talented chefs creatively showcase the diversity and richness of Russian gastronomy.

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Restaurant Farine

8. Wander through Gorky Park

Take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle by escaping to the tranquil oasis of Gorky Park. This vast recreational area in the heart of Moscow offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking a peaceful stroll, fun-filled activities, or cultural experiences.

Wander along the park’s winding paths, enjoy a leisurely bike ride, or rent a rowboat to explore the serene lake. The park also hosts various art exhibitions, outdoor concerts, and film screenings, providing a vibrant atmosphere that showcases Moscow’s artistic side.

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Gorky Park

9. Discover Unique Russian Architecture at the Metro Stations

Underground metro stations in Moscow are not merely transportation hubs; they are architectural wonders that reflect Russia’s rich history and artistic heritage. Take a tour of the metro system to marvel at the intricate designs, stunning mosaics, and grandiose statues that adorn many of the stations.

Some notable stations, such as Komsomolskaya and Novoslobodskaya, are often referred to as “palaces of the people” due to their opulence and grand scale. Exploring the metro stations provides a fascinating insight into the architectural achievements of the Soviet era and their lasting impact on Moscow’s urban landscape.

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Impressive Moscow Metro Stations

10. Shop at GUM and Explore Nikolskaya Street

Indulge in some retail therapy at GUM, Moscow’s iconic shopping mall located adjacent to Red Square. This historic building is not only a shopper’s paradise, with its wide selection of high-end boutiques and international brands, but it’s also a architectural gem, featuring a stunning glass-roofed arcade.

Afterward, take a stroll along Nikolskaya Street, known for its vibrant atmosphere and festive decorations. Lined with various cafes, restaurants, and shops, this lively street is particularly enchanting during holidays, when it transforms into a magical wonderland with illuminated arches and stunning light displays.

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GUM

Conclusion

Moscow, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers. From exploring historical landmarks to immersing yourself in Russian cuisine and culture, this city has something for everyone.

By following this curated 48-hour itinerary, you can make the most of your time in Moscow and ensure you don’t miss out on these ten cool things. Remember to plan in advance, make reservations where necessary, and embrace the beauty and uniqueness of Russia’s capital city.