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24 Hours in Moscow

Twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War and Russia still seems a strange holiday destination to most people. However with budget airlines starting to fly to Moscow and the capital becoming more and more accessible to foreign tourists, with our useful guide on how to spend 24 Hours in Moscow, there's nothing stopping you from exploring the best that the capital of the world’s biggest country has to offer…


There is absolutely no better place to start a whirlwind tour of Moscow than in iconic Red Square. Enter through the Resurrection Gate in the North-West corner and admire the impressive view of the Cathedral of the Intercession, more commonly known as St. Basil's Cathedral, with its characteristic colourful onion domes. To your right is the constructivist mass that that is Lenin’s Mausoleum, where the first leader of the Soviet Union has been on display to the general public to pay their respects since his death in 1924. On your left is Moscow’s oldest and grandest department store, GUM. Although the prices at the designer shops inside might not be to everyone’s taste, the wedding cake interior is undeniably beautiful to walk around, and the Soviet-style canteen tucked away in a corner on the top floor, Stolovaya 57, is the perfect place to get a tasty and cheap Russian breakfast.


Moscow is an eternal city of both old and new, as alive in the depths of winter as in the middle of summer. If you’re in the mood for something modern and in the open air get the red line of the metro three stops south to Park Cultury, walk across the river and you will find yourselves in front of the imposing gates of Gorky Park. In winter the park is transformed into a huge ice-rink and in summer Muscovites of all ages rent bikes, lounge on beanbags under the trees and enjoy what’s on offer at the myriad food-vans and kiosks. Gorky Park is also home to the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art which hosts exhibitions of innovative Russian and international contemporary art. If you would rather bask in Moscow’s pre-revolutionary splendour, walk through the Aleksandrov Gardens from Red Square to the Kremlin. Inside its red walls are the buildings of the current Russian Government as well as the 12th century Assumption Cathedral where all of Russia’s Tsars were crowned, and the Armoury Museum with its incredible collection of jewel-encrusted state treasures and Faberge eggs.


Avoid the tourist trap ‘authentic’ Russian restaurants and sample the culinary delights of Russia’s more exotic cousin, Georgia. A favourite among young, hip Muscovites is Khachapuri, named after the traditional, and very delicious, Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread. There are English language menus, occasional live music on the piano or accordion and the atmosphere is always lively so order a large glass of Georgian red wine and enjoy – everything on the menu is good!


Nightlife is something that Moscow is certainly not short of and much of it is concentrated on the Bolotny Island in the middle of the Moscow River. One of the places to be seen at is Strelka Bar, part of the Strelka Institute of Architechture and Design, where if you arrive early enough to be let in you can enjoy the view of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (blown up by Stalin and rebuilt in the 90s) while you sip a cocktail on the roof terrace. Other bars and clubs around the former Red October chocolate factory are constantly reinventing themselves, so you will definitely find somewhere to while away the night until the metro opens again at 6am.

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