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About city Gallery Where to stay

Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia. With an official population of over 12 million, it is Europe’s second largest city after Istanbul, although other estimates put the population much higher. It hosts the main governmental organisations of the Russian Federation, the headquarters of the largest Russian commercial enterprises and public organisations, as well as foreign embassies.

Moscow was founded on the brinks of the river bearing the same name, in the centre of the Eastern European Plain, between rivers Oka and Volga. It is a city of contrasts. So many epithets are used to describe it: “the big village”, “a paradise for the lucky few”, “a haven for all”...

In this megalopolis one can find the tranquillity of the almost rustic Zamoskvorechye alleys, the Moscow city centre with its shiny glass skyscrapers, and wooden houses with carved shutters in Chinatown. While some Moscovites wait in line for the newest Bentley model, others are pan-handling in the streets. On the brinks of the Moskva river one can see new modern high-rises neighbouring Khrushchev-era five-storey buildings that haven’t been renovated since they were built.

Red Square in Moscow
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Red Square in Moscow

Even the most experienced guide won‘t be able to list all of the Russian capital‘s sights. The number of historically significant places, monuments and museums is so big, that a lifetime would probably not be enough to visit them all – don‘t forget, we‘d also have to include venues hosting world-class musicians, renowned theatres with their international-level stars, art galleries exhibiting masterpieces of famed artists, and festivals ranging from bell music to beer.

Among the many sights it is possible to highlight several unique places and objects: the Bolshoi Theatre, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and the State Tretyakov Gallery. The Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, the Novodevichy Convent, and the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The hyperboloid construction of the Shukhov Tower as well the Ostankino Tower are noted as unique buildings.

Moscow
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Moscow

Each year Moscow is included in the list of the world’s most expensive cities. The prices in the Russian capital are incomparably higher than in provincial cities. Moscow also has more billionaires than any other place in the world. The city is also an important transport hub – five airports, nine train stations and three river terminals serve the public. Moscow has had a functioning metro network since 1935.

It would be fair to call Moscow the Mecca of trade. Anything a human being might need can be found here – from the products of Vietnamese sweatshops to luxurious yachts. All commodities find their customers in Moscow.

Moscow City
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Moscow City

Foreigners traditionally express an interest in Russian folk art, books and photo albums, products bearing labels of famous trademarks: imperial porcelain, “Red October” chocolate factory’s sweets and everything reminding of the Soviet era and the unique Russian mode of life. Other Russian souvenirs are popular as well: Russian nesting dolls, boxes and other items decorated with lacquer miniatures, shawls with Russian ornaments, unique laces, original crystal works, samovars, wooden and ceramic toys, to name just a few.

There are three main places to purchase such souvenirs in Moscow: specialized souvenirs shops on Arbat street, the “Vernisazh” market in Izmailovo and the observation platform in Sparrow Hills. Also, it is certain that every museum will have a gift shop with a small selection of souvenirs.

Where to stay

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