Moscow: What to see in the capital of Russia (part II)

Welcome to this second part of our tour of Moscow. In the first article we visited the Red Square, the north of the city and the districts of Arbat and Fili.
Now I propose to continue in Moscow, visiting the south of the city, the subway and its magnificent stations and, of course, the guide of gastronomy, leisure and transport that will help you plan your trip through the capital of Russia.

History and parks in the south of the city

A new route I propose now. We are going to know what the south zone of Moscow has in store for us.

To the southeast of the Red Square, and bordering the Moskva River, we find the Kotelnicheskaya naberezhnaya avenue. If we walk a few meters we will reach the Kotelnicheskaya skyscraper, one of the seven huge buildings designed by Lenin.

The building was built to house elite homes, but over time they became communal apartments. This skyscraper is of neo-Gothic style and was finished in 1952.

If we continue along the river we will enter the Taganskaya District. Here we can visit one of the most impressive museums in Russia.

This is the Cold War Museum, or also known as Bunker 42. The site was built in 1956 to provide shelter from a possible nuclear attack. It is 65 meters (213 feet) deep and connected to two subway stations in case people had to escape. To disguise it even more, the Soviets decided to build it under a building.

Graphic showing the design of the Bunker 42.

In addition to the museum, we can find a games room, conference space and restaurants inside.

It is one of the most expensive museums in Russia, the entrance costs 1,800 rubles (23.75 euros), but it is worth your visit. It operates from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and has guided tours in Russian and English.

Leaving the museum, and walking 1,000 meters further south, we will find the Novospassky Monastery. It is the first monastery founded in Moscow. It is a fortified complex with several temples inside.

During the Soviet times it was used as a detention center for drunks and in 1991 returned to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Our next destination in this area of ​​Moscow is the Kolomenskoye Park. This place is located 8 kilometers  (5 mi) south of Novospassky Monastery and 11 kilometers (6.85 mi) of Red Square.

Kolomenskoye is a huge green space on the banks of the Moskva River, formerly used as a place of suburban residence of the tsars and dukes of Russia. In the park we find churches, places to eat, museums, fantastic views and places of rest.

One of the most famous buildings of the place is the summer palace of Zar Alekséi Mikhailovich. The park is very large, so if we have time, we can walk freely from north to south.

To get to the Kolomenskoye Park or to this area of ​​the city we can take the subway line 2 (green) at the Teatralnaya Station in the center of Moscow, and we must get off at the Kolomenskaya Station.

On the other hand, if we have visited the aforementioned sites (the Bunker 42 and the Novospassky Monastery), from there, we can take the bus line 608M and get off at the Muzey Kolomenskoye stop.

The famous Moscow Metro and its stations

The metro system in the Russian capital is a tourist attraction in itself. Its wonderful stations dazzle everyone who passes by.

I recommend that you reserve some time to get to know the metro more in detail, either while you are on your way to a destination in the city, or simply take this transport to admire some of its stations.

The subway ticket costs 55 rubles (0.73 euro). The service operates between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. in the morning.

Roof and sculptures in a Moscow metro station
Metro stations have decorations that make them true palaces.

Some of the Moscow metro stations that you can not miss are:

Arbatskaya Located in the center of the city. It was designed to also serve as an anti-bomb shelter. It has pillars and roofs decorated with ornamentations. It belongs to metro line 3 (blue color).

Ploschad Revolyutsii One of the most famous in the city for its number of statues. Thousands of tourists come to see the sculpture of a dog built in bronze, which accompanies a border guard. It is said that rubbing the dog’s nose brings good luck. The station is also on blue line 3.

Kurskaya Famous for its Hall of Fame of the Second World War. Also on line 3 of the metro.

Komsomolskaya It has mosaic murals about the Russian victories and a great resemblance to a baroque palace. The station is accessed through line 1 (red) or line 5 (brown circle line).

Prospekt Mira Station decorated with marbles and bas-reliefs that show floral designs and scenes of the development of agriculture in the Soviet Union. It is located on the subway lines 6 (orange) and 5 (brown).

Novoslobodskaya Famous for its colorful glass windows. Also located on line 5 brown.

Kyevskaya Characteristic for its vaults and 18 mosaics that commemorate the union of Russia and Ukraine. We can access it by line 5 (brown) or 4 (light blue).

Belorusskaya Stands out for its white roofs, with engravings and mosaics. It is accessed by line 5 (brown) or 2 (green).

Elektrozavodskaya Its main characteristic is the combination of its hundreds of lamps, floors and sculptures. The station is in the east of the city, on the blue line 3.

Park pobedy It is the deepest station in Moscow and the third in the world. It is modern and stands out for its floor and image on the wall. We arrived at it with metro lines 3 (blue) and 8A (yellow).

Slavyansky Bulvar It has a style that resembles Paris metro stations. It is located on line 3 (blue), in the west of Moscow.

Park Cultury The station is decorated with 26 bas-reliefs illustrating the activities of the young Soviets. Access through lines 1 (red) and 5 (brown).

Mayakovskaya Its lighting, embedded lamps and mosaics on the ceiling make it a very avant-garde station. It is located on line number 2 (green line).

Novokuznetskaya With white ceiling and marble walls that contrast strongly, this station evokes in its decoration the Soviet resistance against the Second World War. It belongs to line 2 (green), but it is also connected to lines 8 (yellow) and 6 (orange).

Taganskaya The main feature is the maiolica panels located on each side of the pylons. The station belongs to line 5 (brown), but it is also connected to lines 7 (purple) and 8 (yellow).

Dostoevskaya Inaugurated in 2010, this station has curious decorative elements that have generated some controversy in the past. We find it on line 10 (light green).

metro moscow best stations map
In this map are highlighted with a black line the subway stations mentioned above.

Gastronomy

In the central area of ​​Moscow you have Tverskaya Street, where restaurants abound. Some of them are, Gin-no Taki (specialty in Japanese cuisine and seafood), Jonjoli (Eastern European cuisine), Grand Alexander (Asian and European), Dzhondzholi (Russian and pizzas), Chaihona (Eastern European cuisine and Asian), Mu-Mu (fast food, European), among others.

The Pushkin Café is one of the most famous in the city and we find it in this area. It stands out for its Russian and European cuisine. It is advisable to book in advance due to the demand.

Near the Red Square you will find Il Pizzaiolo and Pizza Express (both with specialty pizzas), Il Nostro (Italian and Georgian cuisine), Coffee Room (coffee bar), Zinger Grill (steakhouse), Shokoladnitsa (coffee), Balchug Grill (European and Russian), Pelmennaya Lavka (Russian, European and Asian), among many others.

Another place full of bars and restaurants is Arbat Street, west of Red Square. There we can find Jeffrey’s Coffee Arbat (coffee and American food), Paul (Russian and European food), Rucola (pizzeria and European cuisine), Pirosmani (Russian and fish), to name just a few.

Between the area of ​​Arbat Street and the International Business Center, along the coast of the Moskva River, we have more establishments, as well as around the Novodevichy Monastery.

The best rated Moscow restaurants on TripAdvisor are Dzhumbus (Mediterranean, Eastern European and meat), Beer Harbor (pub), Megobari (Georgian), AnderSon (contemporary and European cuisine), Osteria Mario (Mediterranean) and One Teaspoon (Central European and vegetarian cuisine).

Afimall Moscow
Interior of the Afimall shopping center.

Leisure and entertainment

With 16 million people, Moscow is a complete city with a wide range of entertainment for all tastes.

If you want to visit the museums that we saw in the article or another (there are many), keep in mind that they usually have their rest day on Mondays, so they remain closed.

Another major attraction in Russia or any Soviet country is opera. We can attend the Bolshoi Theater, the opera Novaya or the Ballet of the Kremlin Palace.

The ballet and opera performances usually start at 7 p.m. The cost of an entrance to the Bolshoi Theater starts at 3,000 rubles (39.60 euros).

If you get to this place, you can not stop visiting its restaurant. The functions in the Bolshoi begin in September and end at the end of July.

The Russian National Ballet Kostroma performs a Russian folklore show at the Folklore Theater, every year between June 15 and September 15.

The nightlife of the city is very varied. While there are thousands of nightclubs in Moscow, the best ones are Pravda Club, Krysha Mira, Propaganda, 16 Tons, Lookin Rooms, Gipsy and Night Flight.

Moscow Avenue night
Moscow has wide avenues and a lot of traffic.

Accommodation

Moscow is one of the largest cities in Europe and its accommodation offer has thousands of options. There are many luxury establishments, but also cheaper options.

Among the top-class hotels are the Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheraton Palace Hotel Moscow, Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Center, Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka, Sheraton Moscow Sheremetyevo, Russian Seasons Boutique, Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya. The approximate prices start from 140 euros per night.

In a medium term we have Hotel Olimp, Crossroads Hotel, Sultan-5 Hotel on Belorusskaya, People Business Novinsky Hotel, Hotel Shuhov dacha, Wellve Peveletskaya, Fili House Hotel, among others. One night in one of these establishments is around 70 euros.

Among the cheapest hotels in Moscow we can mention All Bears Hostel, Hostel Usadba na Taganke, Hostel Forma, Axel Hostel, Travel Inn Aviamotornaya, Biblioteka Hotel and others. The price of one night in the cheapest places is usually around 25 euros.

Gorki Park
Gorky Park on the banks of the Moskva River.

Transport

We can get to Moscow in several ways. If you prefer the airplane, you have to know that there are 5 airports in the city.

Sheremetyevo (SVO), the most important in the country. It served 40,093,000 passengers during 2017, placing it in 50th place on the list of the busiest airports in the world. It is located in the north of the city, 27 kilometers (16.77 mi) from the downtown.

It is the airport with the largest number of destinations and serves as a base for Aeroflot airline, the largest in Russia. Recently it received important works of extension and soon its third runway will be inaugurated. It is connected to the city by highway and train service, buses and taxis.

Domodedovo (DME), the second in the city in terms of occupation. It is located in the city of the same name, 42 kilometers (26 mi) south of downtown Moscow. It has connection with the city by trains, buses and taxis.

Vnukovo (VKO), It is the third airport in Moscow and Russia by occupation. It is located in the west of the city, 28 kilometers (17.40 mi) from the center. It connects with Moscow by train, buses and taxis.

It is expected that after 2020 it will become the first airport in the city to be linked to the metro network, when line 8 is extended.

Zhukovsky (ZIA), It is the fourth in the city by traffic. In 2016 it was reopened after an important reconstruction that added amenities and capacity. It is located 40 kilometers (25 mi) southwest of downtown Moscow and is accessed by train and bus.

Ostafyevo (OSF), It is the fifth Moscow airport in importance. It is located 30 kilometers (18.65 mi) south of the city center. It is used mostly by private and executive flights. It is accessed by road.

Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport
Sheremetyevo Airport is the largest in Russia.

Moscow has good bus connections with many cities in Russia and neighboring countries. Its main station is called Moscow Central Bus Terminal and it is located in the northeast of the city, 13 kilometers (8 mi) from the Red Square.

An agile way to connect this terminal with the downtown Moscow is line 3 of the metro (blue line), which has its final station (Schelkovskaya) a few meters away. There are also bus routes, marshrutkas to get to or from the bus station.

The central bus terminal operates from 06:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Moscow area map with airports
Moscow is a huge city and to reach distant attractions such as the Kolomenskoye Park or the various airports, it is necessary to use some mode of transport.

Moscow has several railway stations spread throughout the city, each of which has its own destinations, either on commuter trains or long distance:

  • Leningradsky, Located 3 kilometers (1.86 mi) northeast of the Red Square, the station serves train services with destinations in northwest Russia (such as St. Petersburg) and also in Estonia and Finland.
  • Kazansky, Located a few meters from the Leningradsky station. It is the most important in the country. With services to the south, east and southeast of Russia. In its surroundings we find numerous shopping, food and entertainment establishments.
  • Yaroslavlsky, Close to the previous two, it has suburban and long distance train services to the largest choice of destinations, such as Siberia, China, Mongolia, the Pacific Ocean, the White Sea, among others.
  • Belorussky, Located northwest of Moscow. It is an architectural monument and one of the most modern in the country. It offers services of suburban trains, long distance to the west and north of Russia and the Aeroexpress, that travels to the Sheremetyevo Airport.
  • Kievsky, Located to the west, near the Hotel Ukraina. It is an architectural monument protected by the state. It is one of the busiest in Russia. It serves long-distance trains and electric trains, which travel to the west and southwest of the country. The Aeroexpress departs from this station and takes us to the Vnukovo Airport.
  • Paveletsky, This station in southern Moscow offers services to the Caucasus and cities located in the middle and lower Volga River basin. From here, the Aeroexpress departs to the Domodedovo Airport. It has connection to the metro and several bus lines.
  • Kursky station, Located east of downtown Moscow. Several railway routes pass through this place. It offers varied destinations such as St. Petersburg and cities in the Caucasus, Crimea, Black Sea and eastern Russia.
  • Rizhsky station, Located in the northern zone, this station has suburban services and two long distance routes (to Riga and Velikiye Luki). A railway equipment exhibition center also operates here.

Getting around Moscow is relatively easy thanks to its extensive transport network. The city has many bus lines and marshrutkas (minibuses and vans) that run along the main streets and avenues. The service is complemented by electric buses and trolley buses. In fact, Moscow has the most extensive trolleybus network in the world.

There is a monorail line, several tram lines and some interurban transport boats that navigate the Moskva River.

This year, a cable car was opened to transport peopleover the river, between the Luzhniki Stadium park and the Sparrow Hill.

The Moscow metro opened in 1935 and since then it has grown in size. It currently has 16 lines (including the monorail and the circle line), 259 stations and is one of the deepest in the world. The metro lines have a number and color assigned. There are numerous connection stations, where you can transfer from one line to another.

To travel in different means of transport in Moscow (bus, tram, metro, trolleybus), it is advisable to purchase a Troika Card.

These reusable plastic cards can be obtained at any metro station, at the automatic machines of Mosgotrans and at the Svyaznoy stores.

When you buy it for the first time it costs 50 rubles (0.66 euro) as a deposit, which will be refunded if we return the card.

The Troika can be recharged in the metro (at the ticket offices or in the automatic machines), in the Svyaznoy and Megafon stores, in the Aeroexpress offices of the airports, and also through SMS and web.

The cost of a trip by subway is 55 rubles (0.73 euro). The Troika has the “90 minute ticket”, which gives us a discount if we make a trip by metro or monorail + an unlimited number of surface trips (trolleybus, bus, tram), all within a time interval of 90 minutes .

Moscow Metro Map
The Moscow metro is operated by the company Moskovsky Metropoliten and its stations are identified by the letter “M” in red. Here you have the complete map of all its lines. You can see it in a higher resolution by right clicking on it and then in “Open image in a new tab”.
Vystavochnaya Moscow metro station
Vistavochnaya Station, located in the International Business Center.

In the following map you will find the attractions located in the downtown area of the city, as well as the different train stations.

This is the end of today’s guide article for Moscow, with the promise of continuing to visit more of this beautiful city very soon.

Moscow downtown map
Sites seen on today’s tour through the center of Moscow and nearby districts.
Source: Nikolay Vorobyev, Pavel Kazachkov, Syuqor7, A. Savin, Yuri Dolgoruky, Jorge Lascar, Radisson Cruise, Bunker 42.
News Reporter

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