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Moscow can be a rather enigmatic city to most Western visitors. It's famous for the Kremlin and Red Square, of course, but is also readily associated with political skulduggery and corruption!

However, you're unlikely to meet any KGB agents on your visit. Instead, you should focus on Moscow's attractions. These include Lenin's Tomb, St Basil's Cathedral and the extensive Gorky Park. Moscow tours, by whatever means of transport, should also include a visit to one of the amazing metro stations, which are an architectural highlight in themselves. Or you can visit the Garden of Fallen Monuments, where statues of Stalin and Brezhnev were placed after the fall of Communism.

After a hard day's sightseeing, it would be rude to refuse a vodka or two to help you relax. The city nightlife is thriving, even if the locals are cynical. Just remember your Russian phrasebook so you can order!

If you're heading out for a meal and don't fancy traditional Russian staples, then head to one of the many Georgian and Armenian restaurants, which offer aromatic stews and kebabs from the far-away Caucasus.

And remember that, whatever the weather; you should eat ice cream on your visit. Russians proudly eat cones even during the coldest days of winter!

Travel to Russia without taking a tour of its Moscow would be like experiencing only half of the Russian cultural atmosphere. Though often called a “flat” capital, due to the geographic specificity of the area, Moscow boasts with a great collection of Moscow attractions that include monasteries, art galleries, museums and unique architectural landmarks.

And even if the Kremlin and the Red Square are the only things you've heard about Russia, you'll be surprised to discover much else in Moscow. Without being so much different from other European cities, Moscow often catches the tourist unprepared: all signs, directions and street names are in Russian, so how can you find your way?

Depending on how you reach Moscow, you will need a different approach to getting through the city. There are five major rings of development counting from the center that includes most of the sights and going to the peripheral areas where you are most likely to land if you arrive at Moscow by plane; all the five airports of the city are located at a considerable distance from the center – somewhere around 20 miles.

Moscow travel

You've got two choices here: you can either turn to one of the “airport-city transfer” companies that will wait for you at the terminal and drive you to the hotel; or you can take things on your own and use public transportation or cab services. The former variant requires pre-booking of the service and it is considerably more expensive, whereas the other is less costly but more challenging.

Tverskaya Avenue is the main street of Moscow, it has the Kremlin at one of its ends, whereas the other continues in the Leningradskoy Shosse as part of the most direct route to St. Petersburg. The rings that we have already mentioned are characteristic for the radial structure of the city, but there is one more thing you should know when you are trying to find a certain building on a street: house numbering starts from the center with the odd numbers on the left side of the street and the even numbers on the right. Thus, Tverskaya 1 is none other than the Kremlin building located at the very heart of the Russian capital.

Depending on how you choose to get around, there are various things that can help you stay oriented. The underground uses a color system for each main area of Moscow with maps of the train routes. And experience has taught many that this is the most important code to follow, since a foreigner will find it almost impossible to figure something out from the directions in Russian available in the stations. Consequently, make sure to purchase a comprehensive map and carefully study it before venturing on any sightseeing tour.

 

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