48 Hours in Moscow

48 Hours in Moscow

By Caitlin Overend

48 Hours in Moscow

A city of drama that reverberates with energy, Moscow beckons poets, artists, dreamers and anyone else who longs to get lost in its romance and become part of its story, even if just for a couple of days. Moscow is brimming with stunning architecture, inimitable vitality and wonders found at every turn, a city equal parts welcoming and imposing, and home to a formidable history.

Have only 48 hours for your escorted tour of this magical city? Don’t worry – with Russia’s world-renowned metro system and walkable downtown area, there’s a lot you can accomplish in just two days. Here are our must-see sights and things to do in Moscow:

Private Tour of the Kremlin

Even those who have never been to Russia have likely heard of the Kremlin. Its reputation precedes it – the Kremlin is a staggeringly impressive fortress housing some of the country’s most beautiful cathedrals and the working residence of the Russian president. The Kremlin has been the bedrock of Moscow and Russia since its first walls were erected in 1147, with additional structures built throughout the following centuries. Because of its significance to Russian culture, history and politics, a trip to Moscow must include a small group tour of the Kremlin.

The complex is situated in the center of Moscow, and inside its walls are mighty testaments to Russia’s past rulers. Gaze at the elegant palaces of Russia’s tsars that glimmer with ornate architecture, including Grand Kremlin Palace, the residence of the president. Then head to the Diamond Fund, where your jaw will drop at the blindingly beautiful collection of jewels, including the largest diamond in the world. Also be sure to see the Cathedral of the Annunciation and the Cathedral of the Archangel, two of Russia’s most culturally and historically significant churches.

Bolshoi Theatre

Since 1825, Russian aristocrats have donned their most luxurious evening wear and settled into plush seats for a ballet or opera at the Bolshoi Theatre, one of the grandest theaters in the world. It is here that Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, “Swan Lake,” premiered, and the great Bolshoi Ballet has continued to charm audiences with its dancers’ immense talent. Little compares to seeing a show for yourself at the Bolshoi, but if your trip doesn’t allow the time, an escorted tour will immerse you in the grandeur and majesty of this preeminent theater.

Red Square

Red Square has been the location of many influential events throughout Russia’s history, including the World War II victory parade on June 24, 1945. There is much to see in Red Square, and it is a popular tourist destination buzzing with activity. The sight that will most likely catch your eye first, however, is the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its trademark swirled towers and fanciful array of colors. The construction of the cathedral was ordered by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century, and has since become perhaps Russia’s most famous landmark. Travelers can also visit the Lenin Mausoleum in Red Square, where the Father of the Revolution rests.

Moscow Metro

Called the world’s most beautiful metro, Moscow’s sprawling subway system is much more than just underground tunnels for its commuters to crisscross the city – it’s a work of art in its own right, with sparkling chandeliers, beautiful paintings and incredible architecture greeting citizens and travelers at every turn instead of dusty signs, leaking pipes and creaking tiles. The metro is the best way to get around the city, not only for its convenience – it has the record for on-time trains, with an accuracy of 99.99 percent – but to experience its one-of-a-kind beauty, drama and originality.

Novodevichy Convent

With a graceful and serene beauty, the Novodevichy Convent was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 and is one of the premier examples of the Moscow Baroque style in existence. Novodevichy Convent is unique in that it served not only a convent but also a fortress to protect the city and an important center of refuge and contemplation for the aristocracy of Russia since it was built in 1524. Tsars, their families and their advisors wandered its stately halls, humbled by the many impressive architectural and design features, including an unparalleled five-level iconostasis as well as its famous bell tower. 

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