see + do
Moscow see + do
Sightseeing in Moscow is both rewarding and frustrating: To explore the city's rich history and dramatic transformation to a market economy, you have to deal with its rough-and-tumble pace, lapses in service, unreliable schedules, and price gouging. If you're traveling on your own and want to see more than Red Square and the Kremlin, plan on spending at least five days in Moscow; seven if you want to explore sights outside the city. While some top attractions (Red Square, the Kremlin) are stunningly obvious, others, such as such as Winzavod (a trendy contemporary art center), the Tolstoy House-Museum, and the river boat tour, can be hard to locate. Once you find your destination, expect to pay a stiff premium at the ticket office unless you can speak Russian without an accent, or are accompanied by Russian friends. And carry your passport and hotel registration slip at all times. The police are known for shaking down tourists: If anything is out of order—and even if it's not—they may demand a "fine," often $100. But it's not all gloom and doom in the capital. The city is trying to become more visitor-friendly by installing English-language signs and developing a tourist route that links central sites with pedestrian bridges. You can walk across a bridge near the Kremlin to the Tretyakov Gallery, for example. For visitors who want to explore the city with fewer hassles than they might encounter on their own, Patriarshy Dom Tours offers a daily selection of tours in English, starting at about $20 plus admission fees.
Built in honor of Russia's victory over Napoleon in 1812, the original Cathedral of Christ the Savior was dynamited at Stalin's orders and slated for...more