If you`re going to be studying in Derzhavin for a while, let`s say more than a month, you might be considering a trip to Moscow for a change of scenery. Given the ongoing rivalry between the current and former capital however, you might find it hard to find unbiased advice on whether such a trip is worth your time, but fear not, I`m here to help.
So what can you see in Moscow?
Let`s start with the obvious touristy places. You first stop should be Red Square which is 1 or 2 minutes away from Площадь Революции metro station. There is a lot to do here, seriously. On the square itself you can find the gigantic GUM shopping centre, the iconic St Basil`s Catherdral, the State History Museum, the War of 1812 Museum, the Kazan Cathedral and of course Lenin`s mausoleum. Nearby you`ll find the Eternal Flame of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Alexander gardens, as well of the ticket offices for and entrance to the Kremlin, with is churches, armoury, and jewel collection. There`s also shopping to be had nearby in Охотный Ряд.
If you want to check out the best that Moscow architecture has to offer there are a couple of sights I can immediately recommend seeing. Firstly two reconstructions, the Catherdral of Christ the Saviour, which was demolished by the Soviet Government in 1931 and rebuilt between 1995 and 2000, and the Wooden Palace of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich at Kolomenskoe, which was destroyed by Catherine the Great in 1768 and was rebuilt in the 1990s. If Soviet Architecture is your thing it`s worth exploring the city to find the Seven Sisters, seven grand Stalinist skyscrapers of which the Ministry of foreign affairs and Moscow State University (MGU) are two of the most famous. If you`re more interested in getting a more general feel of what Moscow looks like then taking a cruise down the river Moskva is a great way to do just that.
The VDNKh Exhibition ground located in the north of the city not far from the Metro Station of the same name is also a great place for architectural sight seeing and a fantastic place visit in general too. On sunny days it`s a great place to walk and relax and if you want there are some roller coasters and other rides there too. On rainy days you can go there to visit one of the exhibitions in the park`s many Pavilions or to visit the nearby Museum of Cosmonauts or the newly built aquarium, which is hilariously titled, Москвариум.
In weather good and bad
The weather in Moscow tends to be a bit better than in St Petersburg, so you might want a few more places to explore in the sun. In that case I`d recommend Ekaterininskii park, Chistiye prudi, and of course, Gorkii park. Kolomenskoe, which I mentioned earlier is also a huge park which is worth taking the time to explore.
If on the other hand you get unlucky or you`re just you are looking for other museums and galleries beyond those that can be found on Red Square and at VDNKh, I can recommend the Tretyakov gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Russian History. If you`re a literature lover the Bulgarkhov museum is also worth a look, as of course is the Pushkin Museum.
If shopping, rather than parks and museums, is your thing, you have to try not only GUM, which I mentioned earlier, but also TsUM, which is not far from Ploschad` Revolutsii station. There`s also more affordable shopping to be had in the Evropeiskii Tsentr at Kievskaya Metro Station. If you`re looking for souvenirs then try Starii Arbat or the Izmailovo Wooden Kremlin near to Metro station Partisanskaya.
Eating and Entertainment
Of course while you`re in Moscow you`ll want something to eat. Once of the best places to try is Maroseika Ulitsa near Kitai Gorod metro station. An especially good place to try there is the Italian restaurant People and Pasta (Пипл и Паста). There also are some great places near Novokuznetskaya metro station. If nothing else the English pub Punch and Judy is worth a look.
For theatre lovers, you can of course check out the Bolshoi theatre, however The Malii Theatre is unfortunately closed for repairs until September 2016. If you`re looking for something a bit cheaper, on the other hand, it`s worth considering the Moscovskaya Operetta.
Hopefully, I`ve given you a few ideas of places you can go and things you can see, but if you want to keep abreast of the most up-to-date information on theatre showings, restaurant openings and cultural events you should regularly check the Moscow times newspaper at www.themoscowtimes.com. I`d also really recommend downloading the Yandex Metro app (Android and iOS) if you haven`t already. It`ll make navigating the Moscow metro a lot simpler for you and will give you a better idea of how long it`ll take you to get to places. One final piece of advice, the Moscow metro works exactly the same way as the one in St Pete`s, however it uses tickets rather than zhentons. These can be bought inside metro stations for 50 roubles for a single journey.
Whatever you end up doing in Moscow, of course, the most important thing is that you enjoy yourself and stay safe.
Enjoy your trip!