What to see in Moscow in one day

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Although, like many other cities in the world, it is completely impossible to visit the Russian capital with accuracy in a single day, if by chance you are passing through Moscow it is worth considering a one-day excursion. Let yourself be enchanted by glittering domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, or the imposing Kremlin, the famous Red Square and the decorations of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

If the cold doesn't scare you and if you want to be fascinated by its grandeur and chaos, here's a possible itinerary for a one day visit to Moscow.


  1. Moscow day itinerary: Morning
  2. Moscow day itinerary: Afternoon
  3. Moscow day itinerary: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

Moscow day itinerary: Morning

1 - Kremlin:

Since there will be a lot of walking, it is important to start the day with a good and abundant breakfast. Our advice is to go downtown, to be precise at the Gum department stores, which are located right on Red Square. To get there directly from the airport a special train called Aeroexpress is available, with an average journey of about 30 minutes. The recommended specialty is tea, which accompanies the typical Russian fruit pancakes, for an average cost of around 7 Euros. Are you ready to take your walk in the wonderful Red Square, the starting point of numerous tourist routes through the historic center of the city. It is 330 meters long and 70 wide, for a total area of ​​23.100 square meters. The complex including the square and the Kremlin were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1990. The first recommended visit is to the Kremlin: it is such a large complex that to visit it all one day is not enough, so you might think of dealing only withArmeria, for which you have previously purchased vouchers online. The duration of the visit is about 3 hours, if it also includes the famous one Background of diamonds.

2 - Alexander Gardens and St. Basil's Cathedral

Once out of the Armory you can admire the Alexander Gardens and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where the eternal flame burns, guarded by the Honor Guard of the Presidential Regiment which changes the guard every hour. Cross the square and go to the St. Basil's Cathedral, one of the symbols of the city, with its colorful domes and magnificently frescoed interiors.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,4 km / 32 min
  • Places visited: Red Square (free), Kremlin Armory (700 Rubles), Alexander Gardens and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (free), St. Basil's Cathedral (350 Rubles)
  • Useful tickets: Kremlin Tour with Armory and Diamond Fund
  • Where to have breakfast: catering department of the GUM department store, at the Red Square

Moscow day itinerary: Afternoon

1 - Lenin's Mausoleum

Tired of the morning of visits and museums? It's time to sit down at the table and taste some Russian specialty. For lunch we recommend one of the restaurants of the Elki-palki chain, in Noviy Arbat street on the corner of Arbatskiy. There is no need to take any means to get there, as it is located near the Gogol boulevard and Vozdvigenka street, which leads to the Kremlin. It's definitely not the finest of clubs but it allows for enjoy real Russian cuisine in full Muscovite atmosphere. You can choose the dishes from the à la carte menu or opt for the buffet with cold dishes (around 400 Rubles per person, around 10 Euros), with hot dishes (around 500 rubles per person) or a mix of the two (for around 700 rubles per person , about 15 Euros). After lunch, go back to the Red Square towards Lenin's Mausoleum, which houses his embalmed body. It is a red granite building with a black band, so it is easily recognizable. Admission is free but it is forbidden to enter with backpacks, cameras and bulky bags, which can be left in the luggage storage of the State Historical Museum.

2 - Square of the Cathedrals and Gum Warehouses

After this short visit, you can continue exploring the Kremlin, this time dedicating yourself to the Cathedral Square. As the name indicates, five museum churches overlook this square: the Cathedral of the Assumption, which it houses the tombs of the patriarchs of the Orthodox church, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, the private chapel of the patriarch, the bell tower of Ivan the Great, with its two golden domes, the Cathedral of the Archangel where the most solemn functions in all of Russia took place, such as coronations, weddings and the funerals of the tsars, the Annunciation Cathedral, with its nine golden domes, private chapel of the royal family.
After the visit, which lasts about two hours, you can think about dedicating yourself to some entertainment, returning to the GUM department stores for a more in-depth visit to the shops of the gallery or for a relaxing break in one of the cafes.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 7,4 km / 1 h 37 min
  • Places visited: Lenin Mausoleum (free), Kremlin Cathedral Square (500 Rubles), GUM department store (free)
  • Useful tickets: Guided tour of the Kremlin for an hour and a half
  • B: Elki-palki, in Noviy Arbat street

Moscow day itinerary: Evening

1 - Bolshoi Theater and Tsum Warehouses

From St. Basil's Cathedral you can take a stroll through Red Square and Teatralnaya Square and head towards Revolution Square. Your next stop is in fact the Bolshoi Theater. It is about another symbol of the city, where it would be perfect to attend a ballet, but with only one day available it is a really difficult task! You can be content to admire it from the outside or take a guided tour to visit the interior. Right next to the theater are the TsUM department stores, which are spread over six floors in a historic neo-Gothic building.

2 - Shopping and dinner on Tverskaya street

If you are still not too tired you can take the best known street in Moscow, Tverskaya street, full of luxury shops and restaurants. At number 14 you can find a famous Eliseevsky typical delicatessen shop, where you can buy some souvenirs such as vodka, caviar or other typical Russian products. Your visit to Moscow can end in this area, with a dinner in some typical restaurant: by booking in advance you could have dinner at the famous Café Pushkin, at number 26, spending an average of 25 - 30 Euros for two courses.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,8 km / 35 min
  • Places visited: ex: Teatralnaya Square (free), Revolution Square (free), Bolshoi Theater (300 Rubles)
  • Useful tickets: Guided Walking Tour, Moscow Pub Crawl
  • Where to dine: Café Pushkin, Tverskaya street

Before leaving: useful tips

First of all it is good that you know that, like any other trip or excursion, a good preliminary preparation will allow the excellent success. Moscow is a very big city, there are many things to see and do, so first of all think about your "travel companions": will you visit it alone, as a couple, in a group, or with small children?

  • Clothing is essential. The climate of the city is continental, this means that winters are long and cold, mild or moderately hot summers. Bring suitable clothing with you according to the period in which you will be traveling.
  • There will be a lot of walking, so wear some clothes and above all comfortable shoes.
  • Fortunately there is public transport in the city very efficient and the main tourist attractions are concentrated in the historic center, where the Kremlin and Red Square are located. Use as much as possible public transport, in particular the metro, perhaps also combined with surface vehicles (buses, trolley buses or trams).
  • Buy and use the Troika card or the Moscow City Pass, an integrated rechargeable ticket that includes all means of transport in the city, including bicycles, at a very economical price.
  • Taxi is not recommended, given the chaotic traffic of the city.
  • Search for buy tickets first of entry to attractions and museums via the internet, as, especially during the summer, you will have to waste a lot of time waiting in endless lines.
  • Also as regards the restaurants where you intend to eat, Advance booking is recommended.
  • If you decide to extend your stay and enjoy Moscow by night, you can consult our accommodation offers in Moscow.

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

Obviously, having only one day available, you will not be able to visit the whole city adequately, and you will necessarily have to exclude some attractions. In our itinerary we have considered only the part of the historic center of Moscow, to avoid trips that waste time. The primary advice remains that of book tickets in advance and online for admission to the various attractions chosen. Here is also a list of places that can be avoided for a one day visit:

  1. Pushkin Museum. It is really too big and you will risk wandering around the building losing time to devote to other attractions.
  2. Tretyakov Gallery. If you are not an art enthusiast, you can avoid this boundless gallery that traces the 1200 years of Russian art history, from the first Orthodox icons to Chagall.
  3. Locals with staff wearing typical clothes. These are real traps for tourists who intend to offer a semblance of tradition but have very little traditional.
  4. Metropolitan. Although some of the Moscow metro stations are real attractions, you will not need to use this means of transport during your day of visit, so we recommend that you avoid visiting them.
  5. Gorky Park. This is the city's amusement park, named in famous songs but avoidable on your day trip.

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