Moscow is one of the world’s most expensive cities, but worth the price of admission if only to spend a couple days immersing yourself in the Kremlin.
The Kremlin and Red Square are magnificent in their aesthetic presence and fascinating history. Lenin’s Tomb looms near St. Basil’s Cathedral (the quintessential Moscow postcard photo). Inside the Kremlin are a couple churches and museums full of jewelry and clothing from the days of Catherine the Great, Ivan the Terrible, and other Russian czars.
We had guides for these places and it was worth it — good ones can really illuminate what you’re looking at. And Russian history is interesting, especially since a defining moment in its past happened just 15 or so years ago.
We also did a bus tour around the city. With 15 million people, it’s a big place, and the bus tour shows a variety of other nooks and crannies. But none stood out (from the bus, at least). The Red Square is really where it’s at in Moscow.
The Moscow Metro (subway) is worth riding. The metro stations are actually quick tourist spots because they are so ornate. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling, expansive stone benches abound. Oh – and the subway is on time, clean, and air conditioned. NYC subway it’s not!
I’m fascinated by what Russia / Moscow is like in the winter. I would expect the Red Square and the surroundings would feel entirely different when covered in white. We were lucky with the weather (sunny the whole time expect for one night which played host to our futile hunt for a Mexican restaurant). The sun in part reduced the stereotypical dour appearance of the Russian people.
All in all, a massive, urban city, which vibrates strongly at its heart (Kremlin). Expensive, for sure, but worth a visit for any international traveler to those parts of the world.