Impressive and adventurous: The highlights of Moscow

Moscow’s a top destination – and not just for soccer fans! Art, architecture, great cuisine and a dash of adventure. So today, come and discover the highlights of the Russian capital with us .


Big, bigger … Moscow

You get to see just how impressive the city really is when flight OS 605, one of Austrian Airlines’ two services to Moscow, is in its final descent.  You only need to look down on the lights of the capital at night to see one thing very clearly: Moscow is vast. With more than 12.2 million residents and steady growth , it is the largest city in Europe. With the right plan, however, it’s no problem to experience the city’s highlights, even when only in town for a short time.

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A sightseeing tour with a WOW! effect

So what should you make absolutely sure to see while there? Well, first things first – head for what is one of the best-known places in the world: Red Square! Situated at the heart of Moscow’s historic old city , outside the Eastern walls of the Kremlin, it is a famous symbol and landmark of the Russian capital.

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The famous St. Basil’s Cathedral, which consists of nine individual churches.

Moscow is full of magnificent architecture , of course, but Red Square offers a particularly large number of highlights in one place. This is where you’ll find St. Basil’s Cathedral , with its famous onion domes , Lenin’s Mausoleum and the splendid GUM department store . Since 1990, Red Square has also been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. If you’re visiting Moscow for the first time, you should definitely let yourself be impressed by the city’s architecture and flair.

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GUM department store, on Red Square.

Moscow by night

It’s not just the landing approach that is particularly impressive at night. Your trip to Moscow should also include a sightseeing tour at night , to ensure you make the very most of every minute of your short getaway. The famous buildings are beautifully lit during the hours of darkness , and lovers of photography will be able to create some very enigmatic night scenes. A walk beside the Moskva River offers a wide range of exciting motifs.

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Moscow by night: the view across the Moskva River towards the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

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There are modern tourist attractions along the banks of the Moskva River, including skyscrapers such as the Evolution Tower, pictured on the right.

Borscht around the clock

Sightseeing gives you an appetite – whatever time of day or night it is. So it’s a good thing lots of Muscovite bars and restaurants are open around the clock.

For example the Café Pushkin , where traditional Russian delicacies such as borscht (beetroot soup) or pelmeni (filled dumplings) are served. And all this spiced up with modern ingredients, served in an extremely chic atmosphere – so be sure to drop by!

A dash of adventure – Moscow’s public transport

One thing before we start: the Moscow Metro is an incredible public transport network which can be very helpful if you’re exploring the city while the clock is ticking. Many of its stations are beautiful spaces in their own right for their great architecture , and definitely worth seeing. However, the underground is also a reason why visitors to Moscow sometimes find the city somewhat of an adventure.

If you can’t read Cyrillic characters, you won’t have any luck with the underground signposts. Maps of the network are also available in Latin script, but when changing , you will sometimes need to ask for help. Or just try your luck. After all, a bit of an adventure never hurt anyone.

The Metro network extends for almost 350 kilometres and has over 200 stations. Although the noise levels on the underground can get very high sometimes, the Metro is still by far the best way to get around Moscow.

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View of the Kremlin, seat of the Russian President, by night.

To finish off, here’s a tip in case you’re planning to do your trip to Moscow during the winter months: even if you’re well-used to the cold, you will quite probably find the Russian winter is in a completely different league. The right clothing will be your most important companion on this particular trip. If you’re particularly reliant on your mobile phone, then you should also be sure to pack an external battery, as the sub-zero temperatures mean the battery in your phone will empty much quicker than you’re used to. A brief recharge will soon bring it back to life, however.

If you prefer warmer weather to travel to Russia, then the weeks just after the Summer Solstice give you the chance to experience an extraordinary phenomenon: the “White Nights” in St. Petersburg. From the end of June until mid-July, it never really gets dark in the evening, and the city’s magnificent buildings are bathed in a magical twilight. For further details, click here!

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