Art, architecture, culinary delights and a pinch of adventure: find out more about the Russian capital Moscow with our travel guide.
7 Exciting Facts About Moscow
- Even though around 77 % of Russia's territory lies in Asia, Moscow is located in the European part of the country
- With around 12.6 million inhabitants, Moscow is the largest city in Europe (as of January 2021)
- Only about 5 % of Muscovites are indigenous
- The Moscow metro network is the busiest and largest metro network in Europe
- The name of the city is derived from the river "Moskva"
- The city covers an area of more than 2,500 square kilometres - about six times the size of Vienna
- Moscow is divided into a total of 12 administrative districts
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Moscow?
Hardly any other European city is as rich in contrasts as Moscow - also in terms of climate. Due to the so-called "continental climate", weather and temperatures could not be more different during the individual seasons. For this reason, it always depends on your personal preference when to travel to Moscow. However, if you are less attracted to extremes, spring is probably the best time. Especially from the beginning of May to the end of June, you can expect pleasant temperatures around 20 degrees, few rainy days and lots of sunshine. The perfect time to go on a city trip. On the other hand, if you like snowy and cold winters, January, February, November and December are the best months to visit Moscow.
The whole city is transformed into a winter paradise and you quickly feel like you're in a Disney movie. But beware: even those who are used to the cold will most likely freeze in Russia during the winter. Proper clothing is the most important companion on the trip. By contrast, it quickly gets hot in midsummer, but you can expect more rainy days, just like in autumn. So if you are planning a trip in the summer or autumn months, you should definitely bring an umbrella and a rain jacket.
What Is the Best Way to Get Around Moscow?
The Moscow Metro is a great transport network that is very helpful when exploring the city with a time limit. It also impresses with great architecture in many stations and is absolutely worth seeing. However, the metro is also a reason why visitors sometimes find Moscow a bit adventurous. If you can't read Cyrillic characters, you won't be able to understand the underground signs. The network maps, however, are also available in Latin script, but it is sometimes necessary to ask for help when changing trains. Today, the metro network covers almost 350 kilometres and over 200 stations.
Travelling from A to B without any trouble? No problem with the interactive Moscow Metro Map!
All Moscow Highlights at a Glance
What Are the Must-See Attractions in Moscow?
The Red Square in Moscow
In the centre of the historic old town, the Red Square is THE landmark of Moscow. The city is full of magnificent architecture, but the Red Square combines many highlights in one place. Here, you will find the famous Saint Basil's Cathedral with its onion domes, the Lenin's Mausoleum and the magnificent GUM (department store). No wonder, then, that the Red Square has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. Anyone visiting Moscow should certainly visit the Red Square and marvel at its architecture and flair.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow
There is a wide range of museums and art institutions in Moscow. Therefore, it is often quite difficult to choose the right one during a city trip. However, one museum seems particularly worth a visit: the Pushkin Museum. Especially art enthusiasts and friends of painting can look forward to a large selection of collections by renowned artists. For instance, artwork by Peter Paul Rubens, Lucas Cranach or Vincent Van Gogh. But you can also discover treasures, sculptures and relics from a wide range of different epochs. Sounds promising, doesn't it?
More information on admission prices, online reservations and tickets can be found here.
The Moscow Kremlin
Our next highlight takes us back to the Red Square. The Moscow Kremlin is the oldest part of the Russian capital and borders directly on the Red Square with its imposing walls. However, the medieval citadel, which was built in the 15th century and replaced the former castle, is particularly impressive. Ever since, the building has served as the official residence of princes, tsars and presidents, and should definitely not be missed on a city trip. It's also worth taking a look behind the Red Kremlin Walls. After a security check, you can visit some parts of the citadel, such as the armoury.
Click here to find out more about guided tours.
The Tsaritsyno Park in Moscow
Big, bigger, Moscow! The metropolis can quickly become tiring and exhausting. So, how about a short break? The Tsaritsyno Park provides the perfect setting for a little relaxation. The area is a bit outside the city centre, but easy to reach by metro. Here, you can not just stretch your legs and enjoy nature, but also admire the restored palace of the former Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow
If you stroll through the centre of Moscow, you can hardly miss our last highlight. The golden roof of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is visible at various points in the old town. With a height of around 103 metres, the cathedral is also one of the tallest Orthodox Christian church buildings in the world and is only a few metres away from the Red Square. The origins of the church date back to the early 19th century and it also boasts an eventful history. In 1931, the cathedral was destroyed, but by 2000, it had been faithfully rebuilt. Today, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour can be visited by anyone and, along with the Saint Blasius Cathedral, is one of the most famous sacred buildings in Moscow.
What and Where Should You Definitely Eat in Moscow?
Sightseeing makes hungry – whatever time of day or night it is. So it's a good thing that lots of Muscovite bars and restaurants are open around the clock. What culinary highlight should not be missed during a stay in Moscow? Of course: Borscht! The soup, traditionally prepared with beetroot, is THE classic of Russian cuisine and is particularly popular on cold days. But the filled dumplings "Pelmeni" should also be tasted in any case. For example, at Café Pushkin, where traditional Russian delicacies are still served - with modern ingredient additions in an extremely chic atmosphere. Make sure to stop by!
What Is the Ultimate Insider Tip for Moscow?
Not only the landing approach is particularly impressive at night, but also a sightseeing tour in the city. Therefore, a night tour should definitely be on your schedule in order to make the most of every minute and to enjoy the famous buildings, which are beautifully illuminated during the darkness! Photography lovers can take some special night shots here. A walk along the Moskva River offers plenty of exciting motifs. Not to be missed!
Flights to Moscow With Austrian Airlines
Do you fancy a trip to the European city of superlatives? Then book your next flight to Moscow right here and enjoy the unique flair of the Russian metropolis soon: