Moscow

A city beyond compare

Moscow, far from merely being the bureaucratic capital of Russia, this vibrant buzzing city dominates the political, economic and cultural imagination of the entire country. To Muscovites, little else in Russia matters, and to those who live far from the chaotic vortex, the city and its inhabitants take on near mythological proportions.

Moscow encompasses all that is good and bad about large cosmopolitan cities, and the city offers its own special kaleidoscopic version of Russia in an extreme dose. Some love it, some hate it, but one thing that everyone can agree upon, Moscow is a unique and extraordinary bombardment of the senses.

View of the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

Tour programs

Allowing yourself at least two or three days in Moscow definitely makes sense as it is a bigger city and it takes time to dive beneath the surface and to begin to breathe freely despite the more hectic pace of life in this cosmopolitan mecca. Of course The Kremlin is the highlight, whether you visit inside the grounds with a knowledgeable local guide, or satisfy yourself with views from Red Square. As the capital, Moscow ticks all the boxes in regards to galleries, museums and cultural attractions, highlights including: Tretyakov Gallery, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and of course the Bolshoi Theatre, and no visit to Moscow is complete without exploring the enchanting artistry of the subway stations. Apart from a three-hour guided city orientation tour, we do not have set tour packages; rather, guests can enhance the Moscow experience by adding on any one or more of the following guided tours, most of which are available year round.

Moscow guided city walking tour (3 hrs)

All our guides have their own personal touch, while of course, visiting the main sites and introducing you to the diversity of Moscow’s architectural styles from Russian-Moscow Baroque and Art Nouveau to the Pseudo-Chinese and Moorish influences. The 3-hour tour will generally include the following sites: Boulevard Ring, Puskinskaya square, Tverskaya street and it’s important buildings, Manezhnaya square, Marshal Zhukov monument, Aleksandrovsky Gardens, Red Square, St. Basil Cathedral (not inside), GUM (the main department store), Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (not inside), Zamoskvorechie Region, Lubyanka (former KGB building), Teatralnya square and Arbat Street.

Four Horse Fountain, Alexandrovsky Gardens, Moscow

Kremlin tour (3 hrs or 4 hrs with Armoury)

Closed Thursdays

The Kremlin is the true heart of Russia, the history of both of the early Tsars and of the 20th-century Communist State.  With your local guide and official escort we will visit the Assumption Cathedral where Russian Tsars and Emperors were crowned, the Annunciation Cathedral – private chapel of the tsar’s family, the Archangel Michael Cathedral – the burial place of the Russian Princes and Tsars. You will hear how Russian tsars received foreign ambassadors and gave feasts in the palace. You will also see Grand Kremlin Palace (19th century) – built as Imperial Residence, the Senate building – which today is the office of the Russian President. After the tour you can sit and rest in the Upper Kremlin Gardens.

The Armoury is home to art from the 12th to the 21st centuries, including: the royal crowns and regalia, the tsar’s ceremonial dress, vestments of church hierarchy’, gold and silverware of the Russian, European and Eastern master craftsmen, arms and armouries and royal carriages, the thrones of the tsars including the oldest of Ivan the Terrible, ambassadorial gifts from all over the world and jewelry including the famous Faberge Easter Eggs. A world-wide treasure known throughout the world, the exhibits offer a unique and treasured experience.

Tsar Cannon, Kremlin, Moscow

Pushkin Fine Arts Museum (4 hrs)

Closed Mondays

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts has one of the most representative collections of foreign art in Russia, dating from the ancient times to modern days. The exposition of the museum includes a vast collection of tinted plaster casts of famous ancient, medieval and renaissance sculptures and a collection of original works by foreign artists, sculptors and graphic designers together with objects of decorative arts. The rooms of the ground floor present mainly original works of ancient Egypt, antiquities, and European paintings of the VII-XVIII centuries. The first floor rooms acquaint the public with art of the 19th and 20th centuries; the collection of French impressionists is one of the best in the world.

Tretyakov Gallery (3 hrs)

Closed Mondays

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts has one of the most representative collections of foreign art in Russia, dating from the ancient times to modern days. The exposition of the museum includes a vast collection of tinted plaster casts of famous ancient, medieval and renaissance sculptures and a collection of original works by foreign artists, sculptors and graphic designers together with objects of decorative arts. The rooms of the ground floor present mainly original works of ancient Egypt, antiquities, and European paintings of the VII-XVIII centuries. The first floor rooms acquaint the public with art of the 19th and 20th centuries; the collection of French impressionists is one of the best in the world.

Metro tour (2 hrs)

Welcome to a world of mosaics, marble, hundreds of statues, thousands of trains and 8 million passengers. Over the last 60 years the Moscow metro has become an integral part of the city. Designed by the best Soviet architects and artists, it is one of the most efficient and astonishing underground systems in the world. Two stations fall under the UNESCO protection of heritage monuments; two others were the winners of World Fairs in New-York in the 1930s and 1950s.  Guests will learn about the people responsible for the creation of the metro, their fate, often tragic historical events associated with particular stations. The guide will raise the shroud of mystery covering the so-called “special-purpose-metro”, and explain how changes in the life of the country were reflected in the design of the metro stations. The tour takes in the older, richly ornate stations, along with the more modern stations, also designed in an interesting and attractive manner.

Metro in Moscow, Russia

Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral

Red Square is the major city square and one of the major landmarks in Moscow. The cobblestoned square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-Gorod.
An introduction to St. Basils’ Cathedral (situated on Red Square) is an obvious inclusion in the city tour. Rather than prolonging the guided orientation tour, and eating into the tie spent exploring further afield, the guide will provide an overview of the cathedral, along with descriptions of the Kremlin and Lenin’s Tomb, leaving guests to visit the interior of St. Basil’s Cathedral at on their own at the completion of the tour.

Lenin’s Tomb

Lenin’s Tomb is a very special monument and guests can enter free of charge; there is no guiding allowed. Personal belongings including bags and cameras must be left in the luggage room – this can be done at the Historical museum on Red Square or near the entrance to the Kremlin at the Kutafya Tower (Alexandrosky Garden –  a good 10 minute walk from Lenin’s Tomb). The queue for Lenin’s Tomb can take some time. Visitors are kept moving, therefore, you only get to spend a few minutes inside the mausoleum before you’re hurried out by the guards.

Pushkin Museum, Moscow

Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery (3 hrs by car)

This convent is a jewel in the crown of Moscow’s convents and monasteries with it’s white walls, towers topped by festive coronas, magnificent Smolensky Cathedral and a beautiful bell-tower. Tranquil and charming today, the convent was more than once the eye of turbulent storms of the events of Russian history. The tour recalls the figures of Boris Godunov, Ivan the Terrible, Nicholas II, Napoleon and of course many Russian princesses and tsarinas who were imprisoned or took the veil here. You will also visit Novodevichy cemetery, famous not only for its distinguished inhabitants, but also for the monuments of exceptional beauty and pleasing variety.

Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye (3 hrs by car)

The Kremlin is the true heart of Russia, the history of both of the early Tsars and of the 20th-century Communist State.  With your local guide and official escort we will visit the Assumption Cathedral where Russian Tsars and Emperors were crowned, the Annunciation Cathedral – private chapel of the tsar’s family, the Archangel Michael Cathedral – the burial place of the Russian Princes and Tsars. You will hear how Russian tsars received foreign ambassadors and gave feasts in the palace. You will also see Grand Kremlin Palace (19th century) – built as Imperial Residence, the Senate building – which today is the office of the Russian President. After the tour you can sit and rest in the Upper Kremlin Gardens.

The Armoury is home to art from the 12th to the 21st centuries, including: the royal crowns and regalia, the tsar’s ceremonial dress, vestments of church hierarchy’, gold and silverware of the Russian, European and Eastern master craftsmen, arms and armouries and royal carriages, the thrones of the tsars including the oldest of Ivan the Terrible, ambassadorial gifts from all over the world and jewelry including the famous Faberge Easter Eggs. A world-wide treasure known throughout the world, the exhibits offer a unique and treasured experience.

Old shop on Arbat street, Moscow

Sergiev Posad (6 hrs by car)

Six-hour tour by private car and guide to Sergiev Posad (or still better known as Zagorsk), one of the most interesting old towns of Central Russia, situated 70 km from Moscow. The blue and gold cupolas of the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius (Troitse Sergieva Lavra) mark one of the most celebrated centers of the Russian Orthodox Church. As the seat of patriarchate, it was permitted to function even during the Soviet era, when town was known as Zagorsk. The town was built in the 14th century as a settlement around the Trinity Monastery, established by reverend Sergius of Radonezh in 1340. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church and became one of the most honored of Russia’s Saints. The St. Trinity Sergius Monastery was one of the largest monasteries founded in Russia in the 14th – 15th centuries. In 1774 it was elevated to the status of Lavra, i.e. the monastery of the highest rank. Today it is considered to be the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church and has one of the most interesting historical museums, which displays Old Russian icons, ancient church plates, needlework, embroidery and Church books.