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Moscow Calling: Top Places To Visit On Weekend

Moscow is one of the most popular directions for citizens of Saint Petersburg. Mayya Afanaseva created a list of places that will leave only pleasurable impressions.

Moscow Calling: Top Places To Visit On Weekend

There are many nice places in Moscow that are worth visiting. I found sites for those who like the motion of the City and those who prefer silence.

Kitay-gorod district

The oldest district of Moscow with lots of attractions and historical places. Initially, it was a merchant district with numerous retail outlets, but then it became more aristocratic in 16th century. It starts after Red Square and GUM straight to Lubyanka along the famous Nikolskaya, Ilyinka and Varvarka streets. Citizens now call Kitay-Gorod not only the historical part but the territory of the Kitay-Gorod metro station. A win-win option: you can walk along the streets, not forgetting to pay attention to historical buildings, looking into the courtyards, at one of the general synagogues of the city and sitting in the squares. The last pre-revolutionary buildings, similar to ones in Saint Petersburg, are placed on Solyanka Street, the other famous spot: it is believed that if 1917 Revolution hadn’t happened, Moscow would have been full of similar architectural buildings.

Zaryadye Park

A new park, which is built near the heart of the capital – Red Square and the Kremlin. Its name has remained due to the oldest district of Zaryadye: over the time, it was the first street in Moscow, the English Embassy, ​​the royal residence, the Jewish quarter and slums. Then the territory was cleared in the 20th century until the construction of the hotel “Russia”. Then it was taken down. Architects from New York and Moscow created the park concept divided into 4 Russian plant zones: a mixed forest, a northern landscape, a plain and a meadow. All this looks harmonically with the Concert Hall, the Park Museum, the amphitheater and the bridge directly above Moscow-river. This bridge is a wonderful observation area with a view of the Stalin skyscraper, the Kremlin and the embankment. It’s nice to go there after a crowd of tourists to stroll along the modern site of natural urbanism.

Fine Arts In The City

There are many museums in Moscow and you won’t be able to visit each one for the couple of days. The positions of the three most visited museums are proudly occupied by the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Garage Museum.

The Tretyakov Gallery is a treasury of Russian art, founded in 1856 by the merchant Pavel Tretyakov. A beautiful and convenient location in the historic Zamoskvorechye district adds even more charm to the museum. Here is a collection of sculptures and classics of Russian painting from ancient times until the 1910s. More than 1300 works from icons and mosaics to landscape, portrait and historical painting. New Tretyakov Gallery or the second building is located near Krymsky Val. Here you can enjoy the 20th century art, including Malevich’s ‘Black Square’. Thus, it’s hard to choose which building is the best one to visit as you won’t be able to see everything during one day or couple of hours. However, in any case you’ll get a giant dose of Russian art.

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts was founded by professor of the Moscow State University Ivan Tsvetaev in 1912. It was built in the form of an ancient temple in the neoclassical style. Initially, this museum worked as an educational one for Moscow State University, but after the revolution it was opened to everyone. The museum’s collection contains more than 700 thousand exhibits: casts from ancient statues, artworks, archaeological finds, a collection of objects from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome, art of Europe and America of the 19th-20th centuries. The museum is tremendous as you can’t be disappointed due to the canonical and well-known works from childhood.

The Garage Museum of Modern Art hid in the popular Gorky Park. The main goal of the museum is to strive for the development and support of contemporary art. Garage is not only a museum, but also a cinema theatre, a concert stage, lectures, a scientific research and modern projects. The museum introduces the Russian audience to the works of leading contemporary artists around the world and presents the Russian contemporary art within the international context. Spectators are involved during the exhibition in the process of creative interaction to get focused on projects exploring aspects of the Russian culture profoundly. It is worth going for excellent exhibitions, an amazing selection of books at the museum store and a pleasant atmosphere.

The surroundings of the Tverskoy and Presnya districts

Tverskaya street is one of the most beautiful and largest in the city. Due to the beautiful and historical architecture and variety of shops it should be included in ‘must see’ list. Going through the Pushkin square and noisy rumble of cars and voices take a walk towards the Patriarch Ponds, a famous place from Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel ‘The Master and Margarita’. Quiet Moscow courtyards, in which cozy coffee houses are hiding will be on your way. A park next to the Patriarch Ponds is a pleasant place for walking. From there, you can go straight to the Satire Theater, a public garden nearby and the statue of a Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and ride a swing overlooking the Garden Ring, an important artery of the city. Perhaps, these two districts will always find their visitor with any requests.

Sparrow (Vorobyovy) Hills

Nice place to walk away from the center. Sparrow or Vorobyovy Hills are a height area drowning in woods above the Moscow River. For many centuries, the Sparrow Hills were the spot from which the conquerors looked at Moscow: Napoleon Bonaparte looked from here at the city in 1812 for the first time. In 1930, the whole area was arranged as a public park. Near the Hills the Moscow State University stands, located in one of the Stalin skyscrapers. The Sparrow Hills provide the widest and the most picturesque panorama of the capital. The park is also convenient for cycle-goers.

Business Centers

For those who are interested in seeing how Moscow offices live, it’s worth visiting two curious business centers.

The first of them is still unfinished Moscow City. An ambiguous architectural project of 13 buildings has firmly fit into the landscape of modern Moscow. According to the idea, “Moscow City” should personify new Russia and new economy of the country. Mostly, offices are located in these buildings. There are also two large viewing platforms in the tallest buildings – ‘Federation’ and ‘OKO’. There is Kutuzovsky Prospekt opposite to Moscow-City, where you can go towards and look at the building from the side. Photos at the embankment are the best.

The second business center ‘White Square’ is located at the same place, the White Square. The center consists of three triangular tall buildings that divide the square into several streets. This small island of New York is fully designed for office rental. These buildings look quite interesting in contrast to the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, placed on the square. A futuristic look combined with the atmosphere of old Moscow. You can come here if you are nearby to dilute the atmosphere and look at office clerks sailing from Starbucks.

I hope you will enjoy Moscow and its unique beauty!

Text by
Mayya Afanaseva