The capital of Russia, Moscow is of the most developed cities in the world. An important seat of power of Government of Russia, the city is also Russia’s as well as Eastern Europe’s cultural, media, scientific, commercial and political center. It also serves as home to the country’s president. Located on the banks of Moskva River, Moscow is world’s 13th largest metro area, the 17th largest agglomeration, the 16th largest urban area, and the 9th largest within limits city worldwide. Mercer ranked Moscow as the 9th most expensive cities in the world. Globalization and World Cities Research Network declared Moscow to be one the largest urban economies in the world and an alpha global city. Moscow is also the world’s northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolitan. While 12.2 million residents live within the city limits, Moscow is home to 16.8 million people who live in the urban area. Having one of the world’s deepest underground metro systems, Moscow Metro is the busiest metro in Europe and ranks fourth-largest in the world and largest outside of Asia in terms of passenger numbers. Russian is the official language but English is also spoken.
The city is served by 4 international airports - Sheremetyevo International Airport, Domodedovo International Airport, Vnukovo International Airport and Ostafyevo International Airport. While all the airports are operational, Sheremetyevo International Airport is the most common point of entry for foreign visitors, and is known to handle almost sixty percent of all international flights. Moscow experiences humid continental type of climate which is characterized by very long and extremely col winter lasting from November to March with temperatures ranging between −25 °C in the city and −30 °C in suburbs. Summers start from the month of April and the months of June, July and August are mostly comfortable with temperature averaging 20 to 26 °C, making it the best time to visit. The city experiences heat wave between May and September which can raise the temperature to almost 30 °C, making it uncomfortable. Moscow Winter Festivals which are held during the winter season, Moscow International Film Festival in July are the major international festivals celebrated in Moscow.
Having more than 129 architectural monuments, there is so much to see and do in Russia. Begin your city tour by visiting Ostankino Tower, which is the tallest free standing structure in Europe. The Mercury City Tower is the second tallest skyscraper in Europe and must visit attraction in Moscow. Saint Basil’s Cathedral (known for is onion domes), Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Seven Sisters, Kazan Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Savior are some of the numerous historical attractions in Russia that will blow your mind. Red Square, located in the heart of city is a major tourist spot and is historically very significant. Novodevichy Convent is one of the World Heritage Sites.
Assumption Cathedral, Armoury (musuem housing weapons, imperial arms and regalia of the royal court), Terem Palace (a beautiful palace), The State Museum, Bolshoi Theatre, Ice Sculpture Gallery and Moscow Museum of Modern Art are the numerous tourists’ attractions that tourists should not miss in Moscow.
Moscow is home to 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow, including 4 botanical gardens. Gorky Park, Neskuchny Garden, Izmaylovsky Park, Sokolniki Park and Losiny Ostrov National Park are some of the important sightseeing place in Moscow. Please note than many of Moscow's parks and landscaped gardens are protected natural environments.
Eating and Shopping
Similar to any mega metropolis, Moscow offers tourists with a wide range of international cuisines and restaurants serving delicacies from all over the world. However, there are a few traditional comfort foods that you should also try in Moscow. Pelmeni, Khachapuri, wild mushroom and escargot tart, Black Currant Pastry, Syrniki with Homemade Jam, Borscht, Blini and Lepyoshka are some of the local delicacies. Meat is base for most of the recipe along with seasonal vegetables. Alcohol is a major art of the diet of the local in order to curb the extreme cold during winters. Moscow offers hundreds of nightclubs and dance bars for any taste, so if you are a drink lover then this is the place for you. Besides the fine restaurants and high end hotels, the city also features clusters of kiosks which offer lip smacking local delicacies. Kroshka Kartoshka is definitely the Russian tycoon of street food kiosks.
The city has numerous shopping malls and high end stores selling everything that you can think of. However, the charm of street shopping in Moscow is beyond compare. Tverskaya Street, Tretyakovsky Proyezd,The Arbat, Pyatnitskaya Street, open-air bazaar at Izmailovsky Park and Gorbushka electronics market are some of the major shopping streets in Moscow. Russian space-program memorabilia, malachite chess sets, intricate and original jewelry, blue-hued Uzbek plates, patterned quilts, lacquer boxes, wooden toys, boxes made of carved birch wood in traditional Russian patterns, hand-embroidered bed and table linens, and traditional Russian caftans and gowns are some of the many things you can shop for in Moscow.
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