Mini guide to Moscow
Steeped in history and political intrigue, this former capital of Tsars and
ruthless dictators, has much to offer the modern visitor. You can find a multitude
of exciting attractions in this city, ranging from the priceless riches of the
Tsars, to the preserved bodies of revolutionaries, or the photogenic fairytale
A walk around the vast expanse of Red Square gives you a real sense of Moscow.
At one end of the square stands the beautiful St Basil's Cathedral. Its onion-shaped
domes and gaudy colours evoke images of fairytales. The cathedral's fascinating
exterior is matched by its interior, which features narrow walkways, twisting
tunnels and cramped chapels. Also on the square is Lenin's mausoleum, where
the mummified remains of the bearded revolutionary are preserved.
Another place of interest is the Gagarin Training Centre in the town of Zvezdny.
This training centre for Russian cosmonauts houses a museum and a memorial to
Yuriy Gagarin, the world's first spaceman. The complex is also home to simulators,
hydro-labs and a huge model of the space station submerged in a swimming pool.
There is also a unique cosmic planetarium which features the projection of 9,000
stars upon the dome ceiling.
Moscow lies in the centre of what is known as European Russia. The border between
Europe and Asia runs down the west side of the Ural Mountains, 1300kms east
of Moscow. Also to the east of Moscow is the south-flowing Volga River, one
of Russia's historic highways.
Tumultuous events in Moscow's history include the invasion by Napoleon in 1812
and the subsequent destruction of the city by flames. Moscow also became the
home of Lenin and Stalin following the Communist revolution, and the city narrowly
escaped capture by the Nazis before becoming the bastion of Cold War espionage
If you want to travel by car or motorbike, 10 major highways, numbered M1 to
M10, fan out from Moscow to all points of the compass. Moscow has nine main
railway stations from where you can access Europe and Asia and the fabled trans-Siberian
express. A flight from London or Paris takes about three hours, from New York
about 10 hours. Four Moscow airports are devoted to flights to and from places
within Russia and the other ex-Soviet states.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Le Meridien Moscow Country Club
Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking