St Basils Cathedral

Why you must go to Moscow

Moscow is a destination full of history that sits towards the top of must people’s must-visit lists. This 860-year-old city wears all the hallmarks of its imperial and Soviet past on in its architecture, which is one of the main reasons why it is such a popular tourist destination. The Kremlin is a particularly popular attraction, and if you book into a hotel such as Hotel Baltschug Kempinski  you can even enjoy unparalleled views of the complex when you wake every morning. Instead of recommending the most obvious attractions, here are a few of the more unusual sites of Moscow that deserve your attention.

St Basils Cathedral

Bolshoi Ballet

As one of the most famous traditional dance troupes in the entire world, the Bolshoi Ballet – otherwise known as the Moscow Ballet – is a must visit. With the group’s bold, vibrant style attracting dancers from all over the world, it is unsurprisingly one of the biggest ballet troupes in existence. All new recruits are trained in the Bolshoi style, which places great emphasis on dramatic intensity and athletic brilliance. The neoclassical surroundings of the theatre only add to the grandiose and theatrical nature of the ballet – with the auditorium itself recently receiving a $680 million restoration to revert it back to its original Imperial décor. Compared to ballets of a similar standing, the Bolshoi is also very competitively priced.

State Tretyakov Gallery

The jewel in the crown of Moscow’s art scene, the State Tretyakov Gallery is the place to go for those with any appreciation of Russian fine art. The old Tretyakov Gallery holds over 2000 works donated by the late Tretyakov to the Russian people in 1892, including key works by the likes of Kandinsky and Malevich. This old gallery was actually merged with a contemporary art gallery in 1985, showcasing the best in Socialist sculpture. Be warned though: you will have to pay a separate entrance fee for each museum.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

During the rule of the former Soviet Union, Western arcade machines were banned by the powers that were. Instead, the Soviet government allowed a series of arcade machines to be built from within, and they are now on show in the basement of an engineering school in the city. Some of the machines are very special indeed, with Morskoi Boy for example using actual periscopes originally manufactured for real-life Soviet submarines.

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