City breaks in Moscow
Book a short stay or weekend break in the Russian capital
From the fabled expanse of Red Square and the Kremlin to the golden domes of its magnificent churches, Moscow is a city that never fails to entrance. Brimming with history, culture and romance, the Russian capital is a fascinating destination for a city break, with countless attractions that will satisfy every taste.
Search for echoes of the tsars and the Soviet leaders in Moscow's historic monuments and museums, or explore exciting new art in contemporary galleries. Spend an afternoon shopping for high-end designer fashion or locally-made crafts, or unwind in a traditional bathhouse. Whatever your interests, there's no shortage of activities to keep you entertained on a weekend break.
When the sun goes down, you can catch a performance at the renowned Bolshoi Theater, or sample authentic Russian vodka at a stylish bar. Moscow boasts a dizzying selection of restaurants and cafés serving up everything from traditional Russian dishes to international cuisine, and the city's nightlife is legendary.
By staying at a centrally-located Radisson Blu hotel near metro and bus stops, you can make the most of your short break in Moscow by getting right to the heart of the action, with less time wasted on travel.
- Radisson Blu Belorusskaya Hotel, Moscow
- Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow
- Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel and Business Center, Moscow
Our top 3 Moscow attractions
- Red Square
- St. Basil's Cathedral
- Bolshoi Theater
- Moscow Kremlin Museums
- Tretyakov Gallery
- Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Use our Moscow map to see our pick of the top attractions
Locations and Neighborhoods
Location and neighborhoods
Discover Moscow’s different areasBest for historic architecture: Kitai-Gorod
Nestled alongside the Kremlin and Red Square, this small but vibrant neighborhood overlooking the Moskva River is densely packed with historic houses, churches, streets and courtyards, as well as an excellent selection of restaurants and bars. Take a stroll here after visiting the Kremlin.
Best for urban buzz: Tverskaya Street
Generally considered Moscow's main street, this bustling thoroughfare is lined with stores, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Known for its non-stop vibe, the nearby area is perfect for those who like being at the center of the action, from intense shopping sessions to all-night parties.
Best for colorful street life: Arbat
Centered on one of Moscow's oldest streets, Old Arbat, as well as nearby New Arbat, this is a prime area to browse for souvenirs at outdoor stalls, hunt for local handcrafts and view the work of street artists. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants where you can pause to rest, refuel, and watch the passing crowds and buskers.
Best for a cultured afternoon: Zamoskvarechye
Its name may mean "the land beyond the Moskva River", but this laid-back historic neighborhood is nowhere near as remote as that sounds. Arty and intellectual, it's filled with lots of independent galleries and boutiques, including some excellent antique and vintage stores and the famous Tretyakov Gallery and the Central House of Artists. It's also a great place to try international cuisines.
Best for beautiful churches: Khamovniki
Known for its high concentration of Russian Orthodox churches, this district is the perfect place for anyone interested in religious art, architecture and history. Highlights include the breath-taking Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the historic Novodevichy Convent.
Best for modern art: Basmanny
With the highest saturation of museums and galleries in the city, this leafy Moscow district is the ideal place for culture vultures on a day out. Particular highlights are the cutting-edge Artplay Design and Architecture Center and the Vinzavod Modern Art Center.
Best for foodies: Patriarch Ponds
Centered on a peaceful pond dotted with graceful swans, this affluent neighborhood boasts a rich literary heritage (Maksim Gorky and Mikhail Bulgakov were both residents). Today it's peppered with stylish bars, chic cafés and innovative restaurants, making it a popular destination for foodies.
Best for nature: Yakimanka
Running along the banks of the Moskva River, this peaceful area includes plenty of green space, including Gorky Park, Neskuchny Garden and the Muzeon Art Park – the latter home to an interesting collection of toppled Soviet-era sculpture. There's a strip of beach along the river, as well as plenty of outdoor activities to help you enjoy the fresh air.
Where to Stay
Book a Radisson Blu hotel in Moscow
City breaks can be full of surprises. Book your stay with Radisson Blu and look forward to exploring everything Moscow has to offer.
Radisson Blu Belorusskaya Hotel, Moscow
Close to the business district and the train station, this upscale Moscow hotel features 264 contemporary rooms designed by Christian Lundwall. The on-site Filini Bar & Restaurant crafts Italian specialties, while Sure Bar provides drinks with a touch of Irish hospitality. Services like a 24-hour fitness center, visa support and taxi transportation to the airport take the stress out of travel. Host conferences, weddings and other special events in style with well-equipped meeting rooms and a spacious ballroom.
© 2015 The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. All Rights Reserved.
Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow
With a scenic location near local transport, this Moscow hotel is the ideal place to call home during your stay in one of Russia’s most iconic cities. The rooms and suites offer the perfect blend of style and comfort, and the delectable dining options include an array of restaurants to suit all tastes. Other tempting features such as a wellness center and modern meeting facilities beckon guests to stay at the Radisson Blu.
© 2015 The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. All rights reserved.
Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel and Business Centre, Moscow
This stylish hotel in Moscow is located next to Europe Square. Take advantage of convenient amenities and a variety of on-site dining options. Business travelers appreciate our well-equipped conference rooms.
© 2015 The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. All rights reserved.
Things to do in Moscow
Must-sees, must-eats and must-dos
Landmarks and attractions
Use our Moscow map to see our choice of top attractions.
- Red Square: The historic cobblestoned square at Moscow's heart is the best place to start your visit. Here you'll find Lenin's Mausoleum, where you can view the embalmed body of the former Communist leader, as well as several impressive churches and museums, including St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin.
Directions: Get the metro to the Teatralnaya stop.
- Moscow Kremlin: Together with Red Square, this imposing medieval fortress complex has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its pivotal role in Russian history. The former seat of the tsars and the Soviet leaders, the Kremlin is still the center of government life today, and includes a fascinating collection of museums packed with national treasures in its historic churches and palaces.
Directions: Directly beside Red Square.
- St. Basil's Cathedral: One of Moscow's most distinctive landmarks, this exotic-looking 16th-century cathedral topped with a selection of brightly-hued domes resembles a fairytale palace. The church is now a museum filled with priceless Russian artwork, rare books, liturgical objects and more.
Directions: On Red Square.
- Bolshoi Theater: Moscow's legendary theater and opera house has been at the center of Russian cultural life since the 19th century. The elegant, neoclassical building is the home of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Opera and Orchestra. Recently refurbished, it still hosts a full calendar of performances today. Buy tickets on official site.
Directions: Less than 15 minutes' walk from Red Square, or take the metro to the Teatralnaya stop.
- Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery: Still a functioning monastery, this 15th-century complex centers on the beautiful Smolensk Cathedral, known for its brilliant white walls, shining domes and rich 16th-century frescos and icons. The adjoining cemetery is the final resting place of many of Russia's most eminent citizens, from Gogol, Chekhov and Prokofiev to Khrushchev and Yeltsin.
Directions: Take the metro to Sportivnaya station – the convent is about a 10-minute walk from there.
- Gorky Park: Designed to mix culture and leisure, this lively green space along the Moskva River has everything from amusement park rides and rollercoasters to tennis courts, boating, horseback riding and bungee jumping. Alternately, you can go for a stroll through tranquil woodlands and landscaped gardens, or catch a performance at the outdoor theater. In summer there's a riverside beach, and in winter, a skating rink.
Directions: Take the metro to the Oktiabrskaya or Park Kultury stop.
- Cathedral of Christ the Savior: Completed in 1997 on the site of an earlier church, this massive, gold-domed cathedral is now the largest in Russia, with a capacity of 10,000 worshippers. Be sure to check out the spectacular, gilded interior, with vast, vaulted ceilings and frescos depicting historic and religious events.
Directions: Around 25 minutes' walk from Red Square, or take the metro to the Kropotkinskaya stop.
- Sanduny Baths: The most famous of Moscow's traditional banyi, or bathhouses, this luxurious establishment boasts richly adorned interiors and opulent marble baths. Here you can steam away your cares, beat your skin clean with birch branches, then plunge into an invigorating ice pool to complete the experience.
Directions: About a 20-minute walk from Red Square, or get the metro the Kuznetsky Most stop.
Russian food to try in Moscow
- Borscht: Russia's famous red cabbage and beet soup is a tasty option to warm up with on a winter's day. Served with a dollop of sour cream, and sometimes with the addition of meat and potatoes, this is a must-try during your stay.
- Blinis: These thin, crêpe-like pancakes are delicious with a range of sweet or savory fillings. Try a buckwheat version with smoked salmon, mushrooms or even caviar, or opt for the even lighter flour option with jam or honey.
- Pelmeni: Stuffed with juicy beef, pork, lamb or fish with onions, mushrooms and herbs, these traditional Russian dumplings are delicious for a meal or snack. Sample them on their own, or served with sour cream, butter or broth.
- Olivier salad: Know globally as "Russian salad", this creamy mix of potatoes, peas, eggs, carrots, cucumbers and pickles in a mayonnaise and sour cream dressing is lighter, crispier and more flavorsome than many international versions.
- Solyanka: Thick, hearty and filling, this popular soup has a spicy and sour kick that is particularly satisfying. Usually made with a variety of meats, pickled mushrooms, tomatoes, cabbage, sour cream and dill, it's excellent accompanied with rustic bread.
- Arbat Street: One of the oldest streets in Moscow, this picturesque, pedestrianized thoroughfare is a great place to shop for souvenirs and local crafts, from Russian dolls and embroidered linen to hand-carved wooden boxes, as well as to catch street performers and do some people-watching.
Directions: Just a 10-minute walk from the Kremlin.
- GUM: This palatial 19th-century shopping arcade extends almost the entire length of Red Square, with 3 floors of stores ranging from high-end designers such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Etro to more affordable fashion and accessories.
Directions: On the eastern side of Red Square.
- Izmailovsky Market: An immense craft fair and flea market where you can buy anything from paintings, antiques and souvenirs to retro fashion, furniture and books. A must-see for dedicated vintage hunters who enjoy a good rummage.
Directions: Take the metro to the Partizanskaya stop.
- Petrovka Boulevard: This is the best place to experience the flashier side of Moscow life, with upscale designer boutiques selling luxury goods ranging from haute couture to furs, caviar and collectables. Be sure to check out TsUM, a luxury department store packed with expensive fashion, fragrance and accessories, not to mention a gourmet food hall.
Directions: About 10 minutes' walk from Red Square.
- Pyatnitskaya Street: Lined with independent art galleries, vintage clothing stores and up-and-coming designer boutiques, this lively street is a good place to root out original souvenirs and unique fashion finds. There are also plenty of stylish restaurants and cafés to relax in afterward.
Directions: The nearest metro stops are Tretyakovskaya and Novokuznetskaya.
- Tsvetnoy Central Market: Bright, airy and diverse, this multi-floor shopping mall is heaven for the style-conscious. Here you'll find everything from local Russian designers to international brands such as The Kooples and Topshop, as well as fashionista favorites Maje, Opening Ceremony and Peter Pilotto. There's also an organic farmers' market, art gallery and selection of homeware stores.
Directions: Get the metro to the Tsvetnoy Boulevard station.
- Armory Museum: Located within the Kremlin complex, the Armory is a highlight for many visitors – be sure to book your time slot for visiting in advance. Formerly the weapons store for the fortress, today you can marvel at everything from Fabergé eggs and coronation robes to antique weapons, gold and silver, and a collection of royal carriages.
Directions: Within the Kremlin.
- Moscow Kremlin Museums: Aside from the Armory Museum, the Kremlin includes several historic palaces and churches which also contain museums, including the Patriach's Palace, the Twelve Apostles' Church, Assumption Cathedral, Annunciation Cathedral, and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. Find out more and book tickets online.
Directions: Within the Kremlin.
- Tretyakov Gallery: Tucked away on a quiet lane, this museums contains one of the country's best collections of Russian art, from medieval icons to works by Kadinsky, Chagall and the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki) painters. Visit early to beat the long lines.
Directions: Get off the metro at the Tretyakovskaya, Polyanka or Novokuznetskaya stops.
- Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts: Spread across 3 branches, this impressive collection of international art features masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, the Dutch Golden Age, and the Impressionist and post-Impressionist periods. Buy tickets on official site.
Directions: The nearest metro stops are Kropotkinskaya, Borovitskaya and Lenin Library.
- Moscow Museum: Explore the history of Moscow from earliest times to the present at this engaging museum, which also hosts a series of temporary exhibits. The huge collection contains everything from ancient tools, jewelry and other artifacts, to maps, photos, costumes and other everyday objects.
Directions: The nearest metro stop is at Park Kultury.
- Pushkin Literary Museum: Learn about the life of Russia's most famous poet at this charming museum set in an elegant 19th-century mansion. Discover personal belongings, handwritten documents and photos of the poet, as well as exhibits putting Pushkin in the historical context of his time.
Directions: Take the metro to the Kropotkinskaya stop – the museum is about a 5-minute walk from here.
- Cosmonautics Museum: Capture all the excitement of the space race as you discover the history of Russian space exploration. See original spacecraft, astronaut suits, engines, as well as propaganda posters and other fascinating artifacts from the period.
Directions: Take the metro to the VDNKh stop.
Travel in Moscow
All you need to know about the city’s transport
Many of Moscow's major attractions, shopping areas and restaurants are located in the city center, making them easy to explore on foot. In addition, Moscow has an efficient metro system that makes it easy to hop between areas when visiting more far-flung sights and neighborhoods in a weekend.
By staying at a central hotel, such as any of our Radisson Blu hotels in Moscow, you'll have easy access to metro stations and bus stops nearby – saving you time and money on traveling around the city. This means you can devote more of your city break to sightseeing, shopping and generally enjoying everything the Russian capital has to offer.
Arriving in Moscow
You can catch an Aeroexpress train from all 3 airports to the city center. Or, if you prefer, you can get a taxi – try to book your cab in advance on the phone, as it is cheaper. The staff at our Radisson Blu hotels will be happy to help you arrange this.
Public transportation in Moscow
Moscow has an extensive public transport network which includes buses, trams, trolleybuses, marshrutki (shared minibuses) and the metro.
The metro is the most useful for visitors: it's quick, inexpensive and frequent, and some of its elaborate stations are attractions in their own right! Metro trains run from 5:30am to around 1:00am.
You can buy various types of tickets depending on your journey, but the most useful for visitors on a short break is the red Ediny ticket. This can be purchased from ticket booths or machines at all metro stations, and can be used on all forms of public transport. It is essentially a smartcard that you tap on a reader as you enter the metro or board a bus or tram. You can buy a ticket for a single trip, but multi-trip options (for 2, 20, 40 or 60 trips) are better value and save you standing in line each time you travel.
The staff at our Radisson Blu hotels can help advise you on which public transport options are the best for your destination and provide directions to the nearest stop.
Official Moscow taxis are metered and relatively inexpensive, but it can be difficult to flag one down in the street. It's easier to order one by phone, online or through a smartphone app – the concierge team at any of the Radisson Blu hotels in Moscow can do this for you.
Traveling along the Moskva River is a fantastic way to view the city from a different angle, as well as to get from one area to another. You can buy a day pass on the river ferries that allows you to get on and off as much as you like at any port along the route.
Cycling in central Moscow can be risky, as traffic is heavy and drivers may not be expecting to see cyclists on the roads. However, there is a Velobike bike share scheme, which allows you to purchase a membership and borrow a bicycle from a number of self-service stations. This can be a great way to explore Moscow's scenic parks and gardens. Ask our front of house team for advice if you're interested in renting a bike in Moscow.
Facts and Useful phrases
Language, costs, useful phrases and more
Top 10 Russian phrases:
|Do you speak English?||Вы зна́ете англи́йский?||Vi znah-yeh-tye an-glee-skee|
|I don't understand||Я (не) понима́ю||Yah (nyeh-) poh-nee-mah-yoo|
|How much does it cost?||Ско́лько сто́ит?||Skohl-kuh stoy-it|
|Yes / No||Да / Нет||Dah / Nyet|
Population: 12,340,000 (2016)
Currency: Russian ruble (RUR)
Average cost of travel: руб 50 for a single trip on the bus, tram or metro
Most defining feature: The elaborate churches with gilded domes
Average cost of a pint: руб 276
Top 5 facts and tips about Moscow:
- Nearly all visitors require a visa to visit Russia. To apply, you need a visa-support letter from your hotel or travel agent – Radisson Blu are happy to help with this. Be sure to apply early enough to allow for processing times.
- Moscow's metro stations are renowned for their ornate decoration. Many feature glossy marble floors and columns, sculptures, mosaics and other artwork.
- Always carry your passport, visa and registration documents in Moscow, as spot checks by the police are common.
- Moscow regularly ranks in the top 3 on the annual Forbes list of cities with the most billionaires.
- When visiting Russian Orthodox churches, modest dress is required. Women should cover their heads with a scarf or shawl, and in some cases wear a wrap skirt over trousers (often churches have wraps or scarves you can borrow). Men shouldn't wear shorts or sleeveless tops, and should remove their hats.
Moscow's humid continental climate means warm to hot summers, with some humidity, and long, harsh winters. During the summer months of June, July and August, temperatures tend to hover around 23°C, although it can get as hot as 30°C. May to September is generally considered the prime time to visit; once winter sets in in November through March, temperatures can drop to -10°C or less, with cold winds and heavy snow.