Now that the Rio 2014 FIFA World Cup train has boarded and left, its next destination will be Moscow in 2018! Named after the river which runs through it; Moscow is the capital city of Russia, with a population of over 11.5 million. Ripe with political history and magnificent architecture; visiting Moscow is a must.
I would advise downloading the Rocky 4 soundtrack before you go – listening to it whilst you’re there is the icing on the cake!
So like a Russian doll, let us reveal our list of five free things to do in Moscow.
5. Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Number five on our list of free things to do in Moscow, exhibits one of this city’s finest pieces of architecture.
Enclosed by the stunning rectangular red wall of Red Square; St Basil’s Cathedral is not dissimilar to collection of huge multi-coloured 99er ice creams in cones. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine a giant strolling into the spacious Red Square and picking up one of the towers for a lick!
Constructed between 1555 and 1561, St Basil’s was built to commemorate the capture of the Tartar stronghold of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible. Unfortunately for St Basil’s, it is a victim of mistaken identity, often being called the Kremlin which is in the same vicinity.
Fortunately for us, Stalin never got his wish of destroying this glorious building to make way for mass parades on Red Square. In fact number four on our list of free things to do in Moscow, is a former home of Stalin…
4. Lenin’s mausoleum (tomb)
Ever watched a historic documentary and thought ‘is that how they really looked?’. Well number four on our list of free things to do in Moscow, provides a solution! Though 70 years have passed since Vladimir Lenin’ death, you can still meet his body face to face in his tomb located in Red Square (perhaps whilst you’re visiting St Basil’s).
Lenin was the main man behind the Russian Communist Revolution. Following the First World War; Lenin plotted and succeeded in over throwing a temporary and weak government, after three years of civil war. As a result, Lenin became the leader of the country for 7 years.
Following an almost successful assassination attempt on his life , Lenin’ health deteriorated swiftly, eventually dying in 1924.
As of today, Lenin’s chemically embalmed body remains stationary within the tomb for public view. He was also briefly joined by Stalin’ body from 1953-1961.
Open Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 13.00, be warned that any equipment able to record video or audio and take pictures is strictly prohibited. Although a hefty queue to enter the mausoleum is likely, it is certainly worth the wait!
3. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Number three on our list of free things to do in Moscow, demonstrates some stunning architecture. Located on the north bank of the Moscow River, this magnificent Cathedral towers at a whopping 338 foot (the tallest Orthodox Christian Church in the World!).
With a coating of pure white, decorated by means of five striking golden domes, complete with the Christian cross atop each dome; this heavenly building would fit ideally in Gods’ Land.
2. Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory
Imagine you’re in Moscow, bored in your hotel room and flicking through the same old tunes (perhaps the Rocky 4 soundtrack?) on your IPod. Number two on our list of free things to do, offers a great musical solution. The breeding ground of talented musical students; the Tchaikovsky Conservatory displays some of the universities finest in free musical performances.
The conservatory is named after the famous Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky who became a professor at the institute following its opening in 1866. If you have some time, have a listen to the best of Tchaikovsky here. Even if you are not a fan of classical music; there’s no comparable feeling then sitting in the audience and feeling the power of the musical genius – you never know you might be watching the next Mozart or Tchaikovsky.
Although the majority of performances are free, some require an admission fee; so please check on the website (linked below) before you go! A list of all upcoming performances can also be found here.
1. Kuzminki Homestead
Last on our list of free things to do in Moscow is Kuzminki Homestead.
Though there are a few free parks located in Moscow, we believe Kuzminki Homestead offers a seasonal advantage. In the summer you can admire and catch a fragrant whiff of flowers on show during the Festival of Flowers. Alternatively if you are on a winter trip, you can stroll the park appreciating the incredible ice sculptures found in the unique Russian Kingdom of Snow.
For those history fanatics, the park itself has belonged to two families of Russian Nobility (the Golitsyn and Stroganov’s).
That concludes our list of the top five free things to do in Moscow, if you have anything to add feel free to leave a comment!