The ultimate destination in the merging of old and new, Moscow makes a fantastic place to take a city break. As one of the most buzzing of European capitals, there are so many things to see and do here you’ll be spoilt for choice and won’t know where to start. To help you plan that perfect trip to Moscow, here’s some of the highlights you just can’t miss.

Moscow Kremlin

Morning over the Moscow Kremlin in the sun
Morning over the Moscow Kremlin in the sun

One of Moscow’s many iconic sights, the Moscow Kremlin is the continent’s largest active fortress and has so many sights within its walls that you could happily spend a week just exploring this part of the city. Once you get beyond the immense walls, you can explore its five squares, numerous palaces, churches, towers and museums, as well as the world’s largest bell and cannon.

Red Square

Red Square in Moscow, Russian Federation. National Landmark. Tourist Destination
Red Square in Moscow, Russian Federation. National Landmark. Tourist Destination

Once a market square, Red Square is now a major tourist attraction and is home to a variety of buildings which must be visited on a trip to Moscow. In and around this quaint cobblestone square you will find St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the State Historical Museum as well as a whole host of other sights and monuments. Red Square is particularly beautiful at night.

St Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil's Cathedral and Spassky Tower on Red Square in Moscow on a summer evening and colorful flowers
St. Basil’s Cathedral and Spassky Tower on Red Square in Moscow on a summer evening and colorful flowers

Designed to resemble the flames of a bonfire, St Basil’s Cathedral’s onion domes are instantly recognizable all over the world. Legend has it that Ivan the Terrible, who commissioned the building, considered it so beautiful that he made an order to blind the architect so he could never build anything as wonderful again. While the exterior is beautiful enough to warrant a visit, you can also head inside to marvel at the painted chapels.

Lenin’s Mausoleum

Exterior view of Lenin's Mausoleum on the Red Square in Moscow, with statue and people
Exterior view of Lenin’s Mausoleum on the Red Square in Moscow, with statue and people

Leader of the October Revolution and the first Soviet President, Lenin had a wish to be buried in St Petersburg with his mother. However, the next leader – Stalin – decided he was to be embalmed and, almost 100 years after his death, Lenin has remained in this state in his mausoleum in Red Square. Each year over two million visitors come to see his mummified remains, both locals wishing to pay their respects and tourists who are just macabrely curious to see how he looks.

Moscow Metro

The hall of Komsomolskaya subway (Circle Line) in Moscow. This metro station is an example of one of the most attractive stalinist architecture of the city underground
The hall of Komsomolskaya subway (Circle Line) in Moscow. This metro station is an example of one of the most attractive Stalinist architecture of the city underground

The metro may seem like just a method of getting around a city, but in Moscow it is so much more than that. As a way of expressing the bright new future the Soviet regime represented, the Soviet government went about decorating some of the stations in a most opulent and extravagant way. There are Moscow Metro tours you can take where you can visit the best ones; you’ll be absolutely amazed by their sparkling chandeliers, many sculptures and exquisite mosaics. You can also learn about the mysterious Metro-2, an alleged series of secret tunnels running parallel to the main system.

There are, of course, an abundance of things to see and do in Moscow, but adding these sights to your itinerary will guarantee you the perfect trip.