Not What You Would Expect - Moscow, Russia

Wonderguide by

Lena Samo

Not What You Would Expect - Moscow, Russia

Modern city with a Russian twist - see the Empirical, the Soviet and the ultra modern (as a vegetarian & a nerd)

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My Recommendations

Image - Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
Lena:Michael Bulgakov is not just a Russian writer - despite his anti- Soviet Union ideas, he was well know in social circles in Moscow of the 1920s & 30s - he attended parties, chatted with the elite, wrote theatre plays that were performed and expressed his ideas in a way that got his works banned in Soviet Union for the following 60 years. His work describes not only a decade, but a Russia-wide known critique of the soviet life; ironic phrases from his most famous novel Master and Margarita are used by Russians in the day to day life. If you would like to experience an early soviet early communal apartment with a hint of old Russian charm as well, as see the world that the world famous writer lived and created in visit this place. While there, have a coffee and some cake at a soviet style buffet set up in what looks like a little theatre in open of the rooms of the apartment.
Image - Patriarch Ponds
Patriarch Ponds
Lena:Experience the old Moscow charm - take a friend (or a book) along and sit and chat on a bench by the pond - like the locals did 100 ago and do today. The ponds are located in the old historical centre of the city with beautiful 18th, 19th and even early 20th (stunning Art Nouveau and Art Deco all around) architecture. While you are there, sit down at Fresh for some vegetarian food with a Russian twist (and the most delicious sparkling wine) and Ra Family for the most amazing vegan Okroshka (Russian summer soup).
Image - Red Square
Red Square
Lena:Red Square is majestic at any time of the day and in any season. Yes, it might be overcrowded, but the sheer scale of the architecture makes tourists rampaging around with selfie stick irrelevant. I highly recommend going inside St Basils to see how Russians build their architecture before the Peter the Great made the transition towards a more European architecture in the 17th century. Almazniy Fond (or the Diamond Fund) is also a must if you would like to see some out of this world jewellery. Once you’ve seen enough just keep walking towards Moscow River - the Moscow City Council has a thing for adding more and more parks to the banks of the river - so get some lemonade and enjoy the view - or hire some rollerblades and do a 10km return trip up and down the banks.
Image - Museum of Cosmonautics
Museum of Cosmonautics
Lena:Yes, I have been to this museum 3 times now. The space nerd in me freaks out every single time. It is what you would imagine - space suits, space capsules, space photos and, my favourite, space food. A lot of these objects made it into space and back. The more personal stories about cosmonauts are incredibly touching - Leonov, who was the first man to do the “space walk” was also a keen painter. Make sure to get there early and avoid Sundays (unless you would like a free entry, but keep in mind that it gets crowded).
Image - The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Lena:The perfect collection of fine art from the 19th and early 20th century - basically if you are a Monet lover, like me, this is your perfect museum. The collection, of course, expands much further than that - it is one of the most small yet perfect ones - not to mention that the entry fee is well under $10 and (at least when I was there) free for Australia students.
Image - All-Russian Exhibition Center
All-Russian Exhibition Center
Lena:This park was created 80 years ago to showcase the power of the Soviet Union and it is grand. It is powerful and majestic. There are separate pavilions for each of the Soviet states each created with elements of the country’s traditional architecture and each one more memorable than the one before. If you would like to see Soviet Union at it’s best this is the place for you.
Image - Almaznyy Fond
Almaznyy Fond
Lena:Well worth a visit to see some out of this world diamonds.
Image - Mayakovskaya Station
Mayakovskaya Station
Lena:The Moscow Metro is built in the late 1920s which means that all of the central stations are completed with beautiful Art Deco marble, mosaic and bronze statutes. Basically you never get bored - just slightly overwhelmed even when underground.
Image - Fresh
Lena:The most delicious vegetarian food in Moscow in the most beautiful historic area of Moscow (oh, and their sparkling wine is also great).
Image - Ra Family
Ra Family
Lena:If you are vegan/vegetarian and want to try all of the authentic Russian foods this is your place - they change the ingredients while staying true to the flavours!
Image - Garage Education Center
Garage Education Center
Lena:Experience what modern Russia artists and thinkers have to say.
Image - Bookstore "Moscow"
Bookstore "Moscow"
Lena:Go book shopping! Moscow (and Russia) generally has some of the best book stores I have been to and prices are very very reasonable - much lower than in Australia! The English language selection is usually pretty decent too! Disclaimer - this may be detrimental to the weight of your suitcase.
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Wonderguide map

  1. Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
  2. Patriarch Ponds
  3. Red Square
  4. Museum of Cosmonautics
  5. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
  6. All-Russian Exhibition Center
  7. Almaznyy Fond
  8. Mayakovskaya Station
  9. Fresh
  10. Ra Family
  11. Garage Education Center
  12. Bookstore "Moscow"

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