Moscow by night - Places to go
At night, Moscow is a city transformed, magical, different to anything you see by day. The downtown area, the main streets, Red Square, are all lit up. From the Sparrow hills you will get a panoramic view over the city and its lights. Add to that the thriving, bustling night-life, and you have a beautiful city waiting to be explored.
The Kremlin and Red Square
Red Square, measuring 400 by 150 m, is the centre and the very heart of Moscow, and all Russia, and it has always been a place of pilgrimage for Russians, though for many different reasons through the ages. It is one of the world's iconic locations. Under the shadow of the Kremlin's walls, you can feel the history of Russia pass before you, the processions, demonstrations, meetings, and even the ghosts of the executed, a sin the 15th century it was a place of execution. The name 'red' does not come from this, nor from the Communist era, but because in Old Slavonic, red was synonymous with 'beautiful'.
The Kremlin was the stronghold of the Russian czars and patriarchs of the Orthodox Church. No longer a synonym for 'the communists', it is still the home of the president of the Russian Federation and his administration. Within the walls of the Kremlin, are some of the finest examples of Mediaeval church art anywhere, the great bell tower of Ivan the Great, and the historic Palace of Congresses. The fresco and frieze decorations in the cathedrals are simply amazing, and the collection of icons, crown jewels, Fabergé works, and armour will take your breath away. St Basil's cathedral, with its distinctive 'onion' cupolas is also located on Red Square.
The Bolshoi Theatre
With its well-preserved beautiful, luxurious interior, the theatre is justly world-famous. Its associations with Shaliapin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov in the past, and its presentations of popular classical ballets and operas now make it a centre of culture for Muscovites.
A bird's-eye view of Moscow
You can get a panoramic view of Moscow from the observation platform of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, a huge five-domed Byzantine style structure, the largest church in Russia.
Take a boat cruise along the Moscow river
One way to see Moscow's sights is to take a cruise down the river, past the Novodevichy Convent, the Sparrow Hills, the Patriarch Monastery, Gorky Park, the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral.
The Tretiakov gallery
The Tretyakov Gallery is a treasury of Russian fine arts, displaying works from all of Russia's 1000-year history. The gallery houses Moscow's largest collection of Russian art, including exhibitions of paintings by many dissident artists, whose works were kept in storage for decades.
Made famous in the west by Martin Cruz Smith's novel, this park is associated with Moscow's old traditions and holidays. With its fountains, greenery, flowers, boating lake and amusements, this is a great place to relax from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The exhibition of national achievements
No longer the Soviet-era monument to national pride, the centre still houses exhibitions, and its pavilions, park, and landscape architecture, and it is a popular meeting, strolling, and shopping place.
The Sparrow Hills
From here you will see a panoramic view of Moscow. The Luzhniki Olympic stadium is at the foot of the hills, and there is a spectacular view of Moscow State University. From here perhaps you will see what Chekhov meant when he wrote . 'Whoever wants to understand Russia should come here and look down at Moscow...'
Kutuzovsky Prospekt and Poklonnaya Hill
Ending at Victory Park, where Russia's victories in the 1812 and Second World Wars are memorialised, the avenue passes under the great Triumphal Arch, and leads into the park, where there are memorials, exhibits of Russian arms past and present, the 140-metre obelisk, Kutuzov's hut, in which he planned the strategy that defeated Napoleon, as well as being a wonderful green open space in itself.
Old and New Arbat Streets
Dating back to the fifteenth century, and possibly with a name of Arabic origin, Old Arbat Street was the favoured location for the homes of the upper classes in the nineteenth century, and Moscow's oldest pedestrian area, now populated with street performers, cafés and restaurants, and shops. While rather less the old haunt of the nobility and rather more the haunt of fun-seekers, the 80m-wide New Arbat Street is also one of Moscow's most popular gathering-places.