You can’t go to Moscow and miss the classic sites like Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral — but that doesn’t mean you have to see them like a tourist! Get a local’s perspective on Russia’s emperor days, soviet history, and modern-day Moscow with stops at the classic landmarks, but paired with detours into the spots only locals know.
Your Moscow tour will start at Pushkinskaya Square, a main spot for locals to gather and meet. It is the epicentre of many of Moscow’s historical layers: here you’ll find a monument to Pushkin, the main figure of Russian literature and the big macho of his times; the avantgarde building of the former main soviet newspaper; and even the first McDonald’s in Russia. These “landmarks” all come from very different periods of Russian history, and convey a lot what was happening in the country during their eras.
From there, we’re going 100% authentic with a taste of local Russian fast food. We’ll visit a spot that’s popular for selling chebureks, deep-fried pastries filled with minced meat. (Don’t worry if you’re meat-averse — for vegetarians there are chebureks with potatoes and cheese.) Wash it down with a traditional Russian soft drink or tea, and find out why the locals love this place. This snack spot is rarely visited by tourists, so you’re getting the true taste of local life!
After our short snack stop, your Moscow tour will continue with a visit to the most unlikely of beautiful sites: a grocery store! Not just any grocery store, though — Eliseevsky is famous for luxurious, neo-baroque interiors.
From there, we’ll continue walking along Tverskaya Street, passing by some of Moscow’s main landmarks: the monument to the founder of the city and the governor’s house, and along the way, you’ll learn a bit about Russian theatre, like how it reflects the mysterious Russian soul. We’ll check out an amazing, gigantic piece of ballerina-inspired graffiti art — a modern way to interpret classic Russian ballet.
Along the way, we’ll visit a Russian Orthodox Church, where we can light a candle and, if we’re lucky, listen to some beautiful choir songs while your guide shares a few personal stories. (Please note that if you wish to go inside the church, you must be wearing clothing that goes below your knees, and women must have a scarf to cover their head.)
Still feeling soothed from our experience at the church, we’ll then whisk you to a secret spot where you can find a moment of absolute silence while still being in the centre of a noisy metropolis.
We will finish our Moscow city tour at Red Square, the famous heart of Moscow, where you can spot all the legendary landmarks found in guidebooks. Here is Lenin’s Tomb, housing the body of the Russian revolutionary. You’ll also find the GUM department store, with its outstanding interiors and many soviet attributes — such as kiosks serving the famous soviet ice cream, which for sure should be on your must-try list!
And finally, the main highlight of Red Square is, of course, the 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its bright and colourful domes — the classic Red Square scene! Get your cameras ready.
Throughout it all, your local guide will share stories from local life and history, and point out sites you may want to see during the rest of your time in Moscow. Get some insider tips on what to do next, where to eat, where to go, and how to get there, before bidding farewell to your new friends in Moscow!