Top Historical Sights in Moscow
As a city that has been around for more than 800 years, Moscow has plenty of history. Tucked beneath steel and glass skyscrapers, historic sights can be found throughout Russia's capital. Here are a few sights in Moscow that shouldn't be missed.
The Moscow Kremlin has been the political center of the city for centuries and remains the official residence of the Russian president today. Take a tour to hear the history and expert narration on its several cathedrals, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and the Armoury, which displays the Imperial Crown of Russia, the Orlov (or Orloff) Diamond, and a collection of Faberge eggs.
Sitting adjacent to the Kremlin, Red Square has long held a significant place in Russian history, first as a marketplace and later as a popular site for public proclamations and ceremonies, religious processions and coronations. Surrounding Red Square, you’ll find the famous GUM department store, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kazan Cathedral, the State Historical Museum and Lenin’s Mausoleum. Most Moscow highlight tours include a stop here.
St. Basil’s Cathedral
Built to celebrate Ivan the Terrible’s conquest of Kazan, St. Basil’s Cathedral may be one of the most iconic sites in Russia. With its colorful façade and onion-shaped domes, the cathedral is completely unique in Russian history. You’ll hear more about it on a small-group or private walking tour of the city.
State Historical Museum of Russia
The State Historical Museum traces centuries of Russian history from the Stone Age through the 19th century. It boasts more than four million objects, including the largest coin collection in Russia, a Greek sarcophagus from the 4th century BC, gold artifacts from the Scythians and a replica of the Ivan the Terrible’s throne.
Kitay Gorod neighborhood
The neighborhood adjacent to Red Square known as Kitay Gorod is one of the oldest quarters in Moscow, settled in the 13th century. Stroll along the three main streets of Kitay Gorod to see a variety of 16th and 17th century churches, as well as the Romanov house, built by the grandfather of Mikhail Romanov, the first of the Romanov tsars. See it on the Alternative Moscow tour, which focuses on the spooky and sinister side of the city.