Help a Reader Travel: Moscow

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeruStockholmChicagoParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburgIstanbulLas Vegas, Jamaica, India/Golden Triangleand Auckland.

So this weeks travel destination includes Moscow. I received the following email from reader Andrew:

“In a few months I’ll be heading to Moscow for a work trip. After the conference, I am looking to extend my stay to really experience the city. I have not booked my flights yet and am assuming I will see very little of the city during my time there for work – so, how many days extra would you recommend in Moscow to see/do everything? Are there any day trips outside of the city you’d recommend? Additionally, what hotel would you recommend while there? I want to stay in a good location and ideally use points for the time not paid for by my company. Thank you all in advance for your help!”

If you’ve ever been to Moscow, let’s help out reader Andrew by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Stay at the Ararat Park Hyatt, within walking distance (5 min, if that) to Kremlin/Red Sq. Go into the Kremlin/museums, Lenin’s tomb. I was there for 2.5 days, got to see a lot of the city, met up with a Russian friend and we ended up walking all around the city for a day including a walk to Gorky Park

  2. It depends how much of the city and attractions you want to see. I would say at least 3 additional days, you can visit Kremlin, see a production at Bolshoy Theater, explore some churches/monastaries, visit museums such as Tratikovskay Gallery, there are certainly plenty of things to do. I think all major hotel chains are represented here, book your rooms early as there are not that many good quality hotels in this city.




  3. Moscow is an enormous city and, if a little opaque to non-Russian speakers, has as much to do as any other world-class city. You could easily spend a week there without feeling like you’d run out of “obvious” touristy activities. I was a little disappointed by the Kremlin itself – it’s pretty, certainly, but it’s mainly a collection of 16th century orthodox churches and I was hoping for more Soviet-era history.

    I thought the “state history museum,” on Red Square, was great – in addition to the exhibits themselves tracking Russia’s history, when the museum was built in the late 19th or early 20th century the rooms themselves were elaborately decorated in period styles. Unfortunately the exhibits no longer line up with the decor of the rooms they’re in but there are descriptions of both on English sheets. The sheets are more plentiful in the earlier rooms on the lower floors. Gorky Park is beautiful and truly huge – if the weather is good it will be packed and makes for great people-watching. The “Red October” chocolate factory has been converted into a collection of bars and restaurants some of which are really nice – I really liked one called Strelka that has a huge terrace overlooking the river. There’s also a great gallery in the complex.

    If you’re looking for former soviet grandeur it’s worth a subway ride out to the “All Russia Exhibition Center,” which is a semi-abandoned fairgrounds with some enormous now underutilized buildings that once-upon-a-time-before-the-fall held exhibits about all the various soviet republics. The Tretyakov and New Tretyakov museums are enormous collections of old and new Russian artists, respectively.

    The Gulag History Museum is tiny but had, when we were there, a really cool exhibit showing the over-time purges of revolutionaries through modifications of historical photos. The actual main exhibit upstairs is entirely in Russian.

    The Bolshoi has been redone recently – it’s pretty expensive but if you’re into Ballet it’s one of the top in the world. If you get tired of how unbelievably pricy everything is in the city, Temerok is a chain of fast food restaurants that leans russian – it’s fun ordering blinis or kashi from a McDonald’s style counter and it’s pretty tasty.

    And of course, if you really think you can take a few extra days you should absolutely contemplate a train ride up to St Petersburg, which is very different and is beautiful in a much more traditionally European way.

  4. I second the Park Hyatt. You can’t beat the location. I also would recommend a Radisson cruise on the river. Great views! It’s a restaurant style boat, so you will be seated at a table. Food is overpriced but a lunch shouldn’t set you back too much. They even have an iPhone app that works with your phone’s GPS to give you description of the sites you are passing by. The boats are ice breakers, so they run all year round. We took the subway to get to the port at the old Odessa hotel and that was an experience by itself. The Moscow subway stations are very unique. Btw, there is an app for navigating the subway as well. I am from Eastern Europe originally, so I can understand Russian and even speak it a little bit but most Russians on the streets are clueless when it comes to English. So keep that in mind! 🙂 For inexpensive Russian cuisine around the Hayatt, I recommend Elki-Palki at Неглинная ул., 8/10, г. Москва, Russia (you can open the address in Google Maps)

    Good luck and I hope you have a great time!

  5. Mg has mentioned pretty much everything I would think of if asked to show someone around the city. For those interested in soviet era lifestyles, museum of soviet arcade machines may be good fun. Here is a link to the museum’s site in English:

  6. Another great hotel to stay right by the Red Square is the Courtyard Moscow City Center. My father-in-law stays there all the time while in Moscow and loves it. It’s not as fancy as the Park Hyatt, but great value for your points if you a Marriott member.

  7. I’d really like to go Moscow myself (bucket list item since the age of 9). I’d like to go during the Winter Olympics and catch Sochi and St. Petersburg. Any ideas? I will soon have 200,000 Hilton Points plus miles with Delta and USAirways.

  8. Well, having 200,000 Hilton points won’t get you very far. Moscow & St Pete are expensive cities and Hilton is VERY underrepresented in Russia – one Hilton Leningradskaya in Moscow, one hotel in Ste Pete and that’s it. Moreover, redemptions are expensive – Leningradskaya is 40,000 points per night. It is a historical hotel in one of the buildings called Stalin’s 7 sisters. It has opulent entryway and is located on the square with 3 railroad stations – very convenient if you are taking a train to St Pete from Leningradskaya railroad station. On the the other hand, Priority Club/Intercontinental and Club Carlson/Rezidor group and even Marriott are a lot more representive in your three chosen cities (Ernst & Young put together a summary of all Western brand hotels in Russia – google “International Hotel Brands in Russia 2012” to find it). So, my advise is that you need to see in what other chains you can scrounge more points before your trip. Good luck! Russia in the summer could be a lot of fun!

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