Moscow in 2 days: where to stay, what to see & how to survive

posted by Liza 16th July 2017 8 Comments
Moscow in 2 days: Red Square, Lenin, Moscow City, GUM and many things

Last updated on June 3rd, 2019

Despite the fact that Moscow is a huge city, by huge I mean enormous (17 million live there according to some unofficial information, but officially it’s only around 12), you can totally see the main landmarks in Moscow in 2 days. That’s why I decided to create this post about Moscow in 2 days: where to stay, what to see and how to survive in the biggest city in Russia and in Europe (if you don’t count Istanbul because, well, technically, it has a huge part in Asia as well).

I don’t recommend you to stay for long in Moscow unless you have friends or business here because there are SO MANY amazing places in Russia and it’s better to visit them all, rather than spend a week in Moscow. However, it’s only my opinion and who knows, maybe you’ll like Moscow so much that you will decide to ask your job for a transfer to Moscow. Who knows.

Read my post about the best cities to visit in Russia >>>

Moscow to St. Petersburg: how to travel between 2 biggest Russian cities

Let’s get started with Moscow in 2 days (or a weekend in Moscow)

Where to stay in Moscow? Where is it safe in Moscow?

In Moscow, you need to find a hotel with a very central location. By central I mean Lubyanka, Tverskaya street, Stary Arbat or anywhere in the city centre. There are plenty of hotels and hostels for different prices. Below, I will recommend you some good hotels in Moscow in some very safe locations, so stay tuned!

When I was in Moscow with Pepe, we stayed one night in St. Regis – and honestly, we didn’t want to leave the hotel at all. It was marvellous! And the location was just perfect – less than 8 minutes walking to the Red Square, in a very nice zone. I was in Moscow during all seasons of the year and I can confidently say that Moscow in winter is my favourite – just look at the Christmas Market in Moscow!

St. Regis Moscow
St. Regis Moscow

So well, if you want a proper posh hotel – you can stay in St. Regis (we loved it! – it was one of the best hotels, we ever visited and it still is, even after staying in an overwater villa in the Maldives!)

However, you can also consider these fabulous hotels: Savoy, Lotte Hotel or the Ritz Carlton Moscow!

If you want a great and slightly more affordable option, consider these hotels: La Scala Gogolevsky, Kyznetsky Inn Hotel or Assambleya Nikitinskaya.

Finally, if you’re on a tight budget, but you don’t want to compromise on the quality, you can stay in these budget hotels and hostels: Art Hostel, Star Wars Hostel or Sputnik Hostel.

All of these hotels are very or relatively central and all of them are located in the safe areas of Moscow! If you’re wondering whether Moscow is safe or not, I’d say it’s pretty safe, however, there are always precautions that you need to follow (pretty much everywhere around the world they are the same).

If you would like to read more about tips on travelling in Russia and things to be aware of, head here >>>

Christmas Market in Moscow
Christmas Market in Moscow

What to see in Moscow in 2 days:

If you want to learn a bit more about the history of the city and have a guided experience, I recommend taking this 4-hour essential city centre walking tour.

1. Red Square & Kremlin Museums

You can’t leave Moscow without visiting the main landmark of Russia – the Red Square with the Kremlin. Actually, if you visit the majority of the landmarks around the Red Square, you will spend almost a day – there are so many great places to visit. You can also take one of the guided tours for Kremlin – check the prices and availability here.

Don’t forget to go inside the “Disneyland Church” or St. Basil’s Cathedral – it’s very impressive. Also, you can go to the Armoury of Kremlin and also visit the Museum of History. If you get inside the Kremlin, you will probably need at least 3-4 hours.

If you’re lucky, you can even visit the Mausoleum, where the famous dictator Lenin was mummified (the museum is open 4 days a week only in the morning/noon).

The shopping mall GUM on the Red Square is also a must – the shop is really iconic and you can also have lunch in GUM – there are many budget-friendly options as well as some really nice restaurants.

Red Square: What to see in Moscow in 2 days
Red Square
How expensive is Russia? What’s the cost of travelling in Moscow and St. Petersburg? I’m going to cover this and much more in this post about the cost of travel in Russia. Let’s get started.

Curious how expensive is Moscow and Russia in general? Read my post about prices in Moscow and St. Petersburg here >>>

2. The State Tretyakov Gallery

The Tretyakov Gallery is the biggest gallery in Moscow and it has a unique collection of Russian art. It actually has only Russian art, so if you want to see the masterpieces of Russian artists – Tretyakov Gallery is a place to go!

3. Pushkin Museum

Unlike the Tretiakov Gallery, it has also artworks from the artists from all around the world. It doesn’t make sense, to visit so many museums just in two days, so you can choose either of them, but I would definitely recommend you to visit the Tretyakov Gallery over the Pushkin Museum.

4. Walk in the evening at Stary Arbat

Start Arbat is a lovely pedestrian-only street, full of musicians, artists, singers and cafes. It’s a lovely zone to walk around and have dinner.

Stary Arbat

Are you not sure whether to choose Moscow or St. Petersburg as a destination for your trip to Russia? Head to this post which compares Moscow vs St. Petersburg >>>

5. See a ballet or an opera at the Bolshoi Theatre

Russian Ballet is world famous and Bolshoi Theatre is one of the best theatres in Russia (constantly competing with Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg). Btw I just published a post about the best places to see a ballet in Russia, so you can read about the best plays to watch and the best ballet theatres in Russia (there are quite a few from St. Petersburg). You can buy the tickets for Bolshoi online here.

6. Christ the Saviour Cathedral

Christ the Savior Cathedral is very impressive from both inside and outside and it is also the biggest and the most important cathedral in Russia.

Moscow the capital of Russia, Fifa 2018

Planning to visit St. Petersburg as well? Head to this post to find out about ALL the ways to get to St. Petersburg from Moscow and vice versa >>>

7. Moscow-City

On the second day, you can have lunch in Moscow-City – the skyscraper part of Moscow (yes, Moscow has skyscrapers). There is this amazing restaurant Sixty from Ginza Project – it’s also the tallest restaurants in Eastern Europe. The view is nice and just being so high in the air feels amazing.

Alternatively, you can just visit the 89th floor of the Moscow Federation Tower to see the entire city in front of you. You can buy your ticket here.

Moscow City
Moscow City

8. Have a ride in Moscow Metro

Moscow Metro is definitely among the most beautiful in the world: it’s located deep under the groups and its hall resemble palaces, not public transport halls. It can be very crowded during peak hours, so it’s better to have a ride in the afternoon – between 12 and 3 pm. However, if you’re planning to visit St. Petersburg as well, I’ve got a post about the most beautiful metro stations in St. Petersburg here >>>

I can recommend a really good Moscow metro tour that will guide you through the best stations in Moscow and will tell you so much history about them as well.

Most beautiful St. Petersburg metro stations that you need to visit
weekend in Moscow: best things to do

9. Visit the Izmailovo Kremlin

The Izmailovo Kremlin is another Kremlin located in Moscow, and it looks even more toy-like. It also has a huge market – so it’s a great place to buy some souvenirs.

weekend in Moscow: best things to do

10. Discover the highlights of Communist Moscow

If you want to learn a bit more about Communist times and USSR, Moscow is really the best place to do that. I recommend taking a Communist tour that is one of the best-rated tours in Moscow. Check the prices and availability here because it sells out very quickly!

If you manage to visit all these sights, your 2-day itinerary for Moscow will be fully packed. However, if you’re staying in Moscow for longer, consider visiting these places:

– Space Museum
– Tsarytsino Open Museum
– Kolomenskoe
– Gorky Park
– Vorobyovy Gory – for the best view over Moscow
– MGU – Moscow State University
– Ostankino TV Tower

Liked this post about Moscow in 2 days? Share it on Social Media and don’t forget to check other posts about Russia. Are you planning to go to St. Petersburg as well? Check my ultimate guide to St. Petersburg, Russia that includes tips from a former local (me) !

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