24 or 48 hours in Moscow: Where to go and what to do in 2019

Where can you have breakfast at night or eat bear meat? Where can you find the most delicious pizza in town and try authentic Siberian cuisine? How can you see Medieval, Soviet, and modern Moscow all in one day, and what is there to do from sunset to sunrise? You can find the answers to these questions and much more in our detailed Moscow 2019 guide, which is designed for those who have some time to spare in the capital.

Day One

07:00 – 10:00: Take in the best view of the Kremlin from Zaryadye

“Soaring” bridge in Zaryadie

The new Zaryadye Park is located by the Kremlin walls and is one of the most popular places among tourists these days. While it’s basically impossible to get inside without running into a crowd at most times of the day, your best bet is to arrive as early as possible and head for the “soaring” bridge. Here you’ll have the best view of the Kremlin that the city has to offer. It’s also a great place to start the day.

On your way there, you stop off on Red Square and admire St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Metro station: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya and Kitai Gorod

10:00 – 11:00: Eat breakfast at Dr. Zhivago restaurant

Dr. Zhivago

This famous restaurant is located on the ground floor of the National Hotel and has windows facing the Kremlin. The menu includes modern takes on classic Russian recipes and a wide range of breakfasts, from wheat porridge with crayfish in cream sauce, to sobering sour cabbage schi or “morning soup.”

If you have time, try to come back in the evening. The restaurant has a vodka room with an impressive collection of vodkas (30 brands) and distilled beverages.

Metro station: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya

11:00 – 14:00: Climb Ivan the Great Bell Tower

Ivan the Great Bell Tower

The decorations on the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square have not changed for around 400 years. Here you can get a taste of Medieval Moscow with the tomb of the patriarchs, the church where Russian tsars were crowned, and an 81 meter-tall bell tower.

You can climb the bell tower in the summer or during good weather. If the weather is not good, just take a walk on Cathedral Square and look inside the restored churches.

Metro station: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya.

Tickets are available at the Alexander Garden ticket office 45 minutes before opening. You will have to buy the all-inclusive ticket to get inside the Kremlin, which is open every day except Thursday.

14:00 – 15:00: Enjoy the metro

Komsomolskaya metro station

Muscovites go about their everyday business in a metro that is a museum in itself - this is not even an exaggeration. We recommend not just hurrying from point A to point B but rather riding through the world’s most beautiful stations.

For example, try this route: Teatralnaya – Novoslobodskaya – Paveletskaya (get on the ring line) – Taganskaya (ring) – Komsomolskaya (ring) – Kievskaya (ring) – Park Kultury

15:00 – 17:00: Try ‘medovukha’ on Gorky Park’s waterfront

Summer in Gorky Park

It’s time to relax. People spend time in Gorky Park all year round. There is a stretch packed with street food and we recommend trying medovukha, a Russian alcoholic mead beverage. Get a glass and go to the waterfront, which has a great view. You can also rent a longboard and roller skates under the Crimean Bridge (which looks like this).

Metro station: Park Kultury, Oktyabrskaya

17:00 – 20:00: See a Malevich and visit the Museum of Contemporary Art

If you walk under the Crimean Bridge you will come out next to the New Tretyakov Gallery, which has the most important collection of Russian avant-garde and Soviet paintings. We recommend adding the interactive gallery guide to your ticket.

For those who are tired of Soviet art, Gorky Park also has The Garage, a contemporary art museum housing works from various international artists. Afterwards, grab a bite at the museum’s restaurant (it has really good food) on the ground floor, and maybe purchase a fancy souvenir from the museum shop.

Metro station: Park Kultury, Oktyabrskaya

20:00 – 22:00: Try a pumpkin and truffle pizza

Take a break from everything Russian. Italian expats opened a restaurant on Pokrovka that has the best pizza in town. Maestrello is a small place with yellow walls and an omnipresent hungry crowd. But their pizza is worth the wait. They cost no more than 550 rubles ($8.7) and have many toppings.

Metro station: Kitai-Gorod, Chistye Prudy

22:00 – 00:00: Find Moscow’s secret bars

You can either stay on Pokrovka and try out all the bars on the way to Kitai-Gorod metro station, or go to the places that don’t have signs - but do have extensive cocktail menus. Warning: Don’t go to these places and order a whiskey and cola or a gin tonic unless you want to be laughed out the door.

The Mandarin Combustible is a bar with a piano located in a nonexistent hotel near the pan-Asian Mandarin. Another secret watering hole hidden behind a noodle joint is Mendeleev Bar. If the entrance to the narrow noodle place is suspiciously crowded and there are two guards inside by a black curtain, this is the place you’re looking for. The bar looks like a crypt with DJs. And finally, go the clandestine Santo Spirito (located beneath Haggis Pub&Kitchen). This tiny bar has seven excellent auteur cocktails and is a perfect place to spend a long night.

Metro station: Kitai-Gorod or Lubyanka; Tverskaya or Kuznetsky Most

00:00 – 07:00: Party at a former candy factory

Take a taxi to the former Red October candy factory, which now houses Bessonitsa Club (Club Insomnia in Russian). The place plays electronic music and books musicians from around the world. Nearby is Gipsy Club, which has an empty pool, palm trees, and a musical repertoire ranging from Russian pop to Rihanna and Kanya West. Strelka Bar is for those who like outdoor parties. Greet the sunrise on their terrace, which offers a gorgeous view.

Metro station: Kropotkinskaya, Polyanka

07:00 – 08:00: Have breakfast

A great night must end with a great breakfast. Kukareku on Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya serves breakfast 24 hours a day. They have 27 different types of breakfasts that cost about $7 but have a 30 percent discount if you order a dish from a country where it’s breakfast at that time. Or browse our list for other ideas.

Metro station: Barrikadnaya, Krasnopresnenskaya

Day Two

11:00 – 14:00: Visit the new VDNKh

Get a taste of some Soviet sentimentality at VDNKh. This exhibition complex has been partially renovated and behind the grandiose facades you can now find modern multimedia centers and exhibitions. Have a look at their website before you go. It contains two tourist itineraries and a description of excursions in various languages with guides. Buy tickets online.

Metro station: VDNKh

14:00 – 17:00: Buy a lot of souvenirs

Inside GUM department store on Red Square, across from the Louis Vuitton boutique, you will find Section. This is a store that sells clothing from Russian designers. It has items for every taste and budget, including limited collections, relatively inexpensive sweatshirts and Heart of Moscow souvenirs, ranging from pins to mugs.

After doing some shopping, head to the Kofe.Sovety café and drink a coffee with a slice of the special GUM cheesecake. Then turn onto Nikitskaya, where you’ll find the Alenka brand store with its famous Moscow candies. The brand’s first retail shop opened right near GUM.

Metro station: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya

17:00 – 18:00: Feel like you’re in Siberia

The best place to try Siberian cuisine outside of Siberia is Chemodan Restaurant on Gogolevsky Boulevard. It is a place with retro interiors and an average bill starting at 3,000 rubles ($47) for fish dishes made only with Siberian fish. The restaurant also has cutlets made from Sayan brown bear and Altai boar, as well as a polar goose roasted in its entirety.

Metro station:Arbatskaya, Alexandrovsky Sad, Biblioteka Imeni Lenina, Kropotkinskaya

18:00 – 20:00: Drink a negroni while high

The highest restaurant in Europe is located on the 85th floor of the OKO tower in the Moscow City business center. Ruski has conceptual Russian cuisine and its own oven (the largest in Moscow). But above all go here for the panoramic views. Order a rowanberry negroni, enjoy the sunset, and then see what else the Moscow City business center offers.

Metro station: Delovoi Tsentr, Vystavochnaya

20:00 – 22:00: Continue the evening with some wine in Patriarch Ponds

By evening, the fashionable neighborhood around Patriarch Ponds is always bustling with Moscow’s bohemians and expats. Check out the wine shop Khleb i Vino (Bread and Wine), the concept is rather self-explanatory. Also check out the nearby Grand Cru, an enoteca with a stellar chef named Adrian Quetglas. This is the “Rolls Royce of wine bars” and has no wine menu. It assumes that you’re already a sophisticated connoisseur.

Metro station: Mayakovskaya, Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya

22:00 – till you drop: Finish the night in a factory club

The Trekhgornaya Manufaktura is a former fabric factory that has now become the new place of choice for Moscow party animals. Meanwhile, Nikuda ne Edem (Going Nowhere) is a famous gastro bar where you can try unusual culinary experiments, such as a cappuccino made from liver and black beans, ice cream made from buckwheat porridge, persimmon and halva and cream made of seeds. The adjacent workshops house the Jagger Club, the Duran Bar, the all-day Bochka meat restaurant, the Boom Boom Boom karaoke bar and much more.

Metro station: Vystavochnaya, Ulitsa 1905 Goda, Krasnopresnenskaya

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