History meets contemporary
Moscow is vibrant, buzzling and intriguing. Its rich history involves much of everything it seems. Exiled royal families, war, cultures clashing, but also iron willed people determined to create something out of nothing. Spending a weekend in Moscow is nowhere near enough time to truly experience everything this magnificent city has to offer. You are welcomed to try though, and you should. Just exploring some of its treasures will enrich you and definitely have you coming back for more. Before you travel to Moscow though, it's likely that you will need a tourist visa for Russia. Once you have your visa secured, it's time to create the ultimate list of things not to miss while spending an incredible weekend in Moscow.
Russian Tourist Visa
The majority of foreign citizens wanting to travel to the Russian Federation will have to apply for a Russian tourist visa. Applying for a tourist visa to Russia includes filling out an online application as well as sending in additional documentation to a Russian Embassy or Consulate. This will likely change come 2021 though, as it will be possible to apply for a Russian ETA, an electronic travel authorization. Before that, the previously mentioned process needs to be completed in order for travellers to obtain a visa to Russia. Having been approved for a visa to Russia you are allowed to stay in the country for a period of 1 month. The process itself contains requesting a tourist invitation from a Russian tour company/hotel/hostel, then filling out the online application form before submitting additional documents to a Russian Embassy or Consulate. It is possible to find a more exhaustive list of rules and requirements for a Russian visa on official sites online and each traveller wanting to visit Russia is encouraged to make themselves acquainted with these before booking their ticket.
7 suggestions for an epic weekend visit to Moscow
The Red Square - a visit to the heart of Russia's capital is a must and is one of Moscow's most popular attractions. Beautiful architecture combined with historical sites such as the Kremlin.
St Basil's Cathedral - while at the red Square you should take some moments to truly appreciate this magnificent cathedral. Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible, it is one of Moscow's most incredible sites.
Lenin's Mausoleum - the ultimate love-it-or-hate-it landmark in Moscow attracts almost 2.5 million visitors every year so it's best to be prepared for some time waiting in line.
GUM - if you need a bit of break from all the cultural sightseeing that makes up the Red Square and the surrounding buildings, why not head to GUM. Russia's number 1 department store was built in 1890 and is legendary.
Arab Street - a historic street well worth a stroll. A myriad of cafés, restaurants, live music and monuments is an eclectic experience and you will certainly be joined by big crowds wanting to explore the street for themselves.
Gorky Park - the most beautiful green space in Moscow with entertainment for everyone.
Bolshoi Theatre - opened in 1856 and it has been one of Moscow's cultural epicentres ever since.