With a country spanning across 11 different time zones, 2 weeks are inadequate to explore Russia. Moscow, the capital city of Russia’s financial and political center with a population of 13 million people, is beautifully decorated with many historical icons, enough to keep you occupied for 3 days.
Moscow is best explored by foot with a map and dictionary. Well, don’t miss out the famous Metro System; it is just as fascinating as the art galleries and opera houses. For me, the Metro itself is an object of attraction, of which I will be detailing in an independent post on this. Be prepared, the language issue might get a little frustrating, most of the locals here do not use English, even at the places of interest. Despite my friendly body language, they would acknowledge me with awkward stares.
Apart from the affordable metro fare, it costs only USD 1 for a single ride regardless of distance, everything else is on a premium price-tag. A decent meal easily costs USD 8-15; a level that might be cheap for Scandinavian standard only. The plus point? It is easy to get free WIFI at any cafes, restaurants, or, sometimes public areas too. Yay!
If you have only limited time for Moscow, it is best to spend it all in The Red Square and The Kremlin. The area is surrounded by St. Basil’s Cathedral, Historical Museum, Lenin’s Tomb and Kazan Cathedral, it is one of the most photographed landmarks on earth! Even the shopping center in Red Square, Gum Trading House, is embellished with a Russian’s touch, it perfectly blends with the amazing atmosphere. Do not miss out this area at night; it is even more appealing than day.
Cathedral of Christ the Savior is just a stone’s throw away from The Kremlin, it sure is worth visiting. With the striking golden domes dominating the skyline, this church could barely be missed from afar. Located next to the Moscow River; Novodevichy Convent and the Cemetery are standing tall with their distinguishing designs. To be very frank, you might get “cathedral-overdosed” after a few days in Moscow.
There are also a few good hostels in Moscow, try to locate one in Arbat Street. There are plenty of portrait painters, street performers, souvenir kiosks and restaurants and cafes to choose from, I’m thoroughly in love with this street, not to mention its strategic location at the heart of Moscow!
Well, I got to admit; I was a bit chickened out when I first decided Russia as my backpack location. All the stories that I heard are not the best of Russia. Later on, I concluded that, even though it’s not the easiest country to travel in, but it is one of the most captivating countries I have been. I may say goodbye for now, but I’ll be back for more!