Cheap flights to Moscow
Moscow tells its intriguing story through striking architecture and a rich cultural scene. From the mighty Kremlin complex, towering over the Moskva River, to the vibrant shows of the Bolshoi Ballet, there’s never a dull moment in its tale.
At the city’s centre, the Red Square has seen battles, military parades and the collapse of the Soviet Union on Victory Day. Walk the cobbles of the traffic-free square today and capture on camera the scenic Kremlin Towers and St Basil’s Cathedral. You’ll witness modern developments grow alongside the old city including the Federation Tower, set to be the tallest building in Europe.
If you’re a culture vulture you’ll be amazed by brilliant ballet and opera performances at the Bolshoi Theatre and awesome acrobatics of the Moscow State Circus. Plus, Moscow’s lively nightlife can keep even the most energetic party people entertained. Back in daylight, enter a world of excess and wander the lavish halls of Moscow’s two main shopping centres GUM and TSUM. Or, escape the bustle of the city and peek into 1930s Russia with a trip to Patriarshy Prudiy (Patriarch's Pond).
Most visitors travelling to Russia will need to obtain a visa prior to departure
From the 10 December 2014, the Russian National Tourist Office has confirmed that all foreign nationals are required to provide biometric data (finger print scan) in order to apply for a visiting visa. To do this, individuals are required to travel to the visa application centre in person in London or Edinburgh. Please see our visas and onward travel page for more information.
Please make sure to check with the relevant Russian authorities well in advance, or visit the Visa Central site for more information on visa requirements.
IMPORTANT: you will not be allowed to fly if you are not in possession of all the necessary documentation.
Established in 1776, the Bolshoi Theatre is home to one of the oldest and most acclaimed opera and ballet companies in the world. Closed for six years for major renovations, the theatre was reopened in 2011. Major performances take place within the spectacular main auditorium, with its beautiful stucco arabesques, three-tiered chandelier and ceiling panels depicting Apollo dancing with the nine muses. Watching a performance here provides for a truly unforgettable experience. There are also one-hour theatre tours in English on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 12.15pm (1 Theatre Square, bolshoi.ru).
Orthodox Christians and avid partygoers welcome the Old New Year throughout the capital and beyond on 13 January. Expect typical New Year's celebrations you'd find elsewhere in the world, with plenty of clinking glasses and merry dancing in restaurants, bars and clubs. The celebration falls two weeks after the Western New Year given the difference between the Gregorian and Julian (now defunct) calendars.
Celebrate the New Year in the heart of the city in Red Square. Every year thousands of revellers gather here on 31 December, merrily singing songs, drinking vodka and gaping at the colourful explosions of fireworks overhead.
Russia Day is celebrated on 12 June, when the country emerged as an independent state following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Don't miss the concerts and fireworks in Red Square.
Victory Day, on 9 May, marks the 1945 Nazi surrender and the end of the USSR's Great Patriotic War, or WWII. Younger generations honour veterans by giving flowers (usually red carnations) and wreaths are laid at war memorials. The celebration culminates in a military parade in Red Square with rolling tanks and soldiers in historic uniforms.
Tolstoy's former home, where he spent his winters between 1882 and 1901, is today an evocative house museum. The interior remains as it was when the novelist lived here, with the dining room neatly laid with crockery. The novelist's wife, Sofia Andreevna, used to painstakingly copy out her husband's manuscripts by hand at the desk that can be seen in the bedroom, while it was in the study that Tolstoy penned his final novel, Resurrection (21 Ulitsa Lva Tolstogo).
Nestled in the south-west of the capital, this is one of Moscow's most beautiful cloisters. The grounds are home to four cathedrals, including Smolensky Cathedral with its four onion domes dating back to 1524. Make sure not to miss the nearby cemetery, the resting place of illustrious figures including Mayakovsky, Gogol, Eisenstein, Khrushchev and Yeltsin.
1 Novodevichy Proezd, novodevichye.com
Located 198km north of Moscow, the picturesque Golden Ring town of Suzdal makes for the perfect day trip. The quaint streets are dotted with wooden houses and pretty 17th- and 18th-century onion-domed churches. Visiting the city by carriage makes for a particularly memorable experience.