5 good reasons to go to Moscow
To see / do
Culture and history
The rebirth of a cathedral
The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour has had a turbulent history: built in 1839, destroyed by Stalin in 1931, transformed into an open-air swimming pool, rebuilt and completed in 1997. White and gilded, its architecture impresses visitors with its solemnity, while its interior houses frescos representing the War of 1812 led by Napoleon I for visitors to admire.
Cold War Museum
Near Taganskaya Square there is a building with a commonplace architecture. Those appearances are false - it is actually Bunker 42, designed to be Moscow's communication headquarters in the event of a nuclear attack by the United States. There an elevator takes you 18 floors down into the depths of the city to discover the Cold War Museum... with a visit that will send shivers down your spine!
A cruise on the Moskva River
From Arbat Street—one of the oldest streets in the city and now one of the most lively by day and by night—you can board a cruise boat for a three-hour change of scenery along the Moskva River to see Moscow from a new angle. Great in any season, but it should be noted that atmosphere is truly magical in winter.
An evening at the Bolshoi
One of the most famous theatres in the world and one of the largest. If you can't attend a performance of one of its famous ballets, at least pay a visit to the building. You will discover the boxes of the tsars, the backstage area, the six levels of the auditorium decorated in purple and gilded with fine gold, as well as the royal foyer: the place where world leaders stay during intermission.
A hot chocolate at Café Pouchkine
A true Moscow culinary institution, Café Pouchkine is an exceptional place that seems to have remained untouched by the outside world. Here you can enjoy a creamy hot chocolate or have a taste of many Russian culinary delights. Most of all, this is a welcome break between two visits, imagining characters from Tolstoy or Chekhov who would come to your table to recount their romantic troubles.
Borscht, an emblematic dish
You can't go to Moscow without a taste of borscht, a soup made from ham (or sausage), cabbage and beets. It is one of the specialities of Café Pouchkine but can be ordered in many traditional restaurants, such as Dacha Na Pokrovke, which resembles a manor house and where pies and an Olivier salad made with mayonnaise and vegetables are also served.
There is nothing more typical than vareniki, Russian potato dumplings, which can be filled with savoury or sweet cheese, mushrooms, cabbage or bacon. Served with butter, crème fraîche and dill, they are even more delicious when fried. As a dessert, they are filled with cherry, chocolate or berries. What a treat!
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