Categories
Top

Top 10: Russian Museums

Russian cities, and especially Moscow and St-Petersburg, are full of museums. Some are big, some are small. Some are old, some are new. Some are interesting and some a bit less. How to choose when you’re in a hurry? Feeling a bit lost? Need some tips and advices? Call now and get a… jk, just follow this amazing top and book a guided tour with Tsar Visit!

 

What?

The Largest museum of the world in a building classified by Unesco. A museum that will bring you back under the imperial Russia and amaze you by the splendors of the masterpieces it exhibits.

 

Why?

Well… Shall I really need to explain? The Hermitage is in itself a definition of beauty, magnificence and beauty. A definite must-do for everyone traveling or living in Russia. It doesn’t need any other words.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30-17.00

Wednesday & Friday: 10.30-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 700 RUB (11 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student: Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

 

 

What?

One of the most important and famous museum of Russia. A gallery that exhibits Russian and European masterpieces from the previous centuries. The Tretyakov Gallery is especially famous for its rich and stunning collection of icons from the 11th century.

 

Why?

Thanks to the Tretyakov Gallery, you will dive in the Russian past and culture. Through its masterpieces you will travel in time and see the artistic, social and political evolutions known by the Russian population. A very must-do is its unique and marvelous collection of icons.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 10.00-17.00

Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10.00-21.00

 

How much?

Full price: 500 RUB  (8 USD)

Children (under 18yo) & Student (if Russian): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (2)

 

 

What?

Heart of Moscow, Russian and of the Russian Federation Presidential administration, the Kremlin is a historic and powerful fortress. But it also hosts the Armoury Chamber and cathedrals that trace the evolutions of Russia since the 11th century.  

 

Why?

Because the Kremlin. Is there anything else to say?

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 9.30-16.30

Thursday: Closed

 

How much?

Full price: 1,800 RUB (29 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vue aérienne (12)-ciel bleu

 

 

  • The State Russian Museum (St Petersburg)

What?

As its name let it guess, the State Russian Museum is an important museum exclusively dedicated to Russian art and artists. It offers to the public more than 38,000 works of art and 6,000 icons celebrated from the 10th century to today.

 

Why?

By visiting the State Russian Museum, you will dive in history and discover the evolutions of Russian art of the past 11th centuries. On the plus side, the museum is hosted by the stunning residence of the Grand Duke Michael.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-17.30

Tuesday: Closed

Thursday: 13.00-21.00

 

How much?

Full price: 600 RUB  (10 USD)

Student: 300 RUB (5 USD)

Children: Free

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée Russe (2)

 

 

What?

The Pushkin Museum is one of the most famous museum in Russia. It is a museum rich in Russian, European, and ancient paintings and objets d’art from both antique and contemporary collections. Moreover it also hosts the marvelous impressionist gallery.

 

Why?

To my very personal (and valuable) opinion, the Pushkin Museum worth a tour for its stunning impressionist gallery and its temporary exhibitions. If the main building is of low interest, the temporary exhibition are always of a very good quality, and the impressionist gallery is absolutely stunning.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-19.00

Thursday, Friday: 11.00-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 750 RUB  (12 USD)

Children (under 16yo): Free

Student: 400 RUB (6 USD)

 

Looking for a guided tour? Check it here!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Musée des Beaux-Arts Pouchkine.jpg

 

 

  • Erarta (St Petersburg)

What?

The Erarta museum is to my opinion one of (if not the) best museum of contemporary arts in Russia. It opened in 2010 but already exhibits more than 2300 objects d’art with the aim of promoting contemporary Russian art.   

 

Why?

The museum displays artists according to their talent and not their popularity, and put the spotlight on the visitor, which make a visit to the Erarta Museum indispensable for every art lover. If not, at least you will be able to show off in front of your friends!

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 10.00-22.00

Tuesday: closed

 

How much?

Full price: 500 RUB  (8 USD)

Children (under 2yo): Free

Musée Erarta © Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée art contemporain Erarta (7)

 

 

  • Garage (Moscow)

What?

A museum of modern and contemporary art located in the heart of the splendorous and famous Gorky Park. The Garage is a well-known place for modern art in Moscow and often has interesting temporary exhibitions.

 

Why?

For its location and always interesting exhibitions.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 11.00-21.30

 

How much?

Full price: 500 RUB (8 USD)

Student: 250 RUB  (4 USD)

Children (11-17yo): 150 RUB (2 USD)

Children (under 10): Free

dreamstime_xxl_82657845.jpg

 

 

  • The Fabergé Museum (St Petersburg)

What?

The Fabergé Museum is a small and very new museum (but already among the most visited) in the heart of St Petersburg. It offers to the public the main pieces of the famous jeweller Fabergé. Among these collections the most precious is the the Easter eggs collections. Absolutely stunning.  

 

Why?

One of my favorite museum in Russia. Not the biggest, not the most famous but a small museum exhibiting precious artefacts from the late Russian Empire. A true testimony of the Russian craft and the Romanov intimacy.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Everyday: 8.30-21.15

 

How much?

Full price: 450 RUB  (7 USD)

Dreamstime @ Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée Fabergé (2)

 

 

  • The Bunker 42 of Taganka (Moscow)

What?

The most secured and secret bunker of Moscow. Aiming at protecting the Soviet political and military leadership in case of nuclear attack, this bunker is a labyrinth where were working about 2,000 people during the Cold War. It is now a museum offering different thematic tours.  

 

Why?

Visit it and you’ll for sure dive in the tensest times of the Cold War!

 

When?

Everyday: 10.00-20.00

 

How much?

Full price: 2200 RUB (35 USD)

Student: 1300 RUB (21 USD)

Dreamstime © Moscou - Bunker Taganka (3)

 

 

  • The Museum of Cosmonautics (Moscow)

What?

A must-see for those who want to know everything about space adventure, The Museum of Cosmonautics traces the history of astronautics from the 1920’s to the present day. Located at the entrance of the VDNKh Exhibition Park, it is impressive for its architecture and especially for the diversity and richness of its collections.

 

Why?

You will not only understand the reasons of the Soviet domination of space, but you will also discover the role and current involvement of the Russian Federation in space.

 

When?

(ticket office)

Monday: Closed

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00-18.30

Thursday: 10.00-20.30

 

How much?

Full price: 250 RUB (4 USD)

Children (under 7yo): Free

Dreamstime © Moscou - Musée des Cosmonautes (8)

 

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
Top

Top 8: Artists’ houses

Many Russian artists, from writers to dancers, are world-famous. Who never heard of Tolstoy, Dostoievsky, Pushkin? These artists inspired the world and continue nowadays to have a significant impact on our culture. But all of them have also been crucial witnesses of their centuries and of Russia. As most of them were famous while still living, their houses have been preserved by the Russian and later Soviet State. That’s why visiting artists’ houses and apartments in Moscow and St-Petersburg isn’t only about walking where they walked, but is above all diving in specific atmospheres from the past.  

 

  • Tolstoy House-Museum (Moscow)

My favorite is definitely Tolstoy’s house in the city center of Moscow. Not only because Tolstoy is my favorite Russian author, and that I’m dying for his Anna Karenine, but because his house is amazing. Tolstoy’s house is a wooden one that have been protected by the State right after Tolstoy’s death. As a result the house hasn’t been damaged. Enter it, and you instantly dive into the life of the Russian intelligentsia from the late Russian Empire. Amazing and definitely a must do!

Maison-Musée Tolstoï @ Moscou - Maison-Musée Tolstoï (6)

 

  • Dostoievsky House-Museum (St Petersburg)

Other super famous Russian author, Dostoievsky’s apartment in St Petersburg has also been quite well preserved. However, contrary to Tolstoy’s house, Dostoievsky’s apartment became a museum only 1971 due to the Soviet leadership’s unstable view attitude towards the author. Nevertheless the apartment kept the peculiar atmosphere of its time and above all of the vibrant soul that lived in its walls.  

dreamstime_xxl_109450714.jpg

 

  • Pushkin House-Museum (St Petersburg)

Probably the most loved and cherished author in Russia, Pushkin died in St Petersburg after a famous (and still painful for most Russians) duel. The apartment in which he lived his last years and died became a memorial treasured by all. As a result the atmosphere remains penetrating. Visiting it also means learning a lot on Pushkin’s life and work so go for it!

dreamstime_xxl_109759799.jpg

 

  • Gogol House-Museum (Moscow)

This house being Gogol’s last residence, has been recognised as it only in 2005. Nevertheless the building, both on the outside and inside, is stunning and worth the visit. Enter it and you will travel back in time to discover the living standards of the Muscovite upper classes before the Soviet Union…you may also find some decoration tips for your own house? (I hope not, but who knows?)

Tsar Voyages © - Moscou - Maison-musée Gogol

 

  • Bulgakov House-Museum (Moscow)

If Bulgakov is not the most loved author in Russia, he is not far from it. More, his book The Master and Margarita, is by far the most appreciated and famous book in Russia. That is why Bulgakov’s apartment in Moscow city center is always crowded. This very tiny apartment recall the life of the author but before all smartly mix Bulgakov and Margarita’s lives. Indeed the apartment described in the book is basically Bulgakov’s one. So if you really want to appreciate the tour, read The Master and Margarita before!

dreamstime_xxl_70401792 (1).jpg

 

  • Gorky House-Museum (Moscow)

Nowadays, Gorky is a name associated to Moscow’s favored park. But before being a park, Gorky was a Soviet writer. After the revolution, the Soviet leadership seized Ryabushinsky house built in the early 20th century by Fyodor Shekhtel, and Gorky lived in it. To be honest the most important thing about this house isn’t the fact that Gorky lived in it (sorry not sorry). The house worth the visit because it is a mesmerizing and absolutely unusual house, a true eccentric symbol of the Modern Style. Words are not enough to describe it and all the beautifully strange things in it, so just go and open your eyes…but be ready!

Internet Escalier1

 

  • Galina Ulanova House-Museum (Moscow)

The Soviet time also knew some prominent and world famous artists and it would be foolish to think the opposite. One of them is Galina Ulanova. A world famous ballet dancer considered by many as the greatest ballerina of the previous century. Born in St Petersburg, and despite being dancing around the world, she mainly lived in Moscow where her apartment has been preserved since her death in 1998. Tiny apartment of a women with skills, ambition and temper, it definitely needs to be visited. You will be transported to the Soviet times and into Galina’s intimacy.

Tips: some secret letters are displayed on Galina’s desk. You should ready them…

Musée-appartement Oulanova @ Moscou - Musée-appartement Oulanova (4)

 

  • Nabokov House-Museum (St Petersburg)

This house saw the birth of the world-famous writer Nabokov in 1899. Nabokov’s family flew from Russia in 1917. As a result of the Bolshevik seizing of power, Nabokov aristocratic roots, and of course because the writer wasn’t famous at that time, the family house of St Petersburg has not been protected by the Soviet Union. It became a museum in 1998 with very few objects and furnitures. But by the years, Nabokov house-museum became more than a significant museum dedicated to the Russian-American writer. Nowadays it has great collection of books and artefacts, and worth a visit!

dreamstime_xxl_93805071.jpg

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
Top

Top 8: What to do in Moscow in May

May is a wonderful month in Russia. Mainly because the Sun is finally out. So when you live in Moscow, May is always like entering Heaven after a long period in Hell (super cold Hell). You finally leave cold, snow, ice, and slippery roads to welcome sun, heat, colors, flowers, ice-cream and music. In May Moscow is back to life as Muscovites spend all their time outside after being kept inside for 8 months. But as a result the city knows a huge amount of new things to do, try and experience. A bit lost? Follow us!

 

 

Velobike are coming back on April 25th! I know it’s not exactly May but this is a great news and May will be the perfect occasion to celebrate it. Moscow offers the opportunity to rent bikes for short or longer period of time for really cheap and just let it back in any of the 400 stations. As in the last years, the first 30 minutes are free of charge. So on May sunny days you must rent one and explore Moscow center and parks.

dreamstime_xxl_103726494.jpg

 

 

  • City celebrations: 1st and 9th of May

In addition to the sun and heat (well for Moscow’s standards of course), there are two main reasons to gather all in the city center in May: the 1st and 9th of May celebrations! The 1st of May is Labor day. As a result all Muscovites are enjoying their holiday exploring the city and its colorful parks, eating cheap but exquisite ice-creams. Trust them, they know what’s good, and you should do the same!

But the most impressive celebration is by far the 9th of May. And not only because you can see the Russian Army favourite toys on the Red Square. To me the most impressive thing is what follows the military parade and aviation show. What catch me out of breath each year is the gathering of thousands of Russians in the city center, walking on the Tverskaya to the Kremlin with portraits of their fallen parents and flags. Along with music, old films, food and drinks, it creates a unique atmosphere!

Tips: to avoid the crowd, check for the rehearsals!

[wpvideo JxmHiuXn]

 

 

More than a classic Middle Age festival for rednecks or fanatics, the St George Knights Tournaments is a very high quality world-known show and exhibition that worth the visit. Held in the stunning and Unesco registered park of Kolomenskoye the St George Knights Tournament attracts each year thousands of visitors and professional knights from all over the world. During 3 days, knights will compete in different categories, traditional dances and balls will be organised and visitors will be able to eat and drink special dishes and drinks coming straight from the Ritsari period. Careful though, workshops are organised for children and you do not want to be stabbed in your sleep…nor beaten by them the next time you plays “swords”.

[wpvideo ROsukmvu]

 

 

Speaking of parks, Gorky is a famous one that we speak a lot about (and it’s one you should definitely explore by velobike). But on the 19th and 20th of May, Gorky will host the Polytech festival. A great opportunity to discover and learn more on the last technological improvements. Though as an educational festival of science, the Polytech festival is made for the pleasure of all. A great way to spend a sunny afternoon and raise smart kiddos…or just appear as even more intelligent at your next family dinner.

Screenshot_1.png

 

 

This one may be for without-child-adults or for I-have-a-super-mother-that-babysit-my-monsters-adults. On May 26th at 6pm, the famous Fantomas rooftop is reopening! Located in the very heart of Moscow, this rooftop bar and club is a must-do for party animals. With the finest program, great cocktails and a stunning view on Moscow, the Fantomas is definitely on our list of what to do in May… so lets meet their on the 26!

fantomas

 

 

With the Sun and heat (Moscow standards), walking accross the Russian Capital in May is more than a pleasure. That’s why Tsar Visit organises walking tours of Moscow everyday! You’ll discover some famous parts of Moscow as the Arbat district and the stunning Christ the Savior cathedral. So take comfy shoes, sunglasses and prepare your camera!

shutterstock_632518478.jpg

 

 

Tsar Visit organises a tour of the Bolshoy backstages. Why in May? Because the season is about to end and it would be a shame to miss this opportunity! The symbol of Moscow and Russian art, and a theatre renowned around the world, the Bolshoy Theatre is a fascinating part of Moscow life. Explore behind the scenes of the sumptuous theatre that has presenting the greatest ballets, operas, and concerts since 1776. You’ll discover the historic stage and maybe be able to watch the rehearsals!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (7).jpg

 

 

May is the perfect occasion to do a guided tour of the marvelous Kolomenskoye Estate! The ancient domain of the Moscow princes, and then the Czars of Russia from the 14th century, Kolomenskoye Park is a greenspace where the Museum and the Church of the Ascension, the first church made of stones in an octagonal shape in Russia and classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site, are nested. This is a relaxing and instructive excursion in the heart of Russian nature.

Dreamstime © - Kolomenskoe - Église de l'Ascension.jpg

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
Top

Top 10: Imperial Russia

One of the most vivid symbol of Russia in everyone’s mind is its imperial past. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine II, Nicholas II, Anastasia Romanov are the names that everyone knows either from their sweet taste for history or for movies. Russia has a glorious past that continues to attract billions of tourists every year. But if most of the czarist legacies are located in St Petersburg, it would be a mistake to bypass some crucial places! So wear your most beautiful costume and dive with us into history!

 

Imperial summer residences are numerous in St Petersburg’s neighbouring but not all are equally beautiful. Thankfully, Tsar Visit is organising a very special tour to help you discover the Czars’ most outstanding palaces. You will begin your day at the Pavlovsk Palace. A palace with a facade in shades of yellow with white columns (fancy). You will then go to the town of Pushkin, formerly called Tsarskoye Selo, to continue your journey into Imperial Russia by visiting the sumptuous Catherine Palace (super fancy). But don’t forget that these palaces would be nothing without their gardens (well, except for Catherine Palace, which has the Amber Room…) you must take time to explore them!

shutterstock_100323602.jpg

 

Obviously, the most important and biggest palaces of all is the Hermitage. As the official residence of the Czar, the Hermitage was the very heart of the Russian Empire. Its seizing in 1917 became a symbol of the revolutions and the end of the Imperial Russia. Moreover, the Hermitage became through the centuries the biggest museum on Earth! You would be a fool not to visit it while in St Petersburg…

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

 

  • Peterhof Palace (St Petersburg)

Peter the Great’s summer residence is beautifully amazing. Its sumptuous and rich interiors are only competing with its gardens. Peterhof is for sure the most beautiful Imperial palace in Russia. Indeed it copied Louis XIV’s palace of Versailles. However you must visit Peterhof in summer. Why? First because you can access it by the canal, and this will show to the people what kind of person your are. Second because the fountains are working. Don’t misunderstand me on this. Peterhof goldish fountains themselves are worth the visit as they have been erected as part of the garden…and to please the Czar’s taste for water games. Cheeky!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Peterhof - Jardins et fontaines (8)

 

  • Tsarskoye Selo (St Petersburg)

Tsarskoye Selo is a small village in St Petersburg’s neighbouring. But Tsarskoye Selo hosts two magnificent palaces, two Imperial summer residences which are definitely worth the visiting. Go to Tsarskoye Selo, and visit both the Alexander Palace (currently under restoration) and the Catherine Palace. But don’t do it in a hurry, you don’t want to miss the opportunity of exploring their english-styled parks!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Tsarskoe Selo - Salle de balle (2).jpg

 

  • Yusupov Palace (St Petersburg)

But Imperial Russia and the Czarist regime weren’t all about the Romanov. The Yusupovs constituted at the end of the Russian Empire, the second most powerful (after the Romanov of course) and the richest family in Russia. Those understood everything: money, power, charity but staying next to, not in, the spotlight. As a result they possessed several palaces in the very center of St Petersburg. The most beautiful of them is the Yusupov Palace on the Moyka. A must do! (at least because Rasputin died in these walls).

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - 2e Palais Youssoupov

 

  • House of the boyars Romanov (Moscow)

One would think that Czars, Romanov, Imperial Russia are words that can’t go with St Petersburg. This is obviously a mistake! If you’re really into the Russian Empire, you must visit were it all started: the House of the boyars Romanov. Located in Moscow’s very heart (and currently under restoration), this treasure from the past is the house (calling it a palace would be a bit much) of the Romanov right before the Russian Empire and Peter the Great. And in addition to the emotion given by the Romanov souvenir, you’ll dive into the Russian Middle-Age!

Dreamstime © Moscou - Palais Boyards Romanov (2).jpg

 

  • Alexander Nevsky Lavra (St Petersburg)

I already wrote a lot about the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, how its peculiar atmosphere and stunning architecture made a great impression on me. I also explained why this Lavra is one of the most important religious sight in St Petersburg. But the Alexander Nevsky Lavra is also deeply linked to the Russian Empire and the Czars. Why? Well check its name! Indeed the Monastery was built in 1710 to welcome the relics of Saint Alexander Nevsky but precisely where Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in 1210. The Lavra is interlinked to the Russian Empire and marks Peter the Great’s intention to establish the new Northern Capital in Holy Russia.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Laure Alexandre Nevski (10)

 

  • The Fabergé Museum (St Petersburg)

We spoke a lot about palaces but one dimension of the Imperial Russia is definitely its peculiar culture, arts and crafts. The Czars contributed to the development and rise of Russian craftmasters in the Empire and in Europe. One of the best and most famous, is Fabergé. His eggs, and all his artefacts, are among the most beautiful and meaningful jewels made under the Russian Empire. More than artefacts, they are pieces of art and one of the last legacies of the Romanov today. It’s a definitely a must-see! (these eggs drive me crazy).

Dreamstime @ Saint-Pétersbourg - Musée Fabergé (2).jpg

 

  • Peter and Paul fortress (St Petersburg)

As a fan of the Romanov and while exploring St Petersburg, you have to go visit the Peter and Paul fortress. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most interesting and visited site of St Petersburg, the Peter and Paul fortress is before all (at least for us, who know the perfection of the Romanov) the place where are lying almost all members of the Imperial family. A great place to remember the Imperial Russia… and think about the tragic destiny of Nicholas II and his family.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Forteresse Pierre et Paul (8).jpg

 

  • Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov palace (Moscow)

Before being St Petersburg, the Russian capital was Moscow, even under the Romanov. That’s why you should visit Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov palace. A place that marks the Romanov transition from being boyards (nobles) to being Russian emperors. This majestic wooden palace highlights the rise of the Romanov but also is a testimony of the Russian noble life between the Middle Age and the Empire in the heart of Kolomenskoye estate!

Dreamstime © - Kolomenskoe - Palais du tsar Alexis Mikhaïlovitch (4).jpg

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

 

Categories
Top

Top 10: Luxurious Moscow

Contemporary Russia is often pictured in many minds as the country of oligarchs and a country with a huge wage gap. Moreover as the Russian federal capital, Moscow is obviously a  city where you can spend a lot. Moscow can offer you pleasures and entertainments…so block your banker’s phone number and let express the billionaire in you!

 

  • A walk in through passages

Moscow’s city center has several streets dedicated to fancy shops and luxurious brands from all over the world. However the truly luxurious ones are always in small, hidden and elegant passages. Among the best ones, I advice you to go explore the Stoleshnikov and Tretyakovsky streets, and the Petrovsky passage. Of course passages are fancy because you’ll be away from the cold, the rain and the rednecks. So just enjoy and spend, you need this 10,000$ pair socks made of golden spider silk.

Side note: keep your sunglasses when inside, let the crowd know who you are.

dreamstime_xxl_36418259.jpg

 

  • An evening at the Bolshoi

Yes it’s a famous place, and yes it’s culture. But don’t forget that brain is the new tits, and theater the new ayurveda-yoga class! The Bolshoi is a must do, a place where you have to be seen. You’ll be able to show your most fancy suit and dress in a goldish atmosphere. On the plus side, you’ll watch the best ballets and operas of the world. Obviously, you have to be well seated to enjoy this cultural treat. That’s why I definitely advise you to seat on the Amphitheatre or Dress Circle first rows.
Dreamstime © - Moscou - Théâtre Bolchoï (3).jpg

 

  • Shopping afternoon at GUM and TSUM

Another place to shop, even though more crowded, are the two famous center-located malls of Moscow: the GUM and TSUM. Both of them are located in stunning historic buildings within a walking distance of the Red Square (actually the GUM is on the Red Square). Both of them were already malls for fancy people during the Imperial Russia. And both of them hosts luxurious quality brands from all over the world. Explore these two buildings, you won’t be disappointed!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - GUM.jpg

 

  • Culture time at Terems Palace

How do we recognise rich “in” people? Not only because they wear outfits from Chanel in a casual day, but also because they can access places that “out” people can’t or (worse) don’t know about. Although out people are visiting the Kremlin, in people are visiting the Terems Palace. As you already know, the Terems Palace is for sure one of the most secret and secured place of the Russian Federation. Why? Because the Terems Palace is the office and residence of the Russian Federation President in the very heart of the Kremlin. Few tours are organised each year…you must go if you want to be in!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Grand Palais du Kremlin (2).jpg

 

  • Enjoy dinner at Turandot

But all this shopping and cultural life are exhausting. So if you need a break and enjoy what life has best to offer (i.e: food), you definitely have to go to Turandot. One of the best and finest restaurant of Moscow established in a very luxurious palace. More than a fancy restaurant, Turandot is a jewel, an imperial palace full of artefacts from the last centuries where you can taste an exquisite cuisine. Top.

6Q3A4567

Credits: Turandot

 

  • Rest at the mythical and historical Four Seasons

Moscow is a big city, and it can take ages to reach point B from point A…even though Hubert is the best private driver at your service. That’s why choosing your hotel isn’t a small thing. So if you want, and I know you want it, to be located within a short distance of Moscow’s best places and want an hotel at your standards, you must go to the Four Seasons. Located on the Red Square, you’ll enjoy life, comfort and luxury in one of the best hotel of Moscow. Plus, who has never dreamed of waking up in front of the Kremlin and the Red Square?

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Aleksandrovskiy Sad (2).jpg

 

  • Get drunk at Mendeleev

Want to go out in a fancy place? Go to Mendeleev! A very nice and luxurious bar located in the stoned arched cellar of a tiny noodles restaurant in the heart of Moscow. Don’t be tricked, the restaurant is only a facade and hides a place where wearing Louboutin or being a foreigner won’t guarantee you to access. Once inside, you’ll enjoy exquisite cocktails while listening to live jazz music.

Side note: as a in person, you must go through the kitchens and access to the VIP room where a waiter will be at your service and where you’ll probably meet famous Muscovites.

006

Credits: Mendeleev Cocktail Bar

 

  • Some winter shopping at Maison Yves Salomon

Winter in Russia can be coldish. That’s why fur, either you like it or not, is often one of the best option to keep you warm. That’s why wearing fur in Russia, and especially in Moscow, isn’t something outrageous or only for the babushkas (grumpy elderly Russian women). Nevertheless, for both ethical and fashion reasons, if you want to buy some fur you have to do it the right way and shop in Moscow most beautiful and luxurious furier: Maison Yves Salomon. Combining Russian and French fur and craftsmanship traditions, Maison Yves Salomon is the most luxurious place to find what you desire most. Obviously, the French touch of Maison Yves Salomon makes it a must-wear among Russian wealthiest people…so do you.

Yves Salomon-14

Credits: Maison Yves Salomon

 

  • Moscow by the air

Moscow is a busy city with lot of traffic jam. Therefore despite Hubert’s amazing driving capabilities, it may takes ages to cross the city. So why not reaching the sky? Grab an helicopter for about 1,300$ and discover the Russian federal capital by the air! Fly close to land between the tours of Moscow City before going up above the city center and the Kremlin. A must do for every fancy people!

dreamstime_xxl_91072570.jpg

 

  • Get a well-deserved encas at Beluga

What would be visiting Russia without tasting caviar? Nothing. That’s why, and especially after the previously highlighted activities, you truly deserve caviar in a fancy and luxurious place. To that why not going to Beluga? A famous and luxurious caviar bar facing the Kremlin. Delightful!

dreamstime_xxl_47556297.jpg

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
Top

Top 10: Natural Capitals

Moscow and St-Petersburg are big cities with cars and peoples everywhere. Noises, grey buildings, pollution, crowds are all usual aspects of living in a city. Moreover, being an inhabitant or a tourist, you spend your days walking (if not running) in city centers, public transports and famous sights. So why not taking a deep and relaxing breath in one of Moscow and St Petersburg’s amazing parks? Indeed these two cities hosts absolutely stunning parks and gardens that you must have a walk in!   

  • Gorky Park (Moscow)

My favorite so far…and all year around! In winter (i.e almost all the time) Gorky park, covered of snow (and ice), is magical. For the time of a walk you’re escaping Moscow city center and enjoy a timeless moment in a snowy and welcoming forest. But above all, in winter Gorky park allows you to walk along the iced Moskva river, which is absolutely priceless (and freezing). Hopefully there is also lots of caffé and restaurants! When summer finally comes out of the corner, Gorky park becomes more crowded than the Red Square but the friendly atmosphere (and the sun!) worths the walk…or ride one of the available bikes! And when fall arrives, Gorky park wears is absolutely stunning orange and yellow outfits which makes you understand why Russians call autumn the “golden season”.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Parc Gorki

  • VDNKh Park (Moscow)

As Gorki park, the VDNKh Park has the greatness of being interesting all year around. Which to be honest is not a small thing when you try to go outside during a fierce winter. The VDNKh park was a an exhibition center to show the efficiency of the Soviet economy. That’s why today VDNKh is more of a recreational complex attracting thousands of people each year. It’s one of Moscow’s most famous and popular park mainly due to its skating-rink in winter, the largest of Russia, and its pavillons, celebrating the USSR glories.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - VDNKh

  • Teply Stan Park (Moscow)

Huge landscape reserve located south of Moscow, the Teply Stan Park is a famous and very popular park in Moscow. Preserved as a mixed Russian forest, it offers to its visitors some very needed fresh air. It also takes you to typical Russian woods, and allows you to, for a day, feel somewhere else…which is a relief when you’ve been staying in Moscow for a while. But more, in the Teply Stan Park you can walk alongside it’s tiny river, rest near its pound, discover the paleontological institute or even, in summer, go sailing! And who doesn’t like to pretend to be a pirate?

dreamstime_xxl_76252872.jpg

  • Sokolniki Park (Moscow)

Sokolniki park is one of the oldest park in Moscow and one of the largest in Europe (of course). Sokolniki park is considered as one of the oldest park in Moscow because before being a public one, it was a hunting ground for Princes and Tsars. A bit later it became a traditional meeting point for gatherings and festive events. The park benefited from public founding which gave Sokolniki a new youth. Currently the park is divided in 9 sectors, each hosting pavillons and a specific biodiversity. Plus, if you’re kind of a bird-fanatic (aka amateur ornithologists) Sokolniki park also has an ornitary with exotic birds to admire!

dreamstime_xxl_81899081.jpg

  • Neskuchny Garden (Moscow)

Another “one of the +superlative” park in Moscow (ie one of the oldest). Neskuchny Garden is located closer to the city center than the previous ones. In line with the famous Gorky park, the Neskuchny Garden is beautiful (especially in autumn). You should go there. It’s great. And beautiful.  

dreamstime_xxl_47822881.jpg

  • Botanical Garden (St-Petersburg)

Being the oldest botanical garden of Russia (seriously, again?), the Botanical Garden of St-Petersburg is now quite significant and hosts numerous plants. It first has been used as the Tsar Apothecary’s Garden, but later transformed in a center for horticultural research. As a result you can explore charming indoor and outdoor gardens and learn more about various plants and biodiversities.

9e908fd833881bf0a35eb7f01229f2a2.jpg

  • Yusupov Garden (St-Petersburg)

St Petersburg is a lot about canals, tiny streets and palaces. But as a result there isn’t much of green spaces to chill, play or picnic on. That’s why the Yusupov Garden is very popular and important. Located in St-Petersburg city center, the Yusupov garden was a significant part of the Yusupov Palace and so remains today a piece of history. This gem really worth the visit and you definitely have to take time to picnic in this imperial garden!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - 2e Palais Youssoupov.jpg

  • Summer Garden (St-Petersburg)

St-Petersburg’s summer garden comes straight from the Imperial Russian standards of the 18th century. Similar to French gardens of that time, the Summer Garden has been built on geometrical principles. It also hosts many marble statues representing antic subjects, fountains and rare plants. The summer garden is a real breath of fresh air in the city!

dreamstime_xxl_102134745.jpg

  • Pavlovsk Palace’s park (St-Petersburg)

The Pavlovsk Palace’s park is a famous park close to the city. I already wrote a lot about it but this park worth the visit (even more than the Palace itself?). Stroll along the tree-lined avenues of this English park, and enjoy the various pavilions dotting it, and be transported to the Imperial Russia!

Tips: take a good camera and you’ll manage to shoot stunning pics of the park and the palace

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Pavlosk (4).jpg

  • Tavrichesky park (St-Petersburg)

As the Pavlovsk Palace’s park, the Tavrichesky park is an English-style park…but in the city center! Built by Catherine the Great around the Tavrichesky manor, it includes pavillons, greenhouses (to take care of rare and uncommon plants) and ponds. It’s a famous park for those who (unlike me) spend their weekends playing chess or doing sport!

dreamstime_xxl_104926721.jpg

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

 

Categories
Top

Top 5: Capitals’ Must-See

We know you, you’re in Moscow and Petersburg for few days and you want to come back home with pictures to brag about. Don’t worry follow this list and in two days you’ll be able to see everything that matters to the eyes of those you’ll tell your travel about!

 Obviously the first one can’t not be the Kremlin and the Red Square. But to be fair, it’s always something when you arrive on this famous place. We you stand in the middle of the Red-Square, St Basil in front of you and the Kremlin on your right, you truly realize where you are. This place is the place of all fantasizes and it’s definitely the place you want to be when traveling in Russia (well not so long because in winter it’s really cold).  

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place rouge (5)

 

 The Hermitage is another place to be/go when traveling to Russia. For the sweet taste of imperial Russia or its marvelous cats, you have to go to the Hermitage! The Hermitage will help you in showing to Janet from the accounting that you experienced all facets of Russia. On the plus side, the Hermitage is big and hot, so perfect to protect you from Petersburg freakily cold winter.

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Ermitage (9)

 

The Tretyakov Gallery is a world-known museum that has the advantage of presenting an insight on every Russian schools of art. In a single museum you’ll be able to discover the Russian art from its beginning to the revolution of 1917. Icons, portraits, landscapes and masterpieces from Russian famous artists are all in this museum. So if you manage it well, you’ll be able to pretend that you visited a dozen of museums while travelling in Russia!
Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (2)

 

In case Janet isn’t impressed by the Hermitage, show her some pictures of Peterhof. Peter the Great’s palace is kind of a Russian Versailles (where Janet spent an hour of her honeymoon) created to astonish visitors from all over the world. If you want a tip, go there in summer when the palace shines and the fountains are working and purposely spray water on visitors (the cold water will calm down your children).

cropped-dreamstime-c2a9-saint-pc3a9tersbourg-peterhof-jardins-et-fontaines-6.jpg

 

  • Walk in St-Petersburg’s city center (St-Petersburg) 

 Petersburg is wonderful city to walk through. Along the canals and the palaces, you’ll be able to shoot a city between West Europe and Russia, with great colors and amazing buildings from the XIXth and XXth centuries. More, you’ll find many great places to eat and drink. And because the exception doesn’t make the rule, St-Petersburg’s city center is small so easily done by foot!

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg - Canaux et Neva

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
Traveling in Russia

Moscow’s Kremlin

Everyone already heard of The Kremlin. For you it might be a political center, for others a religious one. In any case, being full of mysteries, questions and fantasies, the Kremlin is definitely worth the visit!

From its building in the 14th century until now, the symbolic political dimension of the Kremlin obliterates the original value of this outstanding architectural complex. Indeed the Kremlin remains before all a piece of History, a fortress hosting both magnificent palaces and old, but nonetheless outstanding, cathedrals. 

Today, the Moscow Kremlin is in the form of a triangular enclosure of high red brick walls extending over 28 hectares between the Moskva River and Red Square. The walls of the Kremlin are punctuated by 19 defense towers, each with its own name and its own architectural style.

In addition to the Presidential Administration in the Senate Palace and the official residence of the President in the Terems Palace, the Kremlin contains many architectural treasures, including four cathedrals, two churches, and many palaces. One of these is the Palace of the Armoury which contains a unique collections of Faberge eggs, jewelry, and pre-revolutionary silverware.

So what are you all waiting for? Let’s visit it!

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
To Do in Moscow Top

Top 3: Unusual Things To Do in Moscow

Tourists, tourists and again tourists… tourists are everywhere! Taking pictures of the same buildings and bringing home the same “so original” souvenirs. But you’re not like them. No, you’re a true explorer. Someone that wants to do what locals do, and bring home truly unusual objects and memories. You’re not a redneck and neither are we, so follow this top and experience another Russia!

In St Petersburg? Check this unusual top 4!

  • Take Height at 354 ‒ Restaurants & Observation Deck

You were considering in taking a “Russian tea” at Caffé Pouchkine ? Seriously ? Well, first, Russian tea doesn’t exist. Second, Caffé Pouchkine is amazing but kind of Moscow’s must-do. Instead go take a cocktail at Ruski at the 85th floor of OKO Tower. More than diving into contemporary Russia by exploring Moskva-City, you’ll jump into the highest restaurant in Europe and in the very heart of Moscow’s “hypeness”. Take height and enjoy some fresh air, by letting your kids in the children’s room and entering the highest ice bar in the world! With its set of restaurants and bars, the terrace in summer and the highest skating rink of Europe in winter, the 354 will offer you an unusual and magnificent view!

Ruski Restaurant - 354m Height in OKO Tower
Ruski Restaurant – 354m Height in OKO Tower

But maybe, you’ll prefer to stay down-to-earth and visit Moscow by night in a soviet military van (called UAZ) or even enroll for a pub-crawl!

  • Mystic Moscow & Russian Superstitions

You may know that if you whistle inside a house in Russia, it’ll bring misfortune to that household… As every city, and because it’s the former Soviet Capital, Moscow has many legends, stories, tales and dark secrets to deliver. Diving into these will require bravery, strength and abnegation (act of renouncing) in order to explore the dark secrets and stories of Moscow and its famous people. It probably also requires a good guide whether by enjoying a walk, or using transport. But be careful, in the end you’ll never know which are tales and which are true stories…

Picture: Mystical Moscow
Mystical Moscow
  • The Dark Secrets of Lubyanka 

Remember when your parents threatened to put you in the cellar without light if you didn’t calm down? (or is it just mine?) Well, explore Lubyanka around former KGB headquarters and you’ll regret your cellar. For those who don’t know, Lubyanka has been the black heart of the Soviet secret intelligence, enforcing “security” inside and outside USSR. For this one, bring your own kinds. Stories of torture, prison and disappearance will give you a real and efficient leverage on these monsters. And well, except you already know all these dark secrets, you’ll need a guide!

Picture: Moscow - Lubyanka Square & FSB Building (former KGB)
Moscow – Lubyanka Square & FSB Building (former KGB)

Want to know more about Russia? Read more on our Travel Blog!

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

Categories
To Do in Moscow To Do in Saint-Petersburg Top

Top 10: Activities for Children in Russia

Children are nice and cute when they’re not yours (some people say), but they can be real monsters (when not a mortal plague to be honest). As we don’t want to ostracize parents, and help you in raising smart kids, here is a top of things to do in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Go for these and you’ll enjoy good quality time with your children away from the cold and the overcrowded antic museums!

Picture: Chair Swing Ride in Moscow
Let’s enjoy attractions for children in Moscow, have a chair swing ride for example!
  • Moskvarium ‒ The Largest Oceanarium in Moscow

This one will entertain you and your kids at least for a day, away from the cold, and keep them smart. The Moskvarium aims at presenting Russian aquatic inhabitants but also species from all over the world. This oceanarium, located in VDNKh in Moscow, is a living encyclopedia of the underwater world which was thought both for children and grown-ups with shows of killer whales, dolphins belugas and walruses. Perfect to entertain your children and let them know more about marine animals… and don’t tell them but you can also swim with dolphins!

Picture: The Moskvarium ‒ the largest and the best oceanarium in Moscow
The Moskvarium ‒ the largest and the best oceanarium in Moscow
  • Ice-Skating at VDNKh (Moscow)

One of the top Russian activities, ice-skating is a traditional, children-friendly and fairly cheap outdoor activity. You’ll surely be ashamed when you’ll realise that even a 4yo kiddo is ice-skating better than you, but don’t let it stop you from expressing your very personal style. In winter there are many ice-skating rinks inside Moscow but the best (and biggest) one is definitely the ice-skating rink of VDNKh! You can also skate at the 354 (divine) but it’s a bit less children-friendly.

Picture: Ice-Skating in Moscow: on the largest ice-rink in Russia & Europe at VDNKh
Ice-Skating in Moscow: on the largest ice-rink in Russia & Europe at VDNKh
  • Izmaylovo Kremlin & Market (Moscow)

Izmaylovo Kremlin is something between Wonderland and a Russian Disneyland. This colorful wooden kremlin is a good way to spend a half-day with your children, you may also want to have a walk in the Izmaylovo forest just nearby. In Izmaylovo Market, you’ll be protected from the wind while discovering the Russian craft & antiques (and also many mainstream souvenirs). Kids are always hungry, and always when it’s not time to eat, but this is not a problem as you’ll find delicious shashliks (meat skewers) and many different Russian meals. Though Izmaylovo Market entrance is free, you’ll face much temptation to treat yourself and your family!

Picture: Izmaylovo Kremlin ‒ The Best Craft & Souvenir Market in Moscow
Izmaylovo Kremlin ‒ The Best Craft & Souvenir Market in Moscow

NB: don’t hesitate to negotiate prices, this is part of the game and an interesting experience for your children!

If you feel like this is not enough to keep your kids busy, think about visiting majestic Moscow’s metro stations on your way to Izmaylovo Kremlin.

  • The Backstages of the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow)

Tickets for the Bolshoi are expensive and kids can’t cope with opera, ballet or theater for more than 5 minutes (if so, how the hell did you manage to do that?). If you still want to enter this world-known cultural house but can’t handle the embarrassment that would cause your own blood, you have another option! Indeed, it’s possible to visit the Bolshoi backstages and historic scene with a guide. Lucky you! Cherry on the cake you may have the chance to watch some rehearsals.

Picture: The Bolshoi Theater Backstages in Moscow
The Bolshoi Theater Backstages in Moscow
  • Cruises in the Venice of the North and on the Moskva River (Saint-Petersburg & Moscow)

Children have small legs, energy when they should be sleeping, and interest for things they can’t have. Based on that, visiting the city center of a Russian city can become “Mission: Impossible”. Hopefully, there is another way. A way that would blow your kids’ mind and offer you some peace and time to discover Russia. This secret transmitted generations after generations is called cruises. While cruises in Saint-Petersburg’s are very famous for the canals and the Neva River (that’s one of the reasons why it’s also called the Venice of the North), cruises in Moscow are famous for the Moskva River from where you can admire the most beautiful places in the city!

Picture: The Radisson Cruise on the Moskva River ‒ a unique experience in Moscow
The Radisson Cruise on the Moskva River ‒ a unique experience in Moscow
  • Submarine Museum (Moscow & Saint-Petersburg)

In the same way, children can’t cope with museums. Seriously, why? We all try to improve their knowledge and prepare them for the future, but no, they simply don’t care. Anyway, be ready to appear as a super-parent. Bring them to the Submarine Museum in Moscow and they will be amazed, feeling like a real sailor under the USSR.  On the plus side they, and you, will learn a lot on the Russian Navy, submarines and Soviet times! Are you in Saint-Petersburg? Then, the C-189 Submarine Floating Museum is made for you!

Picture: Inside the Submarine Museum in Moscow
Inside the Submarine Museum in Moscow
  • Nikulin Circus (Moscow)

Another Russian tradition, often forgotten, is the circus. Animals, clowns (not the scary American ones), magicians and acrobats are all part of the Russian circus. Of course, children are more than welcomed and everyone will be amazed. But to be sure to enjoy the show, you have to pick the good one, which means Nikulin’s Circus.  

Picture: Nikulin Circus ‒ one of the oldest circuses in Moscow & Russia
Nikulin Circus ‒ one of the oldest circuses in Moscow & Russia
  • The Bunker 42 of Taganka (Moscow)

As for the Submarine Museum, and even if it’s is a real labyrinth, the Bunker 42 of Taganka is a great museum, aka the Cold War Museum. As you’ll stroll down the steps and floors into the depth of the earth, you’ll dive into the Soviet era and learn how the USSR was preparing itself for a nuclear conflict. It’s an exceptional opportunity to observe old objects, movies, documentaries, weapons, bots… that all come from Stalin’s ruling of the Union, and which will please everyone!

Picture: Inside the Bunker 42 on Taganka in Moscow, aka the Cold War Museum
Inside the Bunker 42 on Taganka in Moscow, aka the Cold War Museum
  • Babayevsky Chocolate Factory (Moscow) 

No matter if your child is an Augustus, Violet, Veruca, Mike or a Charlie, you can go and discover the Babayevsky Chocolate Factory, it’s gonna be safer than in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the most important: tastier. Clearly, kids will be amazed by all the tasty konfety or konfetki produced over there, everyone will love these lil chocolate candies, and also learn about the chocolate-making process. And best of all, you can try Babayevsky konfety at any time during your visit which means your kids will stay calm and you probably won’t have to struggle finding a meal to please them for dinner.

Picture: Babayevsky Chocolate Factory in Moscow ‒ the secrets of the konfetki production
Babayevsky Chocolate Factory in Moscow ‒ the secrets of the konfetki production
  • Sokolniki Park: Sledding Race and Ice-Sculpting (Moscow)

Once a year, always on the Defender of the Fatherland Day, i.e. 23rd February, Moscow organizes a sledding race in Sokolniki Park. But this isn’t just a race. Indeed, what matters the most is the originality of the sledge and the final fall! Each year a new theme is settled for the greatest pleasure of all. Lucky you, it’s often held at the same time than the ice-sculpting competition. Don’t miss these two events, your kids will love them!

Picture: Ice-Sculpting in Sokolniki Park in Moscow
Ice-Sculpting in Sokolniki Park in Moscow

Want to discover more parks where to bring your kids in Moscow & Saint-Petersburg? Check out our Top 10: Natural Capitals!