At first glance it can feel like Moscow is unrelentingly urban, but take a closer look and there are streets filled with Art Nouveau mansions, Russian Revival and flowering courtyards, icon-filled churches and pedestrianized streets. Moscow is a city of contrasts and different textures and a visit to Russia is incomplete without time spent here.
Moscow is a city on the move – exhilarating, vibrant and vivid at the same time, its culture has as many facets as the diamonds in the Kremlin vaults.
When you travel to Moscow we will give you an unparalleled insight into the city that can only come from our deep understanding of its past and present, our network with its ear to the ground, and our behind-the-scenes access that takes you a step beyond the velvet rope with our Exeter International Extraordinary Experiences.
Chat with a KGB Colonel to brush up on your Cold War history, then learn about “soviet kitsch” at trendy bars with names like Propaganda.
Discover how things happen center stage with a behind-the-scenes tour at the Bolshoi, before watching that evening’s performance from the best seats in the house.
With one foot grounded in her glorious past and the other leap-frogging into the future, Moscow has proved her mettle as a global capital. Let Exeter International curate a trip that encapsulates the essence of what it is about Moscow that means the most to you.
For custom luxury travel and tours to Moscow, please contact one of our travel experts, or read on below for more information about where to go and when, along with our Insider's Guide.
Russia is a year round destination! Go in the winter (November – March) for empty museums and snow thick on the ground. Find out why to travel to Russia in Winter here.
April and October are perfect, if deep winter is not for you but you still want to skip the summertime crowds.
The late spring and summer months, from May to September, are very popular times to visit.
July and August can be hot, and if the ballet & opera of the Bolshoi are your passion, avoid travel from mid-July to mid-September as that is when the theaters go dark.
Our handpicked guides lead you on tours along the inside track of bustling Moscow . Our behind-the-scenes, closed-door Exeter International Extraordinary Experiences take you a step beyond the ordinary, creating the ultimate luxury Russian vacation. Why just watch the ballet at the Bolshoi when we can take you backstage? Descend into a real Cold War Bunker and step back in time to Russia’s Soviet past.
We suggest you allow a minimum of three nights in Moscow and four nights in St. Petersburg. If you wish to include the Golden Ring, we suggest that you travel there after your initial stay in Moscow, and before you travel to St. Petersburg.
On the Volga Dream, you can explore the waterways between Moscow and St. Petersburg including the stunning wooden village on Kizhi Island and the Golden Ring town of Yaroslavl, with its ancient churches. In Moscow and St. Petersburg you will stay in central hotels in the heart of each city before embarking on your cruise between the two capitals.
Just as exciting is the southern route from Moscow to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea on the Lower Volga, a sailing that takes you into the heart of the real Russia. Reliving the history of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) and seeing the perfectly preserved fortress of Nizhny Novgorod is something most travelers never have the chance to experience.
The most epic rail journey in the world – the renowned Trans-Siberian Express! Travel 6,500 miles on the luxurious Golden Eagle, your luxury hotel on wheels. During the two week journey, you will see some of the most unique places in the world, Lake Baikal, Ulaan Baatar, Vladivostok – almost inaccessible by any other route and certainly not in the same level of comfort or luxury.
Discover ancient Moscow through Red Square. The landscape of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Historical Museum and the Kremlin’s spires are known to many from our television screens, but up close they are almost preposterously beautiful with a scale that you do not expect. The Kremlin requires a day of exploration; the Armory Museum showcasing Fabergé and Imperial artwork; the Diamond Fund with the show-stopping Orlov diamond and the extensive grounds and three cathedrals.
Fast forward to the 20th century and a good way of understanding Cold War history is to visit the outstanding Museum of Cosmonautics and the fascinating Cold War Bunker and see the Russian viewpoint on the space and arms race.
Lovers of art will not want to miss the impressionist collection at the Pushkin Museum, or a visit to the now renowned Garage Museum of Contemporary Art that has placed Moscow firmly in the 21St century.
The Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago is owned by one of the most successful restaurateurs of Moscow, Alexander Rapport. This fashionable and all-Russian restaurant has some of the best Russian food in Moscow, with ingredients all sourced from local suppliers. All the favorite Russian dishes are represented here and the dumplings (pelmeny) are excellent. The striking interior features Russian Avant- Garde murals, with a distinctive red and white theme. Advance reservations are essential.
A visit to Moscow is never complete without a visit to GUM in Red Square. Once famous for lines, it is now famous for high end brands. Gastronom No 1 is a fabulous food store that sells the best Russian produce. An interesting (and delicious) gift is Russian chocolate. There is a huge selection here, and with distinctive packaging and design your gift will be a talking point. One of the most famous brands is Red October.