|St. Basils Cathedral at the Red Sqare is a must see in Moscow|
I have always thought of Moscow of being a massive beast, with endless cultural and historical sights, but even though this is true I felt like I still had covered the most important sights in the two days spent here.
Godzilla Hostel had arranged airport pickup for us, which was the easiest way to get from the airport at a cost of 2000 rubles, way cheaper than the 6000 rubles that the aggressive taxi drivers at the airport gate had asked for. After the compulsory visa invitation registration at the hostel we were quick to get out to see what the city had to offer.
The Gorky Park turned into a winter wonderland for ice skaters
Along the way to the city it was interesting to walk the streets and have a peek into both old communist bars and restaurants for the cities wealthiest capitalists, giving us a small impression of the great Russian mix of the Soviet style Era and the most modern 21st century influences that it is today. Moscow caters for all, also with Pizza Huts and MacDonalds, but we preferred to have a stop at a traditional Russian restaurant called “My My” for a bowl of borsch and a glass of beer, before we spent the rest of the evening ice skating in Moscows biggest park, the Gorky Park. They had turned all the walkways of the park into ice skating tracks, with light shows, music and pitstops for mulled wine along the way. Riding the worlds most beautifully decorated mass transport back home was also quite an interesting experience. Each metro stop was uniquely decorated with statues, sculptures and paintings very much unlike the graffiti sprayed subway stations in most other cities.
On day two we were surprised that we were able to pack in lots of sights into our tight schedule. Once you get to Moscows core, which is quite small, it is possible to walk around the Red Square to see St. Basils Cathedral (with vibrant colors both on the outside and inside), the Kremlin (not all was accessible because of security for the President who still sits here today) and Lenins Tomb.
Moscow is actually also the worlds most expensive place to find hotel accommodation. We were staying at a more reasonable hostel called Godzillas, which had decent bathrooms and very friendly staff. The location was also very convenient with just a couple of minutes away from bars and restaurants and a 20-25 minute walk to the Kremlin and Red Square. Except from that I was surprised to see that a lot of the prices were on the same level as most of western Europe, for example a ticket to the ice skating park cost 500 rubles, a ride with the metro cost 28 rubles and a lunch meal with a beer cost around 300 rubles. Luckily we will have plenty of time to catch up on sleep and our travel budget doing nothing but eating, drinking, reading and sleeping for the next four days onboard the Trans Mongolian Railway.