This guide was written prior to Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine and is therefore not reflective of the current situation. Travel to Russia is currently not advisable due to the area's volatile political situation.
Moscow is a vibrant city that is packed with things for expats to see and do. On top of the many events that the city hosts each year, there are plenty cultural and religious attractions, interesting museums and historic architectural structures and landmarks to visit in Moscow.
Recommended attractions in Moscow
The quintessential Moscow attraction is the Kremlin, a fortified citadel made up of five palaces, four cathedrals and an imposing wall and tower. The architectural phenomenon is home to the president of the country, as well as several museums and monuments. The Kremlin is definitely a must-see for expats in Moscow.
Set in the heart of Moscow, the historic Red Square is a spacious cobbled area that has been used for everything from festivals to executions in Russia’s turbulent past. In winter, the Red Square is home to one of the city’s most beautiful ice-skating rinks.
St Basil's Cathedral
St Basil’s Cathedral is arguably Moscow’s most famed landmark. Its beautiful and multicoloured domes are an extraordinary sight. The structure is a collection of churches built on a single foundation under the orders of the Tsar known as Ivan the Terrible. It's open to the public and tours of the magnificent Cathedral are available.
Bolshoi Theatre of Russia
Culture buffs in Moscow will love going to the Bolshoi Theatre to watch world-famous opera and ballet companies perform in one of the country’s most exquisite venues. Seeing a performance at the Bolshoi Theatre is one of the most iconic things to do in Moscow.
The Tretyakov Gallery is home to an exemplary collection of Russian art dating far back in history. The gallery was initially established in the 19th century and now houses a collection that contains more than 130,000 works. A visit to this gallery is a must for art lovers in Moscow.
Military enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to Poklonnaya Gora. The hill is one of the city’s highest summits. It is also dedicated to the Russian conquest over Napoleon, the victory of the country in the Great Patriotic War and its role in World War II.
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
This cathedral was originally established by Tsar Alexander. It also stood to commemorate the soldiers who fought against Napoleon. As one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches in the world, this is a sightseeing must for expats in Moscow.
Battle of Bordino Museum-Panorama
This museum houses artefacts from the Battle of Borodino, which was regarded as the bloodiest of the Napoleonic wars. One of the highlights is the 360-degree painting of the most decisive moment of the battle. Lovers of history and culture will certainly enjoy a visit to this museum.
►For more entertainment options in the city, see Lifestyle in Moscow
"Museums are everywhere and sometimes they have a free-entrance season where you can visit without paying. This is normally around the summer or on the anniversary of the museum's opening." Read Eva's interview to find out about her expat experience living in Moscow.
"Everything is always open (even on holidays). There is an energy and excitement about the city, especially at night. The churches with their onion domes never get boring. The expat community is wonderful." Read about things to see and do in Moscow from Amanda's interview.
Are you an expat living in Moscow?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Moscow. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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