After finishing the Mongol Rally, we decided to drive the car back to Belgium. This way, we had the time to explore more cities. One of these was Moscow. We’ve heard a lot of Moscow, about how big and magnificent the city is, so we were pretty stoked to see it with our own eyes. We must say, it’s well worth a visit. Unfortunately, our visa’s were going to expire in a few days, so we just had the time to visit the city in a little more than 24 hours. Our day was well-filled. If you’re like us and don’t have a lot of time to visit the city, you can follow our one-day itinerary or get some ideas on what to do.
9:00 AM – COOK’KAREKU
Let’s start the most important meal of the day at Cook’kareku, a 24-hour breakfast restaurant. 24 Hours indeed! They serve different kind of breakfasts from around the world. Think of a French breakfast with toast & croissants, American breakfast with eggs & bacon or do yo prefer a Mexican early meal? You can choose whatever you want, but they offer a special deal too. If you select a dish from a country at the time they are having breakfast (between 8 AM and 10 AM in the country in question), you get a 30% discount on the price. It’s difficult to understand but the time zone of each country is indicated on the menu. For example, if you go at 9 AM Moscow time, you’ll get a Russian breakfast with a 30% discount, if you go around dinner, you can get Californian Breakfast with a discount. The fixed price per breakfast is 460 RUB.
Address: Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya ul., 9, стр. 4, Moscow
Closest subway: Barrikadnaya
11:00 AM – THE RED SQUARE
The Red Square is one of the main touristic places in Moscow. But it’s also a really must-see! It is the place where a lot of historical things happened like executions, military parades, important strategic decisions from the Kremlin and even markets. You can visit the St. Basil’s Cathedral, the building that everyone knows from all the postcards and it’s colorful domes. It holds a religious and historical meaning and is a real icon for Russia. While the exterior is very spectacular, the interior is much more modest without all the bright colors. The cathedral is now transformed into a museum which gives you a good history of the place. It’s full of old relics that were found during the construction and renovations of the cathedral. The entrance costs 350 RUB, 100 RUB for students with an ISIC card.
Another important thing to visit on the Red Square is the imposing Kremlin. From the 12th century, this has been the city fortress and the place where Russian leaders made (and still make) important strategic decisions. Visiting the Kremlin takes at least a couple of hours so plan ahead if you want to visit this. The entrance fee depends on the things you want to visit, the price goes from 250 RUB to 700 RUB. If we had more days in Moscow, this would be one of the extra things to do, but we didn’t have enough time, unfortunately.
Address: Red Square, Moscow
Closest subway: Teatralnaya
1:30 PM – LUNCHTIME
If your stomach is already starting to make some noises but you just want to eat something small, we can recommend the köfte stand on the Red Square. It’s basic but it’s a quick, cheap and delicious bite. In a side-street of the Red Square, there’s a small cozy bar called Ciderella. It’s known for its draft ciders and coffee. We accidentally stumbled upon this place. If the weather is good, it’s possible to sit on their terrace right on Nikolskaya. The coffee was great, and they also offer some freshly made snacks if you’re feeling hungry.
Address: Nikolskaya, 11, Moscow
Closest subway: Ploshchad’ Revolyutsii / Lubyanka
2:15 PM – DETSKIY MIR
If you go right down the street and cross Lubyanskiy Proyezd, you can go to the Children’s World Department Store, also known as ‘Detskiy Mir’, to let the inner child come out! This is a six-story mall where mothers will lose their kids if they don’t hold their hands. As you may already now, Russians do it better. It is the biggest toy store in the Soviet Union, has Europe’s biggest Hamley’s and also the world’s largest clock mechanism with a giant swinging clock. There aren’t only toys, but you can also find stores that sell children clothes. Besides many shops, the Children’s Store hosts a museum of toys, a movie theater and an observation deck overlooking the Kremlin and the Red Square. On the ground floor, there is also animation for the kids. Last time they played dodge ball, dressed as Harry Potter, which was funny and relaxing to look at…
Address: Teatralny dr., 5/1, Moscow
Closest subway: Lubyanka
3:30 PM – BAR DIDU
After strolling around in the mall, you would wish to be a kid again. So we have the perfect place for you! In Bar Didu (Диду), you can make your own plasticine creation and stick it wherever you want. It’s literally everywhere; on the walls, lamps, ceiling, doors, etc… Every table has it’s own plate with plasticine in 6 different colors so you can make your own creations. They also have a large replica Mona Lisa painting behind the bar, except, this one is entirely made of plasticine! The bar serves good cocktails and bar snacks, and in the evening a DJ starts playing music until late in the night.
Address: Myasnitskaya Street, 24, Moscow
Closest subway: Chistye Prudy / Lubyanka
4:45 PM – ARTPLAY
After some drinks, it’s time to leave the plasticine as it is and go to the next cool thing. It’s a 20-minute walk, but you can easily get there with the subway too. We recommend the walk however because you come across some beautiful street art on the way.
We went to ArtPlay, a creative hub and design center. There are several architectural design shops, exhibition spaces and bars. Sometimes they do hold concerts, festivals and theater performances here as well. There’s a small veggie and healthy bar in the middle of the ArtPlay area called ‘Fruits & Veges’. The place has a really cool interior! You can order at the bar downstairs and sit outside on their terrace, on the roof at their own greenhouse or inside. They serve some delicious, healthy food or a quick snack like muffins. They don’t have an English menu, but the staff is happy to help you with your order.
Address: Nizhnyaya Syromyatnicheskaya St., 10, Moscow
Closest subway: Chkalovskaya
7:00 PM – 21 FOOD MARKET
We found a food market, The 21, where you can try different kind of cuisines. It’s on the other side of Moscow, so this is the perfect time to take the famous subway. The Moscow metro is one of the busiest in the world but very convenient. The interval between trains during rush hour is only 90 seconds. The system is very easy to understand, and for this ride, you only have to take 1 line. Buying tickets is also pretty straight-forward. Just go to the ‘KACCA’ and show with your fingers how many rides you want. On the window is a list of prices for 1, 2, 5, 11, 20 or 60 rides. It’s good to know that multiple persons can take a ride with just one card. For example, 2 persons can make 10 rides each on a 20 ride ticket.
Now back to the food market. If you are like us and like all kinds of food, this is the place to be. They have Georgian, Central-Asian, Italian, Mexican, American, Japanese and vegetarian food and they have a dessert bar, beer bar and a wine bar. All separated in different food stands. We can recommend the sushi, which was really good in our opinion. Note: Cash only!
Address: Novyi Arbat, 21, Moscow
Closest subway: Smolenskaya
9:00 PM – FRESH’N UP
Time to get back to the hotel and fresh yourself up to get a taste of the Moscow nightlife.
10:30 PM – MENDELEEV BAR
We went to Mendeleev Bar, a cellar bar that we found on Tripadvisor which intrigued us by its venue. This bar is a hidden gem apparently because, if you don’t know the place or how to get there, you’ll never find it. The bar is located in a small noodle bar called ‘Lucky Noodles’. You have to go to the back of the noodle bar where you’ll see a curtain at your right that’s disguising the entrance. One of the doormen will let you through after a quick passport check, so don’t forget yours. The bar is very nice decorated and has a cocktail menu from the famous Russian mixologist Roman Milosteviy. On weekdays there are live piano evenings and jazz concerts, in the weekends DJ’s will play House & Techno music. Cocktails start from 600 RUB. This place is a little bit too expensive for budget backpackers like us. So we just drank one cocktail each, which was already way too much for us. But it’s certainly a must-do when you’re in Moscow. Fun fact: You can see the bar with Google Street View!
Address: Petrovka Ul., 20/1, Moscow
Closest subway: Teatralnaya
We hope you have a wonderful time in this beautiful city! Let us know if you find other cool things to do in Moscow.