Moscow, the capital city of Russia, inspires travelers with its art, history, and majesty. Whether you want to learn more about the Soviet regime, or experience a traditional Russian ballet, Moscow is one of the best summer vacation destinations and it offers a little something for everyone to enjoy. After you check out our list of the top sights to see in Moscow, you may want to start planning your trip there today!

Red Square

Credit: verygreen via flickr

Credit: verygreen via flickr

The historical and geographic center of Moscow features a vast rectangular stretch of cobblestones surrounded by architectural wonders. The square functions as a place for people to congregate for events ranging from celebrations, to military parades. Be sure to checkout Red Square at night when the Kremlin towers and St. Basil’s domes are illuminated.

The Kremlin

Credit: Pavel Kazachkov via flickr

Credit: Pavel Kazachkov via flickr

This complex sits atop Borovitsky Hill on the edge of Red Square and has been the center of Russian political power for nearly 900 years. The towering Kremlin walls, stately buildings, and assembly of police remind visitors that the Russian government takes themselves very seriously. For the best view of the 1-sq-km complex, cross the river to the Sofiyskaya nab.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

St Basils Cathedral

When one pictures Moscow, one of the first images that come to mind are the iconic onion domes of this grand cathedral, with their bright swirling colors and intricate design. The grand cathedral stands at the southern end of Red Square and is the epitome of a style that is unique to Russian architecture. The cathedral is now a museum and is open daily for visitors to explore inside its walls (closed Tuesdays). One service a year is held in the cathedral on the Day of Intercession in October.

Bolshoi Theatre

Credit: Robert Nyman via flickr

Credit: Robert Nyman via flickr

The world-renowned pink and white theatre shows around 3-4 different operas and 2-3 ballets each year. Each show has a focus on classical masterpieces such as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, which both premiered in this historic theatre. Russian ballet is world famous and an important part of Russian culture. Experiencing the ballet is a must-do for any visitor in Moscow.

The Metro

Credit: Honza Soukup via flickr

Credit: Honza Soukup via flickr

Discover the magnificent, marble-walled interiors of Moscow’s underground metro stations that sprawl beneath the capital. Built by the Soviet Union, Russia’s metro system is perhaps the grandest in the world with mosaics, sculptures and more! Up to 9 million people ride the metro each day, more than London and New York City systems combined. The metro costs руб50 RUB (about $0.85 USD) per ride, or visitors can buy a multi-day smart card for an unlimited number of rides per day.

Gorky Park

Credit: Dominique via flickr

Credit: Dominique via flickr

One of the most festive places in Moscow, the park entrance is marked by colorful waving flags, and the inside even features a small amusement park. The park is a great place to unwind from the hustle of the city, you can find many locals relaxing, eating and drinking down by the Krymsky River, which stretches 3 km through the park. Stop in for a bite to eat at the park’s small kiosks, large restaurants, and open air bars. We recommend Lebedinoe Ozero for cocktails and dining overlooking the water.

Sanduny Banya

Credit: Hotel Arthur

Credit: Hotel Arthur

Relax and be pampered at this authentic Russian bath in Moscow to unwind at the end of your trip to Russia. Soak in the pools and sweat in what many claim to be some of the best steam rooms saunas in the world. The Sanduny baths opened in 1808 and is truly a Russian experience not to miss!

Summer is considered the best season to visit Moscow, especially during the months of June and July when the city reaches its highest temperatures (average high of  74°F/23°C). StudentUniverse has cheap flights for students that want to travel there this summer, as well as pre-planned group tours for visiting Moscow and other Russian cities.

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    About Danielle Dougan