Russia’s capital city is a treasure trove of fascinating sights and sounds, with a mix of Tsarist, Soviet and modern architecture. It’s a fantastic place to visit and usually one of two places most tourists visit, the other being St Petersburg where many cruise ships dock.

If you’re planning a trip to Moscow, then make sure you add these places to your itinerary.

GUM

GUM is Moscow’s biggest department store and a sort of Russian equivalent of London’s Harrods. Inside you’ll find lots of boutique shops selling designer clothing, perfumes and watches which make great souvenirs. However, you may find Junghans watch models and others online for better prices.

There’s also a food department that stocks many varieties of Russian caviar, sausages, and pastries. It’s a great place to get a taste of some of the country’s finest treats.

Red Square

Red Square is one of Russia’s most famous and historic sites. It’s surrounded by many of Moscow’s other attractions, with the Kremlin, St Basil’s Cathedral, GUM, and the State Historical Museum surrounding it.

It’s a great place to grab a selfie or two, and depending on the timing of your visit, you may find an event such as the Military Tattoo or New Year markets taking place.

VDNKh

VDNKh is the Russian abbreviation for the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, is a large park and exhibition space in the north of the city. It’s located next to the famous Cosmos Hotel and is home to a theme park, large aquarium, fountains, beautiful pavilions, and exhibition centres.

In winter, a large part of it is converted into an outdoor ice rink, making it one of the best places to skate in the world as you’ll be surrounded by incredible architecture.

Located to the north of VDNKh is Buran, the Soviet space shuttle that never made it into full service. It was rescued from a warehouse and restored before being brought to VDNKh. You can now pay to go inside the restored shuttle, where you’ll learn about its history and how it ended up in its current location.

Gorky Park

Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure, or just Gorky Park, is a large open space in the centre of the city. It’s a similar size to Hyde Park in London and is a popular spot among locals who head there to relax and enjoy themselves whenever the weather is nice.

There are plenty of fountains, ponds, and pavilions inside the park and you’ll often find events taking place there. The Moskva River runs alongside the park, making it a great spot to walk along with a great vantage point of many of the city’s sights.

Metro

For anyone that hasn’t been to Moscow before, the Metro is a fascinating place. It is one of the deepest in the world as it was designed to also function as a bomb shelter for the city’s residents.

It has some of the most beautiful architecture of any mass transit system in the world, with large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and large bronze statues dotted around.