When you think of visiting Russia, the Red Square and the Kremlin are the places that come to mind. After all, these are the two sites your tour guide will take you to when you arrive in Moscow. For some, visiting Moscow comes down to seeing the Kremlin, looking down at the city from Vorobyovy Gory and rushing through the Tretyakov Gallery. But there is so much more you can see and do in Moscow. Here are four places worth visiting that your tour might not even come close to.
Translated as "China Town", Kitay-gorod has nothing to do with the Chinese. In fact, you won't find any there unless they are tourists like you. The only reason this neighborhood close to the Kremlin is called China Town is because of a great brick wall that used to surround it. Now only a small part of the wall remains. But the wall is not the only reason you should visit Kitay-gorod. This neighborhood will give you a unique chance to see old Moscow architecture and feel the modern vibe of the city at the same time. While the streets there feature quaint 18th and 19th century buildings, Maroseyka, the main street in the neighborhood, has some of the best restaurants in Moscow. An evening stroll and a meal in Kitay-gorod is a must for any traveler visiting the Russian capital.
Tsaritsyno is a historic park and reserve located near Tsaritsyno metro station, which is about forty minutes away from Moscow city center. That's why most tourists will never see it while they are in the city. And that's a shame because the estate is definitely worth seeing, especially now that it has been expertly restored. Tsaritsyno was founded back in the 17th century and rebuilt in the 18th century when Catherine the Great became its new owner. It was created by the best architects of the time and features beautiful examples of Russian architecture. In addition, the estate is home to numerous museums, which are worth a visit. And if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, Tsaritsyno Park is the perfect place.
3. Danilov Monastery
Danilov Monastery is another place you should visit if you get the chance. Not only is it the first monastery built in Moscow back in the 13th century, but it's also the official headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is also home to world-famous bells. If you find the time to visit the monastery, you will be rewarded with stunning architecture, a vast collection of icons and other Orthodox attributes, and interesting exhibitions in the museum.
If you are interested in Soviet architecture, then VVTs (All-Russia Exhibition Center) is a place worth checking out. It was built in 1935 by the Soviet government for the people of the republics of the USSR to exhibit the amazing things they produced or farmed. Now it's just a bunch of shops and attractions, but the layout and the buildings are amazing. There are 70+ buildings called pavilions, each signifying either a Soviet republic or a branch of science. For example, there are pavilions for Armenia, Uzbekistan, Space, Electronics, and so on. Plus there is a beautiful golden fountain in the central square of the ensemble.
Visiting these sites in Moscow will enhance your trip and let you see the Moscow not all tourists manage to experience.