Too commonly do tourists think of the Red Square as the place they must visit in Russia’s capital city of Moscow. However, there is far more to this stunning city than that, the beautiful women, vodka, endless winters.
The Hidden Tourist Gems of Moscow
This country has so many hidden and ‘off the beaten path’ sights for visitors to explore that don’t feed into the stereotypes of this unique country. These experiences will give you the “only in Russia” experiences you have hoped for. Check out our travel tips and favorite Unusual Sites in Moscow.
In the city center of Moscow, on Tverskaya Street, sits one of the most gorgeous neo-baroque lavish palace-looking building that leaves average people assuming that it is an old castle. Little do they know that this just your average Russian supermarket.
Originally the building was home to the wife of Grigoriy Kozitskiy, the State Secretary of Ekaterina II. Through time and different ownership, the mansion was converted into a Russian nobility store for its imported wines, cheese, and exotic fruit from European countries such as Portugal, Spain, and France. Today it stands as a lavish must-see, off the wall, attraction.
History proves that the Russian culture has been obsessed with outer space since the first man in space was Russian, Yuri Gagarin. Once a year on April 12 the Russians celebrate this achievement on Yuri’s Night. The Russian Museum of Cosmonautics is on the list of sites to see. However, before you enter pay close attention to the path to the museum. The path is nicknamed Cosmonauts Alley and is lined with monuments made to mimic the solar system as well as allowing visitors to spot some astronauts.
Much like any big city, public transportation attracts a lot of strange people. In addition to the abnormalities in societal norms, you will see in Russia’s subway you will probably also see a lot of stray dogs. These dogs are so well adapted to metropolitan cities that they are able to navigate the subway. So if you are taking the subway next to a dog, don’t be alarmed.
If a stray dog is named “Malchik”, which translates to ‘little boy’, lived at the Mendeleevskaya station in Moscow. Sadly it was killed in 2001 by a passerby, however, in 2007 a bronze statue was erected in the station in his honor and can’t be missed.
Passport and Visa Requirements to Russia
Obtaining a visa to visit Russia is known to be more difficult than that of a visa for other European countries due to the bureaucratic structure and strict guidelines from police officers and visa controllers. This should not shy people away from visiting Russia. If you have the proper documents the process is easy. There are companies that offer visa support services to ensure the process goes smoothly and quickly.
An entry and exit visa are required for those who choose to travel to Russia. All travelers must have a valid passport to travel to Russia. Nearly all travelers who enter Russia must have a valid visa for their reason of staying. There are 6 different types of Russian visas. Typically all of the visas begin with requiring a visa support letter, formally known as an invitation letter.
Tourist visas to Russia can be valid from 1 day to 30 days, and also for up to 36 months for US citizens. Long term business visas are valid for 1 to 12 months. A visa is heavily suggested to obtain before attempted entry into Russia despite what your desire for travel is.