The closer it is to the New Years and Christmas holidays, the more excited I get! New Years is still one of my favorite times of the year. Soon Peter’s family is coming over to celebrate with us, and we need to decide on our entertainment plan for those few days that my in-laws will be staying over. Moscow is full of interesting things to do, and I’m sure we won’t be bored!
Here are a few things that we might have on our festive to do list:
Visit one of the new Christmas fairs
Finally European tradition of Christmas markets has come to Moscow. In the center of the city you will find markets from various European cities: Vienna Xmas market near Pushkinskaya metro station, Prague and Strasbourg markets also not that far from the Red Square. Vendors from those cities will be representing their traditional gifts, snacks and sweets. If you visit all markets this festive season, you will get a present! Just don’t forget to get your Christmas Passport stamped in every location (it’s free to get the passport).
You can’t even imagine how glad I am about the fact that Moscow has joined in in this wonderful Christmas market tradition! Christmas fairs are such mood setters! When we lived in the UK and during my year in Germany, I never missed a chance to pay a visit to a market to set myself into celebration mood, eat a delicious Bratwurst and have a warming Glüwein!
You will find a map of all Christmas markets in Moscow on http://christmas.mos.ru/
Drag Peter and co. to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts or Tretyakov Gallery
That is an absolute must for any Moscow visitor, of course, providing that you like art… These two museums, I would say, are the main ones in Moscow. They are like British Museum and V&A in London. So there is absolutely no excuse not to have been there.
The Pushkin Museum has the largest collection of European art in Moscow. The Museum opened its doors in 1912, and was initially named after Alexander III, but was renamed after one of the greatest poets of the russian literature Alexander Pushkin in 1937. Much of the museum’s collections were actually transferred from St. Petersburg after Moscow became the capital during Soviet times, plus private collections of wealthy Russians were also confiscated to top up museum’s art collection.
I personally love The Pushkin Museum for its Impressionism and Post-Impressionism collections. There you will find fine works of Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Goph, Matisse, Picasso and much more!
If you are looking to admire Russian fine art, then Tretyakov State Gallery is the right place for you. The gallery was founded in 1856 by Russian merchant Pavel Tretyakov, and owns the largest collection of Russian art.
I particularly like the Tretyakov gallery for their set of paintings of the Peredvizhniki (The Wanderers) art group. The Peredvizhniki was a group of talented realist artists who created the Society for Travelling Art Exhibitions in the late 19th century to introduce fine art into the general (less educated) public.
Visit Moscow Planetarium
We’ve been there once before but I always wanted to come back as Moscow Planetarium in my opinion is not only for one visit. There is so much to explore there! :) The Planetarium was founded in 1929 which made it 13th in the world back then. After Soviet Union collapsed the venue was closed for 17 years, and only in June 2011 it opened its doors to the pubic. Since then it has been very popular among Muscovites and visitors of the capital.
Go for a walk in a park
There are a few nice parks in Moscow. Peter has never been to Kolomeskoye!
Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate much beloved by the first Romanov tsar Alexey. It’s situated to the South from the city center (tube station ‘Kolomenskoe’ – green line), and is a very scenic place for a nice historical walk. Today Kolomenskoye is a State historical and architectural Park-Museum which offers a great set of various constructions and historical objects.
The park also offers interesting tours where guides are dressed up in old costumes, Russian style carriage rides; moreover, hosts different events like musical festivals, and various old fashioned folk festivities. This winter you can go sledging, ice skating and much more in Kolomeskoye. There are lots of activities for children like master classes in arts and crafts, theatre performances, exploring labyrinths made of ice and so on.
I guess we are a bit old for some of the activities there but Kolomeskoye boasts some of the oldest architectural sites in Moscow which are worth seeing! Like the one below. However, it is a reconstruction of Tsar Alexey Romanov’s royal palace which was destroyed over time.
These are only some of the things we might do. We are also planning to visit a hockey game, some other parks and museums which I will write about in the coming posts. I hope we’ll also get our camera fixed so that I could post some of my own pictures!
Marry Christmas everyone! :)