Outside of the classic essential destinations, such as the Kremlin and Red Square, the city of Moscow offers many other interesting ideas, places and activities that, although not always indicated on tourist guides, are worth seeing and experiencing. These places and experiences allow you to get to know the city more deeply and discover the most hidden and fascinating sides.
Here is the list of my four unusual places and experiences to visit and do in Moscow.
- Taste the cuisine of the former Soviet republics
If you think that in Russia you do not eat well then try entering a restaurant that offers the typical cuisine of the former Soviet republics and you will have the chance to change your mind instantly.
I personally had the opportunity to try Uzbek, Georgian and Dagestan cuisine, discovering a cuisine that surprised me with its intense flavors, that I never tried before.
The one I loved the most was the Georgian one. I particularly enjoyed the khinkali, ravioli stuffed with spicy meat and vegetables and the badrijani, fried aubergines stuffed with spicy walnut paste, really delicious.
But the thing that best characterizes a typical Georgian lunch and also the one that made me fall in love with this cuisine is the khachapuri, the Georgian bread stuffed with cheese or eggs or many other things, a real delight.
2. Moscow Metro Tour
There is no need for many words to describe this experience if not FANTASTIC. The Moscow metro stations are among the most beautiful in the world, built in the first half of the 1900s at the behest of Stalin bearing examples of the art of socialist realism.
They will leave you speechless for their magnificence and opulence. With their marble columns, baroque ceilings, wide corridors and colorful mosaics worthy of the most prestigious museums, they are definitely worth a thorough visit during your stay in Moscow.
3. Shopping at the Izmailovo Market
Although at first glance this may seem like the classic market with souvenirs and gadgets for tourists, don't be fooled.
Once you have passed the first stalls selling matrioske, postcards, magnets and various gadgets, go into the most characteristic part of the market. On the second floor you will find antiques and objects stalls dating back to the Soviet period. You will also find many Russians intent on bargaining with sellers hoping to get the best deal of the day.
The Izmailovo market, built like a kremlin with walls, towers and internal squares, may perhaps look like a slightly kitsch reproduction of a real kremlin but I found it, for this reason too, an interesting place to discover in which to pass a pleasant day outside the center of Moscow.
4. The Moscow Cathedral Mosque
The mosque-cathedral of Moscow is the largest mosque in Europe. The original structure dates back to 1904 but in September 2011 the old mosque was demolished to be completely rebuilt.
The external structure of the building, characterized by an imposing golden dome, can accommodate up to 10,000 faithful and is as tall as a six-story building.
Do not stop at an external visit of the Mosque. The interior of the building is even more beautiful. A large chandelier in the center of the room immediately catches the eye of the visitor who will be absolutely dazzled by its beauty.
Staying a few minutes in religious silence to observe the faithful praying is a truly touching experience.