Welcome to Moscow, the capital of Russia and the venue of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™!

Moscow was founded on the high Borovitsky Hill at the confluence of the Moskva and Neglinnaya rivers. Archaeological studies of the first human settlements in the area date back to the second millennium BC. Little is known about the settlement that preceded Moscow. 

Its first mention in chronicles can be found in 1147 when The Grand Prince of Kiev and Rostov-Suzdal, Yuri Dolgoruky, the sixth son of Vladimir Monomakh, invited the Novgorodian Prince Svyatoslav (Prince Igor's father) to the banks of the Moskva River to take part in a military council:

"Come to me, brother, in Muscovy"

The Tver Chronicle says that nine years later, in the year 1156, Yuri Dolgoruky laid the foundation for a city in place of an ancient settlement and built a new wooden fortress. Some historians date the foundation of the city back to 1153. It has also been suggested that the fortifications were not erected by Yuri Dolgoruky, but by his son, Andrei.

In the 13th century the city, located where trade routes crossed, became the center of an apanage principality. Aleksander Nevsky's son, Daniil, became the founder of the dynasty which first ruled the Muscovy Principality and then the whole of Rus until the end of the 16th century.

Although the city lived through an invasion by the Mongols, an epidemic of the plague and the incursion of Khan Tokhtomysh in the 13th-14th centuries, its position as an economic, political, religious and cultural center was going from strength to strength

Between the years 1389 and 1712 Moscow was the capital of the Russian state. Then the capital was moved to St. Petersburg for the next 200 years and after the October 1917 Revolution, as of 1918, Moscow again became the capital.

Must see

The list of the city's places of interest is endless. Below are the most popular places.

The magnet that attracts most people who visit Moscow is undoubtedly the Kremlin with all its vast and beautiful surroundings. The Moscow Kremlin is a fortress in the center of the Russian capital. This might be called Moscow's old town as it is the most ancient part of the city. Although it is the official residence of the President but all are welcome to visit it. It's easy, you just buy an entrance ticket.

The Moscow Kremlin

The Moscow Kremlin complex comprises many famous places. There are three Cathedrals: the Assumption, the Archangel and the Annunciation .You can also see the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the Spasskaya Tower, the Armory and the Diamond Fund.

The oldest and main square, Sobornaya (Catherdral) is located in the center of the grounds of the Kremlin. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, when Moscow became the capital of a single state, Ivan III started the construction of a residence "worthy of a sovereign of all Russia." It was during this period that the three Kremlin cathedrals were erected.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, built by Aristotle Fioravanti between 1475-1479, is the oldest Moscow building that has survived intact to this day

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The Cathedral of the Archangel, Ivan the Great Bell, the Cathedral of the Assumption (left to right) on Moscow Kremlin’s Sobornaya Square © RIA Novosti. Sergei Guneyev

In addition to the cathedrals on Sobornaya Square you can find the Church of the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe in Vlachernon, The Faceted Palace, Ivan the Great Bell Tower next to two other Kremlin tourist attractions: the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell. The 890-millimeter Tsar Cannon is the biggest in the world although it has never been used in any actual battles.

Next to the Tsar Cannon on a bronze pedestal sits the Tsar Bell. This giant weighing over 200 tons has never been used: shortly after it was cast the bell cracked during a big fire in the year 1737 and a chunk weighing 11.5 tons fell off it. Plans were made several times to restore the bell, but eventually the idea was abandoned as the bell would have never sounded the same again.

In addition to the grounds and the Moscow Kremlin cathedrals which are open to the public the Armory is a must-see. It is a veritable treasure trove of ancient state regalia, full dress and coronation apparel of the Russian Tsars, gold and silver articles made by Russian and foreign craftsmen, a collection of carriages, weaponry and horse-drawn vehicles.

Red Square

Adjoining the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin is Red Square with St.Basil's Cathedral at one end, the Lenin Mausoleum to one side in the middle and Aleksandrovsky (Alexander) Garden at the other end. Not far from the Kremlin is the famous Bolshoi Theatre. This is Russia's most well-known theatre which marked its 240th anniversary in 2016.

Moscow museums

A marriage of beauty and history is on display at the Moscow museums. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts features treasures beginning from the gold of Troy from the excavations of Heinrich Schliemann, ancient Egyptian sarcophaguses and paintings by Italian Renaissance masters and ending with the works of French Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and early 20th-century masters.

The famous Tretyakov State Gallery possesses the world's largest collection of Russian art. The historical building in Lavrushinsky Pereulok contains Russian art from the 11th to the early 20th centuries, and the other part known as The All-Union Museum Association of the Tretyakov Gallery was established in 1986 (it was renamed the All-Russia Association in 1994) is on Krymsky Val and houses a permanent exhibition of 20th century art and is the venue of many major exhibitions.

To come to the capital of the country which launched the first artificial Earth satellite and the first man into outer space and not to visit the Cosmonautics Museum would be a serious omission

The museum is located inside the pediment of the monument To the Conquerors of Outer Space near VDNKh metro station. There you will see space suits including those of the famous space dogs, the Lunokhod (Moon-Rover) and the space capsule of the Vostok spaceship which took Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into space on April 12th 1961.

If you are seriously into space exploration, the museum will give you a chance to experience what it feels like to be in space and learn to control a spaceship on a simulator and practice rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station.

Another space museum is located on the grounds of the VDNKh (National Exhibition of Economic Achievements) at the Cosmos pavilion which is divided into two parts, Cosmonautics (with mock-ups of space launching pads, spaceships and stations) and Aviation (with Su-35 and MiG -29 fighter jets and simulation cockpits). As a memento of space adventures you can buy genuine tubes of space food and pretend you are in outer space.

Ostankino TV Tower

Those who want to see everything at once should buy a guided tour of the Ostankino TV Tower in the north-east of Moscow, the largest of its kind in Russia. The observation platform at a height of 337 meters offers a wonderful panoramic view of the whole city Moscow and its surroundings.

Moscow Metro

You can get around Moscow by public transportation or taxi, but because of traffic jams the efficient Moscow Metro is your best bet. Trains come and go every few seconds during rush hour. It is also one of the city's attractions.

Architectural masterpieces, décor and details of the Moscow underground make some of them look like palaces

Thus, Mayakovskaya metro station is decorated with mosaics from sketches by Aleksandr Deineka, Kievskaya metro station on the Circle Line with a mosaic mural from smalt, Kievskaya metro station on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line with frescoes, Ploshchad Revolutsii metro station with bronze sculptures, Novoslobodskaya metro station with stained glass panels. The Moscow Metro is an art museum in stone: the station walls are finished in marble, granite, jasper, rhodonite and onyx.

In addition to being a museum, the metro carries more than 6.5 million passengers every year, which is its main function. The underground stations are conveniently located close to the main tourist sites in the capital be it the Kremlin, museums, city parks and mansions, theatres, shops, clubs and restaurants. In addition to its beauty speed and reliability, the Moscow metro is noted for its rapid growth: in the next few years 50 new stations and 120 kilometers of new lines are to be built. It is also affordable.

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Mosaic panel from smalt (sketch by Alexander Deineka) at Mayakovskaya metro station © RIA Novosti. Ruslan Krivobok

Let's not forget the stadiums! Moscow has several football pitches that meet the criteria for hosting international games. The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ matches will be played at Spartak and Luzhniki stadiums.

Spartak Stadium

For a long time, Spartak did not have a home stadium. Construction of the long-awaited arena began in 2010. In September 2014, the stadium opened with a friendly match between Moscow’s Spartak and Belgrade’s Red Star.

The arena was used to host Russia’s national football championships and other events, such as the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup™ will also take place here, with Spartak Stadium hosting group stage and round of 16 matches.

The new 45,300-seat stadium is the first facility fully ready to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.


Luzhniki Stadium will certainly be the main stadium of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The opening and final matches will be played there.

The stadium which fans affectionately call Luzha was opened in the year1956 and has since been reconstructed several times. However, over time Luzhniki with its race track and many seats with a poor view ceased to conform to modern requirements for football arenas.

When it became clear that Luzhniki needed a new more attractive and welcoming face, arguments started as to whether the stadium should be demolished and a new one built in its place or whether reconstruction would suffice. The second option was chosen and the stadium was closed for repairs in May 2013. It was decided historical facade should be preserved, to remove the racetrack and increase the seating capacity.

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New seats on the stands of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow © RIA Novosti. Yevgeny Biyatov

Luzhniki was the largest stadium in the Soviet Union and Russia and retains this status after renovation

After major renovations, Luzhniki Stadium seats 81,000 instead of the previous 78,000, with 300 seats equipped for people with disabilities. Seats and stands will be vandal proof.

Luzhniki has a single control center with a good view of all stands and the pitch and two video screens to watch matches. In line with the FIFA requirements, the turf is natural grass.

The roof above the stands is extended by 11 meters. It is made of a modern type of polycarbonate and lets in more light.

How to Reach Moscow

By air. The easiest and most convenient way is to fly to Moscow. The airports of the Moscow air hub – Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo and Zhukovsky – handle hundreds of flights from all over the world every day. The price of a ticket from most cities in Europe to Moscow varies from 10,500 rubles to 21,000 rubles (175-350 euros); from North America and Southeast Asia from 28,000 rubles (450 euros); from South America and Australia from 35,000 rubles (580 euros).

To get to and from Moscow to some other cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ (Sochi, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don) flying is the best option. Instead of a day and night on a train you will be in the air for about two hours. Tickets for domestic flights from and to Moscow cost about 5,500 rubles (90 euros).

By train. High-speed trains can get you to St.Petersburg (Sapsan) and Nizhny Novgorod (Lastochka and Strizh) within 3.5 hours. The prices range from 800 rubles (13 euros) for Lastochka to 2,500 rubles (40 euros) for Sapsan.

Other cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ can be reached from Moscow by de luxe or ordinary passenger trains. The journey to Saransk takes 9.5 hours (price from 2,000 rubles, or 35 euros one-way) from 32 hours to Sochi (price from 3,000 rubles or 50 euros one way).