I’ve found my soul mate

… in the form of a city.  Maybe that makes it my soulcity?

Surprisingly, I’m talking about Moscow.  Yes, Moscow of “Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears”.  A place I imagined to be cold and hard and dark.  It is anything but that.

Moscow is full of energy and color.  This time of year, it smells of lilac and cigarette smoke.  The pace is fast and the traffic is heavy.  Everything is on a grand scale (buildings, cathedrals, stretch limos), and everything is a reminder of the past.  I saw nothing of the darkness and gloom that I’d imagined; the energy of the city (at least as I perceived it) felt upbeat and alive and even youthful.

I squealed on nearly every street corner in the center of the city when I recognized buildings and landmarks that I’d read about for years in Russian Studies classes.  I got misty eyed when I first spotted St. Basil’s Cathedral in the Red Square.  I frequently launched into (uninvited) lectures about eastern orthodoxy and socialist realism and the Russian political system, probably to the dismay of the fellow CCS volunteer I was traveling with.  I was finally meeting the rock star whose poster I had hung above my bed since middle school, and let me tell you, I was well-prepared.

The Moscovites I observed and interacted with were not closed off.  They were out with their friends and their children, enjoying a warm and sunny weekend.  They were playful, friendly, and helpful when I needed directions.

On the way to my hostel on Friday evening, I was dropped off by a hyperactive cab driver at a street corner that matched the address on my piece of paper, but the hostel wasn’t anywhere in sight.  A couple in their twenties was passing by, so I asked them if they happened to know where this place was.

They had never heard of iVan Hostel (cute name though, right?).  I showed them the address, and they agreed that we were technically in the right place.  The man noticed I had a phone number written down, so he pulled out his own phone and called them for me to ask for directions.  “Poshli,” he said (“let’s go”), and they walked us to the doorway according to the directions he had received.  After waiting there with us until we got buzzed in, they said “no problem” to our dozens of “thank yous” and “spacibos” and wished us a good time in the city.

This wasn’t an isolated incident.  Every time I asked for help, I was taken under someone’s wing and handled with care until I got where I needed to be.  Every interaction I had there was a positive one.

Another surprising realization for me was that Moscow is a romantic city.  I saw couples hugging, holding hands, and making out all over the place.  I considered taking pictures just to prove to everyone back home that this is a place full of love, but that would have made me a creep.

There were also tons of bridal parties out and about.  It’s wedding season in Russia, too, and they have a custom of visiting major sites in the city to take pictures in their wedding apparel.  Most of the brides were wearing classy and traditional gowns, but more than one looked like she was wearing what I would imagine to be the result of Lady Gaga being locked in a room with a bedazzling kit and a case of Red Bull.

So that brings me to the opulence issue.  Yes, Russia has a thing for flaunting wealth.  Wouldn’t you want to show off your Christian Louboutins after seventy-ish years of communism?  Moscow is home to the most billionaires in the world, and it’s an incredibly expensive city.  I think I spent six dollars on a cappuccino at Starbucks, but I’m not entirely sure because I’ve been too distracted to actually calculate the exchange rate.  I did see a lot of Bentleys and designer boutiques, but it wasn’t as in-your-face obnoxious as I expected.

One weekend wasn’t nearly enough time to get to everything I wanted to see.  Others might disagree with me on that.  In fact, a lot of people told me that once you’ve been to the Red Square, you’ve seen everything worth seeing in Moscow.  But then again, much of what I’ve said here is against the standard opinion on this city.

Here is a Moscow-sized collection of photos I took this weekend.  I hope the beauty and the joy I experienced in Moscow comes through in these images.  More details to come shortly.

Requisite shot with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the Red Square

Propped up comfortable in the Red Square, waiting to sell photo ops to tourists

The Kremlin

Lenin’s Mausoleum in the Red Square. Yes, he’s embalmed and laying inside there.

State History Museum

Photo bomb by Spiderman in Revolution Square

Young people hanging out at the Kremlin gates

Red, blue, and white: colors of the Russian flag

Playing at Aleksandrovskiy Gardens

Tiles in the fountains at Aleksandrovskiy Gardens

Karl Marx statue in Teatralnaya Square. This last remaining tribute to Marx in Moscow reads (more or less) “Workers of the world, unite!”

“We ❤ Techno”. So true, Moscow.

TSUM, the Central Universal Store in Teatralnaya Square

Bolshoy Theater

The glitz and glamour of Moscow: Bolshoy Theater reflected in the window of a designer boutique.

Furry hats, check.

Kazan Cathedral in the Red Square

The Hotel National, a beautiful mixture of Style-Moderne and Classical-Style architecture in Tverskaya

Young people dancing and taken photos near Aleksandrovskiy Gardens

The enormous Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer, destroyed in 1931 and rebuilt between 1994 and 1997.

Angry bird in a display window of TSUM (Central Universal Store)

714 comments

  1. Dear Meghan, i’m calling right away my good friend Mr Putin to inform him i found the perfect Tourism secretary for Russia. 😎

    Never before a city was so well described, and advertised like you did here. Congratulation !

    Congratulations for being a banker with a heart.

  2. Gorgeous photos! I’m possibly going to Russia in September for work (still gotta convince the boss!!) and the plan is to spend a weekend discovering Moscow. I’m very excited now after seeing your pics!

  3. Pingback: Moscow that never sleeps can be a soul mate | Travel Photos

  4. Jason

    As an American, from Miami Beach, living here in Moscow since 2007, I have to agree its an awesome city. I love it, maybe the best big city away from an ocean I’ve ever lived in. Me and dozens of my expat friends call Moscow home and we love it!
    Glad you enjoyed and maybe we’ll see you on a return trip to Moscow. Safe travels…

    • “Best big city away from an ocean”… That is a great point, Jason. I’m glad you are enjoying Moscow so much! I think I could see myself living there some day. Such a unique place. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I hope you have time to visit St.Petersburg. This is the White Nights time and it is magical to see the bridges parting over Neva. the best place to see it from would be Vasilievsky island, you can see three major bridges from that point.

  6. “Moscow never sleeps” is the sign of Moscow. Truly, the city never sleeps. Recently I was told that acquaintances got stuck in a traffic jam on Moscow ring road at 4 a.m. in the night.

    I am really glad to hear you liked Moscow. Another myth about Russia has been busted.
    Although I cannot agree with people who say “Once you’ve been to the Red Square, you’ve seen everything worth seeing in Moscow.” I’d rather say it this way: “Once you’ve been to the Red Square, there’s no need to go there again.” 🙂 There are lots of sights in Moscow. My favorite is Tsaritsyno. It’s a large park where you can walk all day long. There’s a fountain show at night: illuminated water jets are dancing to the music.

    Yeah! I can feel your excitement about Moscow. I read your post quickly, in one shot, almost holding breath… However, I needed to look up my dictionary several times when I stumbled on unknown words. 🙂

    • Thanks Alexey! And yes, I noticed that Moscow never sleeps when I saw traffic at midnight. The city is alive all night long. In some ways in reminded me of New York City (I live very close to there), but with a totally different flavor.

      I’m really glad to hear you liked the post, thanks for commenting!

  7. Oh my…GOSH! I never imagined Russia to be so colorful! You are so right-Russia always receives the short end of the stick in terms of publicity, since countries such as France, Greece, and Italy often earn the reps of being beautiful travel places. Thank-you so much for opening our eyes with this rather dazzling and fun blog post. =)

  8. Megan what a wonderful lesson in shaking off other people’s experiences/opinions, it is a tightrope that we walk as travellers, wanting recommendations/warnings but also be open to opportunities to experience these places authentically. Russia is certainly not on my bucket list but seeing the pic of St. Basil Cathedral’s stunning playful colours caught my eye.

    • Very true, you have to balance realism and open-mindedness. Russia has always been a place I’ve wanted to go, and I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found. Thanks for reading!

  9. Hello Megan! I really like the pictures of my home town)) the past 10 years I am living outside of Russia and only God knows how I miss Russia. Thank you for this blog post)
    Try to visit the Golden Ring of Russia, you will madly will love it
    I’ll be waiting for new photos))

  10. Best line I’ve ever read in a blog: “more than one looked like she was wearing what I would imagine to be the result of Lady Gaga being locked in a room with a bedazzling kit and a case of Red Bull.”
    Thanks for the laughs. I’ve never read your blog before but I’ll be back. 🙂 I might even take a look to see what flights to Moscow run these days….

    • In general, I love Russian cuisine. It’s similar to my own family’s cooking (Irish): lots of potatoes, cabbage, beef, etc. If you like soup, you’ll probably like Russian dining! In Moscow I tried to stick to buy simple snacks at the grocery store since it’s such an expensive city (and besides, I’m fed extremely well back at the volunteer home base in Yaroslavl).

      Hope you get to visit here some day!

  11. Charlotte Lehman

    I was lucky enough to be able to visit Moscow with a school trip last summer and it was really a wonderful city!! I would love to go back there sometime (and St. Petersburg too!) to explore a little more on my own and at my own pace. You have some beautiful photos–really makes me want to return!

  12. A gloomy city – that was the picture I too had in my mind about Moscow. Well, this wonderful post has helped to clear all the misconceptions. And great photos.

  13. Hey Meghan,

    Its funny how the same blogs seem to show up on Freshly Pressed. Congrats, again! Great short write-up and even more stunning photographs of Moscow, somewhere I never really considered going, but definitely am now. As always, thanks for sharing,
    – Nate
    (NBushphotography.net)
    (mytravelmap.wordpress.com)

  14. I’m originally from Russia (Novosibirsk) and have always wanted to return to see where I’m from but my father absolutely refuses, saying it’s a dangerous city but these photos show anything but.

    Great photos! I hope I can get my own someday soon.

    • Winterlust, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the photos of your former home country. I was so pleasantly surprised with how beautiful and safe it felt there. I really hope you get to go some day!

  15. Elizabeth

    How true you are about the colors of Moscow. I was on the same boat thinking of snow, dark and cold and nothing appealing about it what-so-ever. You have some amazing photos to prove that this place is anything but dark!!!

  16. Great post and fabulous photos! Dropped in via freshly pressed – I was in Moscow in March having spent the month travelling across Russia (so much snow!). If you can possibly squeeze it in during your time there, I recommend a trip to Suzdal! Keep having a wonderful time 🙂

      • Caveat: Having read the rest of your Russia posts (and most of the rest of your blog – all fabulous!), I feel I should qualify my recommendation of Suzdal. It’s also a Golden Ring town and may be similar to Yaroslavl in that its main attraction is the abundance of wonderful cupola’d orthodox churches that decorate the skyline. So… diy research.. you might want to spend your precious time getting to somewhere more ‘different’ to where you’re staying! Hope you’re still loving it 🙂

  17. Moscow must be happening if Spiderman is there! It looks beautiful- not a place that would usually make my top 10 (or 25) list of places to travel. But this post may have changed my mind. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Awesome pics. I have never been there. But now I feel like.For my love for spy thrillers Russia played a role in my imagination. You lovely pics have made the bridge between reality & imagination.Thanks.

  19. notnofun

    I have wanted to go to Moscow forever … then recently on a trip from China to Croatia I just stopped through the airport and was convinced I needed to return. I think this post just made me seal the deal. Nest destination: Russia! Great Read!

  20. glfrog

    Great post! You have a wonderful writing style. I was in Moscow a couple of years ago, so your notes and photos reminded me of a wonderful holiday. Now grinning from ear to ear 🙂 Thank you! Kate.

  21. Great pictures and story I went to Russia over 30 years ago and the building are forever etched on my mind. I went on a Baltic cruise and travelled to Moscow and Leningrad and to the palaces . I can still see the chandelier in the train station ! Great pictures

  22. callitabeart

    such a beautiful city, hopefully going there some time next year. thanks for posting some pics to egg me on 🙂

  23. Great article! Congrats on Freshly Pressed, that’s how I found you. I’m headed to Prague in September to teach English, you’ve just added another must visit place to my ever growing list 😀 Truly a great read and view, thanks!

  24. Sydney

    Great post and beautiful pictures. I can’t believe I’d ever find Moscow even the least bit interesting. I still don’t think I’d ever want to go there, but now I don’t have to! 🙂

  25. Aarthi

    It feels like I have traveled with you… the photos are amazingly realistic and beautifull taken… lovely! 🙂

  26. Nice photography Meghan….. Russia is now in my checklist to visit 🙂
    so to which organization do you volunteer for? For me it’s been more than three years in the corporate world now and sometimes I really feel to take a break but then there are some social commitments coz of which I need to hang around… but I do my bit of traveling on weekends here in Mumbai…its a huge city in itself to travel around!!!

    • Thank you! I volunteer with Cross Cultural Solutions (www.crossculturalsolutions.org). I highly recommend them. You do have to pay, but they take very good care of you and teach you a TON about the local culture you’re immersed in. I’m sure Mumbai is amazing! Maybe you can look for local volunteer opportunities there?

  27. Okay, I admit, if someone asked me to go to Moscow I would have run the other way assuming the gloom would doom me to depression for life. Your post, and photos to boot, have taught me that (in summer anyway) I might find it Disneylike enough to actually enjoy thoroughly. So, weekend in Moscow is no longer strictly off the list. Thanks for expanding my world! (P.S. I want a furry hat, though I never want a reason to need one.)

    • Haha Michelle, I’m glad I’ve given you a new perspective on Moscow! It really is a lot more pleasant than most people give it credit for being. And I feel the same way about the furry hats… and nesting dolls… and metal lighters that say “KGB” and “USSR”. No practical purpose whatsoever, but I can’t leave Russia without them.

  28. I was a Russian major in school, over 20 years ago. I spent 6 weeks studying in Moscow, (then) Leningrad and Kiev, and completely fell in love with the people and country too. Those were the early days of glasnost, and I’ve often worried that the actualities of capitalism changed the essence of the people I knew back then, but it doesn’t sound like it. I haven’t been back, but your post has assured me that my love will not be disappointed when I, someday, revisit this place. Thank you!

  29. Hi, Meghan !

    Cool, you’re having Подмосковные вечера live ! 🙂

    I studied a little Russian, in order to go to Moscow, then the capital of the USSR. But unfortunately, i couldn’t.

    Very nice of you to love a place so different of your hometown. But, as your blog post prove it, so similar.

    All the best,
    hilton

  30. UNBELIEVABLE number of comments. Not sure how I hung on so long but here I am! I was reading and reading your post and thinking “but where are the photographs?” and suddenly, there they were, and Wow! Thank you.

  31. I came here from the WordPress main page. I just have to say that your photos are fantastic! My wife and I would like to go to Moscow some day, and these pics just whet the appetite.

  32. Heather

    Thanks for sharig your experience. I would have had the same reaction as you about Moscow. Guess a lesson that we shouldn’t always believe what we read or hear. First hand experience is the best. 🙂 Your pictures are beautiful. So much color! Safe travels.

  33. Heather

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I wouldn’t have expected what you found in Moscow either – guess a good lesson learned to not always believe everything you read! Your pictures are beautiful. So many colors!

  34. You and I are kindred spirits. I’ve been fascinated with Russia since childhood, and absolutely fell in love with Moscow when I visited in 2003. I’m longing to go back and reconnect with my Russian friends, not to mention rephotograph my travels. I’m rather jealous of the shots you got, and that you got to go. Mind if I live vicariously through your photos?

    • Haha thank you Nicole, and I don’t mind at all if you live through my photos! It’s great to hear you visiting in 2003. I think there have been quite a few changes in the last nine years, even. It’s such a dynamic city. I’ll be sure to post some more pictures so you can feel like you’re here too!

  35. Moscow is an interesting city indeed. I would also recommend St Petersburg (if you have not been there already). Two beautiful capitals – old and new 🙂

    • Thank you Natasha, and yes I am planning to spend a week in St. Petersburg a the end of June. I’m currently living and volunteering in Yaroslavl. Thanks for reading and for the recommendation!

      • Oh, great! You will enjoy your week in St Petersburg a lot. Architecturally, this is a completely different city – more European and modern. If you are very ambitious – plan a couple or more days for Hermitage – that is how long it takes to see everything there. Have fun 🙂

    • I hope you get to see it some day! My Russian is decent, as least enough to get buy with asking for directions, food, etc. And no matter where I go, I try to learn a little bit of the language because it really warms people up when you attempt to speak with them in their own tongue!

      • i agree! i managed using local language in some european countries and the result was stunning. they suddenly turned to be nicer to me and told more things than i asked. but doing so in the airport custom check could be somewhat suicidal 😉

  36. Talha Iqbal

    It seems your are in the realm of your power! You are believing in your dreams and chasing them. In that reality everything you desire is given to you 🙂

    May you thrive and keep sharing your love!

  37. Wow… Being so used to the western media portrayal of Russia, I never thought that there will be such vibrant and animated places in ‘cold’ Russia! It is just like the media portrayal of Africa as the dark place, when there is no actual darkness there (I know, coz I happen to have visited over 45 countries on the African continent)! Thank you for enlightening us, and giving us the opportunity to see Moscow for what it really is, a beautiful city with history spanning centuries and vibrant warm people!

    • You’re right, the image we are presented with is one devoid of color and joy. I’m glad I could share a different perspective. And I can definitely see the parallels with places like Africa. Not enough good press. Thanks so much for commenting!

  38. Hei!
    Beautiful pictures! I’ve been in Moscow this year, but it was still winter so the landscapes I saw was a little bit different from those which was also amazing anyway.
    Seeing your pictures made me want to return there on spring or summer =D
    I can say the same thing as you: I’ve found my soul mate there either!
    xoxo

    • I’m dying to see Russia in the winter! We can swap experiences, haha. I’m glad to hear you found a soulmate as well (whether it be of the human or geographical sort)! Thanks!

      • Then you should it is very beautiful, Tsaritsyno Park all in white it’s an experience that made life worths once more. The soulmate was only geographic but I’d complain if I have found a Russian boyfriend, they are such gentleman!!! xoxo

  39. What a difference your photographic perspective and the season makes! I went there in March 2005 and it was quite horrible in that friends were robbed by the cops and the Hotel Moskba was quite surly. However, once you know a Russian personally, the treatment and intimacy are incredible. Happy travels. -“tarotworldtour.wordpress.com”

    • I’m so sorry to hear you had a bad experience there. I know firsthand how much that can affect your sentiments for a place for a long time. But you’re right, once you make a human connection, the blow is softened. Thank you for reading!

  40. I read about the concept of a “geographical soul mate” a while back, and I’ve been obsessed with the idea ever since. I’m sure mine is Ireland (in general, no one city), because it makes my heart feel fuller than anywhere else. I’ve even been told by multiple people separately that I “glow” when I’m there …

    But I’ve never been to Moscow, so perhaps it would steal my heart? Your images are beautiful, as is your entire blog and adventure! I’m delighted to have found it. Congrats on the FP feature!

  41. I love your post, I’m originally from Moscow. I immigrated to America when I was 5, and haven’t been back there. My grandmother travels there constantly (she owns an apartment there), and she shares her experience’s with me all the time. I remember a lot of the places you mention in your post, so it was very interesting to read about your experiences. As for today’s Moscow, based on the Russian news that I listen to is constantly changing. Thanks for sharing the photos and experiences.

    I would also recommend some great movies for you to watch. Some great comedy movies set in Soviet times include Ivan Vasilievich – Back to the Future, and Gentlemen of Fortune.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Dmitry. I’m sure Moscow has changed a lot since you left, and I hope you get a chance to return sometime. Funny you mention Back to the Future, I have the DVD here in Yaroslavl with me and I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet! Thanks so much for reading.

  42. I read about the concept of a “geographical soul mate” a while back, and I’ve been obsessed with the idea ever since. I’m sure mine is Ireland (in general, no one city), because it makes my heart feel fuller than anywhere else. And I’ve been told by multiple people that I “glow” when I’m there…

    But I’ve never been to Moscow, so perhaps it would steal my heart? Your images are beautiful, as is your entire blog and adventure! I’m delighted to have found it. Congrats on the FP feature!

    • Oh Ireland!! My other homeland. I’m an Irish girl myself, and I’ve been there many times to visit family. I sometimes forget about the green isle as a travel destination because it feels too familiar to me. I am so thrilled to hear that you feel connected to it in such a strong way. It’s definitely another very “soulful” country!

      Thank you for commenting!

    • I can’t wait to check out your blog. And thank you for the volunteering idea! Ecuador is one of the countries I missed in my last trip in South America, and I’d love to see it one day. I’ll keep you in mind if I do!

  43. Great post, thank you! I’m originally from Russia and was back to Moscow in October, after 10 years. It was so beautiful, romantic, all around great. Your post brought back good memories and inspired me to post some photos, too:)
    As for romantic Russian movies: old time favorites are: Ирония судьбы или с легким паром, Обыкновенное чудо, Барон Мюнхаузен (not sure how good subtitles are). I’m sure there should be more recent ones.

    • I’m so glad to hear you had an equally beautiful experience revisiting Moscow! I’d love to see some of your photos. And thank you so much for the movie recommendations! I’ll keep an eye out for them here. I’m living in Yaroslavl for a couple months volunteering, so I’ll have a chance to pick up some movies and books. Thanks so much!

    • Haha thanks Chris! Oddly enough, there in Revolution Square, right outside the Red Square, there are guys in animal costumes, people selling balloons and ice cream, etc. It’s a very energetic place with a definite tourist/theme park vibe. It clashes with the history of the square of course, but it’s sort of a funny reminder that yes, we’re in the 21st century, and yes, tourists still need ways to keep their kids entertained!

      • That’s amazing! Truth is, whenever I hear about Russia, I always think about, Putin, tanks, missiles, nuclear stuffs, and stuffs like that. It’s nice to hear about the lighter side of Russia – the one that most people around the world don’t know about.

  44. This is the place my soul yearns for. My family left it, and I only want to return to it. So many ghosts walk those gorgeous streets.

    • I hope you do return some day, Jbot. It’s a very soulful place, and yes, there are ghosts and legends and history everywhere (some good, some bad). It is also a place that is surprisingly full of love and kindess and color, which surprised me most. Thanks for reading!

  45. Hi, Megan! Congrats with the great post and splendid pictures!
    I especially love it since I live in Moscow. It is amusing to see my city by your eyes. You have noticed so many interesting details.
    Thank you for very positive attitude to Moscow and Russians. One such post could overweigh tons of lie about modern Russia.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed my perspective on your city. I probably saw it through slightly different eyes than someone who has been there for a long time. Like I wrote, it was such a lovely and positive experience for me, I had to share it. It seems that that surprises a lot of people, so hopefully I’m helping to dispell some myths like you said! Thanks again!

      • Dear Megan, most of all I enjoyed your fresh look. We, Moscovites, sometimes forget, how beautiful our city is. Do, come again and spread the word about Moscow! Keep in mind that now you have at least one more friend in Russia. Tatiana

  46. Awesome photos. Beautiful country. I have one of my friend at Moscow. He shares photos from beautiful places. Your photos remind me about his presence.

    Nice to share with the World.

  47. I had a good laugh when you mentioned Moscow doesn’t believe in tears–I know that from my Russian class. I really enjoyed reading this–I’ve visited Moscow, St. Petersburg (and I know it’s in Ukraine but) and Kiev. I would go back in a heartbeat! Love how your pictures capture the beautiful colors of the architecture–and congrats on being post of the day!

    • Sara, Russian class is where I first learned about the film too, and I’ve watched it many, many times since then. I’m in Russia for about two months total, so I’ll also be seeing St. Petersburg, but probably not Kiev this time around. Some day I’d love to! Thank you for commenting and I’m glad to spark some fond memories for you!

  48. from what you have giving out here, it shows that the western media such as CNN, BBC etc all have bias minds when reporting issues outside their zones. just the way they ended up killing the image of Africa. it is true that Africa is still growing but believe me, things are not as bad as they report on CNN and BBC. we have great things happening here. I’m an African and I’m doing well with my relationship blog: http://www.trueloverelationship-advice.com, most of my relationship blog readers are from the US, you see, something good can always come out from Africa unlike the way they report it in CNN and BBC and others. Moscow have never received positive coverage from the western media and from your sincere account, one can see that the city is a very beautiful place to be. thanks to people like you who have sincerely reported and have continuously given account of cities and countries which were tagged ‘dark place’ by the western media. any time you feel like visiting Africa (Nigeria in particular, you can contact me, I will help you take you around and you will see the true picture of Nigeria. we have problems just the way every other countries have theirs.) I love your article and I’m going to subscribe to it right away.

    • Thanks a lot Drlove, I appreciate the kind words. And you’re right: sadly, negative images sell better than positive ones, and many places in the world are only reported on and featured when bad things happen. Hollywood doesn’t help much in that matter either, usually. But I’ve found that, despite politics, people are generally the same everywhere, and a vast majority of people are kindhearted. That’s the kind of stuff I’d like to see featured more in our media.

      Thanks again!

  49. I never even thought about going to Russia until I saw this post and now I really want to! It looks like a great place and the photos made me smile, the architecture is like a real life disneyland, especially the cathedral, I love it! You’re a very good photographer, thank you for posting this!

  50. Hey Megan,
    Moscow always seemed so vibrant with its colors that I would always wonder how could people who live around them not be as vibrant? You’ve just answered my question! 🙂
    Such a wonderful description and photos of Moscow…Russia has always been my “secret agent” love because of its history, circus and literature…could you share some romantic Russian movies? Somehow thanks to Hollywood the image of Russians being arrogant is lodged in my mind. Also do share some romantic stories of some old couples you meet if they are willing to share…I always love the subtle cultural aspects that they divulge. 🙂
    Take care…have fun travelling!

    • Deepti, it sounds like we’re fascinated by a lot of the same things when it comes to Russia. And you’re right, the Hollywood portrayals of Russians are sadly one-dimensional and limited to arrogant villains, mafia gangsters, etc. You’ve given me an idea for another post, in which hopefully I’ll give you some romantic movie ideas! Thanks so much!

  51. dabaudoin

    What a lovely city! I love to travel, but had never considered Moscow before reading your post. I suppose it’s going on my bucket list now. 😀

  52. lovely photographs, it seems that there’s an endless supply of places and things to take pictures of in moscow.. i’m sure you had fun and i had fun too seeing all your photos.

  53. Sum

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I have found my soul mate, too. Only in Melbourne, Australia. I love these photos. They are beautiful. I’ve been to St. Petersburg twice. I always want to go back and see more. 🙂

  54. Hey,
    They were great pictures and as you wanted they are translating the mood of the city and its really gorgeous…. Hope you enjoyed your stay there…and looking forward to those more details..

  55. Oh nooo!! I also love traveling, and now I just have to go to Moscow!! I mean your pictures are so inviting, I think you just helped me fall in love with it!! 🙂 and the furry hats-OHH the furry hats!! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!
    -Lily

  56. Yay! What a great portrait (writing and photography) of Moscow! I have been intrigued by eastern European architecture for over a decade and I’m dying to get to Moscow. Your post has me even more psyched now! One question/topic you did not touch on which is another stereotype of Russia–what is the weather like there in May?? It looks sunny and warm, contrary to the myth that its a dreary, winter wastland.

    • Moscow is a great city for those interested in architecture! The weather is lovely here this time of year. Russian summers tend to be short and hot. That particular weekend, it was sunny and perfectly warm. I really lucked out! Although now that I’ve experienced summer here, I’m itching to come back in winter and see all the snow capped domes. Thanks for reading!

    • Yes, I am planning to spend a week in St. Petersburg at the end of June, during White Nights! I’m in Russia for a couple months volunteering, so I’m planning lots of side trips too. Definitely looking forward to STP! Thanks for the recommendation!

  57. Beautiful, beautiful photographs! So much for the image of Russians being cold – as many movies portrayed, right? Thanks for sharing the beauty of the landscapes and the beauty of the people.

    • Thank you Robin! And yes, it was totally different than the expectations that Hollywood has created. Oddly enough though, a lot of young Russians I talked to have similar stereotypes about the US. “Is there a lot of crime and violence in the States like in the movies?” “Are there gangsters?” So I guess we are all a little guilty of it!

  58. Cool architecture! What fun those architects must have had.

    I have a relative and a friend who are both obsessed with Russia and want to travel there. But I was under the impression that Russia was having economic problems due to all the Russian immigrants in the US. If Russia is such a great country, what are they doing here?

  59. nrcraddock

    I love it! I’m planning on going there in a couple of years to do my dissertation research at the Moscow Conservatory… can’t wait. Your photos are all fantastic.

  60. thelifeofapolicehousewife

    WOW! It looks like a totally different world over there. Beautiful! Never thought of having a “soul city!” 😀

    • Thanks Ellen! And yes, a few others have made similar comparisons with New York. I live really close to NY and I always complain when I have to go into the city (traffic, noise, smog, angry people, tourists, etc.), but then I get there and I always find something beautiful and unexpected.

  61. chaiichi05

    I’m jealous of people who are able to travel a lot. I wanna travel, too! Maybe when I get older i could travel the way you do 🙂 Nice blog!

  62. Your pictures are gorgeous. I work in a cross-cultural marketing firm that is dominated by Russians. They have regaled me with countless stories of their beautiful country…can’t wait to visit one day.

  63. Bel

    It is wonderful place to visit. I loved so much your pictures. Someday I would like to visit Moscow.
    Congratulation!

  64. so great to read positive stuff like this about Russia!
    I love Moscow, and I love going back. I haven’t been back in a while though 😦 and I think I was too young when I lived there (11ish-14 y.o), but it has also changed a lot since.
    btw, you get an even better reception when you speak the language!

    • I bet it must have changed a lot since then! And you’re definitely right, it’s much easier to navigate when you speak the language, if anything just so you can read street signs. A lot of the young people seemed to speak (some) English though. Thanks for reading!

      • I didn’t mean that it’s easier to navigate – no doubt it is – but the locals LOVE it when they hear foreigners speak Russian. They get so chatty and ‘comradely’ (:
        Oh, yeah, certainly, the young crowd fancy themselves very worldly, and not a small number speak English. It’s not uncommon to hear the older folks speak French (which was favoured in education back then).
        Anyhow, hope you get to go back for a longer visit, to ‘Piter’ and other places!

        • Haha yes you’re right, I’ve noticed that as well. I’m living in Yaroslavl for a couple months volunteering, so no doubt I’ll get to visit at least some other cities along the Golden Ring, and Moscow once more before I leave at the end of June. At that point, I’m going to spend a full week in St. Petersburg soaking up White Nights. Can’t wait!

    • That is great to hear! I am in Russia doing volunteer work for a couple months (in a small-ish city called Yaroslavl). On the weekends, I’m trying to explore the country, and I’m capping off my time here with a week in St. Petersburg in the end of June (White Nights!).

  65. djunction

    I wish you came to Trinidad and Tobago, you would find your soulmate there as well…it’s a wonderful country

    • Thanks Anne! And yes, I can imagine living there would be a lot more challenging that spending a weekend. The traffic looked pretty abysmal! But Moscow and I are still in the infatuation phase, and I’d like to keep it that way. I don’t think we’ll be moving in together any time soon. 😉

  66. Wow. I’ve never been to Moscow, but I want to someday. This made me want to visit Moscow even more. Your pictures are beautiful, and the fact that you took the time to reply to each and every comment here is great. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Do you think you could take a look at my blog?

  67. What a wonderful article! And your language is as bright and colorful as your pictures! I have a friend who’s studying abroad at Moscow State and I’ll be traveling to the Northern Capital in the fall. I’m so happy you enjoyed your stay in Moscow! Are you going to other parts of the country? 🙂

    • Looking back, I really wish I’d done something similar and studied abroad in Russia while in college. I hope you have a great time visiting your friend there!

      And yes, I’m actually living in Yaroslavl for a couple months volunteering. I’m planning to visit a few other cities in the Golden Ring, and then cap my trip off with a week in St. Petersburg at the end of June (White Nights!).

  68. Flash of Brilliance

    This is a beautiful post, and I’m going to check out more of your blog. I’ve always been fascinated with Russia for some reason, and your post inspires me. Good job!

  69. Su

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed. I have just moved to France with my family and am planning how to spend our annual holidays. Your blog has inspired me to research and consider Moscow as a possible destinations. Your pictures are beautiful too. I too had this image of a dark and drab city, but this has encouraged me to view it differently. Thanks.

    • Thanks Su! What an exciting move for you and your family. If you have any questions about traveling in Russia, don’t hesitate to contact me. It can be a little tricky for non-Russian speakers, but it’s definitely doable. Thanks so much for commenting!

      • Su

        Thanks Meghan, just checked out CCS and think it would be a wonderful thing for my family. My husband and I met volunteering through the Big Sister Big Brother programme in Sydney and since then, I have wondered about what other kind of volunteer work I could do. This could be a serious option for us. Thank you for sharing your experience. Warm regards.

  70. Love your pictures! I looked back at a few of your earlier posts to find out more information of your volunteering organization, Cross Cultural Solutions and visited their website. How do you like working with them? Have you met any families who have gone over to volunteer through CCS? (you know safety, comfort, etc.)

    Namaste and many blessings***

    • Thanks! I am a big fan of CCS. Like most forms of service, you have to come in with the right expectations and be patient. I love this type of work because it’s all about companionship, compassion, and cross-cultural interactions, all of which are really important to me.

      Day-to-day life within the CCS program is amazing. It’s well-organized, educational, and fun. I have not personally volunteered with families, but I have seen pictures and heard stories about parents and children who have volunteered together and had great experiences. The living quarters are cozy and comfy, and the food is always phenomenal!

      In short, I wholeheartedly recommend Cross Cultural Solutions!

  71. Lovely post. I’ve heard that Moscow was…I believe the quote was “drop-dead gorgeous”, but they failed to provide pictures. My boyfriend’s is busy convincing me this needs to be our next big trip (though I’m leaning more towards Paris) but your pictures are pretty amazing… Congrats on Freshly Pressed. Have fun!

    • For some reason, pleasant photos of Moscow are hard to come by! That’s why I was so surprised to find it to be colorful and even romantic in person. Moscow or Paris, you really can’t go wrong! Thanks for reading!

  72. krafte

    ah! I am so jealous! Visiting Moscow is one of my dreams! It’s funny, your visit to Moscow sounds a little like the way some of my foreign friends experience NYC. They think it will be expensive, everyone walks fast, and people are super unfriendly, and then they get to the city and are really surprised.

    • Yes, you’re right! I’m sure the same sort of stereotypes exist for a lot of big cities that are featured in films and media so often. Russia has been typecast as a dark and cold place, full of villains and corruption and breadlines. But people are people everywhere, and what I found in Moscow was a whole lot of beauty, history, and very kind people. Thanks for reading!

  73. anony-mouse

    just bumped into your site by accident. STUNNING photos. Very talented photography in addition to spectacular topic. tHX!

  74. Usually I do not waste my time on russophiles, but seeing the unanimous praising of “sacred cow” here, I could not miss shooting it. I always hated unsubstantiated claims, and even more – blind agreement with them. My alternative opinion always made russian horde go mad, and I am not surprised if reaction of those who still adore them will be other.
    Russians are masters of “potyemkin village” creating (claiming to love russian culture you must know what is it). And reading this post, I once more saw this works. Many of their tricks can be revealed by close and impartial look, but most of russophiles consider it too difficult for themselves, and choose to join the chorus singing anthems to the country of neo-communism.
    Seeing russian hellhole is not a warranty of adequate view of reality, and your post proves it. Even when your own wallet is emptied by russian swindlers, you will be thinking that their prices are fair. And of course, you “do not know” about blood on asphalt after recent police brutalities – despite their stupidity, they always conceal crimes and smiling wide to foreigners (if not mistake them for russians). And you “did not heard” russian “mat”, subhuman language, which this dirty horde uses in each and every sentence, constantly drunk and searching for victim to beat him or her. Or “did not knew” about corrupted to the bone and filthy essence of MSU – the center of russian high education system. Or driving licenses, which are issued there for bribes only. Or “open season” on “others”, when russian uniformed criminals (police) arrest and torture everyone who is not agreed with their KGB dictator.
    Or whatever else, Russia was and will be country of crime, corruption, drunkenness, atrocities and bolshevik dictators forever.

    It is damn easy to praise something when you do not know (or mostly like, unwilling to know) the truth about it or even never saw it by own eyes, like most of those who commented here. None are so ignorant that ones who do not want to know.

    • Yes, I have to agree here.

      A little weekend in Red Square is NOT an adequate vantage from which to see the people and practices of Moscow.

      I will be there in October for a much longer period, outside the city center, and fully expect a very different array of events than those shown here. I will also wear a white scarf.

      It is a nice post, and reasonably well written, but it is through rose-colored lenses, sorry to say.

      • I appreciate your perspective on Moscow, Aaron, as you’ll be seeing it from a different perspective than I did. My goal here was not to make any grand declarations about the virtues of Russia or persuade anyone that it’s a perfect place. I simply write about my experiences. This was an especially good one, and it far exceeded some formerly negative perceptions I had of Moscow.

        As for the former comment, I don’t have much to say besides the fact that I find it very unfortunate that such deep prejudices still exist. I can’t have an intelligent dialogue with someone who berates an entire nation of people for their “stupidity” and makes blatantly false sweeping statements such as “Russia was and will be country of crime, corruption, drunkenness, atrocities and bolshevik dictators forever.”

        If such negative and racist comments continue I will delete this comment thread.

    • juan

      I don’t know anything about Russia…. but I can tell how much bllshit you just said…. narrowing such a big country as a place of dictators and crime is just pure hatred born of a bad experience you had… maybe because you come from such a “pretty country” as Germany feel like you have the right to talk badly about others, but we can experience bad things everywhere can’t we? Surely a few weeks in Russia is not nearly enough to get to know it but she is only talking about how beautiful the place and the people she met are, that alone is just a prove that your arguments are wrong…. You should just get over those issues you have with Russia -.-

      • Favorite argument of russophiles: no History, no personal experience, no arguments at all – just “because I think so”. The first phrase from your reply makes clear that bullsh#t is what you say. Did you ever read your own words?

        • Not sure why you are labeling him a russophile for defending me. And in fact, I live and volunteer in Russia and studied Russian history, so I do know a thing or two about the country. Let’s stop the bickering and just let my post be what it was intended to be: a snapshot of my experiences in a particular city, which far exceeded my expectations. It’s not an evaluation of Russia by any means.

    • juan

      i just saw your blog, you clearly have something againts russians… those kind of things happens everywhere, that doesnt trow anything about the real essence of Rusia, in the same way as you i could say that all germans are racist or warlike but that would be inaccurate… stop hating (: grow up…

      • You use to give arguments with absolutely no proof, as russophiles always do.
        Stop your propaganda. Switch off “rt” channel, go and study History. Or try to get a bit of experience in real life.

      • @Meghan Johnson
        I always hated admiration and glorifying of things that even not known to cheerful crowd which praising them. That’s why I left my comment here – to show my own experienced point of view as opposition to general careless opinion.
        “Thing or two” is often considered by most of people enough to imagine themselves as professionals in particular knowledge or at least as ability to judge things there. Having no basis for arguing, I wouldn’t had started the conversation, what cannot be said about most of russophiles.
        You show facade of russian “potyemkin village”. I reveal nightmare backyards of it.

      • Mike C.

        Hey Meg, I think it is fairly clear that Einsamer is the ultimate authority on everything Russian. In fact, I am surprised that a revolution for his name has not been widely agreed upon. Oh yes, wait, it is because he sees one person’s individual blog about an individual experience stating that it was different than what I had been told or had believed and actually had a nice experience about it. You will never be at the lofty realm that this person inhabits nor have the incredible knowledge that Einsamer has – he is so much better than everyone else. You know, Iranians could say that Washington D.C. is a horrid city because it is The Great Satan. That doesn’t mean that others could not find that they actually had a pleasant experience from visting the city. This is a personal blog, you moron (Einsamer), not a call to revolution. You know what I generalize? Idiots that don’t understand that and have a general need to alert others of their incredible self-importance.

        • Haha ok I couldn’t help laughing at this one. Yes, you’re right Mike, I’ll simply never reach his level of nuanced understanding of Russian conspiracy theories. Shame on me for showing another country and its people in a positive light. 😉

          Thanks Mike!

  75. Pingback: Crazy Knitwear | Brooklyn Baby Social

    • Yes, I so agree that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I knew when I wrote this that some people would not agree. Moscow isn’t for everyone. Just like every other city, it has quirks and a particular personality that will turn some people off. And of course, Russia has a controversial history, to say the least. But for me, it was wonderful, mostly because I was so pleasantly surprised. I’m glad it reminded you of home, thank you so much for reading. 🙂

  76. hey! love your story, and your blog. I am currently living in Prague for the summer – also took some time off the corporate world to travel and live out my dream. I would love your Russia suggestions, or maybe even a coffee meet-up if you’re going to be in Prague at all this summer!

  77. hey! I really like your blog. Where are you traveling right now? I am in Prague also taking time off from the corporate world and living here for the summer 🙂 Would love your suggestions for Russia.

    • Thanks Iris! I’m currently in Russia for six weeks total, volunteering in Yaroslavl (small city). I took a weekend trip to Moscow. After this, I’ll be in St. Petersburg for a little while. If you can make it to Russia I recommend hitting the two biggies (Moscow and Peter) and the Golden Ring cities if you’re able. It’s a bunch of ancient cities around Moscow, one of which is Yaroslavl (over 1000 years old!).

  78. lijiujiu

    Wow! I can’t get over the amazing colours in your photographs!
    Moscow is an amazing city! Thanks for sharing.

  79. The buildings look edible! Great photos! I love the colours on the Kazan cathedral. Thanks for the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Moscow!

  80. amyelsie

    These photos are so beautiful and colourful! I’m terribly jealous, I’ve always felt drawn to Russia, hopefully when I get there my experiences will be as good as yours!

    • Thanks Amy! I’m sure it will be great. I’d suggest learning a little Russian before if you have the opportunity to do so. Signs are only in Russian in Moscow, from what I saw!

  81. wow, I love your pictures, especially the shots of people in the city. you write that everyone is so personable, and your photos really reflect that. thank you!

  82. Beautiful Picture! I love the cherry blossom tree, it is the tree of love. If you are yet to meet your partner in life, have faith and expect him in your life. Soulmates are people who come into your life to help you get to the next level in your journey. These relationships aren’t necessarily the greatest since they bring lessons we need to learn. However kindred spirits are people who think and feel like we do. They bring joy and harmony into our lives. Moscow is a very interesting city!

  83. Russia has always fascinated me. It’s got so much history and culture. I love this post and the photos are just fantastic! Lucky you, I’ve been wanting to go to Russia since I was a kid. I even learned the Cyrillic alphabet!
    Congrats for being on Freshly pressed! 🙂

    • Sounds like we have a lot in common! Good for you for learning cyrillic, it will definitely serve you if you ever visit Moscow. There aren’t any English signs! Thanks so much for commenting.

      • Thanks for your reply! Weird (yet lovely) thing to learn Cyrillic – but of course I don’t understand Russian. But I guess reading signs and trying to figure them out would be useful and rather fun! 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you Anastasia! I love the theme of your blog… I am fascinated by Russian fairytales (among many other Russian things!) and the firebird is one of my favorite themes.

      • Thank you Meghan! I’d actually forgotten about my zharptitsa when I wrote you… Hahaha. For a second I thought “fairy tale? How does she know?” lol brain fail.

  84. wardenfree

    I also wanna find my soul mate in Moscow! And share with you !
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    awesome pics!

  85. These photos are amazing – makes me really want to go there. And I knew that the walls of the Kremlin were red, but I never realised just how vibrant a red it was!

  86. I love the idea of a “soul city.” I believe we may have more than one soul mate, and I definately have two soul cities so far: Barcelona and Istanbul. To echo the other readers, thanks for the colorful images of Moscow. They made me rethink what I had always considered a grey city, apart from the obvious Red Square 🙂

    • There are definitely certain places in the world where I feel I come alive, where I feel most myself. I have yet to visit either of your soul cities, but I know I will some day! Thanks so much for reading.

  87. James

    I would love to visit Russia one day it looks very beautiful. I have wanted to for a while. I am thinking about going to the meet and greet with the russian delegates here in town. I was invited to the that dinner when I was appointed to the neighborhood council.

  88. Pingback: Moscow | Russian Heritage Society

  89. I was surprised by the magnificent and vibrant colors of Moscow. The media portrays Russia as cold and dreary, but it’s completely opposite of that. Thank you for showing the true Moscow!

  90. tseefc

    Moscow is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos about the city. Maybe one day I’d go visit Russia too. 🙂 Tiffany

  91. Envious. I love Moscow so so much. I lived there in 92/93…when communism was dying and democracy was being born. Just finished writing a book about it. Sigh…it looks so colorful through your camera lens. The Russian soul makes a very good soul mate. Especially in Moscow. What are you doing there?

    • That must have been a fascinating time to have been there. And you wrote a book about it? I’d love to hear more!

      I’m actually living in Yaroslavl, a small city 4 hours outside Moscow by train, volunteering for 6 weeks. I’m working with children, elderly, disabled, etc., providing some companionship and organized activities. It’s been a great way to really get to know the heart of this country!

  92. This made me smile! I haven’t been to Moscow since I was a teeny little girl in the late 80s/early 90s, and I don’t remember all that much of it – but distinctly remember sipping hot tea from a tea cup saucer at the family friend’s house where my mom and I were staying. Your post made me want to go back even more!

    Oh, I noticed you were Freshly Pressed. Super exciting! 🙂 Congrats, lady!

  93. Bryan

    Beautiful Meghan. What amazing scenery and the picture quality is awesome. What camera are you using if you don’t mind responding?

  94. I think you really captured the vibrancy of the city. I have heard that Moscow is beautiful though I have heard just outside the poverty is high. Great post and congrats

    • Thanks a lot Sharon. And yes, you are right. All the opulence of Moscow is sharply contrasted with a much simpler life outside the city. I’m living in a much smaller city here in Russia (Yaroslavl) and volunteering here, so I’ve gotten to see both worlds.

  95. Nice colors… the usual photos from Moscow show it in tons of gray and beige, loved the colors you brought in to the frame. Paints it as a different city altogether.

  96. I did not realize that Moscow was so colorful! I’ve wanted to go to Russia for many years, but I have not had the chance yet. A few years ago I read “Sunlight at Midnight: St Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia” by W Bruce Lincoln, and I promised myself that I would visit that city soon.

    For some reason, I always thought of Moscow as a dangerous place. I don’t know how that idea came into my head. I’m glad I found this blog on Freshly Pressed. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your stories about friendly helpful Moscovites, and dispelling my initial negative perception.

    • I had so many of the same impressions, which is why I’m so glad to be able to share some more positive images of this great city. I also thought it would be dangerous, but as far as I could tell, it was incredibly safe. I felt totally fine by myself there. Clearly I wouldn’t recommend walking around dark alleys at 4 in the morning, but that goes for any city!

      Thanks for commenting!

  97. R.A. Stewart

    I enjoyed these pictures; some of them brought back memories and some of them reminded me of how much has changed since I was there. Moscow was a beautiful city even in 1972. Have you ridden the Metro yet? An amazing experience!

    I see St. Petersburg and Kyiv have also been recommended–those are two cities I was going to mention. And I’ll add Lviv (Lvov) in western Ukraine, an old university city in a spectacular setting near the Carpathian Mountains, with a distinct Polish flair. You might have to extend your visa. 🙂

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • I would love to see images and hear stories about what Moscow was like in the 70s! And yes, I rode the Metro quite a lot. As a Russian speaker it was easy for me to navigate but the non-speaker I traveled with was totally at a loss. It’s not an English-friendly city!

      I definitely have a trip to St. Petersburg planned for the end of June, and Ukraine is going to the top of my bucket list! I might be relocating to Europe in the future, in which case I’ll be able to visit all the incredible cities everyone has been recommending to me there.

      Thanks for reading!

      • kashshub55

        Hi Meghan, love your writing. I’ll be in STP from July 2 -6 and would love to connect. I visited Leningrad in the early 70s, and it was just changing its name when I last saw it again in the early 90s. Can’t wait to visit again!

        • Thanks Karen! How exciting that you’ll be in St. Petersburg, especially after having visited it in such a different era. Unfortunately I’m leaving just a few days before you get there! But hopefully I’ll be able to give you a little preview of what you’ll see, haha. Thanks for reading!

  98. I found the same thing when I went there! I’ve been twice. Every time I asked for directions or help, people went spectacularly out of their way to help me. We couldn’t find my friend’s hotel and like you, I had an address on a piece of paper, but when we got there, no hotel! And people on the street were so helpful.

    I love all your pictures. There is so much more to Moscow than the Red Square isn’t there 🙂 I saw many wonderful things (and I miss kvas and mors). I hope you get the chance to go back there some day soon and check out more of the place 🙂

    • I’m so glad to hear you had positive experiences there as well! It’s so sad that Russians get a bad rap for being unfriendly and cold. It’s simply not true. Thanks for reading!

  99. silentpulses

    Wow the pictures were amazing, to be honest I did not expect the city to be that colorful like in your pictures. Great post

  100. OK….I never really had a desire to visit Moscow, but you’ve changed my mind….at least a little! Love the shot of the Bolshoi in the boutique window. Montreux, Switzerland will always remain my travel destination soul mate….

    • I am so happy to hear that! Most people don’t get to see this side of Moscow, I guess. But yes, go, you won’t be disappointed!

      Ahh Montreux… I was in Geneva recently and intended on taking a trip there, but the weather was horrible and it was simply not worth it since I was there for such a short time. Maybe some day!

      Thanks for reading!

  101. I’m a moskvichka, too. So I was very glad indeed to read your post. Thanks so much for your warm words about my city and “my” literature. Actually I remember when the newer part of Alexandrovsky gardens was constructed, in the late 1990ies, with the underground mall and new sculptures, old moskovites viewed it as abomination to the original square. And on your photoes it all looks so grand!

    • Thank you Olga! I adore your literature and culture and … well I could go on and on forever about my love of everything Russia, so I’ll spare you. And yes, I would love to be able to go back in time to compare the Moscow of the 70s and 80s to Moscow today. Must be an interesting evolution. Thanks for reading!

  102. I wouldn’t have guess Moscow had many billionaires; I suppose I always just imagine they all flock to New York and London. Very interesting and loved the photos; congrats on pressing it fresh.

  103. Beautiful pictures about one of my favorite countries I’d love to visit! I’ve been a passionate Russophile since December ’92, studied Russian and Eastern European Studies at university, and have written Russian historical fiction, so I’ve long been steeped in a love for all things Russian. Maybe someday I’ll be able to visit Moskva too and have first-hand experience for the rest of my Russian novels.

    • Wow, we have a lot in common Carrie-Anne! I really hope you get to experience it in person some day. It was the culmination of so many years of fascination for me. Thanks for reading!

  104. Amazing photos of Moscow! I’ve never had the urge to go there before, except to see that magical St. Basil’s. It looks like it’s straight from Candyland! Now, I may have to rethink my previous stance on Russia.

  105. iamlenise

    These photos are phenomenal!! I especially love the one where Spider-man is taking a random stroll through Red Square..haha..Thanks for sharing 🙂

  106. I love your nice digital photos of Moscow. Did you know that the Kazan Cathedral current building is a reconstruction of the original church! What beautiful colors!

  107. Suellen Barbosa

    Moscow has my heart too! ❤ I love to live here! I'll miss it when i come back to Brazil!
    ps: wish i have your good look to take pictures! Mine aren't this good! Congrats!!

  108. I’ve always wanted to go to Moscow. Your post makes me want to go even more now. It will happen. I had wanted to go in winter, but after seeing your pictures maybe I`ll go in spring instead. 🙂

    • I hope you get to go, Zara! I love it here in the warm weather and sunshine, especially with the long days, but now I am itching to return in the winter to see everything capped with snow. Tough call!

  109. What beautiful pictures! I had no idea that Moscow is so colorful and lively! Great post, and I’m glad that you’re enjoying your travels! They’re certainly fun to read about! Keep up the good work!

  110. Interesting story…well living all my life here and i am not so excited about Moscow specially when i travelled to many other european cities and compare….Its sure nice to visit i guess, and sure its not only Red Square but many other places and museums and parks old streets, but anyay when i remember Prague, Rome, Florence, barcelona and many others and Saint Petersburg i dont think Moscow is so attractive. and sure too expensive. and for me its too big and too noisy. but anyway nice that u liked it))

    • Katerina, you are right, there are many other equally beautiful cities in Europe! I think the main reason I loved Moscow so much is because I recognized things I have studied and been fascinated by for so long on every corner. Also, it far exceeded my expectations, in terms of color, kindness, and beauty. I know Moscow is not objectively the most beautiful city in the world, but for some reason I feel very connected to it.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Haha it’s really funny, there in Revolutionary Square there are a lot of people in funny costumes ready to pose for photos for a tip. It looks so awkwardly out of place! Thanks for reading.

  111. What a wonderful account on Moscow! You know, I’ve always felt at home in Moscow, with all its craziness, crowds, and chaos. I love the way you called it your soul mate, it is so fitting for this amazing city. Great post, thank you!
    Yulia

    • Thanks Yulia! I felt at home there too. I know that objectively it’s not the most beautiful or peaceful city in the world, but I really connected with it for some reason. Thanks for reading!

  112. The way you described Moscow & captured beautifully in pictures, I must say Moscow has found a soul-mate! Enjoy your time there!
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  113. Have you seen the movie “Moscow does not believe in tears”? Worth seeing, along with several other “Station for two” (speaking of soul mates), “A Cruel Romance” or “irony of fate”. There are films where you can find pieces of your own soul and that can help you understand the spirit of Moscow and Russian.

    • “Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears” is one of my favorite movies! I have not seen the others, thank you for the recommendations. I’m always looking for ways to learn more about this amazing place and its rich history and culture.

  114. Amazing photos! It looks like such an incredible place – I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time, but haven’t had the chance yet! When my dad visited recently he thought it was beautiful as well, although he liked St. Petersburg even more…more places to add to the list! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your great photos and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    • Thanks Dounia! I think a lot of people prefer St. Petersburg. I am going there in a few weeks, so I guess I will decide then! But I think there is just something so unique and gritty and fascinating about Moscow, I don’t think it will be topped for me!

  115. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I think you are the first Freshly Pressed person that I was following pre-this achievement. Anyways.. rambling.. Very lovely photos, I love all the colours, makes me desperately want to do more travel! I almost spent this past Christmas in Russia, but unfortunately my visa was not going to be processed in time, so I pulled out. Still a goal though! Congratulations again 😀

    • Aw thanks Emily! I’m so sorry you had to cancel your trip to Russia. I really hope you get to go some time. I bet Christmas time would be amazing there. I’m itching to return in the winter!

  116. What a delightful article. You have done a superb job of showing the world what Moscow is really like. And just as you experienced, most of the world has thought of this city as a dark and even brooding place. Thanks for sharing so eagerly. And congratulatons of being ‘Freshly Pressed.’

      • Ahha ha, that’s a good one, catchy! 🙂
        To gift you a bunch of chocolates is what i feel after seeing the pictures, all of them are lively, lonely spider man, dancing young people, Kremlin gates, Red square ahh what else! – And the blog background resemblances the climax of Gladiator movie..!
        BR. Tx.