Day 1 – Arrive Moscow
There are direct flights to/from Moscow, Russia from the European International Hub of Amsterdam. Upon arrival at Sheremetyevo International Airport, we transfer to the hotel using the private transfer services of our hotel. In the early evening, we walk few minutes to a nearby restaurant serving modern Russian cuisine (Café Esenin).
Note: In Moscow, we used private travel services offered by our hotel and Happy Moscow Tours. Professional and experienced tour guides and drivers exceeded our expectations. We traveled to Moscow in the May/June timeframe, softening a bit the typical influx of tourists. Visitors to Russia (from many countries) require visa. Upon request, St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya hotel provided us with the visa documents necessary to apply for a visa at the Russian consulate/embassy in our home country.
Day 2 – Moscow Metro Stations, Moscow at Night
An introduction to the Russian cuisine begins with a breakfast buffet at Italian Osteria A Tavola Restaurant, located inside our hotel. At noon, we start a three hours’ historic tour of Moscow Metro Stations, going from station to station. At the Komsomolskaya Station, we observe beautiful mosaics made from cobalt glass. A walk through the Kiyevskaya Station reveals symbolic mosaics depicting the unity of Russia and Ukraine. A visit to Novoslobodskaya Station shows marble columns and beautiful stained glass panels with brass borders. The vaulted ceiling, oval shaped mosaics and columns covered with stainless steel at Mayakovskaya Station create a stylish design. We notice a small image on the trains: the coat of arms of Moscow, depicting Saint George and the Dragon. In the afternoon, we return to our hotel and have a late lunch. In the evening, our three hours’ excursion by car guides us to Moscow’s symbols illuminated at night. We traverse the Moscow bridges, explore Soviet era statues at Sculpture Park, photograph the Stalinist skyscraper of the Moscow State University, observe city views at Sparrow Hills, walk in the Victory Park and admire the illuminated St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square.
Day 3 – Kremlin, Armoury Chamber
A visit to the Kremlin reveals the historic, religious and cultural heart of Russia. In the morning, we enter the Kremlin complex and proceed to the Armoury Chamber that houses an impressive collection of Russian weaponry, artwork, ceremonial carriages, tapestry, coronation crowns and attire and famous jeweled Fabergé eggs. A visit to the Diamond Fund museum reveals a beautiful collection of jewels. A walk to Kremlin’s Cathedral Square illustrates important Russian Orthodox symbols, built in the historic square. The Cathedral of Annunciation showcases a white limestone façade, nine golden domes, ceiling decorated with murals and six-tiered Iconostasis. The nearby Cathedral of Archangel leaves us in awe with the Renaissance style architecture with Russian style domes and burial monuments of Russia’s tsars. Inside the Cathedral of Assumption, we admire Iconostasis dating back to 1813 and a stunning Harvest Chandelier. A walk to Ivan the Great Bell Tower displays a 16th century bell tower, Assumption belfry and Filaret Tower. Nearby the tower, the Tsar’s Bell is displayed on the ground and is the largest bell in the world. A stroll through the Cathedral Square presents the Church of the Deposition of the Robe with four-tiered Iconostasis dating back to 1627 and the 14th century Church of Twelve Apostles that is part of the Patriarch Palace. We walk by the State Kremlin Palace, a modern building where the Communist Party Congresses took place. After our guided tour ends, we explore by ourselves the pathways along the Tsar Cannon, and enjoy the historic architecture and parks. Outside the Kremlin Walls, we follow the walkways in the Alexander Garden and observe the guard changing ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Day 4 – Novodevichy Convent, Bolshoi Theatre
An excursion to the outskirts of Moscow leads us to the Novodevichy Convent constructed in 1524. After a 30 minutes’ drive, we arrive to the ancient convent and fortress, designed in the Naryshkin Baroque style. We walk across the Novodevichy Ponds Park and admire the views of high stone walls and towers enclosing the convent. We enter the convent complex and visit Our Lady of Smolensk Cathedral, displaying a specious interior with masterly mosaics. The Transfiguration Gate Church shows a stylish red and white façade and distinct domes. The nearby Bell Tower is 72 meters in height and has beautifully decorated six tiers. Adjacent to the convent, the Novodevichy Cemetery is a resting place for Russia’s important figures, including tsars’ family members, famous writers, politicians and military leaders. In the afternoon we return to our hotel and enjoy a late lunch at a nearby restaurant. In the evening, we walk 10 minutes to the Bolshoi Theatre to see a Ballet performed on the Historic Stage and admire the theatre’s stunning architecture.
Day 5 – Kolomenskoe Estate, Eliseevsky Shop
After breakfast, we drive half an hour to the Kolomenskoe Estate, a summer country residence of Russian Tsars and Grand Dukes. This open-air architectural museum and reserve displays historic churches, a rebuilt Wooden Palace, vast gardens and Russian wooden monuments. After the entryway, we follow the pathway to the 17 century Church of Our Lady of Kazan, a spectacular white stone church with blue onion-shaped domes embellished with gold stars. A walk to the nearby Church of the Ascension reveals a white stone church with 63 meters high tented roof overlooking distant Moskva River views. We stroll through the forested park to the wooden House of Peter I, brought to the Kolomenskoe Estate in 1934. The rebuilt wooden palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich stands across the expansive grounds, while 17 century apple orchards beautify the walkways. We return in the afternoon to our hotel. A 20 minutes’ walk from our hotel guides us to Eliseevsky Shop, a unique grocery store inside a lavish mansion. We continue to the nearby Café Pushkin that serves an excellent Russian cuisine.
Day 6 – Red Square, State Tretyakov Gallery
Today, we journey across Russia’s history by visiting the Red Square, also known as the Beautiful Square. Along the pedestrian square, the 16th century St. Basil’s Cathedral is a masterpiece of Russian architecture with a tent-roofed bell tower, colorful onion dome chapels and stunning interior defined by Iconostases, frescoes and paintings. In front of the cathedral, the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky celebrates the expulsion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Moscow. A walk to the Kremlin Wall Necropolis reveals the burial place for Soviet Union’s famous leaders. We continue to Lenin’s Mausoleum where embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin resides. The State Historical Museum, an impressive structure to the north of Red Square, exhibits artifacts dedicated to Russia’s history and culture. A stroll through the Resurrection Gate leads us to Menezhnaya Square where the Statue of Marshal Zhukov stands. The nearby Kazan Cathedral was rebuilt after its destruction during the Stalinist era. We walk to the State Department Store GUM, a 19th century building that serves today as a luxurious mall. In the afternoon, we visit the State Tretyakov Gallery, a fine art museum taking us on a cultural journey with an extensive collection of Russian art.
Day 7 – Tsaritsyno (Царицыно), Arbatskaya Lavitsa
A leisure excursion to Tsaritsyno reveals a 17th century palace and park that was founded by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. We drive half an hour to the south of Moscow to visit Tsaritsyno, an expansive park with fountains, bridges, pavilions and the Grand Palace. Inside the Grand Palace and the Atrium Bread House, the lavish exhibition halls host classical music concerts. The park’s walkways bring us to the Figured Bridge (Figurnyi Most), a red-brick bridge resembling a fortress. Inside the Russian Orthodox Temple “Source of Life”, worshipers and visitors gather for a religious ceremony. By the picturesque Large Bridge, we observe a reenactment of the Franco-Russian battle taking place. We stop at the food stalls inside the park to sample traditional Russian dishes. In the afternoon, we venture to Arbatskaya Lavitsa, a cobblestoned street with varied souvenir shops.
Day 8 – Moscow Departure
Our Moscow Itinerary may be followed individually or combined with our Saint Petersburg Itinerary. Option 1: Transfer to Sheremetyevo International Airport to take a return flight home. Option 2: Extend the journey for one week to discover Saint Petersburg. In the morning, we depart to Leningradsky Railway Station to take the SAPSAN Bullet Train to Saint Petersburg.
Moscow – Russia is a country with an incredible architecture, intriguing culture and turbulent history. We journey through the times of the absolute rule of Ivan the Terrible, prosperous reign of Peter the Great, cultural achievements of Catherine the Great, Russian Revolutions and upheavals of the Soviet Union. Moscow, the capital city of Russia, resembles an artist’s palette filled with colorful medieval architecture, glorious onion dome churches, exquisite 18th and 19th century mansions, Stalinist era skyscrapers and lavish metro stations. Situated atop a hill, the Moscow State University is the most recognizable skyscraper in Russia. Established in 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov, it is the most prestigious and the oldest university in Russia. A visit to the Eliseevsky Shop takes us to a special supermarket situated in a historic Neo-Baroque mansion and selling superb quality products, including Russian caviar. Along the Moskva River, Sculpture Park, also known as the Muzeon Park of Arts, is an open air museum displaying modern sculptures and Soviet era statues, including statues of Stalin, Lenin and Soviet workers. An extensive collection of world art may be viewed at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which houses over 600,000 art pieces. A stroll along the Arbatskaya Lavitsa offers a chance to buy traditional Russian souvenirs, such as samovar, Russian dolls, wooden boxes and colorful toys. A drive to Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory) presents panoramic views of the city. Yet, the heart of Russia is the Red Square and the Kremlin, a fortified medieval city of Moscow.
Red Square – Over the centuries, Russia’s turbulent history was played out on the Red Square. Also known as the Beautiful Square, it began as dwellings outside the medieval city, was used for public executions ordered by Ivan the Terrible, invaded by Napoleon’s army and serves today as a historic landmark, popular with Muscovites and tourists. Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Square is a city square in the heart of Moscow with expansive pedestrian space and historic architecture along the square’s parameter. The Red Square is eastside of the Kremlin ramparts and westside of the Kitay-Gorod district. The magnificent 16th century St. Basil’s Cathedral decorates the Red Square. It was built by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the victory over the independent state of Kazan Khanate. The St. Basil’s Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a masterpiece of Russian architecture with the tent-roofed bell tower and multi-colored onion dome chapels with stunning Iconostases, frescoes and paintings. In front of the cathedral, the Monument to Minin and Pozharsky is dedicated to the leaders of the Russian volunteer army who expelled the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Moscow. Along the Kremlin Wall, Lenin’s Mausoleum houses the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution and head of state of the Soviet Union. Behind the mausoleum, the Kremlin Wall Necropolis is a burial place for the Soviet Union’s famous leaders and heroes of the Russian Revolution. On the northern part of the Red Square stands an impressive structure of the State Historical Museum that houses artifacts dedicated to Russia’s history and culture. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, many religious sites were destroyed, including the Resurrection Gate situated next to the museum. Presently, the rebuilt Resurrection Gate is an entryway to the Red Square and Menezhnaya Square, an expansive pedestrian area exhibiting the Statue of Marshal Zhukov who stopped the siege of Leningrad in 1944. In 1993, the historic Kazan Cathedral was rebuilt based on the 17th century original structure that was destroyed during the Stalin era. On the eastern side of the Red Square, the State Department Store GUM displays a 19th century architecture and serves today as an upscale mall.
Kremlin – In the 14th century, the Kremlin was a fortified city and heart of the unified Russia. The Kremlin served as a residence of the Russian Tsars, became the base for the Soviet Union’s leaders and is today the official residence of the President of Russia. Along the banks of Moskva River, the Kremlin occupies 27 hectares of land and consists of the Kremlin Walls and Towers, palaces and cathedrals. Facing the Red Square, Spasskaya Tower (Saviour Tower), historically used as an official entryway to Kremlin, has the beautiful Kremlin Clock that chimes to welcome the New Year. The President’s Residence and administrative buildings, such as the Kremlin Senate and the Kremlin Arsenal, are closed to the public. The Kremlin Arsenal was founded by Peter the Great, destroyed during the Napoleonic wars, rebuilt in in 1828 and presently houses the Kremlin Regiment that guards the Kremlin and the president. The Grand Kremlin Palace, designed by Konstantin Thon and built in 1849, is an exquisite ancient residence of Russian Tsars. The Grand Kremlin Palace complex contains imperial private chambers and churches, five lavish ceremonial halls, the Palace of Facets, the Golden Chamber of Tsarina and the Teremnoy Palace, considered the most beautiful. Today, it serves as an official residence of the president of the Russian Federation and hosts presidential inaugurations and state visits. There might be exclusive tour options to visit the Grand Kremlin Palace. The Armoury Chamber, built in 1851 by order of the Tsar Nicholas II, is a museum that has an impressive collection of imperial treasures, including weaponry, the royal crown collection, ceremonial saddlery and carriages, coronation dresses, Russian style costumes, and the famous Fabergé eggs, which are jeweled eggs given to the Russian Tsar Nicholas II on Easter. The Diamond Fund museum exhibits impressive collection of jewels. The State Kremlin Palace, a modern structure with a large auditorium built in 1961, was intended for the Communist Party Congresses. Today, it serves as a concert hall for music, theater and ballet performances. The Tsar Cannon, decorated with inscriptions and displayed with cannon balls, is a symbolic part of the royal artillery. Outside the Kremlin Walls, the Alexander Garden serves as a public park with pretty walkways, views of Kremlin and monuments. Along the Kremlin Walls, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, dedicated to the soldiers killed in the Second World War, has a changing guard ceremony every hour.
Kremlin’s Cathedral Square is a historic square inside Kremlin, known for its three important Russian Orthodox Churches. The Cathedral of Annunciation is a Russian Orthodox Church built by Russian craftsmen from Pskov. The cathedral connects directly to Grand Kremlin Palace and historically served as the personal chapel of Muscovite tsars. This magnificent structure has a white limestone façade, nine golden domes, murals decorating the ceiling and spectacular six-tiered Iconostasis painted by various artists between the 14th and 19th centuries. The Cathedral of Archangel, a Russian Orthodox Church dedicated to Archangel Michael, was designed by an Italian architect Alevisio Novi. The Cathedral is built in the Renaissance style, accentuated with traditional Russian domes and interior décor embellished with massive pillars and remarkable frescoes. The cathedral served as a necropolis for Russia’s tsars and princes until Peter the Great moved Russia’s capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Presently a museum, it has a special burial chamber for Ivan the Terrible. The Cathedral of Assumption, designed in 1470 by an Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti, was used for burials and tsars’ coronations, including the coronation of Ivan the Terrible. Inside the cathedral, there are sublime Iconostasis dating back to 1813, a stunning Harvest Chandelier and central pillars with pictures of martyrs. During the Napoleonic wars, many original artifacts were either destroyed or looted, and the cathedral was used as stable for the horses of Napoleon’s cavalry. The 16th century Ivan the Great Bell Tower has three parts: an 81 meters tower, a four-story Assumption belfry and the Filaret Tower. The belfry has 21 bells, including the largest Great Assumption bell. Inside the tower, the spiral staircase leads to the observation place with wonderful views. Nearby the tower, the Tsar’s Bell stands on the ground and is the largest bell in the world. The Church of the Deposition of the Robe displays traditional Russian architecture, four-tiered Iconostasis dating to 1627 and artistic murals. The 14th century Church of Twelve Apostles, part of the Patriarch Palace, offers a passage to the Cathedral Square underneath large arches.
Bolshoi Theatre – Founded in 1776 by Catherine the Great, the Bolshoi Theatre is the oldest and renowned ballet and opera company in the world. The theatre was twice destroyed, restored in 1856 and most recently reopened in 2011 after major renovation. The theater is a cultural symbol in Russia that each year presents extraordinary ballet and opera performances. The theatre is designed with a neoclassical façade, eight massive columns and a statue of Apollo in chariot with horses. Inside the theatre, an extravagant auditorium shows tiers of boxes decorated with red velvet draperies and gold ornaments. A ceiling is decorated with beautiful frescoes and a lavish crystal chandelier. The stunning Tsar’s Box, a symbol of Russia’s imperial heritage, offers the best views of the auditorium and the stage. The New Stage was built in 2002 and held performances while the Historic Stage of Bolshoi Theatre was renovated. Seeing a performance at the historic Bolshoi Theatre offers an unforgettable experience.
Novodevichy Convent – At the banks of the Moskva River, the Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 to commemorate the recapture of Smolensk, a historic Russian city battled over during the Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars. This ancient convent and fortress, constructed in the Naryshkin Baroque style, known as Moscow Baroque, was built on the outskirts of the city as part of Moscow’s defense system. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Novodevichy Convent is enclosed by high stone walls, 12 towers and impressive gates. A stroll along the Novodevichy Ponds Park offers panoramic views of the convent. Within the convent walls, there are Orthodox shrines and churches, and a bell tower. Our Lady of Smolensk Cathedral stands out with its remarkable five domes, white exterior façade and specious interior displaying masterly mosaics. The beautiful Transfiguration Gate Church show a stylish red and white façade and distinct domes. An imposing Bell Tower, being renovated during our visit, rises above the convent structure at 72 meters in height and has beautifully decorated six tiers. Adjacent to the convent, the Novodevichy Cemetery has graves of Russia’s tsars’ family members, famous writers, politicians and military leaders. The Novodevichy Convent has a unique history of being used as a spiritual retreat, retirement destination for noble women and forced exile imposed on women from the tsars’ court.
Kolomenskoe Estate – The expansive Kolomenskoe Estate is an ancient summer country residence of the Russian Tsars and Grand Dukes. Situated along the Moskva River in the south of Moscow, the Kolomenskoe Estate is an open-air architectural museum and reserve, displaying historic churches, a rebuilt Wooden Palace, vast gardens and Russian wooden monuments brought from Russia’s other regions for preservation. The Church of the Ascension was built in 1532 to celebrate the birth of Grand Prince Vasily Ivanovich’s son, the future Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The church displays a white stone exterior and a 63 meters high tented roof. The Church of Our Lady of Kazan was constructed in the 17th century during the reign of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich of the Romanov Dynasty. A spectacular white stone church with blue onion-shaped domes embellished with gold stars, served as the family chapel for the Romanov family. The church’s interior displays a central altar dedicated to an important Russian shrine, the Lady of Kazan. The House of Peter I, brought to the Kolomenskoe Estate in 1934, is a wooden cabin where the Tsar Peter I lived for a few months during the fortification of the Novodvinsky Fort near the St. Mark Island. The 17th century wooden palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was demolished by the order of Catherine the Great and rebuilt based on historical plans in the 1990s. The vast gardens and apple orchards at the Kolomenskoe Estate date back to the 17th century and beautify the walking pathways with apple flowers in the spring and colorful foliage in the fall.
State Tretyakov Gallery – Pavel Tretyakov, an art collector, founded the gallery to display the great artwork created by Russian artists. The State Tretyakov Gallery is a fine art museum with a large Russian art collection that includes paintings, drawings, medieval Russian icons and sculptures. A Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov designed the gallery’s beautiful façade in the Neo-Russian style that shows the classic symbols of the Russian culture. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, the nationalization of private art increased the art collection at the museum. Today, the State Tretyakov Gallery houses over 160,000 collection of Russian art, including famous masterpieces, such as: “Bogatyrs” by Victor Vasnetsov, “Boyarynya Morozova” by Vasily Surikov, “Princess Tarakanova” by Konstantin Flavitsky and “Trinity” by Andrei Rublev. We spend many hours at the museum, admiring the symbolism and mastery of the Russian fine art.
Tsaritsyno (Царицыно) – In 1776, Catherine the Great ordered the construction of her country residence on vast forested land. Situated in the south of Moscow, the Tsaritsyno complex consists of an opulent Grand Palace, beautiful bridges, fountains and pavilions. The Tsaritsyno was designed by the architect Vasily Bazhenov, but the original Grand Palace was destroyed as the empress disliked it and ordered to have it rebuilt. After her death, the palace was left unfinished for a few centuries. It was restored and opened as museum in 2007. Inside the Grand Palace and the Atrium Bread House, the lavish exhibition halls host various exhibitions and classical music concerts. A walk in the park reveals the Figured Bridge (Figurniy Most), a red-brick bridge resembling a fortress. Inside the Russian Orthodox Temple “Source of Life” worshipers and visitors gather for a religious ceremony. Along the picturesque Large Bridge, we watch a reenactment of Franco-Russian battle taking place in the forested valley. The Tsaritsyno has picturesque nature trails to relax away from the busy city life.
Moscow Metro – During the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, designs to build metro were conceived. At that time, Russia experienced political and social unrests, which prevented any progress on the metro project. In the 1930s, the leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin spearheaded the construction of the metro system. In 1935, the first line of the Moscow Metro was opened with initially 11 kilometers of route and grew to over 300 kilometers of transit route. A journey in the Moscow Metro reveals artistic symbols of Russia’s turbulent history and vibrant culture. Talented Russian artists decorated the Moscow Metro with expressive mosaics, artwork on stained glass and symbolic statues. The metro architecture impresses with spacious halls, high ceilings, decorative chandeliers and marble columns decorated with majolica tiles. The Moscow Metro is a cultural museum where painted mosaics narrate Russia’s majesty and life of the Russian people. The bronze statues at Ploshad Revolyutsii Station depict the people of the Soviet Union. The statue of a soldier with a dog is believed to bring luck when the dog’s nose is rubbed. The Moscow Metro was built deep underground and served as a bomb shelter during the Second World War. Today, metro riders enjoy a surreal setting with extraordinary architecture and live classical music played by talented artists at few selected stations. The Moscow Metro is truly a unique metro that needs to be visited and we selected few stations that we favor.
Komsomolskaya (Комсомольская) Metro Station, located under the Komsomolskaya Square, was opened in 1952 and is dedicated to Russia’s war victory. The Russian painter Pavel Korin designed the metro’s beautiful mosaics that are made from cobalt glass, known as smalt. One of the mosaics shows Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Revolution and founder of the Russian Communist Party. The metro station’s impressive architecture is defined by large columns covered with marble tiles and a yellow colored ceiling embellished with Baroque style designs.
Kiyevskaya (Киевская) Metro Station opened in 1953 and was constructed under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union with Ukrainian roots. The colorful mosaics depict the Ukrainian life and emphasize the unity of Russia and Ukraine. The spacious halls are decorated with granite, white marble and stylish chandeliers.
Novoslobodskaya (Новослободская) Metro Station, opened in 1952, shows marble columns and beautiful stained glass panels with brass borders. A Russian artist Pavel Korin created the artwork of the 32 stained glass panels with six panels depicting different professions, such as artist, musician, engineer, geographer, agronomist and architect.
Mayakovskaya (Маяковская) Metro Station opened in 1938 and is dedicated to the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. The metro station have 34 oval ceiling mosaics, designed by the Russian painter Aleksandr Deyneka. The vaulted ceilings, oval shaped mosaics and columns covered with stainless steel, create a stylish and unique metro design.
Vinegret Classic – The Russian cuisine is a mixture of country cooking, multi-ethnic cuisine and western influenced dishes. In 18th century, the Russian cuisine was transformed by the culinary contributions of the French chefs employed by the Russian aristocracy. Vinaigrette, a classic French salad dressing prepared with oil and vinegar, inspired the name of the Russian Vinegret. In Russia, Vinegret Classic is a traditional salad made from cooked diced vegetables, such as beets, carrots, potatoes, peas, onions and pickles. The vegetables are lightly flavored with oil and vinegar, providing wonderfully tangy flavors.
Fish Carpaccio – In Russia’s Far East, sundry ocean ecosystem and pristine rivers serve as a natural habitat for wild salmon. The protected fisheries produce excellent quality of salmon, scallops and other fish, which appear on the menus of the finest restaurants in Russia. The Scallops and Trout Carpaccio, served at Café Pushkin, consists of a raw fish and Scallops thinly sliced and served with olive oil and herbs. It is amazingly fresh, light and flavorful. Café Pushkin, situated in an aristocratic mansion on the Tverskoy Boulevard in Moscow, serves an excellent Russian cuisine in beautiful surroundings.
Jellied Meat (Kholodets) – Across Europe, the traditional appetizer of Jellied Meat is prepared following varied regional recipes. In Russia, the Jellied Meat, known as Kholodets, is prepared from pork hocks, carrots and spices, such as bay leaf, allspice corns and black pepper. After several hours of cooking, the meat is separated from the bones, cut into pieces, covered with a consommé and refrigerated overnight. The Jellied Meat is served cold with bread on the side. A lighter version of this appetizer is made of leaner meat or fish. The Jellied Meat might be an acquired taste for non-Europeans but we recommend a visit to Café Pushkin that serves a delicious version of this dish.
Siberian Pelmeni – In different parts of the world, such as China, Europe and Middle East, various recipes of dumplings are prepared. The Siberian Pelmeni were influenced by Asia, introduced in the Ural Mountains and Siberia, and became popular throughout Russia and the previous Soviet Union Republics. The Siberian Pelmeni are small dumplings filled with meat and served in a flavorful soup. This hearty and savory meal is perfect for cold winter days.
St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya – A seeker of luxury should stay at the St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya, an exceptional hotel situated in the heart of Moscow. Boasting an excellent location on the historic Nikolskaya Street, the hotel is within short walking distance to the Red Square, Kremlin and Bolshoi Theatre. The recommended elegant suites on a higher floor (our suite #627) are spacious, have a comfortable sitting area and offer rooftop views of Moscow. In the morning, the hotel’s Italian Osteria A Tavola Restaurant welcomes guests with an elaborate breakfast buffet, serving international dishes and classic Russian specialties, including smoked fish, marinated herring and red caviar with bliny. A tastefully designed indoor swimming pool and spa create an inviting and peaceful space. The hotel offers efficient transfer services to the airport and entry visa assistance. In the evening, the Orlov Lobby Bar and Lounge, characterized by its beautiful stained glass dome and decorative chandeliers, becomes a lively gathering place. The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya is an elegant landmark that feels like a luxurious home.