Here at hoppa, we’re gearing up for the World Cup which kicks off in less than a week. Our expectations are high and we’re hoping for a repeat of the glory days of 1966. Whether we’ll get it, on the other hand, remains to be seen!

As the entire world goes football mad for the next month, we’ll be looking at World Cup-related holiday destinations, starting the series with this year’s host, Russia. There are many places to visit in this vast country, but our first stop is the capital, Moscow.

For many, the idea of holidaying in Russia will seem like an alien concept given the bad press that so often surrounds the country, particularly in recent months. However, there is so much on offer in the biggest nation in the world that it’d be a shame to miss out!

So, whether you’re visiting for the World Cup or planning a trip for business or pleasure, let us guide you through some of the cultural highlights of visiting Moscow.

Red Square

There are so many iconic images associated with Moscow, fortunately, many of these are huddled together in Red Square which separates the Kremlin from the historic merchant quarter Kitaigorod.

Considered the central square of the city, Red Square holds a pivotal place in Russian history, once the marching ground of the military, it is now more populated with tourists and business-people. Standing in the square you’re surrounded by breath-taking architecture and some of the most recognised buildings in Russia – St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

At the southern end of Red Square, you’ll find St. Basil’s Cathedral - a building like no other. Its bright colours, patterns and unusual shapes have made the cathedral, officially called the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, the ultimate symbol of Russia. Built between 1555 and 1561, the cathedral is now mostly a secular building with a rich and intriguing history.

The Kremlin

Last on our list of stops in Red Square is the Kremlin, a name most of us will be familiar with but which literally means “fortress inside a city”. The Kremlin is a fortified complex comprising several buildings, including the Grand Kremlin Palace which was formally the tsar of Moscow’s residence. There is much to explore and see here, but one of the most interesting, if macabre is Lenin’s Mausoleum. The morbid attraction allows visitors to view the body of the former leader of the Soviet Union, which has been embalmed and preserved since his death in 1924. Seeing a corpse might not be high up on your holiday to-do list, but if it is, then this is one stop you should definitely make.

Gorky Park 

Source: Wikipedia 

Designed in the 1920s by avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov, Gorky Park is Moscow's main park and is located on the banks of Moskva River. The park is the perfect escape from the city and offers a great range of activities, such as cycling, rollerblading, volleyball, pétanque, table tennis and skateboarding. 

During the winter months, the park's ponds freeze over and make it one huge ice-skating rink; while throughout the year the park plays host to a variety of exhibitions and festivals. There are also an array of small kiosks offering up tasty snacks to fuel your exploration. 

If you're planning to visit this diverse city, book your Moscow airport transfer with hoppa and we'll make sure you arrive happy.

We'd also love to hear from you if you ever visited Moscow before. Do you have any recommendations for us? Let us know in the comments below! 

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