Moscow is a city that can be discovered again and again. Wandering the streets in the center, walking in green parks, tasting delicious local dishes — we just recently talked about the best Russian restaurants in Moscow and popular grocery stores.
If you have already been to the capital more than once, then you are most likely looking for something original, something that you will not find in other countries. Today we have prepared tips for visiting the most unusual places in Moscow, which will be of interest to both experienced travelers and those who come to Russia for the first time.
Bunker-42: The most secret excursion of the capital
This unique, in the past — strictly classified military facility of the times of the USSR is located in the very center, but at the same time it is safely hidden from prying eyes underground, so when you pass by, you will never guess what ordinary Moscow buildings are hiding from you and courtyards. Just imagine: the depth of its location is 50 meters, and this is almost equal to the height of a 16-storey residential building!
For tourists, the bunker was opened only in the 2000s, when the secrecy bar was officially removed, and before that it functioned normally as a secret anti-nuclear shelter for party members and military representatives in the event of an exacerbation of the Cold War with the United States. An interesting fact: “Bunker-42” on Taganka is the only such facility in the territory of the post-Soviet region, where ordinary citizens are allowed access — it is simply impossible to miss such a chance while in Moscow.
Being here, as if traveling in time and space. Going down the stairs lower, you completely forget that the usual life of a megalopolis is boiling outside and everything goes on as usual: only a narrow staircase, which, it seems, has no end, leads you further into the unknown. It is amazing that everything has been preserved in its almost original form since the events of more than half a century ago. In a different way, you begin to perceive all the legends and myths associated with this place and the bygone era of the Soviet Union — an amazing opportunity to touch the history of Russia and its often unknown pages to the general public.
Inside the bunker with a total area of 7000 square meters. m. You are waiting for the existing exhibits: you will see a model of the first Soviet life-size atomic bomb and learn all about the arms race between the countries. How were similar underground facilities built? What secrets and technologies were stored in this command post? You will visit Joseph Stalin’s office and will be able to press the same “red button”. In addition, there is a restaurant and a bar for those who wish: you must agree that you will definitely remember such an experiment.
Pavilion “Cosmos” at VDNH: towards the stars
The VDNH complex is the pearl of Moscow, one of the most popular places in the capital, and at the same time the largest open-air museum. After an extensive reconstruction, the VDNH space began to sparkle with bright colors in a new way. Elegant national pavilions in historical buildings where you can buy souvenirs and goods from the former republics of the USSR (we definitely recommend pomegranate wine from the Areni region in Armenia), majestic fountains with rich decoration, shining with gold in the sun, a spacious and green area for a wonderful holiday with friends and family. In winter, a large skating rink is poured here to skate with amazing views around. Go for a walk, watching the locals spend their free time, and at the same time visit the unique “Cosmos” pavilion — an international level cosmonautics museum in the homeland of Yuri Gagarin, the first person on the planet to conquer uncharted space.
The Soyuz space station, known throughout the world, bizarre moon rovers, space equipment and real lunar soil — all these extraterrestrial wonders await you when you visit. Even if you do not like to spend a lot of time in museums while traveling, we are sure that the Cosmos pavilion will be remembered to you as an adventure of your whole life. You will learn from the inside how you prepared for space missions, with your own eyes you will see acting exhibits that have been in space, listen to the heroic stories of the first cosmonauts. Are there UFOs? How do astronauts live in an orbital station? Unexpected answers raise new questions, but, probably, this is the charm of endless outer space.
Russian bath: with light steam!
Who has not heard about the famous Russian bath? Best of all — in winter, on wood, with natural bath brooms and a jump in the snow or an ice hole from hot clubs of steam. By the way, for many foreigners this traditional folk ritual still causes great surprise, and it seems impossible to fearlessly jump into the snow in the cold. However, if this type of entertainment is too extreme for you, go to the Sandunovsky baths, or, as they are called in abbreviated form, Sanduny — the oldest public bath complex in Russia.
It is worthwhile to come here at least for the interior: luxurious decoration of the 19th century, with stucco moldings and painted ceilings, marble benches and the entourage of the palace — it is not by chance that the Sandunov baths became the scenery for many films that were shot here. The quality of service is at a very good level, which will allow you to spend time combining pleasant leisure with health benefits. There are women’s and men’s rooms, you can rent an entire bath room or a separate booth and, if you wish, use additional options: a beauty salon, rental of bath accessories and a restaurant located nearby are at your disposal. Due to the high popularity of baths, especially on weekends, we advise you to reserve places in advance.
If you are considering alternative options, we definitely recommend the Khludov baths in the very center of Moscow, not far from the Bolshoi Theater — no less amazing, with a rich centuries-old heritage and high-quality service. In different years, the baths were called Chinese and Central, but the approach to multifunctionality and aesthetic beauty for guests remained unchanged. Everything seems to be assembled in the interior: gilding, colored stained-glass windows and sophisticated frescoes, bronze sculptures and openwork metal lamps, and the Moorish room and the historical marble staircase, built according to a unique design — are separate works of art. You feel like in a museum, and although for many years the Khludov baths survived the reconstruction, reconstruction and repair due to a fire in the 90s, the same aura of luxury has been preserved inside, and it seems that the royal past of this place is very close.