Moscow isn’t a place that many Irish people have visited, and in some ways you can see why.
Getting a visa is complicated, there’s a perception that it’s intimidating or dangerous, and Russian people don’t generally speak much English.
BUT once you get past all that, it’s an incredibly beautiful and fascinating city, and offers an experience like no other.
In winter, the city is covered in a blanket of snow and temperatures generally stay firmly below zero (the average for February is -4 to -10 degrees Celcius).
You might think it’s a stereotype but the women actually do wear real fur coats and giant hats. You’ll need to come prepared for the weather too, though you might want to go faux instead.
Make sure you have a thermal layer, insulated boots with a good grip, a hat, gloves and a a coat that reaches to your thighs.
Once you’re adequately dressed you can go exploring – here are five must-see attractions to get you started.
1) Moscow Metro
The Moscow Metro is the easiest and cheapest way to get around the city. Most of the stations are also strikingly beautiful, full of stained glass, marble and artworks.
We recommend taking a tour to make sure you see the highlights.
2) St. Basil’s Cathedral
A trip to Moscow wouldn’t be complete without visiting Red Square, particularly St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Commissioned by Ivan the Terrible, the colourful church is the ultimate symbol of Russia.
3) Bolshoi Theatre
Treat yourself to a night at the famous Bolshoi Theatre.
It’s expensive and sells out quickly, but the atmosphere is electric – and there’s nothing like seeing a real Russian ballet.
4. The Kremlin
The centre of Russian politics, The Kremlin complex is made up of five church-museums, the Patriarch’s Palace, the Armoury, the Diamond Fund Exhibition and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.
The Armoury is the highlight and is packed with dazzling jewellery, armour, weapons and outfits worn by Russian royalty.
5. Lenin’s Mausoleum
Although Lenin requested to be buried with his mother in St. Petersburg, his embalmed body still lies at Red Square.
It’s a bit morbid and weird but most people can’t resist seeing the famous revolutionary in the flesh.