Make no assumptions about post-Soviet Moscow. You'll be dazzled by the fairytale domes of the Kremlin and Tverskaya Street's grandiose Soviet architecture. If culture's your thing, you'll spend a long time admiring the Pushkin Museum's world-class art. And you'll be back, seduced by the buzz of Moscow's anything-goes nightlife, and old Communist statues nestled between pre-revolutionary facades and glitzy New Russian shopping malls.
Buzzing main street Tverskaya runs north of the Kremlin to Mayakovskaya Ploshad (or square) and the bars and cafes of bohemian Patriarch's Ponds. Eastwards, the faded elegance of the Kuznetsky Most district hides a jumble of restaurants, boutiques and book shops. Beyond them, the old Kitai Gorod quarter houses 16th-century nobles' palaces and some of Moscow's oldest buildings. Heading west, the aristocratic mansions of Bolshaya Nikitskaya street give way to leafy winding lanes around Stary Arbat street. Further south, the Zamoskvorechye district (translating as the land behind the river') offers innumerable churches, stunning architecture and cobbled streets.
The Kremlin's high point is the 19th-century Armoury: arrive early to make sure you get a ticket. Visit Lenin's Mausoleum to see his embalmed body before indulging in some people-watching from the cafe at famous department store GUM on vast Red Square. Head past the Neoclassical Bolshoi Theatre to see the former KGB headquarters, the Lubyanka, and don't miss one of Stalin's skyscrapers nearby. Find Grand Masters and Impressionist paintings at the Pushkin Museum, and the famous dead buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery. Watch the sun go down over Moscow's spires on a boat trip from extensive Gorky Park.
Shop for souvenirs on Stary Arbat street before discovering the architectural gems of its many tree-lined lanes. Get pleasantly lost among the bars, boutiques and galleries around the upmarket Patriarch's Ponds area. Head south for classic Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery, and tour the statues to discredited Communists in the Art Muzeon Sculpture Park. Catch world-class ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre or at the Kremlin Palace for a fraction of the price. Round off your trip with old-world elegance and New Russian luxury combined at Caf Pushkin.
As Russia's largest airport, Domodedovo International Airport transports over 20 million passengers each year to over 200 destinations. From the airport, the high-speed Aeroexpress train takes travellers from the airport to Paveletsky railway and Metro station in central Moscow in under 50 minutes.