Moscow has enough museums to keep practically anybody interested so if endless paintings aren’t your thing—fear not! Here is a taste of two of the greatest museums to whet your appetite:
One of Moscow’s most spectacular galleries is the State Tretyakov Gallery, a short walk from the Red Square. It takes its name from the Tretyakov brothers whose collection forms the basis of the current museum with Pavel Tretyakov supporting the Peredvizhniki in the 19th Century. The Peredvizhniki (The Wanderers) sought to take art out to the people and rejected the principle of ‘art for art’s sake.’ Many of their fine paintings of Russian country scenes can still be seen in the gallery. A bastion of Russian art, the museum also holds the best collection of icons (religious paintings, often on wood) in the world. It’s best to read up a little on icons and on the Russian Orthodox Church before you go to be able to fully understand the beauty and importance of these pieces.
An obvious stop for any tourist in Moscow is the Red Square—keep your bag close to you here and be aware that you can buy the fur hats and souvenirs much more cheaply in other places. Apart from Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral, the museums and churches within the Kremlin walls also demand a visit. The Kremlin is a bit of a money-spinning opportunity so you have to pay separately to enter each part of it; all of this does add up so if you want to get the most from your money it’s best just to pick a few choice pieces. The Cathedral Square and the Diamond Fund are particularly good choices as there is frequently an exhibition on in the Cathedral Square and entry here allows you also to wander around the Kremlin Gardens as well as the magnificent churches. The Diamond Fund is separate to the main Armoury but gives a taste of the grandeur of Imperial Russia without having to pay Imperial prices.