Essential Moscow

Tour Creator

Jeffrey has traveled to nearly 70 countries across all the habitable continents as a columnist and writer for publications including The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He…Read More Bio »



Remote Tour Included



Due to Russia’s recent horrendous, illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine, this tour is not available.

Red Square defines Moscow. It’s existed for 600 years, and on our tour, you will learn about everything from the gardens that front the Square, to one of the world’s most expensive shopping malls, to the efforts necessary to keep a 150-year-old body from rotting. And you’ll learn Red Square has nothing to do with a color.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Created by an exceptional journalist

Written by a former The Wall Street Journal columnist, who has traveled to nearly 70 countries across all the habitable continents

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Red Square, Kazan Cathedral, Lenin's Tomb and St Basil's Cathedral

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home


Essential Moscow

  1. Alexander Garden - The first public gardens in Russia, Alexander Garden date to early 1800s and are a celebration of Imperial Russia beating back an effort by Napoleon to claim Moscow for France.
  2. Tomb of the Unknown Solder - Russian venerate their history like not other people on the planet. And nothing captures the Russian heart like the losses the country suffered in World War 2, what Russians know as the Great Patriotic War. This tomb fronting the Kremlin Wall memorializes the untold numbers of unknown soldiers who died in the war, and in particular the Battle of Moscow, that handed Hitler his first defeat and showed the resolve of Soviets to repel Nazism.
  3. Iberian Gate and Iveron Chapel - Back in the mid-1500s, this area – then the cultural center of Moscow – was surrounded by a wall, and this gate was the primary way into and out of Red Square. Alas, the original gate was destroyed by Stalin and the communists in 1931, to make way for the military parades that came to define the Soviet Union. But modern Russia rebuilt Iberian Gate in 1996, complete with a small wooden chapel out front that is a replica of the original at a Greek monastery in Greece that is said to be responsible for a variety of miracles.
  4. Red Square - Despite the name, Red Square has nothing to do with a color, but, rather, a shift in the language. The square dates to the 1400s and was built as a central marketplace to rid this are of what was a shanty town.
  5. Kazan Cathedral - The relatively small, exceedingly colorful Kazan Cathedral was built in the early 1600s – as a much-less colorful wooden chapel to that a Russian prince commissioned to commemorate his efforts in reclaiming Moscow from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which at the point in history, was a powerful dual state in this part of Europe.
  6. GUM Department Store - The most iconic department store in all of Russia, though department store is a grand misnomer because this is a mall – a vast, beautiful mall built in the Art Nouveau style, and home to more than 100 upscale retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and the like.
  7. Lenin’s Tomb - One of the more macabre sights you’ll ever see as a tourist on any walking tour in any city: A mausoleum housing the exceedingly, though creepily well-preserved body of Vladimir Ulyanov, aka Lenin.
  8. Lobnoye Mesto - Known either as the “Place of Executions” or the “Place of Skulls,” this platform is first mentioned in Russian history in the mid-1500s and was where a teenaged Ivan the Terrible addressed the public.
  9. St. Basil’s Cathedral - This most beautiful, colorful, iconic church in all of Russia. Ivan the Terrible ordered the church built in the mid-1550s, and expanding it, adding a new chapel with every victory in Russia’s war with a small empire known as the Khanate of Kazan.

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