Destination: Moscow

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2007, 12:00am

Must See: The Kremlin

A kremlin is a medieval fortress. Many cities in Russia are built around forts. The most famous is the Moscow Kremlin that was built in 1156.

The Kremlin overlooks Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral, famous for its colourful domes.

The Kremlin contains four palaces, four cathedrals, and was once the home of Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, Lenin and Stalin.

Today it is the official residence of the president of Russia and attracts millions of tourists each year who visit its ancient buildings.

Art and Culture

The Bolshoi Theatre Company has been performing opera, ballet and plays since 1776.

Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake premiered in Moscow in 1877, and the theatre has since been a centre for art and culture. Famous performers include Rudolf Nureyev and Anna Pavlovna.

If ballet isn't your thing, check out Gorky Park's fun fair or visit Tverskaya Street where you'll find boutiques, arts, crafts and cool bistros with live music.

Must Eat: Borscht

Borscht is a vegetable soup, traditionally made with beetroot, which gives it a rich red colour.

The winter edition is thick, rich with vegetables and meat, and is served hot - sometimes with a splash of cream in the centre.

The summer version is much lighter, consisting of broth, beets and lemon. It is often served cold.

Russians love experimenting with new foods, so you might be offered a popular new version where the soup is coloured orange with tomato paste or green with sorrel leaves.

Speak Russian

Russians use the Cyrillic alphabet based on Greek and Hebrew letters, so reading signs can be a challenge.

HI! WHAT'S UP? (kak DELA?)

MY NAME IS ... (MENYA zahvoot)

NICE TO MEET YOU (oh-shun pree-YAT-no)

BYE! (poKA)

Fab Fact

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, prices in Moscow rose dramatically. Moscow has topped the list of the world's most expensive cities for the last two years.

Quick Notes

POPULATION 8.3 million


TEMPERATURE Mild summers and freezing winters; temperatures reach 20?C in August, but drop well below freezing in winter

CURRENCY The Russian rouble - 10 roubles are worth roughly HK$3

Want to see more of Moscow but can't afford the fare? Visit and check out popular attractions without leaving your chair.


Answer the following questions. To test your memory, try answering without referring to the text. If you can't remember the details, read the piece again.

1. Moscow lies in the:

A. Western part of Russia

B. Centre of Russia

C. West of Russia

2. Russian money is called:

A. Roubles

B. Francs

C. Dollars

3. The Kremlin was originally:

A. An art gallery

B. A fortress

C. A palace

4. Traditional borscht is:

A. A red soup with tomatoes

B. A red soup with beets

C. A green soup with onions

5. What is the Bolshoi famous for?

A. Boutiques

B. A fun fair

C. Ballet

6. What is Moscow's main square called?

A. Red Square

B. St Basil's Square

C. St George's Square


1B, 2A, 3B, 4B, 5C, 6A