Top things to do in Moscow
Chief among those treasures is the Kremlin. This vast and ancient fortified citadel and seat of Russian government, just a five-minute taxi ride from the hotel, is truly unmissable and houses a wealth of priceless antiquities, artworks within the stunning architecture of its palaces, cathedrals, churches and museums.
A mere fifteen-minute walk from Ararat Park Hyatt brings guests to another of Moscow’s enduring and iconic landmarks: St. Basil's Cathedral. Built in the sixteenth century upon the orders of Ivan the Terrible, the cathedral’s nine multi-coloured ‘onion’ domes are instantly recogniseable. Now used as a museum rather than a place of worship, the cathedral’s interior is divided into nine separate chapels and features fine artworks and ornamentation. St. Basil’s Cathedral is situated at the southern end of Red Square, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moscow’s most famous public square is bounded by a number of notable and important buildings, including Lenin’s Mausoleum; the tomb in which the body of the communist revolutionary and politician Vladimir Ilyich Lenin is housed, and the historic GUM department store, now a fashionable shopping mall, which features elegant medieval-Russian architecture and a spectacular arched steel and glass roof.
Moscow possesses more than two hundred museums and galleries which explore almost every aspect of Russia’s history, culture and art, and several of these are easily accessible on foot or by public transport from Ararat Park Hyatt. The State museum of GULAG History, a ten-minute walk away, is both unique and unsettling and is dedicated to the history of the ‘corrective’ forced-labour camps established by Joseph Stalin to punish political dissidents. Less than ten minutes away by taxi or fifteen minutes on the Metro, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts is unmissable for its collection of ancient and modern fine arts both Russian and European, and features masterpieces from notable artists including Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, Rembrandt and Botticelli as well as extensive archaeological and numismatic collections.
When it’s time for a break from exploring the city’s many historic and cultural highlights, Moscow offers some outstanding parks and gardens in which to take a relaxing stroll and admire the scenery. Victory Park, a fifteen-minute taxi ride west of the hotel, is both vast and perfectly-maintained and is dedicated to Russian soldiers lost in World War II. The park features an excellent war museum and a permanent display of military vehicles as well as many monuments and sculptures, ornamental fountains and colourful flower beds. The city’s iconic Gorky Park is a ten-minute ride south of the hotel and not only offers a beautiful green space in which to relax but also a host of entertainments including a winter ice-skating rink, open-air cinema and a range of sports facilities.