Planning To Visit Russia? Now You Have More Reasons To

Moscow, the vibrant capital of Russia, offers a blend of history, culture, and modernity. Now the city's tourism committee is planning an extensive campaign to lure more Indian and foreign travellers
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Red Square
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Red SquareNikolai Sorokin/Deposit photos

Russia is actively enticing Indian travellers to experience the grandeur of Moscow. The Moscow City Tourism Committee is orchestrating an extensive campaign to position Moscow not only as a cultural capital but also as a burgeoning business hub. This initiative involves collaborating with trade partners, welcoming tourists and vacationers, and strengthening ties with allied nations' tourism sectors.

Infrastructure Upgrade

Moscow is enhancing its infrastructure to cater to visitors from around the globe. Signages are now available in English and Chinese, ensuring easy navigation. All public transport announcements are repeated in English for the convenience of international guests. Hotels, too, are adapting to meet the diverse needs of guests from various countries, ensuring a comfortable and pleasant stay.

Aiming for Pre-Pandemic Glory

Bulat Nurmukhanov, Head of the International Cooperation Division of Moscow City Tourism Committee, expressed their commitment to restore the influx of Indian tourists to Moscow, akin to the pre-pandemic era. Before the global disruption, Moscow enjoyed steady year-on-year growth of 12-15 per cent in Indian tourist arrivals. In the first half of the year, Moscow welcomed approximately 20,000 Indian visitors, reflecting a 56 per cent increase compared to the same period in the previous year. In 2022, Moscow witnessed a 6.3 per cent surge in foreign tourists compared to 2021, with a total of 1.7 million visitors. The city is leaving no stone unturned to cement its status as a must-visit destination by continually enhancing infrastructure for international travellers.

Culinary Delights and Diverse Dining

Tourists arriving in Moscow can indulge in a delightful array of dining experiences. They can savour traditional Russian cuisine or embark on a culinary journey featuring authentic Indian delicacies and continental dishes prepared to the highest standards. 

Aerial view of Moscow
Aerial view of MoscowDeposit photos

Visa Requirements For Indians

Indian citizens must obtain a visa from the Russian Embassy/Consulates in India or their country of permanent residence or possess a FAN ID to enter, stay, and depart from the Russian Federation. However, travelling to Moscow has now become more accessible for Indian tourists and visitors from 54 other countries, with the introduction of electronic visas starting from August 1, 2023. The impact of this e-visa system will be evaluated by October this year, following an analysis of quarterly data from Russian border control agencies. Additionally, the Russian government plans to introduce a virtual 'Foreign Tourist Card' to facilitate cashless payments for various services. This innovative card allows individuals in India to apply remotely and transfer funds from their personal bank accounts.

Navigating Moscow with Ease

To ensure seamless exploration of the city, Moscow offers two valuable resources: "Discover Moscow" and "RUSSPASS travel service." "Discover Moscow" is a navigation and travel web portal with information about the city. It features descriptions of over 1,200 architectural landmarks, news updates, festival details, and curated lists of exhibition venues. The "RUSSPASS travel service" is a digital platform designed for planning trips across Russia, providing essential information on visas, currency, accommodations, and transportation options in the capital. Tourists can even use the trip builder feature to create personalised itineraries or follow pre-designed city routes. With versions available in Russian, English, Spanish, and Arabic, these resources aim to make exploring Moscow a genuinely enriching experience for travellers worldwide.

Christ the Savior Cathedral
Christ the Savior CathedralDeposit photos

Attractions to See In Moscow

From historic landmarks to cultural treasures, Moscow beckons travellers to embark on a captivating journey through Russia's rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you're a history buff, an art lover, or simply seeking adventure, Moscow has something extraordinary to offer at every turn.

Red Square: Begin your Moscow adventure at the renowned Red Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city's central hub. Framed by the Kremlin's grandeur, the iconic St. Basil's Cathedral's whimsical domes, and the historical GUM department store, this square encapsulates Russia's rich history.

The Kremlin: Nestled beside the Red Square, the Moscow Kremlin is a historic fortress and the epitome of Russian power. Explore its stunning cathedrals, the magnificent Armory Chamber, and the intriguing Diamond Fund exhibition housing the world's most precious gems.

Bolshoi Theatre: Witness the magic of Russian ballet and opera at the legendary Bolshoi Theatre. With its opulent interiors and world-class performances, this cultural gem promises an unforgettable evening.

Gorky Park: Experience a tranquil retreat at Gorky Park, Moscow's green oasis along the Moskva River. Rent a paddleboat, explore the gardens, or unwind in this beloved recreational spot.

Sparrow Hills: For panoramic vistas of Moscow's skyline, head to Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovy Gory). The scenic viewpoint offers a breathtaking view of the city, especially at sunset.

Arbat Street: Immerse yourself in Moscow's vibrant street life on Arbat Street. Lined with quaint shops, street performers, and cosy cafes, it's the perfect place to pick up souvenirs and savour local delights.

Tretyakov Gallery: Delve into Russia's artistic heritage at the Tretyakov Gallery, showcasing an impressive collection of Russian art spanning centuries.

Christ the Savior Cathedral: Marvel at the grandeur of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, which has gradually become one of Moscow's most iconic symbols.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Moscow is between March and August as the weather is pleasant during these months. However, this is also the peak tourist season so expect crowds.

Getting There

The best way to reach Moscow is taking a direct flight from Delhi or Mumbai which takes over nine hours.

(With inputs from PTI)

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