This thrill-packed full-day tour combines three of our most popular Moscow tours: Behind the Icons, a shortened version of Moscow Underground and Eat like a Russian.
Your tour will start at Pushkinskaya Square, a main spot for locals to gather and meet. This is the epicentre of many of Moscow’s historical layers: here you’ll find a monument to Pushkin, the main figure of Russian literature and the big macho man of his times; the avantgarde building of the former main soviet newspaper; and even the first McDonald’s in Russia. These ‘landmarks’ all come from very different periods of Russian history and convey what was happening in the country during their eras.
From there, we’re going 100% authentic with a taste of local Russian fast food. We’ll visit a spot that’s popular for selling chebureks, which are deep-fried pastries filled with minced meat. (Don’t worry if you’re meat-averse — for vegetarians there are chebureks with potatoes and cheese.) Wash it down with a traditional Russian soft drink or tea, and find out why the locals love this place. This snack spot is rarely visited by tourists, so you’re getting a true taste of local life here!
After our short snack stop, your Moscow tour will continue with a visit to the most unlikely of beautiful sites: a grocery store! Not just any grocery store, though — Eliseevsky is famous for luxurious, neo-baroque interiors.
From there, we’ll continue walking along Tverskaya Street, passing by some of Moscow’s main landmarks, such as the monument to the founder of the city and the governor’s house, and along the way, you’ll learn about Russian theatre, and how it reflects the mysterious Russian soul. We’ll also check out an amazing, gigantic piece of ballerina-inspired graffiti art — a modern way to interpret classic Russian ballet.
Along the way, we’ll visit a Russian Orthodox Church, where we can light a candle and, if we’re lucky, listen to some beautiful choir songs while your guide shares a few personal stories. (Please note that if you wish to go inside the church, you must be wearing clothing that goes below your knees, and women must have a scarf to cover their head.)
Then it’s on to Red Square, the famous heart of Moscow, where you can spot all the legendary landmarks found in the guidebooks. Here you’ll find Lenin’s Tomb, housing the body of the Russian revolutionary. You’ll also find the GUM department store, with its outstanding interiors and many soviet attributes — such as kiosks serving the famous soviet ice cream, which for sure should be on your must-try list!
And finally, the main highlight of Red Square is, of course, the 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its bright and colourful domes — the classic Red Square scene! Get your cameras ready.
We’ll stop for a break at this point, so you can go and grab yourself a light lunch (remember to leave room for our food tastings this afternoon!) or a drink and begin to digest some of the things you have learned this morning
After our short break, we’ll head towards the Danilovsky market as the locals do — by metro. Here you will experience the short version of our Moscow Underground tour. On the way to the market, we are going to make a detour around three Moscow metro stations to show off the artistic and architectural masterpieces that are hidden under Moscow’s city streets. As we explore the metro, your local guide will tell you all about how the metro was built, what it’s décor and interiors mean and how it functions today.
Finally, we’ll arrive at the tastiest part of our tour — the food market — and this particular one attracts both trendy chefs and savvy locals alike. Our degustation menu for the day will include sour, spicy, cheesy and sweet treats for your delectation. We hope you’re hungry!
We’ll start with nature’s bounty: Russian honey served with herbs and berries. Next it’s on to appetisers and you’ll try the freshest cheeses and curd from the Caucasian region. You’ll be surprised by the number of milk products Russia and other countries from the former USSR used to consume every day.
You’ll then try juicy tangerines from Abkhazia if it's winter or delicious apples in summer from the gardens around the city.
Then it’s on to two proper Russian delicacies. First is smoked lard, which sounds a bit odd to the western palate, but trust us, it’s rich, fulfilling and delicious! Then, red caviar from the island of Sakhalin, an absolute must-eat while in Moscow.
Next we’ll time travel to the Soviet era to take a peep at a typical kitchenette with stripped tablecloth, cut glass and toffees for children, plus plenty of jars of pickles and homemade jams. You can then taste the secret cure to every Russian’s hangover, salty cucumbers and sauerkraut. After these salty delicacies, a Kvas or fruit-drink will banish your thirst.
We’ll then head south to explore our favourite dishes from Uzbekistan and Dagestan, pilaf and chudu (bread) with cheese or pumpkin, finishing off with tea and pies. We recommend the sweet pie with poppy seeds. Yummy!
Happy and full, you’ll be guided to the metro station where your tour will end or of course you can stay and shop for tasty souvenirs too! Before you go don’t forget to ask your local guide for tips on what else to see, do and where to eat during your stay in magnificent Moscow.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, all food mentioned in the itinerary except lunch during the midday break (cheburek, local honey, a local diary product, local seasonal fruit, red caviar, smoked lard, pickled cucumber, sauerkraut, pilaf, chudu, pie and tea and drink in the morning). If a dish is not available on the day, it will be substituted with a similar and equally delicious product.
Exclusions: Public transport, additional food and drinks, souvenirs and personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: If you’d like to go inside the Russian Orthodox Church, please be sure to wear clothing that covers your legs to below the knees. Woman must also have a scarf to cover their head.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people and 6 people during local market experience.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Closure of sites: This would be highly unlikely but a substitute location can be found if this happens.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.