Red Square is a must-see during any trip to Russia, and no visit would be complete without feasting your eyes on this fascinating destination. One of the most recognizable places in the world, the Moscow Red Square is home to the Kremlin and the official residence of the president of Russia. Candy-striped domes remind many visitors of fairytales, but this architecture has become synonymous with Red Square in Russia. Lenin’s tomb is located on Red Square as well, filling the square with tourists on the limited hours and limited days this free attraction is open to the public. During a trip to Moscow, you'll want to experience the many faces of Red Square, from how it is lit up in the evenings, to the bustling afternoons full of visitors, to quiet mornings.
As the center of Moscow, streets in all directions branch out from Red Square. What began as the main marketplace for the capital of Russia has transformed into a tourist attraction. Once the location of public ceremonies, today the Moscow Red Square is most well known for its architecture and as being the burial place of Lenin. It is a common misconception that "Red" refers to communism, and the name of the square comes from a Russian word meaning red or beautiful, to describe the elaborate square. Many visitors come to Red Square to visit the tomb of Lenin and are surprised by the beauty and different offerings of this center point in Moscow. While it is beautiful in summer, some visitors also travel to see the square twinkle under snow during the winter.
Red Square in Russia is arguably the most famous and most visited attraction in the country. In recent history, it was home to the Soviet government who became known for military parades through the square. In 1941 the Moscow Red Square was attacked by the Nazis, and in 1945 a victory parade celebrating the Nazis' defeat took place there. In 1990, both the Kremlin and Red Square were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. As the center of political activity for the last century in Russia, it is a pleasure for any history buff to walk the same square as some of Russia's political giants.
In recent times, Red Square in Russia has hosted many popular concerts. International artists including Paul McCartney, Shakira, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have all played shows in Moscow’s main square. The last several years have also seen a skating rink erected in celebration of the New Year. Other buildings of significance on Red Square include Saint Basil’s Cathedral, the Kazan Cathedral, and the State Historical Museum. The image most associated with the square is Saint Basil's Cathedral, with its colorful onion-shaped domes. Reminiscent of a fairy tale, it is this building that many visitors remember best about a trip to Russia.
The Square is a free attraction, and is often very crowded with tourists. Lenin’s tomb is also free to the public, making an affordable day of sightseeing in an otherwise expensive city. Moscow is also home to the famous Bolshoi Theatre, home to the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera Company, but note that this attraction is undergoing extensive renovation and isn't scheduled to re-open until 2013. The Moscow airports makes arrival easy, but be sure to arrange for your visa ahead of time. There are agencies that can help you to easily pass through the red tape that still exists to obtain a tourist visa to Russia. The trademark St Basil’s Cathedral is closed on Tuesdays, so it is best to arrange your visit to Red Square around being able to see this sixteenth-century icon.