Top Sights to See in Moscow by Car

Walks With Folks
We have become accustomed to visiting the major sights of Moscow by foot or even sometimes by the beautiful Moscow Metro, however, if you get a chance to have a car - there are a few places that are best accessible by car. Especially if you want to visit a few of them on the same day.

Sparrow Hills

Sparrow Hills is a hill on the right bank of the Moskva River and one of the highest points in Moscow. On top of the hill, 85m above the river, is the observation platform which gives a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

Sparrow Hills has been an inspiration for many Russian poets and writers. In old times travelers used to climb on top of the hill to enjoy the view and to see the final point of their destination: Moscow. The name 'Sparrow' – in Russian 'Vorobyovy' – was originally the name of the village that was located nearby.

Standing on the observation platform you can see almost all of central Moscow: the Luzhniki Stadium (where the 1980 Olympic Games took place); the domes of Novodevichy convent; the Kremlin churches; Christ the Savior Cathedral; and the Seven Sisters, Stalin's high-rise buildings.

Sparrow Hills attracted not only visitors to Moscow but also Russian architects. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was originally planned to be built here. While that didn't happen, later in the 20th century another temple was put up on Sparrow Hills. It was a temple of knowledge: the famous Moscow State University. It looks spectacular at the top of the hill and thanks to its location the University can be seen from afar.

New Arbat

Just like the old Arbat, New Arbat Avenue is a tourist delight, too. However, it is much different from its counterpart. Running west from the Arbat Square, it is a busy six-lane avenue lined with high-rise buildings.

The avenue was built in the 1960-s and was initially intended to connect the Kremlin and the notorious Rublevka area where Soviet leaders had their 'dachas'.

Here you will see some legendary Soviet buildings such as the Praga restaurant (the most expensive 'elite' restaurant in Soviet Moscow), the Moscow Book Store that used to be the largest bookstore in the USSR, and the Oktyabr Movie Theater built in 1967 and named after the Revolution. All three operate to this day and continue to hold their leading positions.

New Arbat Avenue has recently undergone reconstruction to become 'more pedestrian'. The sidewalks have become wider and there have appeared a lot of sitting areas. Note the 150-meter-long wooden bench (it's not like you can miss it)!

Naturally, there is no shortage of cafes and restaurants in the area. There are also many hotels around such as Marriott, Lotte or Radisson Royal Moscow, as well as more budget options. New Arbat is a good place to stay for your visit in Moscow. Apart from being the home to many interesting sites, it provides easy access to the rest of the city by means of Smolenskya and Arbatskya metro stations.

Triumphal Arch

In the middle of 1814, a wooden Triumphal Arch was built beside the Tver Gates (at the end of present-day Gorky Street) for the solemn meeting with the victorious Russian troops returning from West Europe. The monument quickly became dilapidated and twelve years later, in 1826, the decision was made to replace the wooden Triumphal Arch with a stone one. The prominent Russian architect Osip Bove drafted a project the same year. But the decision about new planning of the parade square at the entrance to Moscow from Petersburg was made and the initial project needed readjustment. The new variant, on which Bove worked for almost two years, was adopted in April 1829.

The Triumphal Arch is a beautiful symbol of victorious Moscow, inbued with the idea of the triumph of the Russian people. It is the main monument of the Patriotic War of 1812 in the Russian capital of Moscow. It is a visual realization of the deep gratitude of posterity to the heroic victors. "Russia ought solemnly to recall the great events of 1812," wrote the great Russian critic V. Belinsky. The reconstructed Triumphal Arch on the Square of Victory is the best confirmation of this.

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