If you always wanted to have a proper White Christmas, Moscow could be you dream destination! Diving into the real winter fairytale in the capital of Russia is very easy if you’re around in December or even January. No doubt that you Christmas will be white (and cold) because it’s normal for Moscow to have snow around this time of the year.
Besides that, for the years in a row the huge festival called Journey to Christmas that lasts for about a month runs from the mid-Dec. Yes, you figured it out right – it doesn’t end on the 2d of January. Usually winter holidays last for over 7 days: Orthodox Christmas in Russia is celebrated on the 7th of January.
Then, where’s quite a special celebration of the ‘Old New Year’ on the eve of the 13th of Jan. Basically, Old New Year falls on the day when New Year was celebrated in Russian Empire before the country (in line with Revolution) switched from Julian to the Gregorian calendar.
There are over 70 different venues in Moscow within the Journey to Christmas, and I’ll guide you through the most central of them! Just scroll down and enjoy gorgeous winter illumination – there is a small itinerary which leads you from one central venue to another!
Shall we start?
GUM, the State Department Store, right on the side of the Red Square prepares best for the winter holidays. Built in the late 19th century and being the main shopping centre in Moscow, it hosts an exhibition of Christmas trees and toys of all sorts! Christmas market on the Red Square itself includes some shopping kiosks and an ice rink.
Nikolskaya street nearby connecting Red Square to Lubyanka Square is quite pretty with the festive illumination as well! Don’t miss the Teatralny Proezd, as it is always lavishly decorated.
Continue walking from the red square to Manezhnaya square to see fabulous Christmas tree and more decorations! Surrounded by the historical locations such as Alexander Garden, State Historical Museum and Hotel Moskva, it gives start to the Tversakay Square. Under the glass dome another shopping mall called Okhotny Ryad is situated.
Just a quick walk from the Manezhnaya Square – and you bump into the Bolshoi theare. No explanations are needed for these locations – just watch the gentle lace of illumination right in front of it. Btw, winter is the best time to relisten some Russian music such as Nutcracker or Sleeping beauty by Tchaikovsky, isn’t it?
Cross the street and admire the stars and bows decorations of TsUM, the Central Universal Department Store!Interiors are decorated fabulously as well – but don’t forget to get to the top floor to explore the indoor Christmas market! The variety of tree decorations is really astonishing.
Walk out of the opposite entrance of TsUM and walk along Petrovka street. It was named after St. Peter’s Monastery – and the initial name of the theatre that stood on the place of modern Bolshoi theatre was in fact the Petrovsky Theatre that was derived from the name of this street! Now this area hosts some international luxury brand stores. The true star of the 2018-2019 season is a wheel by the Cartier boutique 🙂
Don’t miss Petrovsky Passage, another department store with an over-century long history! If it reminds you of the GUM, it’s fine – it was designed by the same architect 🙂 Winter market in it is amazing, isn’t it?
Stoleshnikov Pereulok is a very short lane that runs to the left of Petrovka street. This year a true magic happened there – just look at all these lights! Should Disney shoot a movie down here?
Another market square filled with winter holiday spirit is Tverskaya Square nearby. The monument to the legendary founder of Moscow Yuri Dolgorukiy overlooks pretty Christmas trees and is surrounded by numerous kiosks.
Go on walking along the Tverskaya Street, one of the main and the oldest streets in Moscow and you’ll be blinded by the lights of Pushkinskaya Square now named after the most cherished Russian poet of all times – Alexander Pushkin. No words are needed to describe these installation on the boulevards running to the left and right from it – they speak for themselves.
Finally, in about 15 min you can reach one of my favourite Moscow locations of all seasons Patriarshiye Ponds (actually there is just one pond now but who cares 🙂 ) There are so many restaurants and cafes that it’s really easy to get lost! Christmas decorations of many of them are worth your attention as well 🙂
What else? If you have time, try exploring Hermitage Garden, Park Gorkogo, Poklonnaya Gora and TsDKh as well!
Tips: Of course, you can try the variety of Russian traditional food and acquire souvenirs there as well! Look for blini, pirozhki, sbiten and rooster-shaped lollipops 🙂
Hope you enjoyed my today’s blog!