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Museum Walk in the Center of Moscow (Self Guided), Moscow

Moscow is the capital of Russia and the cultural center of the country. The city boasts a large number of museums which reveal Russia's culture and development. Take this hour tour to visit Moscow's most representative museums in the center of the city.
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Museum Walk in the Center of Moscow Map

Guide Name: Museum Walk in the Center of Moscow
Guide Location: Russia » Moscow (See other walking tours in Moscow)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Author: audrey
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Polytechnical Museum
  • Zoological Museum of Moscow University
  • State Museum of Oriental Art
  • Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
  • Tolstoy State Museum
  • The Museum of History of Moscow
1
Polytechnical Museum

1) Polytechnical Museum

Editor's Note: The Polytechnical Museum is temporarily closed.

Established in the late 1800s, the State Polytechnical Museum is one of the oldest exhibition halls in the world. It is also the premier museum of history of technology in Russia. The main objective of the museum is to bring scientific thought and discussion to the masses. With over 100 collections and more than 190,000 exhibits and experiments, that visitors are allowed to participate in, there is no shortage of learning opportunities.

Many leading scientists of the day conferred their thoughts and new advances in technology were often unveiled to the public at the institution. Items on display at the museum include rare books, cameras, typewriters, personal computers, items related to space travel, and many other technological and industrial items that represent the more than 130 years of technology. In addition, the museum possesses one of the largest displays of scientific and technical literature in Russia.

Located in Moscow near the Lybyanka and Kitai-Gorod metro stations, the museum is open Sunday and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and closed the last Thursday of every month. An average of 451,100 people visits the museum per year. The museum also features amenities such as a Kiosk, cinema, library, internet access, a cafe and an amusement arcade.
2
Zoological Museum of Moscow University

2) Zoological Museum of Moscow University

One of the largest zoological museums in Russia, the Zoological Museum of Moscow University features over 4.5 million land and sea specimens. Only the Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences is larger. The Zoological Museum of Moscow University is also an important research facility regarding invertebrate zoology, entomology, ichthyology, ornithology and other branches of zoology. Each year results of research are published in the Researching Faunas.

The museum was established in 1791 as a museum of natural history. The lower floor of the museum contains the invertebrates, fish, amphibians and reptiles exhibitions while the upper floor holds the birds and mammals displays. Visitors will enjoy the displays which show some specimens in their natural habitat, the paintings of animals by Russian artists, and the numerous exhibits that occur frequently. Contributions from professional organizations like the Russian Academy of Sciences ensure that new specimens are regularly available for public viewing. More than 1,700 excursions are offered each year in Russian and English and an average of 150,000 patrons visits the museum each year. The museum is open 10 am to 6 pm Tuesday through Sunday, on Thursday is open 1 pm to pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and the last Tuesday of each month.
3
State Museum of Oriental Art

3) State Museum of Oriental Art

The State Museum of Oriental Art, established in 1918, holds an impressive collection of Asian art and culture. From the Middle East and Far East, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the indigenous tribes of Siberia and Eastern Russia, Asian art is represented at its finest and in meticulous form.

Works that span the range of what is creative fill the museum: arts and crafts, sculptures, sketches, and paintings. Although the museum is not equivalent to more prominent museums, it is nonetheless an impressive gallery. Patrons will enjoy the Persian carpets, Eskimo walrus tusk carvings, Iranian ceramics, Caucasian ceremonial costumes, Indian jewelry, and Japanese prints.

The gallery also holds exhibitions featuring the work of local and foreign artists. Of special note are the exhibits dedicated to artists, scientists, and famous travelers of the day. The museum also serves as an anthropological and archaeological research and development facility. Doctors and professionals work at the museum in an effort to promote research. High school students also participate in activities and have formed clubs that benefit from lectures from scientists, historians, and other ingenious individuals.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday, Friday - Sunday: 11 am - 8 pm; Wednesday, Thursday: 12 pm - 9 pm.
4
Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts

4) Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (must see)

The Pushkin State Museum, named in honor of the great poet Alexander Pushkin, the father of Russian literature, contains an extensive collection of fine arts from around the world. Located in the heart of Moscow, near the Kremlin, it is one of the largest and most prolific museums in Russia. Only the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg is larger.

Originally named the Museum of Fine Arts, the museum opened in 1912. In 1937, it was renamed the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. Although the museum originally housed copies of international and well-known masterpieces, its collection grew to over 560,000 authentic works of art through donations from closed museums and art galleries, nationalized estates, and confiscated private collections.

An impressive collection of Egyptian mummies, Greek and Roman gods, and works from Van Gogh, Botticelli, Gauguin, Rembrandt, Picasso, Canaletto, Guardi, Dufrénoy, Tiepolo, Matisse, and others regally fill the rooms of the museum. There are also many private collections that show promise of being accessible to the public in the near future. The musical festival December Nights has been held at the museum since 1981.

Why You Should Visit:
Along with permanent collection, there are always several important temporary exhibitions (tickets for the latter are quite limited so check online).
The entrance price to the museum and all exhibitions is very affordable, however.
Small cafe in the basement with a blackboard menu in Russian and English.

Tip:
You can buy one- or two-day tickets up to 30 days in advance (remember to print your voucher), or you could try buying tickets at the less crowded Museum of Contemporary Art next door.
Access to permanent collections does not require the wait – just go around the queue and buy a cheap ticket.
Also, try renting one of the audio guides, because the descriptions for each painting are all in Russian.

Opening hours: Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun: 11am-8pm; Thu, Fri: 11am-9pm
5
Tolstoy State Museum

5) Tolstoy State Museum

A museum dedicated to the life and works of the prolific and legendary Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, this exhibition hall contains over 6,000 artifacts that belonged to the author and his family. From the dining room that displays the family’s china, the numerous sculptures and paintings, photos, and children’s toys and etchings that abound, great care has been taken to maintain the countryside home as it was when the writer and his family lived there from 1882 to 1901.

The Tolstoy museum is one of the oldest literary museums in Russia and offers an exceptional and interesting glimpse into the life and works of the famous author. Visitors will enjoy viewing the souvenir shop that held the author of War and Peace’s printing press, the garden, and stable yard. Fans of Tolstoy will enjoy viewing the study where The Death of Ivan Ilyich was written.

In addition, concerts, exhibitions, and other events frequently occur at the museum. The museum is located in Moscow, near the Park Kultury metro station. An average of 56,800 visitors enjoys the Tolstoy collection each year.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday, Thursday - from 12 pm to 8 pm,
Wednesday, Friday, Sunday - from 10 am to 6 pm,
Saturday - from 10 am to 8 pm.
6
The Museum of History of Moscow

6) The Museum of History of Moscow

The Museum of History of Moscow offers visitors a glimpse into Russian life from the ancient times to the present. The museum was formed in 1896 by the Russian scientific community. The museum has known many names and locations. In 1921, it was named the Moscow Municipal Museum and housed in the Sukhareva Tower. In 1940, the name was changed to Museum of History and Reconstruction of Moscow and located in the Church of John the Theologian "under the Elm". In 1987, the museum received its present name. In 2011, the museum moved to the historic building complex “Proviant stores”, granted by government of Moscow. It is planed to turn these building site into the contemporary and universal museum structure. With over a million items, one can enjoy displays of maps, photos, original costumes, furniture, tools, bronze, and stone items. One of the most fascinating elements are the extensive range of documents, rare books, and photo negatives, that one can view at the museum. Also recommended by the museum are the three tourists’ exhibitions that allow visitors to tour the museum and areas of Moscow by foot and/or bus. The museum does an accurate job of portraying the everyday lives of all Muscovites from all walks of life in great detail.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Wednesday: 10 am - 8 pm;
Thursday: 11 am - 9 pm;
Friday - Sunday: 10 am - 8 pm.

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A Walking Tour in Kitai-Gorod, Moscow

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles

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