On the ground, Moscow can feel a bit frantic, but visitors can take a break from the constant motion of the city by seeing it from above. Get a different view of the Russian capital from such iconic sites at Moscow State University, the Ostankino TV tower and even the gates of Gorky Park.
1. Central Childrens World
Certainly kids don't go to this shopping center for the view, but that's no reason not to make the roof a part of your visit. This historic building, constructed in 1957, has recently emerged from a seven-year-long renovation and features six floors of shops filled with the latest toys, games and books. Head up to the top floor and follow the signs for "Panoramic View Point" to get a bird's eye view of the infamous Lubyanka, the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), right next door. Visitors can also see the mosaics on the facade of the historic Metropol hotel and the Kremlin towers in the distance.
Central Children's World, 5 Teatralny Proezd. Metro Kuznetsky Most. 10 a.m. — 9:30 p.m., everyday. http://cdm-moscow.ru/attractions/viewpoint
2. Museum of Earth Science at Moscow State University
The gorgeous main building of Moscow State University — one of Stalin's "Seven Sisters" — houses more than classrooms and labs. On the 24th floor of the skyscraper, visitors can wander through the university's Museum of Earth Science. The exhibits, which include minerals, fossils and a mammoth skull is laid out over 7 floors.
The panoramic view, however, is on the 28th floor. Here guests can look out over Sparrow Hills, the Moscow River and Luzhniki Stadium — scheduled to host the finals of the 2018 World Cup.
1 Leninsky Gory Street, Main building of Moscow State University. 495-939-2976. Metro Universitet. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call in advance. http://www.mes.msu.ru/kontakty
3. Ostankino Television Tower
The iconic Ostankino Tower in northern Moscow houses the studios of nearly all the major government-owned TV channels — and a viewing platform 340 meters above the ground. From here, visitors can take in the famous 1937 statue of the Worker and the Collective Farm Woman, a symbol of the Soviet Union, as well as gaze out over the endless apartment blocks of northern Moscow. The platform also features a glass floor, to give guests a sense of what it's like to have Moscow at your feet. Tickets are 980 rubles ($18) for adults and 490 rubles ($9) for kids from 7-18.
15 Akademika Koroleva Street, Korpus 2. 495-926-6111. Metro Alekseevskaya. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. everyday. http://www.tvtower.ru/52_SmotrovyaPl/
4. The Gates of Gorky Park
You've heard of Gorky Park's new beach, outdoor cinema and trendy cafes, but did you know there is a viewing platform on top of the park's main gates?
The gates, which were built in 1955, underwent a massive renovation this winter and spring, and now include a museum of the park's history along with the viewing platform that offers guests a panoramic view over the Moscow River, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the statue of Peter the Great. Tickets are 300 rubles ($5.50)
5. Imperia Tower
The gleaming, modern Moscow City financial district dominates the city's skyline from almost every angle. Get the view of the Russian capital from here by taking a trip to the viewing platform on the 58th floor of the Imperia Tower. The hall's huge windows offer a view of the Moscow River, the Hotel Ukraine and the other skyscrapers in the district. The skyscraper, constructed in 2010, also has several restaurants and bars at the sky level. Tickets to the platform are 700 rubles ($13) except on weekends before 2 p.m, when they can be had for 500 rubles ($9).
6 Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya, bldg. 2. 499-272-4846. Metro Delovoy Center or Vistavochnaya. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. everyday. http://smotricity.ru/
6. Cathedral of Christ the Savior
The modern incarnation of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, located on the banks of the Moscow river a few blocks from the Kremlin, offers tours to its viewing platform, 40 meters above the ground. The current cathedral was constructed between 1994-2000 and is an exact replica of the original, which was built to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon but was demolished in 1931 by the Soviet government.
The Kremlin looks especially magnificent from here, and visitors also get a good view over the pedestrian Arbat street and the legendary House on The Embankment, the home of the Soviet elite.
15 Volkhonka Street. Metro Kropotkinskaya. 495-637-2847. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. everyday. http://www.xxc.ru/