The festive season has descended upon the Russian capital in supernova of lights, fir trees, and glitter. Moscow certainly knows how to light up for the holidays. It’s time to pull on your winter boots, grab your phone (or camera), and head downtown to snap those insta-perfect yuletide scenes for posterity — or to make your friends green with envy.
Pose with Polar Bears
The Journey into Christmas epicenter is Tverskaya Ulitsa, which makes this street an ideal place to start snapping those selfies. Head past the Pushkin statue, through the glittering arch, turn right and you’ll see a chalet home to a polar bear family. Nothing says Christmas like a cute animal in a Santa hat.
Walk into the light
If polar bears are too saccharine for you, head across the street to Tverskoi Bulvar and you’ll find the dazzling purple, pink, and orange Light Tunnel. This one is particularly popular so prepare yourself for a little jostling as you strike a pose.
Be dazzled by Café Pushkin
If you’re walking through the Light Tunnel, make sure to emerge for a moment and look across the street to that famous Moscow institution: Café Pushkin. The eighteenth-century mansion is decked in glittering blue lights from roof to pavement with a picturesque Christmas tree propped in the main second floor window.
Admire the Mayor’s Office
Head down to 13 Tverskaya Ulitsa and you’ll find yourself outside a towering red building. This is the Office of the Moscow Government. Its grand entrance is framed with two large Christmas trees topped with stars. Pro tip: If you take your photo from the other side of the street, you’ll get the whole building and the trees in the frame.
Pose in front of a chalet
Once you’ve admired the Mayor’s Office, turn around and explore the Christmas market on Tverskaya Ploshchad where you can find unique gifts and warm your hands around hot chocolate or mulled wine. The gingerbread-like chalets are a perfect photo backdrop.
Look up on Manege Square
At the bottom of Tverskaya Street is Manege Square where you’ll find Moscow’s tallest Christmas tree. The majestic fir is twenty meters high – that alone must make it worthy of a place on your Instagram feed, right?
Get an iconic Red Square shot
Yes, of course we know that nothing could be more obvious than Red Square. It’s photogenic all year round, but the Christmas market makes it especially beautiful. Flashing fairground rides, wreaths, and trees dripping with red and silver baubles...snap it while you can!
Release your inner prima donna
You may not be in the Bolshoi Ballet but this Christmas, Teatralnaya Ploshchad is your stage. Illuminated with more than six gold and blue arches, the space provides perfect lighting for your selfie.
Be a princess on Kuznetsky Most
Pedestrianized Kuznetsky Most is a little less flamboyant than our first eight picks, but is nonetheless worth a visit. From top to bottom it is adorned with glittering golden trees that look worthy of a fairy tale.