3 Top Moscow Museums

If you ask yourself “What to do in Moscow“, here is the answer – dive in what Moscow is most rich in – the history! Here are our 3 Top Moscow museums that cover it all: from paintings and icons to precious stones and ancient furniture and costumes from Old Rus.

Must-See Museums in Moscow

Your experience will be more complete and pleasant if you take a Moscow tour bus to get from one place to another though the historical downtown.

What to do in Moscow - SHM on Red Square

State Historical Museum, Moscow

Tretyakov Gallery

The national Tretyakov Gallery is the house of Russian fine art. The famous collection of entrepreneur Pavel Tretyakov, which has about 2000 works, impresses locals and tourists from all over the world. It is impossible to imagine Russian trip without visiting this breathtaking museum even if you are not an art-fan.

The idea of opening the gallery came to Tretyakov`s mind after visiting world-famous Hermitage in Saint-Petersburg, when he was 20.

During the time of the Great Patriotic war the collection of paintings was moved to Novosibirsk (Russian city in Siberia). The collection required 17 wagons to carry all the exhibits.

There are two artists who created the famous «Morning in a Pine Forest». Vasnetzov painted the landscape and Savitskiy painted the bears. Russians call this painting «Three Bears» despite the fact that there are actually four bears, because a Russian chocolate factory decorates a wrapper for candies with this painting and there is no place for the forth one.

The design of the main building also was done by Vastenzov in a Russian fairytale style.

There are more than 60 icons, including the famous «Trinity» by Andrey Rublev, which was painted in XV century. It is kept under bulletproof glass.

During the years of Civil war there was no heating in the museum. That`s why paintings began to cover with mould and fungus. It took a lot of efforts to reconstruct them.

There are two branches of Tretyakov gallery in Moscow in different places – the old collection (in the main building on Lavrushinsky lane) and the contemporary gallery on Krymsky Val street.

Top things to do in moscow - museums

Tretyakov Gallery. Photo womenofrussia.org

State Historical Museum

The museum was officially opened in 1872 by Emperor Alexander III. It was built in Russian architecture style of XVI to be in harmony with the architecture ensemble of Red Square.

It has 39 halls and shows the history of Russia from ancient times till nowadays. To explore it you have to make around 4000 steps. That is around 3 km.

The building of Zemskoy prikaz was located in that place before. It was the central government policing organization of XVI-XVII cents.

The State Historical Museum is the biggest one in Russia. You can see there 4 373 757 exhibits. Start early morning :)

In 1935 the Soviet Union government made a decision to remove double-headed eagles from towers as the symbol of empire. Then only in 1997, they were put on again. By the way, they always move.

Top things to do in Moscow - Moscow Museums

State Historical Museum, Moscow

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

There was the competition between 19 Russian architectures from different towns who suggested their building-projects for this museum.

The building itself has a shape of antique classical temple on a high podium with an Ionic colonnade along its facade.

In 1955 the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts held the exhibition of masterpieces of Dresden`s art gallery, which were saved by Soviet Union soldiers during the time of Great Patriotic War and reconstruction in Russia.

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is one of the biggest museums of European art.  Nowadays it has more than 670 thousands art works.

moscow museum - museum of fine arts

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts


Once you complete this list, prep for icons of the Northern Capital on our St Petersburg Russia tours!

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