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Moscow Non-Touristy Tour

Off the beaten path of Moscow. Iconic places, authentic vibe

$187 — 7 hours
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moscow off the beaten path tour

Highlights:

  • Sneak peek at the most modern events and shows in one of the oldest cities in the world.
  • Discover royal and elegant Moscow in glamorous places where locals hang out.
  • Modern art exhibitions, funky outdoor parties, roof top bars and restaurants, exotic night clubs.
  • Indulge in an authentic dining experience and a memorable night out.
  • Meet locals in their most fun environment.
  • An excellent range of cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs.

Itinerary:

  • Historic City Centre Tour

    Drop into a local coffee bar to kick off your day and make friends with your guide. There are heaps of great cafes and restaurants along Tverskaya street, so why not make a day of it, go for a walk and then grab a bite in one for lunch or dinner.

  • Red Square Tour

    Moscow’s most famous central square, where GUM (the State Department Store) is located and celebrated its 120th anniversary last year. There you can get a taste of Russia’s Communist past, and try some traditional Russian snacks at Cafeteria #57.

  • Sculpture Park Tour

    There it is more likely to meet locals than tourists. A unique sculpture garden with monuments dedicated to various historical characters, Soviet leaders, Peter the Great, and even Pinocchio.

    Catch a film under the stars at the open-air Cinema during summer season!

     

  • Main Streets of Moscow

    • Tverskaya street existed as early as the 12th century and is now famous for its parades. It was through this street that the tsars arrived from the Northern capital to stay at their Kremlin residence.
    • Znamenka, a street of aristocracy.
    • Vozdvizhenka, home to the Russian State library, the largest collection of books in all of Russia.
    • Volkhonka - one of the oldest streets in Moscow, uniting the Kremlin with the Christ the Savior Cathedral and leading to the Golden Mile of Moscow.
  • Luxurious River Cruise

    Experience the excitement of taking a luxurious river cruise. If you are looking for vivid impressions, if you love to move with the rhythm, join DJ cruise on the Moskva River, that will blow your mind with blasting music! Snow-white yacht, beautiful sunset, wide open decks, cosy sofas, light refreshing breeze and good music from local Djs are here for you!

  • Breathtaking Views

    Cap it all off with a cold beer in Sixty restaurant. Considered to be the highest restaurant in Europe (on the 62nd floor of the Federation Tower), with breathtaking views of the skyline, sunsets and dawns and ultramodern urban style. Perfect lookout for the best views of the city – Moscow is ready to welcome you on your next adventure!

 

From our tour. Impressions of our American tourists:

On the agenda was a walk through some of the streets where the feel of the 'true Moscow' exists.  We strolled the 16th C. Maroseika street; this word is the former name of the Ukraine.  We encountered the first and only 'tourist signage' we saw in our 3 days here. 

 

Our guide admitted she does not understand how visitors can come here and manage on their own without the customary support services and information provided for visitors having no Russian language skill.  Neither do  we.  I have said I would never tour China without being guided; the same applies to Russia. 

 

The quiet side streets were a world away from the nearby busy main routes of the city center.  We came across a handful of embassies, including Armenia's.  In this neighborhood is a renowned tea shop.  The choices were overwhelming.  My friend and I both made a choice without sampling anything.  No tea is served here; just sold.  Aren't they missing an opportunity? 

 

The tea I purchased cost 960 RUB for 100 grams.  Since the tea accessories included some of the clear glasses in the metal holders we liked from yesterday's tea experience, we decided to buy a set of two...a perfect split since there is only one tea drinker in each of our respective households.

 

Our walk continued back to where we were last night providing the daytime view of the gate fronting Gorky Park and a distant view of a modern skyline with multiple skyscrapers being developed called "Moscow City".

 

One should not miss the work of Chagall, Kandinsky, and Malevich in Tretyakov Gallery.  I texted our guide via Viber so she could plan our agenda accordingly for the morning.  Mikhailovich Tretyakov was a successful Moscow industrialist in the mid-1800's, who was determined to amass a collection of national art that would be worthy of a museum of fine arts for the entire country.  In 1892, he donated his collection to the Moscow city government. 

 

The canvasses we saw today were generally gigantic, and the colors were bold and bright.  We spent all of our 40 allotted minutes that we had in the rooms on the 4th floor; we could have stayed longer.  Arguably, the collection's pièce de résistance is Kazmir Malevich's "The Black Square." 

 

My friend and I were two of only 4 people touring these 10 rooms just after the museum opened at 10am, a virtual private time with the masters.  A young man, surely an art student, stood in front of "The Black Square" and looked at it more intently and longer than I have ever seen anyone study a painting in a museum.  I wanted to talk to him and ask his ideas and reactions....alas, no time. 

 

Many of the artists whose work is here studied Cubism in Paris, and its effect on their work is obvious. Still, it is easy to see how they returned to Russia to evolve the style with distinctive Russian overtones.  Without being able to take photos, I resorted to the usual strategy; take a look at a small sampling of what's here.  My friend and I decided it was definitely worth the visit, something we could not have done without Friendly Local Guides.

Info

Extra costs (per person):

Entrance fees

Lunch/Dinner

(150-1500 rub, depending on your preferences)

Activity Level: moderate
Maximum travelers: 10
Meet up & End location: lobby of your hotel
Start time: any time
Extra hours: If you are having a good time and want your private Moscow tour last a little bit longer, you are welcome to do that. Please note: You will be charged 20 USD per an extra hour.
Tipping suggestions: If you feel like you had a good experience, your guide would appreciate a tip. It's not mandatory. It's your decision whether you want to give your guide a tip.

What you get:

  • + A friend in Moscow.
  • + Private & customized Moscow tour.
  • + An exciting pastime, not just boring history lessons.
  • + An authentic experience of local life.
  • + Flexibility during the tour: changes can be made at any time to suit individual preferences.
  • + Amazing deals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the very best cafes & restaurants. Discounts on weekdays (Mon-Fri).
  • + A photo session amongst spectacular Moscow scenery that can be treasured for a lifetime.
  • + Good value for souvenirs, taxis, and hotels.
  • + An expert advice on what to do, where to go, and how to make the most of your time in Moscow.

*This Moscow day tour can be modified to meet your individual preferences.

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moscow off the beaten path tour

$187 — 7 hours

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Reviews

Video reviews

  • I’ve always dreamed to go to Moscow and see it through the eyes of locals. Thank you Friendly Local Guides for making it a very special day for me and showing the best places locals hang out at. I especially loved coffee bars near Arbat street and sculptures in Muzeon park. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

    Jane Douglas, Hungary, Budapest, Oct 10, 2016

  • This private tour was a highlight of our visit to Moscow. Our guide took us to places that are off the beaten track and provided wonderful commentary and insight. It was a combination of beautiful parks, bustling streets, cozy nooks, a tea house, unusual admirable architecture – very non-touristy and special. We loved the tour and our guide, very authentic experience indeed, highly recommended!

    Gerhard Werner, Hannover, Germany, Jul 19, 2016

  • I hired Friendly Local Guides for a full-day tour of Moscow. They customized my tour based on the list of places I wanted to see. My guide Gelena was very flexible. I told her I wanted the Moscow Metro tour last minute which she made happen. I really enjoyed my time with Gelena, it was so much fun!

    Luiz Rodrigues, Madrid, Spain, Apr 15, 2016

  • I’m happy I chose Friendly Local Guides. Alina crafted my itinerary and included all the sights I wanted to see. Anya is a very friendly and informative guide, a history buff. She was always ready to talk about any subject I was interested in and showed me a lot of things in a short time. Thank you Anya. Thank you Alina

    ivetta, Yerevan, Dec 10, 2015

  • Great experience organizing our itinerary with Alina and spending the day with Dasha, many thanks. Alina went above and beyond to spend the time to refine an itinerary around our interests and input, even helping to investigate Moscow for a niche interest/hobby of mine. She was responsive and always had a quick answer, as well as great advice. In spite of the really terrible weather Dasha toughed it out and we had a great introduction to the city and some great suggestions for us to explore on our own during the rest of our time in Moscow. The Ukrainian restaurant was a perfect respite from the cold and really nice to see some of the traditional foods and try my hand at ordering. Highly recommend.

    Todd B, Philadelphia, United States, Apr 07, 2015

  • We booked 2 tours with 2 different guides. Both ladies were very smartly dressed, very friendly and arrived on time. Monika was excellent in providing answers to our questions and giving us time to look at sights in our own time. The walk from our hotel to Red Square was pleasant and informative. We stopped at Red Square for a drink for approximately 45 minutes and then Monika then took us to a restaurant for lunch which was a good choice as it was good value and introduced us to Russian food. Monika was very good marking up a plan by identifying places to see and go to. The Chips Club was an excellent recommendation for food and drinks.

    We really enjoyed Dasha’s company she was very bubbly and friendly and we appreciated the fact that she was flying to Spain the next day and still stayed out with us until late. Dasha took us to the Rolling Stone Bar which was excellent.

    Robert Hepwood, UK, Sep 19, 2014

  • Monika met and exceeded all my expectations. Here English was great; her knowledge of Moscow was perfect for me--as I had very little. Her attitude and smile were added to her narrative. She was flexible for me and knew when to speed up and to slow down. And...she found me a great hotel at a great price. Everything was great.

    Timothy Walker, USA, Aug 26, 2014

  • Nina is a friendly, intelligent and amiable guide. Listened to all our wishes and arranged around that. Recommended if you want to see a lot of the city.

    Stig Johansen, Norway, Jun 28, 2014

  • What a fabulous way to see Moscow. Alina was most attentive, but relaxed and informative. I really felt I got to see more of the real Moscow by being accompanied by Alina. I would highly recommend her to any other visitor to Moscow. Thank you for a wonderful day. Keith

    Keith Stanton, UK, Dec 04, 2013

  • A great walking and metro tour of Moscow to explore the hidden gems and the major sites. Alina has a lot of knowledge that she imparts very clearly and with humour.

    Rob MacDougall, Australia, Oct 26, 2013

  • After 2 weeks back home in Canada, our time in Russia already seems like an exotic dream. And we have Alina to thank for a terrific & fascinating 2 days in Moscow. From the vastness of the Kremlin & Red Square to the delights of a sweet in an extraordinary grocery shop, Alina was a constantly informative & pleasant companion. We made excellent use of our time - & of course, 2 days is nowhere near sufficient time. So, thanks Alina for all your efforts on our behalf.

    Andrew & Sandra, Australia, Sep 15, 2013

  • Alina was very friendly, prompt, efficient, and knowledgeable. More importantly, she took the time to understand what we wanted and ensured that we had a great time. We really enjoyed our time in Moscow with Alina.

    Greg Parker, USA, Aug 24, 2013

  • Alina was amazing, would highly recommend. Really knows her city and is quiet the history buff.

    Luke Rennie, Australia, Aug 05, 2013

  • We asked Alina to show us the real Moscow away from the general tourist attractions. We had a few must see like the Metro stations and Lubyanka but other than that left the day to her. She was brilliant. She did suggest the changing of the guard at the Kremlin as it only happened on a Saturday and was only in the Summer, we could have missed a great event if she was not flexible with our brief. She is wonderful and very knowledgeable. I just wish we could take her to every country we visit.

    Beverley and Paul Cross, UK, Jun 16, 2013

  • Alina was a great guide in Moscow for myself and my friend, she was kind and friendly and without her our trip would not have been as fun, she was even so patient when I turned up to the tour having had my phone stolen and needed her help to assist with the translation with the police etc. We had a great day at the Kremlin, the Armory, The Ritz Carlton bar, we even had dinner with a Bear!

    James Hickey, London, UK, Jun 15, 2013

  • Prompt, smart and highly knowledgable. I recommend her enthusiastically. She sincerely wants you to enjoy your tour and is flexible in meeting your needs.

    Steven Gart, New York, New York, United States, Mar 25, 2013

  • Alina was a great guide. Her English is just about flawless, and she communicated with me several times in advance to make sure that my tour included everything that I wanted. She even arranged for some shopping and further negotiated a discount beyond what the store was advertising. Thanks Alina!

    Michael Ickowitz, USA, Feb 07, 2013

  • Being a tourist in Moscow is not easy N having an angel by your side makes a world of a difference. Waking up to horrendous weather in October can be a challenge. She took me straight to Sanduny Banya, gave me an authentic Russian experience of a lifetime. Afterwards for lunch, headed straight to a hip N cool Uzbekistan Resto for some killer Kebabs. Talk about russian culture in a nutshell, in the hands of a thoughtful, young expert who knows the city inside out,it just couldnt get any better than that:)

    John Ongcho, Manila, Philippines, Oct 29, 2012

  • She is very nice person but had limited knowledge of the history

    Omid Khorram, Iran, Aug 19, 2012