Capturing the Kremlin and central Moscow: the higher, the better
Of course, pictures of the Kremlin shot from the Red Square are no doubt iconic and must-have, but they are taken by thousands of tourists every day and can hardly make a wow-effect on your friends on Instagram and other social networks.
Another problem with shooting from Red Square is that the photos do not fully represent the scale of the medieval fortress of Kremlin. So, you need to make some steps further and higher to catch the right shot. You’ll be surprised by the fact that the panoramic views of the Kremlin are pretty easy to get. We have four hints for you: Zaryadie, Ritz Carlton, Patriarch bridge, and Radisson riverboat.
If you want to not only make beautiful photos but also to learn something interesting about the history of Russia, we recommend an individual tour of the Kremlin. You can order it online here.
First, go to Zaryadye, which is located right next to the Red Square, behind the St Basil’s Cathedral, on the closest Moscow river bank. The most impressive views over the Kremlin are unfolded from the so-called Flying bridge of Zaryadye and Glass Dome building in the back part of the park.
Zaryadye is the new place of attraction in Moscow. It’s a landscape park, opened in September 2017 by the Moscow government on the hill where the giant soviet hotel ‘Rossiya’ located before its demolition in the early 2000-s. As a bonus, you’ll get an incredible view over one of Stalin’s skyscrapers, located on the opposite bank of Moscow river — the so-called Vysotka at Kotelnicheskaya, used as a residence of many Russian famous people and officials.
The roof of the Ritz Carlton Hotel
This option is ok only in case if you’re ready to pay the average bar bill of over 2500 rubles (about $40). Visit the O2 Lounge Bar on the roof of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where all the global celebrities take their Moscow pictures, from Angelina Jolie to Robert Downey Jr.
But such photo investments seem to pay off immediately. The deck of the bar makes an excellent panorama point for the Kremlin walls and towers, the Historical Museum, the Great Kremlin Palace, and the Kremlin cathedrals. All these landmarks are not too far away, which makes them perfectly recognizable, even in the background.
The Radisson riverboat
This hint will be useful in case you’re traveling to Moscow in the cold season. River transportation in Moscow doesn't stop in winter. Many enclosed and heated tourist yachts with panoramic windows and ice-breaking equipment can be found in the Moscow River. For instance, one of the most recognizable is the flotilla Radisson.
Their route goes past all the main sights of pre-revolutionary and Soviet Moscow – from Stalin's skyscrapers (Ukraina hotel and Vysotka at Kotelnicheskaya) to the Kremlin and the Novodevichy Convent. It is possible to go out to the open deck and take photos of you and your family or friends against a backdrop of the city’s lights and their reflection in the river. The cruise lasts 2.5 hours. You can book a tour with a car roundtrip transfer from your hotel to the pier and back: book online here
The bridge is located further from the Kremlin, than Zaryadye or Ritz Carlton, so the Kremlin walls on your photos will look smaller. The brighter side of walking through the bridge is that you can do more fabulous pics of the Moscow river and city center landscapes. The Moscow river and the pretty recognizable giant statue of Peter the Great are ideally viewed from the bridge. Be prepared that it’s a famous and popular pedestrian area for tourists all over the world so the bridge may be crowded.
Also, the bridge is a part of a long promenade which leads from the Christ the Saviour Cathedral through the Balchug island to the opposite bank of the Moscow River, where another pedestrian area — Museon embankment — is ready to joy you with its cafes, cozy lawns and impressive views over the river flow, ducks and boats.
The best spot to shoot the famous Moscow business downtown is located on the Taras Shevchenko embankment. To get there you need to come to the metro stations Vystavochnaya or Delovoi Tsentr, then go to the Bagration bridge (use the metro navigation, the path is tricky), cross the bridge — and voilà! You’ve reached the best spot for shooting, posing, sending selfies, and Instagramming.
Ponds and orangeries
There are two ponds in Moscow, that deserve your attention in summer: the Chistye ponds (actually there is only one pond, but it’s worth it) and the pond in Gorky Park, which is full of small boats and catamarans. Both lakes are lost between the green alleys and are drowning in all the shades of green. Those are the perfect spots to catch the moment of peace amid the madness of big city life.