Moscow Museums for Free: Challenge Accepted

Moscow Museums for Free: Challenge Accepted
26 June 2017

Even if in the last years Moscow was believed to be one of the most expensive cities globally, now, due to the fall of the ruble, the cost of living in the Russian capital has decreased significantly. What a good news for tourists and expats! But wait, that’s not all! Today the cultural and artistic scene of the metropolis has become even more accessible for its guests since the Department of Culture established a “Free Museums Day”. I’m not joking, that’s true! It happens every third Sunday of each month, on Moscow City Day and during Christmas holidays. Well, free admission applies only to institutions subordinated to the Department of Culture and therefore you won’t be able to visit for free institutions like the Tretyakov Gallery, the State Historical Museum on Red Square or the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, since they are Federal organisations. Anyway, who cares? The list of museums that take part in this initiative includes at least forty state museums, galleries and estates that are undoubtedly worth a visit. What else can you ask for? Check my top 5 list and start a museums’ “tour de force”, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics (Prospekt Mira, house III)

One of the hidden treasures in Moscow. Don’t fear its distance from the city’s centre, it’s totally worth it, as you will find yourself in the “space” part of the capital. Here indeed not only will you find the 100-metres monument to the Conquerors of the Space, Gagarin’s statue and a model of the solar system, but also streets named after the founders of astronautics! The characteristic features of the museum are the Vostok 1, the first spacecraft that carried a human, Yuri A. Gagarin, into space and two embalmed dogs, Belka and Strelka, that were the first animals to enter the space and return home alive. Find out their real names and have fun on a new dimension!

K. Timiryazev State Biological Museum (Malaya Gruzinskaya street, 15)

Divided into six different areas (“Nature and Man”, “Animal World”, “The Lide of Plants”, “Fundamentals of Genetics”, “Fundamentals of the theory of evolution” and “Development of life on Earth”), this interesting museum treasures all the beauty of the living world. This is the perfect place to learn something new and extremely valuable without getting bored, not only about ourselves, but also about animals, insects, plants and microflora, that is to say every living form that has ever existed on our planet.

Bulgakov’s House (Bolshaya Sadovaya street, 10)

Want to see something unusual? Then go to visit this unique place! This house museum commemorates the life and work of “The Master and Margarita” masterpiece’s author, Mikhail Bulgakov and was the house of one of the main characters of the novel, the professor Woland (Satan himself). This “nekhoroshaya kvartira” (bad apartment), as the author describes it, was a site of a religious pilgrimage of his fans long before being a museum. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the sculpture of Korovev and Behemont at the entry and remember to watch out for Berlioz’s head under the tram situated inside the house!

Gogol’s House (Nikitsky Boulevard, 7A)

This second literary museum in our list, located in the very centre of Moscow, near the Arbat Square, is the house where Nikolai Gogol, one of the geniuses of Russian literature, spent his last years and then died in 1852. Here he worked on the second volume of the “Dead Souls”, that unfortunately he burned and threw in the fireplace, which still exists in the very spot. This precious place should be in every tourist’s top 10 must-see museums in Moscow, but be careful and visit it only during the day: it is said that at night the doors  sometimes are locked from the inside and from there comes a creepy noise, like moving furniture.

Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve

To finish on a high note, I suggest you to visit this marvellous place in the south of Moscow. This late 18th-century palace complex was meant to be a summer imperial residence for the Empress Catherine II, who unfortunately died before the work was completed. Today this 405-hectares museum-reserve, with its splendid gardens, ponds and fountains, hosts several permanent exhibitions about its history or the peculiarities of everyday life and fashion of the past. However, if after this museums’ “tour de force” you are too tired to concentrate on fancy dresses and old tales, this is for sure the best place to relax and enjoy at the fullest your last hours of freedom before starting a new week.

free museums


Check here the complete list of partecipating institutions:

This blog was brought to you by Lucia, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz.

Posted by Lucia Moro

Hi everybody! My name is Lucia, I'm 23 years old and I come from Italy. I'm currently both an intern and a Russian language student at Liden & Denz in Moscow. This is my first time in the country of Pushkin and matryoshka's dolls, follow me and let's discover together its marvellous capital!

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