Discover Moscow

Moscow: interesting facts, places, history, society, culture and people

Moscow Kremlin
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Spaskaja (the Saviour) tower of Kremlin
pinterest button Spaskaja (the Saviour) tower of Kremlin Milan Nykodym, CC BY-SA 2.0

Moscow is one of the largest urban economies, and one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world.

Major center

Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent.

Lomonosov Moscow State University
pinterest button Lomonosov Moscow State University Dmitry A. Mottl, CC BY-SA 3.0

By broader definitions Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 15th largest urban area, and the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide.


Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it the world's most populated inland city.


Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia, with 12.3 million residents within the city limits and 16.8 million within the urban area.

Northernmost megacity

Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth. 

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
pinterest button Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Aleks G, CC BY-SA 3.0

By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers (421 to 970 sq mi), and it gained an additional population of 233,000 people.


The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its brightly colored domes.

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow
pinterest button Saint Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow Ludvig14, CC BY-SA 3.0


The city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation.

Bolshoi Theatre — front facade view at night
pinterest button Bolshoi Theatre — front facade view at night DmitriyGuryanov, CC BY-SA 3.0


Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists, scientists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums, academic and political institutions and theaters.

Green capital

With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012.

Moscow sunset. Moscow-City
pinterest button Moscow sunset. Moscow-City Pavel Kazachkov, CC BY-SA 2.0

Seat of power

Moscow has the status of a federal city in Russia.

Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence of the Russian president. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in the city.

Transit network

The city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground metro systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside of Asia in terms of passenger numbers, and the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 199 stations.


Moscow, Russia

Living in Moscow: An Overview


/ˈmɒskaʊ/ or /ˈmɒskoʊ/
Russian: Москва
tr. Moskva
IPA: [mɐˈskva]

Political status

Federal district: Central
Economic region: Central
Established: before 1147
Federal city Day: the first Saturday and Sunday of September

Government (as of 2016)

Mayor: Sergey Sobyanin
Legislature: City Duma


  • Total Area: 2,511 km2 (970 sq mi)
  • Population (2016): 12,325,387
  • Density: 4,581.24 /km2 (11,865.4 /sq mi)
  • Time zone: MSK (UTC+04:00)
  • License plates: 77, 99, 97, 177, 199, 197, 777, 799, 797

Official website (in Russian)