I’d always wanted to visit Moscow. I’d had a fascination with the country ever since I watched the horrifically inaccurate Anastacia cartoon and then went on to study Russian history at school.
I’d built up some airmiles from when I was studying abroad and had an email from British Airways telling me they were having an Avios sale. I could take myself and someone else to Moscow for a minimal tax fee.
Three months later I found myself on a plane to Moscow along with my mum to celebrate my 21st birthday.
It was certainly an experience. But did our trip go entirely to plan?
Despite Moscow still being one of my favourite trips and city breaks, we made a hell of a lot of mistakes. So to prevent you from making the same mistakes, here’s the big ones we made:
Arriving at 6am, getting to the hotel and taking a ‘short nap’
There’s no such thing as a short nap when you’re been awake for 20 hours. The next thing you know you’ve been asleep for five hours and it’s way past lunchtime. Whoops. All that time you could have been exploring.
Not learning any Russian or mapping out which subway stations i’d need
We brought a guide book which was useful and we knew where we wanted to go but the guide book only had the subway map in the traditional alphabet and not in cyrillic. Cue the Sophie family making up their own way of figuring out the cyrillic ‘that one looks a bit like a table and that one looks like an upside down B’.
Not purchasing our tickets to get into the Kremlin online
We queued for hours with many people deciding to push in front of us during a blizzard. It was at that point we decided to admire from afar and….. go for afternoon tea.
Not buying a McLenin shirt
Because….what more do you need in a souvenir from Moscow than a McLenin shirt? Tasteful. I did get the Russian hat though.
Thinking that people might be able to speak English
No they don’t and why should they?!! We went into Starbucks and they had no idea what to do with us. Lesson learnt. Be prepared with hand signals or just point.
Thinking I could see it all in three days
Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. There are so many beautiful buildings, parks and attractions that you just can’t fit in until you spend a decent amount of time there.
Those are my biggest mistakes I made when I visited Moscow. Of course, now I really want to go back and visit places I didn’t get to fit in last time and also take a trip to Saint Petersburg. Maybe next time though i’ll be a little bit more prepared.
Have you made any big mistakes while travelling? Do you regret doing something or not doing something while you were away?