Moscow’s Underground Gem: Visiting Moscow Metro

Why visit Moscow Metro?

When we were in St Petersburg, one of the goals of ours was to check out the metro. While it was very nice, for us it couldn’t even compete with some underground stations in Moscow. First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Though there have been quite a few different ideas of Moscow metro since 1875, the construction started only in 1931. Under Stalin’s rule, cult of his personality played an important role in USSR. It was also reflected in the metro construction: multiple busts, portraits, quotes and sculptures of Stalin were all around the underground. However, after Khrushchev started the process of de-Stalinization, many of them were removed. For those interested how it looked like before, you can find a lot of photos on this website by Alexei Goncharov.

So, why visit metro? Because old metro stops look amazing.

Which stations to take?

Probably the best line to take to see fantastic stations is the brown (Koltsevaya, or circle) line nr 5. For those who don’t have a multi-day ticket, 1 time pass that costs 55 rubles is enough to make a full circle with a stop on each station. These tickets are not limited by time or amount of interchanges you take, but they only grant 1 entry. Trains come rather often, and we recommend to just exit at every stop that you like, take it all in and hop on the next train to continue your journey.

Here are some of our favourite stations in random order:

  1. Novoslobodskaya 
    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    Opened in 1952, this station features stained glass panels and mosaic

  2. Komsomolskaya 
    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    Komsomolskaya Station looks like inside of a palace wiht its columns and ornaments

  3. Prospekt Mira
    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    Beautiful marble walls of the Prospekt Mira station

  4. Taganskaya
    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    At this station you can find art pieces dedicated to different parts of Russian Army and Navy, the one on this picture is dedicated to the Navy officers

  5. Belorusskaya
    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    In the ceiling of Belorusskaya station you can find 12 mosaics representing Belorussian daily life

  6. Mayakovskaya
    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    One of my personal favourites, Mayakovskaya is based on a futuristic views of famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky

    First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

    This Art Deco station features mosaics, marble walls and beautiful arches

We sincerely hope that you’ll enjoy metro system in Moscow as much as we did. It’s an amazing piece of art and history combined together, which so many people get to enjoy every single day, without even thinking of it. This is a great example of “accessible art” that lasts for many decades. If you know Russian, check out the trains as well – many of them were tuned before FIFA 2018 and contain some interesting information about different themes of Russian culture and history.

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First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

First and biggest metro system in Russia, it was opened in 1935 and it has been expanding since then. Find out why and how to visit Moscow Metro.

62 Comments

  1. Wow! I thought New York City had a fancy train station with Grand Central Terminal- but these are absolutely stunning- all of them!

  2. Wow! I’m certainly impressed by how beautiful these stations are! And, they are so clean. Seems like a great way to get around and see all the great museums and sites!

    1. Our pleasure, Jimmy! Luckily, in Moscow now you can figure out things if you don’t speak Russian – I can imagine things were very different 20 years ago 🙂

  3. Wow – this is really incredibly beautiful! I would probably spend my entire stay at the subway stations. They look like museums or cathedrals – amazing! Thanx for introducing them on your blog!

    1. Hi Renata! Thanks for your comment. They are truly really nice, and I feel like in the world they don’t build stuff like that anymore. Definitely check it out if possible!

  4. I’m really impressed by the effort they put into creating unique and memorable metro stations in Moscow. I have seen some incredible metro stations in Athens and Stockholm, but the Russians are killing it 😀

  5. Wow, I love that you’ve put this together in a post. I visited Moscow a few years ago, and I completely forgot how beautiful the stations are! I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this anywhere in the world – they are absolutely gorgeous in Moscow! So which one is your ultimate favourite if you have to pick one? 🙂

  6. When I was a teenager I saw for the first time photos of the Moscow metro and yours confirm the same mesmerizing effect they made them on me when I first saw them.

  7. Wow what a beautiful station! I could just spend my time walking around down there enjoying the design without having to actually wander around Moscow.

  8. Subway is my favorite public transportation and in Moscow the subway is so widespread that you can get literally anywhere! Not only it is convenient, but also each station is has it’s own design which is great

  9. Their underground system is a definitely a tourist attraction by itself. LOve the designs and the architecture. Probabaly one of the most picturesque underground metro ive ever seen.

  10. Ive seen photos of these amazing metro stations in Moscow on Instagram before. How awesome- looking forward to visiting one day

  11. Wow, what an impressive architecture bor underground Metro station too in Moscow. I have seen a similar type of impressive architecture of Underground Metro in Ukraine and therefore I can say, all Russian cities have similar Metro. Mayakovskaya is amazing as it creates some illusions and looks endless.

    1. Hi Yukti! I have to disagree with you – I don’t think all Russian cities have similar metro.. There might be many that bare similarities, but I’m pretty sure newer metro systems will be very much different. I would love to visit metro somewhere in Ukraine though, they too have some of the world’s deepest stations, as far as I heard

  12. When I used the Moscow metro the first time, I got lost. It’s one of the most complicated metro systems I ever saw 🙂

    1. Really? It might be.. especially if you visited at the times when it wasn’t translated to English 🙂 I found it quite sensible, but again, we have been to so many different metros by now.. I guess once you figure it out, it becomes much easier!

  13. Omg! I have never seen this before. So excited! I never thought to visit Moscow but this post changed my mind actually. Truely I wanna be in the underground and get amazed!

  14. Oh my! If I had not read the post, I would not have taken these beautiful pictures to be of Metro stations! These truly are hidden gems of Moscow! Reading about and seeing them for the first time and it would be a great idea to just tour these beautiful and arty stations!

    1. Hi Navita! Yes, this is what sometimes seems to me as “over the top”, but I understand how back in times it was also expected. Worth a visit, in all cases!

  15. Are these metro stations for real? Your photos are gorgeous, well done! Moscow is very high on our bucket list and now for yet another reason. Thank you so much for this post!

    1. Thanks, Maria! There is even more of the stations like this in Moscow, I think these ones were just our favorites. It’s great to hear it’s on your bucket list – Moscow has so much to offer.

  16. It’s always interesting to see the different underground transport systems around the world. Moscow’s really looks unique, turning station design into an art form. Very interesting to read – thank you!

  17. For someone who lives in an area where there are no underground train stations, this place looks awesome! I had no idea they could be so interesting and cool!

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