Lonely Planet Writer

Moscow is turning 870 this week and throwing a 10 day party to celebrate

Did you know that the Russian capital turns 870 this year? To celebrate the grand occasion, Moscow city administration has extended the annual City Day (which falls on the first weekend in September) into a ten-day Moscow Anniversary 870 Festival. Hundreds of events will take place at more than 40 venues across the city from 1 to 10 September under the slogan ‘Moscow is a city where history is being made’.

Elevated view of Moscow’s biggest landmarks – Spasskaya tower of Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral with brand new skyscrapers at background. Image by vladimir zakharov/Getty Images

Plenty of food, fun and fireworks is always to be expected on Moscow streets for the City Day. This year, there are seven themes for the festivities: ‘Moscow sets records, invents, creates, conquers, discovers, builds, and our victories’.  One of the main venues is the central Tverskaya street, where the history of Moscow’s outstanding discoveries and achievements – from space exploration to art masterpieces – will come to life through lectures, performances, concerts, sports and science shows, as well as in meetings with renowned Muscovites.

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Some of the fun events to check out if you’re in town, as reported by The Moscow Times, include: extreme sports (such as wakeboarding on Manege Square and parkour on Kamergersky Pereulok); a street theatre festival in Gorky Park and Art Muzeon (with participants from France, Italy and Russia).

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There are also art masterclasses on Klimentovsky Pereulok (from water colouring to the history of the Tretyakov Gallery); a food festival on Tverskaya street (with Moscow chefs teaching people how to cook Russian specialities); free entrance to 80 museums and other venues (from Moscow Museum of Modern Art to Moscow Zoo); and free city tours (including around 100 walking tours, a river cruise with a curator from the Moscow Museum, and a tour on the Moscow Central Ring railway line).

The celebrations will culminate in a fireworks display on Saturday night (9 September) from 13 places around Moscow. Park Pobedy is recommended as one of the best spots for observing the spectacle.