Head to the hills south of the city for one of the best views of Moscow. From the square in front of Moscow State University, most of the city spreads out before you. It is an excellent vantage point to see Luzhniki, the huge stadium complex built across the river for the 1980 Olympics, as well as Novodevichy Convent and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Behind Universitetskaya pl is the Stalinist spire of Moscow State University, one of the 'Seven Sisters'. The building is the result of four years of hard labour by convicts between 1949 and 1953. It boasts an amazing 36 floors and 33km of corridors. The shining star that sits atop the spire is supposed to weigh 12 tonnes. Among other socialist-realist frills on the facade, look for the eager students looking forward to communism. The building is not open to the public, which is a shame, because the lobby is equally elaborate, featuring bronze statues of distinguished Soviet scientists.