Day One

  • Kremlin & Kitay Gorod

Arrive at the Kremlin ticket office at 9.30am sharp to reserve your time to enter the Armoury. Dedicate your morning to inspecting the ancient icons and gawking at the gold and gems in the Kremlin. Afterwards, stroll through Alexander Garden and catch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Exiting Alexander Garden, jump right into the queue on Red Square for Lenin’s Tomb before it closes at 1pm.

Linger over lunch as long as you like, ogling the Kremlin spires and St Basil’s domes. If you wish to see the interior of the cathedral, you can do so after lunch. Otherwise, stroll through Kitay Gorod, discovering the countless 17th-century churches and checking out Park Zaryadye.

  • Dinner Dine at a restaurant on ul Petrovka, such as Lavka-Lavka.
  • Tverskoy

Get tickets in advance to see a show at the world-famous Bolshoi Theatre. Afterwards, enjoy a late-evening drink at 3205 in Hermitage Garden.

Day Two

  • Khamovniki

A beautiful 17th-century bell tower is the beacon that will guide you to the historic fortress of Novodevichy Convent, which contains nearly five centuries of history. After admiring the art and architecture, head next door to the eponymous cemetery, where many famous political and cultural figures are laid to rest.

Make your way into the Arbat district for an afternoon of art appreciation. Peruse the collections of the world-famous Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, or investigate one of the smaller niche galleries, such as the whimsical Burganov House or the provocative Multimedia Art Museum.

  • Dinner Sample irresistible Russian steaks at Voronezh or scrumptious Georgian cuisine at Elardzhi.
  • Arbat

After dinner you can stroll along Moscow’s most famous street – the Arbat – enjoying the talents of buskers and the atmosphere of old Moscow. If you prefer a more formal setting for your entertainment, catch a concert at Rhythm Blues Cafe.

Day Three

  • Zamoskvorechie

Get an early start to beat the crowds to the Tretyakov Gallery. Take your time inspecting the icons, examining the Peredvizhniki, marvelling at the Russian Revival and ogling the avant-garde.

  • Lunch Grab lunch at Mizandari at Red October.
  • Zamoskvorechie

After lunch, stroll along the Krymskaya naberezhnaya, where you can frolic in fountains and explore the outdoor art gallery at Art Muzeon. Then head across the street to Gorky Park for an afternoon of bicycle riding or boat paddling. Stay into the evening for outdoor cinema, sundowners, and drinking and dancing under the stars.

It's easy to while away a summer evening in Gorky Park. But if you're up for something more, the former Red October factory is now the city’s hottest nightlife spot, jam-packed with eating, drinking and entertainment venues. Let yourself wander, stopping here for dessert, there for drinks, and somewhere else for dancing. Explore the galleries. Rock the bar scene. Have fun.

Day Four

  • Basmanny

Reserve the morning for shopping at the Vernisage market, crammed with souvenir stalls selling everything from silver samovars to Soviet propaganda posters to modern pop-culture matryoshki (nesting dolls). The market gets crowded on weekends, so arrive early to beat the crowds and get the best deals.

On your way back to the centre, make a stop at Flakon and Khlebozavod 9 or Winzavod and nearby ArtPlay to see what's happening in Moscow's former industrial spaces. These contemporary art centres now undertake a different kind of production – art, fashion and design. See what Moscow's most creative minds are up to, and perhaps take home a really unique souvenir.

  • Dinner Reserve your table for a haute-russe feast at Cafe Pushkin.
  • Presnya

Dinner at the Cafe Pushkin is a multicourse medley of old-fashioned Russian cuisine (accompanied by plenty of vodka shots). If you're still standing afterwards, head to Jagger for sunset drinks and dancing the night away.