Moscow Region

When Moscow is too small for your travel ambition, it's time for Moscow region! Why limit yourself to overcrowded city, when there's so much to see out of town?

Moscow region ("Podmoskovye") lies just outside MKAD (Moscow beltway), but it's much "closer" to real Russia than Moscow itself.

Let's be honest - there's a quantum leap between the capital and the rest of the country. We even have this joke that Muscovite is not the same as Russian.

If you wish to walk that extra mile, if you truly want to know what makes Russia "tick" - Moscow is not enough.

But then again, Russia is huge and time is little - who has time to go to Siberia??

So you see,"Podmoskovye" is great for enriching your travel experience without spending too much time.

And time, as you know, is money ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what are the main things that make Moscow region so special?

#1 - Not like Moscow

Moscow isn't Russia. I guess same goes for many countries - it's like comparing New York to a small town in the middle of nowhere! The city I live in is richer, bigger and closer to the West than any other place in Russia.

If you wish to see true Russian life - look beyond Moscow beltway. You don't have to go far - few kilometers are fine. You'll feel the difference right away.

In fact, people who inhabit Moscow region are more pleasant even though their life standards are lower. They are friendlier, "smilier" and happier than my fellow Muscovites.

#2 - Nature

Moscow has good parks and gardens, but let's be frank - any big city isn't exactly environment friendly. You want to see fields and forests - you go out.

A tree in Moscow region

Such views are not uncommon in Moscow region

Have you ever picked a berry? Do you know how great it is to find one by yourself? I remember going to the forest for the first time - and it was so much fun! I still remember that moment!

Same goes for mushrooms. They are hard to find, but once you find your first - there is no stopping you!

Afraid to get lost in the forest? There are endless fields around! You can walk them for hours, breathe the fresh air and wish to stay there for the rest of your life!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Look at my pictures of Moscow region collection, and you'll understand me for sure!

Want to see a true Russian winter? You won't find one in town - too many dirt, too many cars. Instead, get to the car and go to Anikeevka village that's near Volokolamskoe highway. There's a great forest there, and that's where the snow hides.

I've been to Anikeevka several times in winter - it's so snowy and quiet! And the air - sooo fresh and clear, mmm-hmm! Definitely should go there again some day soon!

#3 - Dacha

Heard of Russian dacha? That's a very special place, a cross-breed of farm and villa that nearly every Moscow family has. Life in big city is tough and not very healthy, that's why the people need place to relax and breathe.

In the past, dachas were used to grow vegetables and fruits - Communist economy wasn't very abundant, you know. Today, they are mostly used for R&R.;

Moscow region dacha. By Moscow Russia Insider's Guide

Yep, that's our dacha!

When someone invites you to their dacha - be sure to accept! You'll have a chance to try shashlyk, which is a Georgian version of barbeque - veeery tasty! Bring some red wine or vodka with you - there's always a room for one in Russian company!

If you're lucky, you'll have a chance to enjoy Russian banya. It's like a sauna, but with a wet steam may sound kinda weird, but we hit each other with birch brooms there. Sort of massage, you know...very healthy by the way!

#4 - Lots of sights

Moscow region has many churches, museums, springs and historic places. For example, in the city of Chekhov which is 70 kilometers from Moscow, there's a museum of Anton Chekhov, the famous Russian writer that you've probably heard about.

It's not a classic museum that you're used to. Instead, his manor was reconstructed, and you can actually walk around and see how Chekhov lived! Personally, I like this form of presentation much more!

True winter in Moscow region.

Now THAT's a winter!

Plus, right by the manor there's a spring called "Talezh". People come there for its wonderful,tasty, crystal-clear water.

It's also holy place where children get baptized, and a great sight, beautifully decorated and cared for.

There are also countless churches spread around the entire Moscow region. Nearly all of them are of historic value, and several are located in Chekhov as well.

They aren't like the ones you see in Moscow - no tourists and shiny booklets around, but if you truly wish to experience Russian history - be ready to step away from the crowd ๐Ÿ˜‰

Russia is not about Moscow. If you truly want to study our country - widen your scope, think out of the box and prepare to discover the wonders of Moscow region!

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