Discover More, Moscow by Ilya Mikhailov

We sent Ilya a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Moscow to get his perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in his hometown.

Name:Ilya Mikhailov

Place you live: Moscow, Russia

Can you sum up Moscow? Moscow is the capital of Russia. It is the largest and most populous city and the center of economy, politics, science, business and sport. Here historical traditions blend well with contemporary culture.

Can you sum up the people of Moscow? Russia – a generous soul! Russians do everything with maximum commitment. We are friendly and welcoming, although at first glance we may seem gloomy and discontented.

What was the experience like looking through the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: MoscowIn fact, I was pleasantly surprised! I looked at and read it several times. The guidebook is complete with beautiful photographs and illustrations, lists all the main attractions and even places that are rarely mentioned in other guides. It highlights very large events, as well as the local holidays. Maximum comprehensive information on all aspects of life in the Russian capital!

Did you find anything new or inspiring about your area in the book? Yes, of course! For myself, it emphasized a few new places that I have never been to and I’m going to go to those spots and make some great photos!

How did the guidebook influence the photos you went out to take of your area? My house is far from the Kolomenskoye Park. I rarely go out to this wonderful place and do not know much about it. The guidebook allowed me to explore this park and I spent all weekend there.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this project: I tried to choose different pictures. There are summer and winter pictures, there are historical buildings and modern architecture, there is a crowded place and there are quiet parks, there are daytime and sunset photos. I wanted to show the diversity of Moscow from all sides.

What is a perfect day in Moscow? I certainly would suggest starting the day with a jog in a park, breakfast in one of the great cafes in the city center and then going to the Tretyakov Gallery or any other museum. Then I would suggest going sailing on the Moscow River!

What do you love about Moscow? Moscow never sleeps. In contrast to many European cities and capitals, in Moscow everything is always open and working virtually around the clock. You will always find a place where you can drink, eat, take a walk or go to the gym, even late at night. Moscow has one of the most beautiful and cheapest metros in the world, which is now actively built and continues to grow.

What do you dislike? The typical problems of a megacity. Crazy rhythms of the city, social inequality, long-distances and over-population. Most of all I want to note the crazy car traffic as the number of cars continues to grow, which results in endless traffic jams at any time of the day, especially in winter.

What would be surprising about Moscow to an outsider? Lack of bears in the streets, the blood of the residents is vodka and Red Square is not red. There are a large number of parks in Moscow, all very different and there are always events. I recommend visiting the most popular places for leisure – Gorky Park, Sokolniki, Izmailovo Park and Vorobiovi Gory.


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Name:Ilya Mikhailov



Best place to eat? 

Mari Vanna for traditional Russian cuisine, Sixty has a great view of the city and Cafe Pushkin is a historic noble estate.

Best place to drink? 

Kamchatka or Strelka

Best place to shop? 

GUM, Tsum and Afimall City

Best outdoor activity?  

Gorky Park, VDNKh

Local tip? 

Be sure to taste the Russian vodka with red or black caviar, bring home a souvenir doll or a cap with earflaps and always ride on the subway.

If someone was visiting what must they do?  

Of course, the most iconic and popular place for guests of Moscow, Red Square!