Find out more about the most famous of Moscow pedestrian streets. Existing since 15th century, the Arbat has a lot of stories to tell – it has seen the merchants, the novelty families and artists, poets and thinkers. Nowadays, Arbat Street in Moscow is a cozy pedestrian street with a variety of cafes, bookstores, souvenir shops, street artists and its own unique atmosphere.
- Region in Russia: Moscow
- Topic: Sightseeing
- Best Season: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
- Family & Kids: Yes
Arbat Street in Moscow – Sightseeing Highlight of Moscow
Many guides and book will tell you that Arbat Street or simply the Arbat is the most famous of all Moscow pedestrian streets, and that is indeed so. Why?
Well, first of all, it is one of the oldest streets in Moscow. It was first mentioned in documents in 1493 meaning that it came to existence even before that. In its early years the street was a very important trade route, in the 18th century it was purely an aristocratic part of the town with Moscow’s nobility living there. Starting from 19th century the Arba Street in Moscow became a place where artists, poets, thinkers, musicians chose to live.
Nowadays, Arbat is a picturesque pedestrian street with a special unique atmosphere. Street painters, musicians, artists and actors – all these people are always there performing to pedestrians their skills. Arbat Street in Moscow attracts tourists not only by its special atmosphere, but also by the amount of beautiful historical buildings as well as close proximity (800 m) to the Kremlin walls (another of Moscow TOP points of interest).
ake sure to visit Arbat Street in Moscow – the most famous of Moscow pedestrian streets, a sightseeing highlight of Moscow that is marked in every guide as one of Moscow TOP points of interest.
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Walking along Arbat Street in Moscow
Let’s have a walk along Arbat street in Moscow and take a look at the most interesting buildings of the Arbat. Although it’d be true to say that every building there has a story to tell. The Arbat stretches along 1.2 km – quite a long pedestrian street which makes it nice for walks. The street starts from Arbatskaya square (Metro station Abatskaya – Line 3/ Blue line) and ends with the Garden Ring on Smolenskaya square (Metro station Smolenskaya – Line 3/ Blue line).
So, let’s start our walk from Arbatskaya metro station, 800 m away from the Kremlin walls. The first building we see is the corner building №2 – a famous Praga Restaurant, one of Arbat highlights and one of Moscow points of interest as well. It was opened at the end of the 19th century by merchant Tararykin. Playing pool game he by sheer luck won the building where a guest house with an inn had been located. He soon hired the famous architects L. Kekushev and A. Erichson to reconstruct the building, and opened a premium restaurant which many famous people visited. For example, the writers Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov, and the painter Ilya Repin.
Till today there you can bye a famous ptichye moloko cake or Praga cake – they were invented here.
Walking along Arbat Street in Moscow
The majority of Arbat’s buildings were commercial apartment buildings. № 9 is a commercial apartment building of Burgardt-Gvozdecki built in 1874. In the end of 19th century there used to be a bakery, and in 1920s a tavern called “Arbat’s basement”. Here Russian famous poets Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexander Blok, Sergei Yesenin and his sweetheart an American dancer Isadora Duncan used to spend their evenings. Nowadays this building hosts Ukrainian Culture Centre.
№ 11 is a commercial apartment building of Moscow’s private pawnshop built in 1911 by N.Strukov. The façade is decorated with lion’s masks bearing the features of the Italian Renaissance.
№ 12 is a commercial apartment building of Orlov designed in typical for late eclecticism style. Although the building itself doesn’t have any interesting historical facts to tell, the place on which it stands bears a great history. At the back of the buildings 12-16 there used to be Nicholas Church built back on 1593 – one of the oldest churches in old Moscow. Unfortunately, the church was demolished by the Bolsheviks (!)
Another interesting building is № 35/5 – a commercial apartment building of the Filatovs or “The house of knights”. This is the highest building of Arbat street in Moscow constructed in 1914 by V. Dubrovsky. The building is created in neo gothic style with the sculptures of knights on its façade. Before the revolution the building had magnificent interiors – stained-glass panels, marble staircases, large apartments. However, after the revolution communal flats were organized here. Nowadays the building hosts Actor Centre and different offices.
Right across the street from the House of Knights is Vakhtangov Theatre (№ 26). To the right of the main entrance you will see a statue of Princess Turandot – the most famous and successful of Vakhtangov Theatre performances.
Commercial apartment building of A. Urusov (№ 32) is a three-story house of duke Urusov – an eclecticism construction with the element of pseudo Russian style.
Near №43 on Arbat street in Moscow you will see a statue in memory of Bulat Okudzhava – beloved Russian bard and poet Bulat Okudzhava who used ot live here.
Another statue on Arbat street in Moscow is a statue “Pushkin and Natalie” dedicated to the famous Russian poet and his wife. The statue is located right across the street from a blue two-stories mansion №53 where Alexander Pushkin and his wife Natalie Goncharova lived several months after getting married. Nowadays the building hosts Pushkin House Museum on Arbat.
Arbat street in Moscow ends at Smolenskaya Square where a huge building of Russian Foreign Ministry is located.
Make sure to walk along the Arbat – one of pedastrian streets in Moscow. It is a Moscow sightseeing highlight marked in every guide as one of Moscow TOP points of interest.
© shutterstock/ Best-of-Russia.net
Arbat Street – Location Map & Contact Information
How to get there – ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Arbatskaya metro station (Line 3/ blue line)
800 m away from the Kremlin walls – from the white Kutafya Tower go west by Vozdvizhenka street, in 10 minutes you will reach Arbatskaya Square – this is where Arbat Street begins.