Improvements mean you must go to Moscow

4th Nov 2013

City breaks to Russia's capital are booming, thanks partially to a fascination with the country's UNESCO heritage sites.

Moscow expects to be visited by 5.1 million holidaymakers this year, according to tourism officials.

This number is expected to jump by 7.2% to 5.5 million in 2014.

The Kremlin and Red Square are the two UNESCO heritage sites which immediately spring to mind when holidaymakers plan their tour itinerary of iconic cultural sites.

But as many as 25 World Heritage Sites are spread across Russia's vast land.

Tourists can enjoy diverse sights from the volcanoes of Kamchatka to the historic centre of St. Petersburg; from the Virgin Koml forests to the citadel, ancient city and fortress buildings of Derbent.

The Moscow government has now unveiled a massive ad campaign aimed at attracting even more foreign visitors.

It has introduced hop on/hop off buses to cruise not only Moscow, but also St. Petersburg and Kazan.

The Moscow version boasts an audio guide in Russian, English, Spanish and German and covers all of the city's top attractions in a breathtaking, don't-blink hour.

The publicity drive is primarily aimed at young, fashionable, widely-travelled and active social media users.

It utilises Instagram-like filters and striking typography to portray Moscow as a modern and tourist-friendly city, according to Mark Quinn, CEO of Bold Creative, the Irish design firm assisting the drive.

Among other new improvements are large-scale renovations of the city's sights, extra English-language information throughout the city and iPhone apps and maps pinpointing the best routes.

The easiest way of travelling around this huge and sprawling city is the Moscow metro system, which is not only one of the most efficient in the world, but is also a museum in its own right.

Moscow's subway, like a subterranean palace, is vastly different from its New York and London cousins, featuring bronze, mosaics and marble.

It has also become more UK tourist-friendly with English signs, maps and navigation.

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