I had a few day trips planned in my head for our Monday in Moscow (the Golden Ring looked gorgeous and I still want to visit this region of Russia!) however the crazy Moscow traffic left me looking a bit closer to the city centre for a mini escape. We decided to take a little trip to Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery which looked picture perfect from my pinterest research and close to the centre of Moscow (honestly how good is Pinterest for finding travel gems these days!).
We left a tad later than initially planned from the hotel, mainly as we were trying to work out the best option of getting across town…in the end we ordered an uber taxi which dropped us off right by the entrance after a short 20 minute drive…I think it was safe to say G was way over onion domes at this point while I was still totally in the onion dome zone…thankfully I’m not intolerant to onion domes unlike onions in general!
After paying the entrance fee (there is a small office by the entrance), we popped inside and went for a little wander around…Novodevichy Convent is a rather peaceful escape from the busy central area of Moscow…you can hear the birds singing and there is just an utter calm that surrounds the site…a rather special UNESCO World Heritage Site which has had various roles during it’s lifetime.
G and I popped inside to see a few religious icons and read up about Mother Superior…a rather interesting lady who had her calling very late in life.
Unfortunately Smolensky Cathedral inside the walls was closed in April for restoration work so we checked out another little church within the walls…
…which was very sweet…
…good things do come in little packages (well at times!).
It wasn’t the prettiest church we had visited during our time in Moscow but it was lovely to see something a tad different. I’ve seen photos of the interiors of Smolensky Cathedral and it looks bloody amazing so I’m gutted that we missed out having a snoop inside.
We wandered around the convent which originally started as a fort…
…we couldn’t help but to relax and just sat on of the seats admiring all those golden domes…while other tourists were getting frogmarched through the convent by their tour guides…this made me smile quite a lot.
After leaving the convent, we decided to find the Novodevichy cemetery which is very close the convent….
…I would highly recommend a visit as there are a number of famous Russians buried in this cemetery including Yeltsin (there was a lady visiting his memorial with special police and bodyguards…it was all rather exciting!), Yuri Nikulin and Anton Chekhov to just name a few…
…we weren’t to fussed about finding the famous faces however the over the top headstones were much more my jam…honestly they were just freaking AMAZING!
^^She has flowers coming out of her bottom…how grand is that!
Dancing between the headstones were bluebells and of course not many weeds as everything is wonderfully maintained within the Novodevichy cemetery grounds.
I may have taken more photos at the cemetery then at the convent! As I said in my previous Moscow post; you have to embrace all the quirks and weirdness of Moscow to really enjoy your time in the city…and this is one of those spots.
Travel Tips for Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
- While most tourists attractions in Moscow don’t open much before 10am…the convent is open from 7am…how true this is I’m not sure; we visited after 10am and it was definitely open then.
- We paid 200 roubles per person for entry plus another 100 roubles so that I could use my camera within the grounds…definitely pay to use your camera as it’s a very photogenic spot in Moscow.
- To get to the cemetery; turn right out of the convent entrance / exit and then turn right again onto the main road…basically just follow the convent wall and you will see the large entrance to the cemetery.
- There is a map of the site so you will be able to search for the famous faces however it’s in Cyrillic…if you want to visit all the famous faces then I would suggest finding a map online before leaving your hotel for the cemetery so you can find what you are looking for.
- Entry is free for the Novodevichy cemetery
- I would suggest taking walking shoes with you; as there is a lot of walking involved on visiting both sites.
- Our über taxi cost just over 500 roubles for a 20 minute journey from the Intercontinental Moscow…I did choose the middle of the range uber so it would be cheaper again if you picked the cheapest option on the app. If you plan to use Uber then I would suggest linking it up to your SPG account as you can earn points for free hotel rooms this way…handy little points tip for you folks!
- The nearest Metro station is Sportivnaya and then it’s a good 10 minute walk from the station.
- The best spot to get a photo is to walk down to the pond in front of the Convent and you will get the walls and domes all in your photo…unfortunately we were visiting in the middle of the day so it was a bit bright.
- Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery isn’t for everyone however it’s something a bit different to see and do…we spent around 2.5 hours visiting and then enjoyed a leisurely walk along the river afterwards.
- You can read all my Moscow Travel Tips here…all very practical tips including how to apply for a visa, what to expect on arrival into Moscow and a few more nifty tips and suggestions!