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Agasthyakoodam or Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai Trekking route

Agasthyarkoodam alias Agasthyamalai is considered a sacred hill. It is known as Pothigai Malai or Pothigai Hills in Tamilnadu. (Malai means hills).

Despite the remoteness of these hills, determined devotees come here. Trekking to Agasthyamalai and back takes two or three days (depending on your health condition). The entry permits are issued every year in January.

Statue of Saint Agastya alias Agasthya Muni on top of Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai

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Entry passes to Agasthyarkoodam Trekking or Agasthyamalai

Option 1 – individual agasthyakoodam online passes.

Online entry permits are typically issued during the first week of January for a few days. 100 passes are issued in advance, for each day. Be sure to apply on the first day itself, as permits run out very fast.

Option 2 – Agasthyakoodam Group Passes

Another option to trek Agastyamala is to form a group of 10 people and apply for entry passes at the Thiruvananthapuram district forest department office. These group permits are issued except during the Monsoon season. During Monsoon season, it is highly risky to trek to Agasthyamalai as the rivers get flooded (at times Flash floods , too).

Ladies Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam

From 2019, ladies are also allowed to trek to Agastyamala. Dhanya Sanal became the first lady to trek to Agasthyamalai , officially. Dhanya trekked to Agasthyamalai in the middle of January 2019. There were reports of female devotees and tribal ladies, who used to go to Agastyamala earlier.

Agasthiyamalai alias Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyakoodam Trekking Iternery

There are buses from the KSRTC bus station at Thampanoor, Thiruvananthapuram. The first bus to the trekking entry gate at Bonakad starts at 5 a.m. It reaches Bonakad picket station, where the forest office is situated in around two and a half hours. The distance is about 55 kilometers. The next bus from Thampanoor is at 5.30 am.

Those coming by bus must get down at the old tea factory bus top at Bonacaud. Then walk for around three kilometers or so, to reach the Bonacaud Picket Station.

You may also take your vehicle (two or four-wheeler). Private vehicles can go to the forest department office, i.e., Bonacaud Picket Station. Parking charges of rupees 40 and 100 are applicable for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, respectively.

Bonacaud Picket Station (Bonakad forest office) is the starting point for trekking to Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthya Malai. You are required to report here at 7 a.m.

Day One – The base camp is at Athirumala , around 15 kilometers from  Bonacaud Picket Station. It is relatively easy to trek this distance. Around 10 kilometers out of the 15 kilometers or so,  is plain country roads through forests. There are five camps (small sheds with one or two guides to give local information) between Bonacaud Picket Station and Athirumala base camp, around two kilometers apart.

You need to stay at the base camp here, on day one. There are two halls where you can put your mattress on and sleep overnight. There is a  separate area for ladies.

On the second day of Agasthyakoodam trekking , you need to start early in the morning. The trekking route passes through steep mountains and streams covering a distance of around six kilometers (one way) . You must return to the base camp on the same day. i.e., on the second day.

After walking around two kilometers, you reach Lathimottai. From here, the path on the right side goes to Bonafalls, which is closed to trekkers as there are a lot of wild animals there. Also, elephants killed two people a few years back. You need to go on the left side path, to reach the Agasthyamalai peak. If you walk for around four kilometers from the base camp, you need to cross the Karamana River. Then comes the Vazhappainthi (വാഴപ്പൈന്തി in Malayalam). There are ropes tied across these two streams to cross them.

If you start early in the morning return early, and are in good spirits to trek back to the Bonacaud Picket Station, you can do so. In that case, trekking is completed on day two.

Otherwise, you can stay at the base camp on the second day night. You can trek back to the Bonacaud Picket Station on the third day.

The last bus from Bonakad towards the city is at 5.45 pm. This bus goes to Vithura. Vithura is at a distance of around 22 kilometers from Bonakad picket station. From Vithura, you need to change the bus to go to Thiruvananthapuram, which is around 34 kilometers distance from Vithura.

Trekking Permit Issue Details

2024 trekking to agasthyarkoodam hills.

2024 trekking to Agasthyarkoodam is planned from January 24th to March 2nd. The trekking fee is Rs 2500 per person, without food charges. A maximum of 70 online permits and 30 offline permits are issued each day. All trekkers need to produce a fitness certificate obtained within seven days of the actual trekking starting date . Children aged between 14 and 18 need authorization letters from their parents or trek only with any one of the parents. Those below 14 years old are not issued trekking permits. A maximum of 5 persons are allowed in one ticket.

Please contact the Wildlife Warden Thiruvananthapuram at +91-471-2360762 for further details . Terms of trekking are given here in Malayalam.

2022 Agasthyarkoodam Trekking Details

Trekking is from January 14th to February 29th, 2022.  Booking starts on January 6th, 2022. Charges are INR 1331 per person. Online booking is available through or service 100 passes are issued for each day. In previous years, permits for the season get over on the first day itself.

Anybody above 14 years of age can apply for Agasthiyamalai trekking permits. Ladies too are allowed from 2019 onwards.

You need to take two doses of the vaccine and also a negative RCPTR test result taken within 72 hours of trekking to go for the trekking. Trekkers need to take a photocopy of the entry ticket and original ID proof with a photo. Trekking starts at 7 am. You must report on or before the time mentioned above at the Bonacaud Picket Station.

Due to the fast spread of the Omicron Corona Virus, all trekking permits to Agasthyakoodam that were valid from 18th January to 26th February were canceled by the District Collector, Thiruvananthapuram. The amount collected will be refunded online.

Latest update- 2022 Agasthyarkoodam trekking permits canceled from 18th Jan to 26th Feb

There will not be any offline bookings until further notice.

2021 Agasthyakoodam Trekking Details

Agasthyakoodam Trekking 2021 Details are given as follows. Due to Covid 19, the online booking facility will not be available for 2021 trekking.

Kerala Forest Department’s office at PTP Nagar in Thiruvananthapuram issues group passes for five and ten people . i.e. A group can consist of either 5 or 10 people. You have to go there in person and apply for the group pass. The fee is Rs 16000/- for five people and Rs 32000/- for ten people. i.e. Rs 3200 per person . You must inform them a few days in advance if you need food. Food charges are separate. Three people will normally accompany you as a guide and for carrying the cooking materials. Alternatively, you can bring food for a group of five or ten people.

All group members should submit a copy of their Aadhar cards. The submitted names can not be changed. Hence, only those who are serious about trekking should apply. Otherwise, you will lose that amount of Rs. 3200 for each person who has not turned up.

Unlike previous years, this year only a maximum of 30 people are allowed to go trekking in a day. Until they return on the third day evening, nobody is allowed. i.e., After a group of a maximum of 30 people are allowed entry for trekking, the next trekking is allowed only on the fourth day .

Covid 19 special notes :

  •  You may be asked to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate (taken within 24 hours or so) when you arrive for the trekking. Please confirm this with the forest department office when you apply for the group passes.
  • Some of the information in other parts of this post may not be relevant in 2021.

Agasthyarkoodam Trekking 2020 Details

Entry permits to Agasthyakoodam are issued from January 8th, 11 a.m. onwards, for a few days. 100 passes are issued in advance, for each day. Trekking is allowed from January 14th, 2020 to February 18th, 2020. The identification document number is needed to book the entry permits. Entry permit costs Rupees 1100 per person. One ticket can have a maximum of 10 people. All the participant’s ID numbers are required for online Agasthyarkoodam booking . The minimum age should be above 14 years. A group of 10 people (either on a single ticket or individual tickets) will get the services of a separate guide. The contact number of the wildlife warden is +91-471-236-0762.

There are canteens at Bonakad (the starting point of the trekking) and Athirumalai (base camp for the night’s stay). The Eco-Development Committee runs these.

You have to report at 7 am on the trekking date with the entry pass and Identity documents in original along with a copy of the same. At least one member of each ticket needs to give a declaration that the trekking is done at their own risk. The forest department is not responsible in any manner. This is required as wild animals are on the route and safety is a concern. The guides can help you to a certain extent only by advising you when wild animals are spotted or their presence is felt.

Agasthyamalai Trekking 2019 Charges

The following were the charges for the year 2019 Agasthiyamalai trekking. It has been revised in 2020. This information is only intended for those who want to compare the rates.

Entry pass charges are rupees 1000 per person. Food is charged separately. It costs around rupees 40 for breakfast if it’s idly and rupees 90 for Puttu (a local traditional food in the state of Kerala) and Kadala curry (another local food, generally served with puttu in the state of Kerala) as breakfast. Lunch costs rupees 70  and rupees 90 for dinner (Kanji in the local language or porridge in English). Tea is charged at 10 rupees. The camera is charged at INR 100. These rates or charges are as of January 2019  and are subject to change.

You are not allowed to carry plastic items, except for water bottles and lunch boxes. Such items are checked at the Bonacaud picket station (entry point to the trekking area), and rupees 100 or so are collected, as a caution deposit. When you return to the Bonacaud picket station, you will get this money refunded, provided you bring back those items that were taken with you. You are not allowed to carry biscuits or other similarly packed food items. You need to open such packs and wrap them in paper or put it inside your bag, to take them inside.

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Amazing article.

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Thanks Rahul!

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About Agasthyamala

Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, located in the southern part of the Western Ghats in India, is a mesmerizing natural paradise. This pristine and enchanting reserve boasts a diverse array of flora and fauna, including some of the rarest species in the world. With its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes, Agasthyamala is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Explore the lush forests, sparkling waterfalls, and majestic mountains, and immerse yourself in the wonders of this incredible biosphere reserve. Experience the true beauty of nature at Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, where the magic of the wilderness comes alive. And for more information on planning your trip, be sure to visit our website and discover all the hidden gems of this incredible destination.

UNESCO’s - ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’

Agasthyamala is a natural habitat of rare medicinal herbs and place was added to UNESCO’s list of ‘World Network of Biosphere Reserves’ in march 2016.Agasthyamala is a 1,868 meter tall peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of South India.Agasthyamala lies inside Kerala near the border with Tamil Nadu. To learn more about the UNESCO designated Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, check out their official website and get inspired.

UNESCO's Agasthyamala

Agasthyamala Name

The name Agasthaymala, came from the great Hindu Sage Agasthya muni, whose statue is situated at the top of the peak and the sage,among Hindu Religion,is considered to be an perfect bachelor (brahmachari). It is now a popular pilgrim site, The air itself is said to have medicinal qualities. This peak are known for their abundance of rare herbs and medicinal plants around 2,000 medicinal plants used in Ayurvedic treatments are found here.

Agasthya Sage (அகத்தியர்) Sanskrit: अगस्त्य’

Agasthyamala is also a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Purana. It is believed that Agastyamuni (saint) who is immortal still leave there in the mountain. There is a temple of Agastyamuni at the top, so you will find a lot of people on pilgrimage as well. Considered to be guru of Ayurveda system of traditional Indian medicine who is also considered as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine. Most of his statues depict him with a stone crusher in one hand and a bowl of medicines in the other. He is also considered as the father of Tamil literature and Siddha medicine.

Agasthyamalai Muni

Agastyaarkoodam is the second highest peak in South India, about 70 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of KERALA, in the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the best trekking places in Kerala, or South India is accessible only by foot and is not only a scenic place but also a pilgrim center. ie trekkers have to take 24 km trekking from Bonacaud, which is the base camp of Agastyaarkoodam/Agastya Mala. Rare orchids, trees, plants, birds and animals, the walk to Agastyaarkoodam offers stunning landscapes, sightings of rare flora and fauna and the challenge of a tough trek. It’s a dream destination for many trekking lovers. With a great altitude of 1,868 m (6,129 ft) from the sea level, it rests in the Sahyadris, western Ghats with pride in the form of a sharp cone. Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area. The trek will challenge you at every level, so train yourself well before hitting the tough trail! This hills is also known as Ashambu Hills and is the source/starting of many rivers like Kallada River, Achankoil River, Vamanapuram River, Karamana River, and Neyyar River in the Kerala side and the Thamirabarani River, Ramanadhi River, and Manimuthar River in Tamil Nadu side.

Bird Watchers

Plant of Eternal Health

The hill is heaven for bird watchers and is blessed with rare species of herbs and medicinal plants.A very rare and special herb/plant named 'Arogyapacha', famously known as 'Plant of Eternal Health', is a speciality of Agasthyamala, and it attracts many researchers to this area. The sides and slopes of Agastyaarkoodam is natuarally gardened with a special type green herbs, 'Neelakkurinjui' which usually blooms once in a 12 year. when it blooms, the whole area will be carpetted with the violet Neelakkuirinjis...! and it is an eyecatching sight for the nature lovers. Also, this place is home to many endangered species of wild animals too, like Lion-Tailed Macaques, Bengal Tiger, Nilgiri Marten, Nilgiri Tahr, Malabar Spiny Dormouse, Great Pied Hornbills, Gaur, and Sloth Bear.

  • Wildlife Warden , Forest Department , PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram
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Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve

Unesco’s - ‘world network of biosphere reserves’.



Agasthya sage (அகத்தியர்) sanskrit: अगस्त्य’.


Plant of Eternal Health



₹ 10,901 onwards

Tags : Trekking & Hiking

Time Required : 2 Days (4 - 6 hours each day)

Planning a Trip? Ask Your Question

Agasthyakoodam, Trivandrum Overview

Agastyakoodam, also known as Agastya Mala Peak is the second highest peak in Kerala with an extensive height of 1868 metre. Located within the premises of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Agastyakoodam is part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve and boasts of surreal natural beauty. Nestled in Sahyadris of Western Ghats, the slopes of the peak are carpeted in purple hues of orchids. Home to diverse species of fauna and rare species of medicinal herbs, the region is a hotspot for avifauna and exotic birds. The spot is considered a haven for birdwatchers. Besides, since it is a protected zone, you can spot nature at its best, without any commercial interference. The colossal peak is also a major Hindu pilgrimage spot for the devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, on whose name the peak has been named. There is also a statue of him at the top where the Hindus can offer puja and prayers.

Read More on Agasthyakoodam

Flora and fauna, trekking routes, permits, cost and pass limits, former status that prohibited women to climb agastyakoodam, best time to visit, how to reach, how to reach agasthyakoodam.

Rail: Thampanur Railway Station in Thiruvananthapuram .

Road: The road leading to Agastyarkoodam is well connected by the regular bus services from Thiruvananthapuram city. Bonacaud is the last village up to which the vehicles can reach

More about Agasthyakoodam

Approx trek time : 4-6 hours (for one day)

Base Camp: Athirmala

Days required for the trek: 2 days

Difficulty level: Medium to Difficult

Height above sea level: 1868 metres

Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport

Nearest Railhead: Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)

Region: Western Ghats

Starting point of trek: To start the trek, a forest pass needs to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden Forest department, P.T.P Nagar,Thiruvananthapuram.

Type: Hill fort

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Agasthyarkoodam (also known as... - Agastya Mala

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It was nice experience. Kerala GOVT initiated trekking program for 3 days. Its open only one in... read more

agathiyar malai trip

Agastyamala Or Agasthyarkoodam is located in Thiruvananthapuram, near Neyyardam. It is a very... read more

agathiyar malai trip

Agasthyarkoodam (also known as Agathiyar Malai or Agasthyakoodam)

Agasthyarkoodam (Malayalam: അഗസ്ത്യകൂടം Tamil: அகத்தியர் மலை) (also known as Agathiyar Malai or Agasthyakoodam) is a 1,868-metre (6,129 ft) tall peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of South India. The mountain lies in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. This peak is a part of Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve which lies on the border between the Indian states of Kerala (in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram district) and Tamil Nadu (in Kanyakumari district, Tirunelveli district). The perennial Thamirabarani River originates from the eastern side of the range and flows into the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Agasthyarkoodam is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Puranas.The shrine was installed under the auspices of the Chenkottukonam Madathipathi Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi Thiruvadikal who entered the forests with the right wing Hindu Aikya Vedi activists and his followers including those from the Kani Tribe desecrated a cross erected by Christians.[1] The Tamil language is considered to be a boon from Agasthya. There is a full-sized statue of Agathiyar at the top of the peak and the devotees can offer pujas themselves. The crocodile park in Kerala is name Agasthya Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre. Agastyar koodam is the capital of ayi dynastyits older names pothiyan

agathiyar malai trip

Once in a Year (February -March), Kerala Forest divison allowed you to visit this Agastyamala. Previous booking from Trivandrum Forest division ofiice. (Rs.500/- Per head). A group of 10 Members getting a permit. 3 Days Trekking programme, each group with a guidence of Forest guard. From Bonakkad forest check post The trekking is starting after a checkpost checking. You are not allowed to carry Hot drinks, cigrette etc. Strictly plastic prohibited area. After a day treck you are reaching at adivaram. where forest division arrange eco friendly accommodtion, and food. after the light dinner overnight stay. Early Morning again trekking towards the highest peak. Reaching at agastyamala. In between you can enjoy a waterfalls bath. Afternoon getting down, and before evening you have to reach at adivaram. Night stay at Adivaram camp. (You must reach this camp before sunset). en route way is surrounded by wild animals. Next day Monring back to Bonekkad checkpost where you vehicle is waiting. 3 days in pure nature , 3 days you are in a herbal world makes you healthy, and you feel the changes.

A must visit place in southern part of Kerala, India. This is the second largest peak in Kerala. Its approx 8-9 hours trek to reach the peak and need to carry sufficient food. First destination itself is approx 6 hours away, so carry enough ready to eat items. At first destination, there is arrangement for stay (carry your sleep bags) toilet facility and provision to cook food. Also carry salt, tobacco, etc as this area is full of leaches (you wont be able to find any other wild animals other than those leaches). Mountain is so full of trees with Aurvedic values. Best time to visit is non-season period as during the season, pilgrimage will start and it will be crowded. It is believed that Agastiya Muni (saint) who is immortal still leaves there in the mountain. Ladies be careful, this saint is a celibacy and he doesn't like ladies entering into this peak. Locals believes that, if a lady climbs this mountain, Muni gets angry and for the next couple the mountain will be foggy, cloudy and raining. Trekking charges is Rs.4,000.00 for a team of 5 members. Our guide was Mr. Renjith and his contact number is +91.9495885342. He is a native of that area and was very helpful.

The Forest Department's arrangements. The natural springs. The devotion of the devout. For me it was an adventure, going uphill and going up rocks, with a recently operated knee. Salutations to Sage Agastya!

During non-season, a trek to the Agastya mala reveals nature at its best. The pilgrimage season starts by Jan mid for 3 months. Thus during Dec it is a package tour for trek from forest office.(Rs4k for 5 people). A guide will also be provided. 14.5(normal) + 6 km (rigourous) trek. No words to explain the flaura and fauna. You could see the different terrains of forest ranging from grass lands to rain forest to small forest and single rocks. The water flow paths has become elephant paths which we follow through out. On the way we could see foot marks of elephants, bulls, and even bear. Luckily we have not seen any animal. ELse we were not even in a position even to run. "Mutt thatti theri" is so sever that the 2 km stretch your knee will hit your face. The climate is also so varying across the terrain. The second stretch from the base camp is more rigorous and more thrilling. For nature lovers, it is the best. with so many water falls on the way and with so much different terrain as well as color .season which starts from jan mid for 2 months. pass has to be collected from the forest office. 100 people per day will be allowed. though the base camp cant accommodate so much. It will be better to go for the non season (as a package tour for 5). During season, though every 2 km there will some camps for rest as well as the weather will be more mild with no rain- hence less risky. All together it is such a nice experience one should surely have. No females ares allowed here...

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Agasthyamala A Trek to no Ordinary Mountain!

Cost on request, 5 days & 4 nights, 6129 ft max altitude, moderate level, cost on request.

Western Ghats is known to be the most bewitchingly beautiful region in the province of South India. There are many mountain peaks that have been explored by thousands of tourists in the past years. Holiday makers seek to fulfil every deep urge of tourists and provide with an adventure tour that not only is comfortable and affordable but also is an experience of a lifetime. Western Ghats is a home to rich and deep green grasslands, gorgeous mountain peaks, rare species of flora and fauna along with a special collection of medicinal herbs. Tourists from every age group can unravel the mystic aura of the beautiful Western Ghats. One such location in the Western Ghats is Agastya Mala near Trivandrum in Kerala.

Situated at an altitude of 6,129 feet above sea level, it is a famous destination for pilgrims and a paradise for adventure tourists. It is one of the highest peaks in Kerala and is extremely popular for medicinal plants and herbs. About 2,000 different varieties of Ayurvedic medicinal treatment ingredients are found in the area. Tea gardens commissioned by British during their rule in India are commonly found at the base stations of the mountain at Bonacaud, Brimore and Ponmudi. The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is a home to the rarest collection of flora and fauna. The Reserve is mostly open for tourists in the month of January and February and prior permission from the forest department is required to visit this region.

Agastya Mala offers its visitors the best combination of beautiful dense forests, calming grasslands, spectacular scenic beauty and an opportunity of coming face to face with wild animals. Major attractions around the area are the soothing Neyyar Dam (located at a distance of 23 kilometres from Bonacaud), the beautiful Karamana River, Neyyar River, shimmering Meenmutty Waterfalls, huge estates of Bonacaud and Ponmudi. You can add few more days to your trip and visit these nearby areas to get the true feel of Agastya Mala region and the marvellous Western Ghats.

Agastya Mala is also known as Agasthyarkoodam and is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya. According to Hindu Puranas, there are seven sages (Saptarishi) and Sage Agastya is one among the Saptarishis. There is a statue of Sage Agastya at the peak of Agastya Mala and devotees are free to offer puja to the statue. It is believed that Tamil language originated as a boon from Sage Agastya.

This amazing trekking experience will start once you reach the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. You will be driven to Bonacaud, a small village located at an altitude of 570 metres. This is the starting point of your trek. Agastya Mala peak is about 23 kilometres from Bonacaud but the trekking trail is about 35 kilometres. There are stunningly beautiful hills in this region including the Pandipathu and a few others. The fort like formation close to Bonacaud is another delight for trekkers and travellers. You will pass through Athirumala which is located at an altitude of 1041 metres above the sea level. The calming waterfalls, densely populated forests, mind-numbing grasslands, narrow pathways, remarkable streams and rocky trails during this tour will entice your mind and relax your body. One visit to this place and you will forget the need for spas and salons. You will also pass through Pongalapara, situated at an altitude of 1,460 metres above sea level. Seetha Kulicha Kulam and Muttidippara are also famous stops along your way. The elevation of this trail is so steep that a trekker can feel his knees hitting his nose with every step he takes especially in the Muttidippara region.

The summit of Agastya Mala is located at a majestic altitude of 1,868 metres. The glory of standing at this great heights while being surrounded by the most spectacular creation of nature is truly a once in a lifetime moment. The peaks that surround Agastya Mala welcome you with open arms. Anjila Pothi is a notable group of mountains standing close to Agastya Mala peak. These five breathe-taking mountains located at an altitude of 1,800 metres never miss to captivate the by-standers.

Campsites of this region are well maintained by the government. There are a few small forts with rooms and restrooms which can be used for resting at night. Few campsites might not have markings on them but the camps near Vazapathiyar stream and Karamanayar extremely helpful during your trip. Trekkers require food which will give them instant energy during this trip. There might be times when trekkers might feel loss of energy especially during steep climbs. Our representatives usually carry emergency food for such instances. A trip among the deepest mysteries of nature that will awaken your every sense organ is exactly what you are signing on for with us.

Trip Highlights

  • Agasthyarkoodam Biosphere reserve is UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Agasthyamala or Agasthyamalai is 2nd Highest peak in kerala.
  • Sage Agasthya is one of Saptharishis, revered as father of Siddha medicine.
  • Agasthyamala is located at altitude of 6129 feet, popularly known as Kailash of South India.
  • Best time to visit: Post Monsoon - December to March: The skies can be covered with mist with play of passing clouds and can be clear with bright sunlight. It will be windy & Nights getting cold.
  • Trek Distance: Trekking Distance is 45 km
  • Grade of Trek : Moderate. Previous trek experience will be helpful and an added advantage. Difficulty of trek is subjective.
  • Overall distance : Approximately 1540 Kilometres (60 Kilometres by trekking).

Trip Cost Includes

  • Food : During Stay and Snacks during Evening Refreshments only
  • Travel : Tempo Traveler/SUV Similar Non/Ac/Bus
  • Accommodation : Basic Multiple sharing or dormitory/Tent.
  • Group Size : Group size 12 and Above.

Trip Cost Excludes

  • Food : During journey
  • Toll Charges : Nice Road
  • Any Charges : Waterfalls etc,

agathiyar malai trip

Important Information:

  • 1 pair of Shoes : Carry well broken/used Shoes with good Sole & ankle protection and that will sustain usage during the trek. Avoid wearing new shoes to avoid bite and blisters.
  • 1 Backpack : Light Weighted & approx 30 litres in volume with multiple pouches,good zip & straps.
  • Clothing & Toiletries : For your daily usage
  • 1 Jacket : Early mornings and nights can get really cold.
  • 1 Cap/hat : help in protecting your head and face from direct sunlight during treks.
  • 1 Water bottle : carry some reusable water bottles along.
  • 1 Towel : quick dry light towel.
  • 1 Head lamp / Torch : Keep it handy and use it only required.
  • 1 Personal Medical Kit : Carry few tablets such as crocin, Paracetamol, Band aid, cotton. ORS satchets. Glucose, Volini spray and crape bandage.
  • 1 Medic Kit : always pack a first-aid kit in case things go the other way.
  • 2 Batteries: Carry recharged spare batteries.
  • Gloves : Gloves that will keep your palms warm during extreme cold.
  • 1 Whistle : Whistle for signalling and use in times of distress only.
  • 1 Sun glasses : Carry tested and right one to protect from harsh Sunlight only.
  • Sleeping Bag : At times, there might be extreme cold and the camp beds might not be good enough to give you a good night’s sleep. It is better if you have your own warm sleeping bag.
  • Mobile : Use if for communication only. Check with trek coordinator of network availibility carry BSNL SIM if required.
  • 1 Poly Bags : To carry trash and wet clothes.
  • 1 ID Proof : Carry Photo ID proof DL / Voter Id/ similar.
  • Overnight Journey to Trivandrum.
  • Transfers to Bonacaud and Return by Private vehicle
  • Network : Weak & available intermittently.

Pickup points :

Team members are requested to select and book tickets. Reach respective points or places enroute. However, make use of Namma Metro for hassle free travel.Our event leaders will assist you all times for any assistance.

At 14.30, Madiwala, Bangalore

Summiters trek

View of Ashambhu Hill

Summiters trek

View of 5 Pothigai Hills

Summiters trek

View of Peppara Backwater

Summiters trek

flower in the place

Summiters trek

Anjila pothi and Tree

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Friday 24 january 2020, agasthyakoodam trekking / agasthyamalai / pothigai malai.

agathiyar malai trip


You had a great trip.. Especially the way you enjoyed throughout despite all the risk.. Photographs are awesome and went out of your way to make this trip a great adventure. Actually I was really thinking there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Thanks for the wonderful experience

A detailed report of trekking,but very intersting for not everyone,who had visited and propose to are well.The narration of myths are fine.Wish you all the best.

Thank you :)

Well written with detailed info..hope to go there once.

Hey Raj tnx ..yes you should try once :;)

Hats off for the detail write up. Ningalu manushyane kothippichu kollum.

Lovely Trek log, Anish ! Very detailed. We are planning to do this in 2021 (if there is no covid bans). This should greatly help us. Thanks A small suggestion, Please consider blurring your personal info from the first image :)

Thanks Anish. One of the best narrations, which clarifies many questions. Nothing wrong if you add & detai up how to register and what to pack for a comfortable trekking; which will make it complete and we need not refer to any other blogs/videos. Thanks a lot. God bless you. Guru Agathiyar bless you .

I have written very detailed about the registration process. Pls read the first paragraph once more. Thanks again for visiting the Blog.

No nicely written, i hope i could make this trek.

That's very very detailed information about the trek, me and friends were planning to visit there. my friends and brothers usually plan for trek once a year in vellingiri hills. but never know about the pothigaimalai, Earlier i Thought the vellingiri is difficult trek in south but after one person told that he visited pothigai malai during the vellingiri trek & explained about the difficulties of climbing there. so the conversation made me that, one day i will go there to experience. Again thanks for the information brother. valga valamudan....

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Agastya Mala

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Agastya Mala also known in various names like Agasthyakoodam, Agastyarkoodam or Agathiyar Malai is a 1,868 meters (6,129 ft) peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala. Agasthyakoodam is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Puranas.

The shrine was installed under the auspices of the Chenkottukonam Madathipathi Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi Thiruvadikal who entered the forests with Hindu Aikya Vedi activists and his followers especially from the Kani Tribe demolished the cross erected by Christians.The Tamil language is considered to be a boon from Agasthya. There is a full-sized statue of Agathiyar at the top of the peak and the devotees can offer pujas themselves.

The mountain lies on the border between the States of Kerala (in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram District) and Tamil Nadu (in Kanyakumari district, Tirunelveli District). The perennial Thamirabarani River originates from the eastern side of this hill and flows into the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu. Other major rivers which originate from the mountain are the Karamana River, which flows through the Thiruvananthapuram District and is the major source of drinking water to the city, and the Neyyar River (also in the Thiruvananthapuram District).

The peak of Agathiyarmalai can be reached only by trekking up to it. While The Tamil Nadu government allows certain number of applications even though they have strict rules within the wildlife sanctuary. The Kerala government has been favorable to the pilgrims wanting to visit the peak. Every year in the month of May, Sundarampillai (late) from Papanasam used to organize a big group of pilgrims to go on a devotional trek.

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  • Agastya-Mala, Kerala

Agastya-Mala, Kerala, Trivandrum

Agastya-Mala, Kerala

November To March

The name ‘Agastya Mala’ actually refers to a 2000 meters tall peak located within the state of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Agastya Mala is located in the Western Ghats mountain range and is also a part of the Agastya Mala Biosphere Reserve and the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.Agasthyakoodam (commonly known  as Agastya Mala / Agasthyamalai / Agathiyar Malai  and Agastyarkoodam) is also a  famous pilgrimage center know after the sage Agasthya. The pilgrimage involves a trek of 56km (28km one side) from  Bonacaud/Bonaccord  making it a  trekker’s paradise. 

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Agasthyakoodam Peak in Kerala

Agasthyakoodam is nature’s ode to bird watchers. One of the highest peaks in Kerala, it has long been known as a bird watcher’s paradise and many gather here to catch sight of exotic avian species.  It can be viewed from near Neyyar Dam as well as Bonacaud. Agasthyakoodam is also known for its remarkable flora and fauna, especially certain rare medicinal herbs which have been discovered here. Over 2000 species including lichens, orchids, mosses and ferns have been recorded in the area. The peak was named after the sage Agasthya and is a popular pilgrim site. A shrine dedicated to him is located here and is frequented by devotees. The air itself is said to have medicinal qualities. The peak is a 90 minute drive with Bonacaud being the last motorable spot. Trekking is restricted as only a few people are allowed to go up the peak. One must get a forest pass from the wildlife office in Thiruvananthapuram with January to April being the recommended months. Contact Details:  Wildlife Warden Forest Department PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram Ph: +91 471 2362291

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central, around 61 km from Bonacaud.

Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, around 69 km from Bonacaud.

  Topics: Trekking   Forest   Hill   Thiruvananthapuram  

Latitude: 8.803654, Longitude: 77.197952

Geographical Information

Altitude: 1890 m Above sea level

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Agasthyakoodam Trekking: How To Have A Successful First Trek?

I covered a total of 48 km by foot in two days under challenging terrains and weather conditions. It was a personal record, and by the end of the trek, my legs had become jellylike. The struggle was real, but it was completely worth it because the experience I had in those two days was adventurous, to say the least.

The Agasthyakoodam trek is arguably one of the most challenging treks to undertake in Kerala. Standing at the height of 1,868 metres, the Agasthyakoodam peak (or the Agasthyarkoodam peak) is one of the highest peaks in Kerala . Moreover, unlike other treks in the Western Ghats, the Agasthyakoodam trek is open for registration only for two months every year, making it all the more exclusive.

I went on a solo trek to Agasthyarkoodam. In this guide, I will walk you through the Agasthyakoodam trekking itinerary that I followed to give you a complete idea about the hike. But before that, let’s dive into some interesting facts and history about this trek which makes it different to other treks.

Tips to get your Agasthyakoodam trekking pass

How to visit agasthyakoodam, where is agasthyakoodam.

First of all, it is essential to distinguish between Agasthyamalai and Agasthyakoodam because many people tend to use these terms interchangeably. 

Agasthyamalai (or the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve) is a protected forest area in the Western Ghats between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It comprises three wildlife sanctuaries – Shendurney, Peppara and Neyyar. 

Recognised by UNESCO, the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is a biological hotspot. It is home to many rare and diverse flora and fauna, including more than 2,000 species of medicinal plants.

agasthyakoodam biological park

The Kani tribe (or Kanikkaran) are one of the oldest surviving tribes in the world that live in the Agasthyamalai hills indigenously. They depend on the forests here for their livelihood and are found both in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Some of the tribals have recently been working closely with the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC), including trek guides to benefit the trekkers.

Agasthyakoodam is one of the many mountains located within the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary (one of the wildlife sanctuaries in the Agasthyamalai hills) in Trivandrum, Kerala. It is the most well-known mountain as it has the highest peak in this region.  

Apart from the pure water and air present here, the forests around this peak have medicinal plants and herbs. The Agasthyarkoodam trek is one of the most diverse treks in the Western Ghats as it takes you through lush green forests, open grasslands and rocky terrains.

History of Agasthyakoodam

agasthyarkoodam trekking

Agasthyakoodam derives its name from a famous Hindu sage called Agasthya, mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata and found in ancient scriptures in the Hindu temples of South Asia. Agasthya was said to have meditated in Agasthyakoodam, making this mountain an important pilgrimage destination for Hindu devotees. 

The Kani tribe are ancient worshippers of Agasthya. Additionally, every year, thousands of Hindu devotees trek to the top of this mountain to offer prayers to Agasthya, who has a small shrine at the peak.

Until recently, females were strictly not allowed to trek to Agasthyarkoodam as Agasthya was considered celibate. However, in a significant judgement in 2019 , the Kerala High Court ruled trekkers cannot be discriminated against based on gender, and hence, the first woman successfully trekked the mountain in 2019.

How to get your Agasthyakoodam trekking pass?

Due to its ecological and religious importance, the Agasthyakoodam trek is open every year from the second week of January till March for close to 45 days. However, only 100 passes are issued by KFDC every day during this season. 

The link for booking the ticket during this season is made available on the  Kerala Forest Department  portal. In addition, a week before the trekking season begins, all the details about the trek are published in major newspapers across Kerala.

Note:  You have the option of doing the trek during the rest of the year along with a trekking guide, but the rates are significantly higher.

Cost of Agasthyakoodam trekking pass

As of 2019, the cost per head in a trekking pass was INR 1,000, and you can book up to 10 people in one pass. This cost involves the forest permit and accommodation. Meals are exclusive of the price, and you need to buy them separately. 

It is usual for Agasthyakoodam trekking passes to get sold out within minutes of the online portal going live. Hence, make sure you do the following to increase your chances of a successful booking:

  • Get ready with the following details before booking your pass: Name, age, contact number, type of ID proof, ID proof number and address.
  • Be ready with your debit/credit card details if you are booking with your card.
  • Fix a date that you would like to do the trek. Have a couple of backup dates as well, just in case.
  • Try to book from different devices at the same time.
  • Due to the heavy traffic, the website may get stuck sometimes. In such a case, refresh the website and proceed.

These tips will not guarantee a trekking pass but will increase your chances of getting one. I was lucky enough to get the trekking pass on my first attempt itself. Unfortunately, many people wait for 2-3 years to gain access to the ticket.

However, if you get the trekking pass, take its printout along with the affidavit you receive with it.

Note:  There is an option to book the ticket offline from PTP Nagar Forest Office, Trivandrum, but the process is tiring and cumbersome as people stand in the queue even before the booking begins. Hence, I recommend you do it in the comfort of your home.

Agasthyakoodam Route

agasthyakoodam route

The Old Tea Factory in Bonacaud is your landmark. It is an abandoned tea factory that also goes by the name of Bonaccord Estate. Once you reach Bonacaud, you can ask anyone about this place.

If you are coming by bus, you will be dropped at Bonacaud Post Office which is close to the Old Tea Factory.

From the Old Tea Factory, you have to walk 2 km further to the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud. Also, know as Bonacaud Picket Station, this is the starting point of the trek where you complete your trek registration. If you are coming by your own vehicle, you can park your vehicle at the entrance here.

On Day 1, you have to trek to the Athirumala Base Camp. From the Forest Checkpost, the Athirumala Base Camp is about 16 km.

On Day 2, you ascend to the Agasthyakoodam peak, a further 6 km from the Athirumala Base Camp.

Agasthyakoodam Trekking Itinerary (2 days/1 night)

You can complete the Agasthyakoodam trek in 2 days/1 night as per your wish. But, if you can, try to do it in 3 days/2 nights to have a more relaxing experience. I completed the trek on a weekend as I didn’t want to take any extra leave from work. In any case, the itinerary given below remains the same:

You have to report to the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud (Bonacaud Picket Station) by 7 am on the trek day. The Forest Checkpost is 2 km from the abandoned Bonacaud Tea Estate, which is your landmark.

You have to present your trekking pass, an affidavit and the original photo ID used while booking the trekking pass at the reception. Then, the forest officers will verify the same. This process takes close to an hour or so because there will be other trekkers along with you. 

agasthyakoodam peak

In the meantime, you can buy some snacks and have a vegetarian South Indian breakfast from the small shop present there. Also, don’t forget to collect your packed lunch from here because you will be reaching Athirumala base camp by late afternoon/evening only.

You can purchase bamboo sticks that will be useful while trekking if you don’t have a trekking pole. They are available at a nominal cost.

Once the formalities are completed, a forest officer will arrange all the trekkers present together. Then, he will give you a briefing about Agasthyarkoodam and the dos and don’ts during the trek.

After this, your bags will be checked thoroughly for plastic as Agasthyarkoodam is a plastic-free zone. Even packets of biscuits/chips are considered plastic. So if you plan to carry them, you will have to pay INR 100 for each plastic item, which will be refundable upon their return after the trek.

agasthyakoodam trekking booking

Hereafter, you will start the trek along with other trekkers in a group of 20. The first batch usually begins at 9 am. Then, your trek officially begins, and your final stop for the day is the Athirumala Base Camp. It is 16km from the starting point and takes 6-7 hours, depending upon your speed.

Every group of 20 trekkers is assigned a trekking guide. The trek guide is a tribal from the Kani community, so you may want to ask him questions about his life to understanding how this community thrives in the jungle. I was able to get a lot of insights about their lives and their economy by talking to one such guide.

The best thing about the trek is that you can do it at your own pace. Of course, there will be trekking guides at every stage of the hike. But there is no compulsion to maintain your speed with your group or the trekking guide. This is ideal as you get to take in the beautiful sceneries you encounter on the trek.

The first few kilometres of the trek is a straightforward walk through a thick forest with many water streams along the way. You can drink water or fill your water bottles from these streams. 

agasthyamalai biosphere reserve

After every few kilometres, you will see a campsite. Every campsite has a small house made of bamboo where a Kani trekking guide resides.  

Inside the forest, you will come across three rivers – Karamanayar, Vazapaithiyar and Attayar. Vazapaithiyar is a great place to take a bath and refresh if you’re in the mood. A few trekkers break here for the same. Attayar river is where trekkers usually halt to have their packed lunch.

From the Attayar river onwards, the trekking trail becomes narrow, and the climb becomes slightly uphill for the next 4 km. As the forest starts opening up, you will eventually get a first glimpse of the Agasthyarkoodam peak in the backdrop of a few mountains towering from behind.

agasthyarkoodam peak

You will be entering the open grasslands soon. But now, it will be hard to find water sources. However, the landscape of this open scenery offers some great views. Mountain views in no time will surround you.

The last stretch of this trek to the Athirumala base camp is an uphill trek of close to 6 km through an evergreen forest. By the end of it, you reach Athirumala base camp.

You will see 2-3 different dorms covered with aluminium sheets with a cemented floor. Your first job will be to show your trekking pass to the forest officer present at the base camp entrance to collect your sleeping mat. Then, occupy one of the spaces inside these dorms quickly to avoid being inconvenienced later. Keep your bag(s) on top of your sleeping mat to confirm your place.

Note:  You have to return the sleeping mat before leaving Athirumala base camp for Bonacaud.

You will get the first real glimpse of the Agasthyarkoodam peak in all its glory in front of the campsite. It is surrounded by other mountains on its flanks and covered with forest in the foreground.

trivandrum to agasthyakoodam distance

You can have tea/snacks from the canteen, and you need to collect the dinner token now as the forest officials prepare food based on demand. 

There are toilets/bathrooms for you to freshen up. However, if you plan to take a bath, I recommend you dip inside a small natural water stream present right behind the campsite. The water is cold, but it will be the most refreshing experience for your body after a tiring day of trekking.

You can explore many different areas around the campsite as it surrounds itself with a thick forest with water streams, huge rocks, and various types of plants and trees.

Once it becomes dark, dinner is served, and during this time, you can collect the token for breakfast the next day. In terms of food, don’t expect anything fancy because the supplies are limited. You will probably get some rice and curry for lunch/dinner.

Retire for the night in your dorm. As it becomes colder, cover yourself with a blanket. Be prepared for an inconveniencing night as there will be many people sharing space with you in your dorm. Keep an alarm for 5-6 am next morning. The climb to the Agasthyarkoodam peak starts early the following day.

Wake up by 5-6 am, freshen up and have black tea from the canteen. Collect your packed breakfast from the canteen and the token for lunch which you will be having after coming back. You can take your own pace but make sure you start trekking by 7-8 am. I’ll tell you why this is important later.

agasthyamalai hills

Take a small backpack to carry only the essentials (snacks, water bottles, etc.) you need for the climb. You can leave behind your main bag. Although it is risky, the idea is to make it easier for you to ascend to the Agasthyarkoodam peak. 

Note:  Don’t leave behind any valuables that you can’t afford to lose.

The distance from the Athirumala base camp to the Agathyakoodam peak is 6 km long. Although it may seem minor, it is one of the most challenging 6 km you will experience because the entire climb is uphill. Therefore, please do not underestimate this hike and take it slowly.

The trail takes you through a dense forest with water streams in between. As you ascend, you will get many mountain and valley views from the gaping holes of the forest, including different perspectives of the Agasthyarkoodam peak. Be sure to keep your camera shutters on.

Note:  You can spot elephants and other animals in these regions. Although a trekking guide will always be there throughout the trail, don’t walk alone to ensure your safety.


As you keep progressing, the forest cover ends and you will be hiking on a rocky mountain. Halfway through the trek, you will reach a deserted area with a small pond lying in the middle. This is where you have breakfast. 

Continue walking after that and follow the rocky path that takes you through a forest. The temperatures start dropping as you trek uphill. 

The final 2kms to the top is one of the most adventurous climbs you will be experiencing in a trek in the Western Ghats. 

Although you can ascend with your feet, you have to use the rope kept there to navigate through a narrow path of rocks inside a forest entirely uphill. This is just a trailer of what is to come.


After that, you walk through a small patch of forest before the forest opens up to a rocky mountain. Again, you have to climb a rocky cliff, but this time, your body tilts to 90 degrees approximately from the rocky surface beneath you. This climb is neither for the faint-hearted nor for people with a fear of heights. 

Once you cross this, you have reached the top finally!

After a climb of almost 2-3 hours, you have reached the best part of the trek. If you had started your trek early by 7-8 am, you would be getting to the peak by 10 am. The weather is ideal at this time, and you have enough buffer to trek back slowly. This is why it is crucial to start from Athirumala base camp by 7-8 am.

The views from the top are unbeatable. You get a bird’s eye of different mountains and valleys with the clouds floating in the middle. Additionally, you will also experience solid and cold winds at the top, due to which it becomes difficult to stay at the top for a long time. 

agasthyakoodam trekking pass

Enjoy this moment. After all the effort you took to reach here, you deserve it. So spend some time soaking in the atmosphere, take some photos and relax. There is no cover/shade here, but you won’t have to worry due to the cold winds.

Fun fact:  You can see the Athirumala base camp from the top. Once you spot it, you will appreciate how much distance you covered to reach here.

There is a shrine at the top that belongs to Agasthya Muni. Pilgrims do this trek to offer their prayers to the Agasthya Muni statue present here.

Note:  If you plan to trek back to Bonacaud the next day, you can take some more time at the top. In any case, don’t make it late beyond 12-1 pm as the forest becomes dark soon and there are wild animals there. Once you are back at the Athirumala campsite, have your lunch, relax and repeat the same routine you had the previous day before leaving for Bonacaud at least by 7-8 am the following day.

However, if you plan to go back to Bonacaud the same day, the following advice is for you:

  • Spend 1-1.5 hours at the top before heading back. Try to leave by 11 pm so that you reach Athirumala campsite by 1 pm.
  • While hiking back, descent slowly because the descent is riskier than the ascent. 
  • If you had planned to take a bath, you might have to reach the Athirumala campsite much before 1 pm so take that into account.
  • After coming back to the campsite, have your lunch and get ready within an hour. Try to leave by 2 pm. Don’t forget to return your sleeping mat to the forest officials before leaving.
  • It is possible to reach the starting point in Bonacaud within 4-5 hours. However, you have to walk fast.
  • Do take water/snack breaks in between but don’t waste too much time.
  • Once you reach the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud, you must mark your attendance with the forest officer. This is mandatory as it ensures that no one is left behind. Also, get a refund for the plastics that you carried, if you had any.
  • There will be other trekkers who will trek back with the aim of finishing the trek in two days. If you don’t have a vehicle, you can ask one of these people for a lift. That is what I did. Public transport may be hard to find by the time you come back. 

Essential things to carry for the Agasthyakoodam trek

The following are the things that you need to carry to enjoy the trek:

  • Two pairs of quick-dry tees
  • One or two pairs of trekking pants/quick dry pants
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Breathable briefs/underwears
  • A waterproof jacket just in case it rains.
  • A lightweight jacket, to be worn at night. A windproof/waterproof jacket will also be fine.
  • A lightweight hat for sun protection
  • Sunglass (optional)
  • Lightweight and quick-dry bathing towel
  • Trekking shoes, preferably with ankle support. You can use a sports shoe as well but ensure it has a good grip on rough terrains.
  • Flip flops/sandals that you can use at the campsite.
  • A lightweight blanket to cover yourself while sleeping at night. The forest officials provide a mattress only.
  • A hiking backpack/rucksack to be used for the trek
  • A small foldable, collapsible bag that you can use for the hike to the Agasthyakoodam peak.
  • 2 bottles of water
  • Headlamp (optional)
  • Powerbank (useful especially if you plan for a 3-day trek)
  • Snacks – peanuts, dry fruits, energy bars, fruits, etc. Remove all the plastic, put them in a container, or cover them with paper as plastic is strictly banned.
  • Entry pass, affidavit and photo id
  • Spare cash to pay for your meals on the trek
  • Camera with spare batteries (in case you have one)
  • Salt (for leeches)
  • Trekking pole or bamboo stick from the Bonacaud Forest Checkpost

How to reach Trivandrum?

You have to reach Trivandrum first before making way for Agasthyarkoodam.

You can get inter-state buses from Chennai, Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Within Kerala, it is easy to get buses to Trivandrum from almost any location.

By train 

The train is the most economical and convenient option if you are coming from a nearby state. You will find plenty of trains from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore to Trivandrum.

If you have less time or are flying from a faraway state, a flight to Trivandrum is your best bet. Trivandrum is well-connected to all the major cities of India via direct/indirect flights.

How to reach Bonacaud?

Bonacaud is 50 km from Trivandrum, and it takes close to 2 hours to reach there. There are three ways you can get to Bonacaud:

  • Hire a cab/auto a day in advance. This is the most convenient option, but it is also the most expensive one.
  • A KSRTC bus starts at 5 am from the KSRTC bus stand (Thampanoor) in Trivandrum and departs for Bonacaud (drops you at Bonacaud Post Office). You can enquire about the bus at the bus stand counter. It is the most economical option of the lot.
  • If you have a car, you can drive to the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud and park your vehicle there. The road trip is pretty scenic, and this also solves your problem of going back home once your trek is over.

Where to stay in Bonacaud?


Unfortunately, being a tiny village, Bonacaud doesn’t have an option for staying. 

You may choose to stay at Vithura or Nedumangad, which are two nearby localities. However, don’t expect much in terms of the quality of accommodation.

It is preferable to stay at Trivandrum as you have more options for food, accommodation, and public transport. You can leave early to Bonacaud on the day of your trek.

Best time to visit Agasthyarkoodam

It is preferable to book your trek during January or February as the weather is ideal for trekking. The summer season begins from March onwards (and lasts till May). Having said that, summers aren’t very harsh in Kerala.

Tips for the Agasthyakoodam trek

  • Your stamina is vital for this trek. Indulge in some physical activity daily for a month or two to train your body.
  • Do not throw any waste/garbage during the trek. As mentioned previously, this is a well-preserved region of the Western Ghats so ensure it remains the same.
  • If you don’t have your vehicle, you can request fellow trekkers (with cars) to drop you back after the trek.
  • Carry fruits and healthy snacks. They will come in handy during the trek. Don’t rely on the canteens.
  • It is advisable to be in a group to ensure you don’t lose your way or encounter animals during the trek , especially on Day 2.
  • Follow strict timings to ensure that your overall trekking experience goes smoothly. One slight delay can cause a chain of delays, thereby hampering your trek.
  • On the day of your climb to the peak, don’t leave behind any valuables that you can’t afford to lose.
  • Purchase your meal coupons in advance from the canteen instead of waiting till the last moment. For example, ask for the dinner coupon when you have lunch, breakfast coupon when you’re having dinner and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is agasthyamalai biosphere reserve located.

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve is located along the borders of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is spread across the districts of Trivandrum and Kollam in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

How to book the Agasthyakoodam trek?

The booking for the Agasthyakoodam trek starts from the second week of January every year. The link for the online booking becomes available then on the Kerala Forest Department website. All the details regarding the booking details are also published in major newspapers across Kerala a few days before the booking begins.

After booking your trek online, you have to report to Bonacaud which is 50 km away from Trivandrum. There is a government bus that starts from Trivandrum for Bonacaud at 5 am daily. At Bonacaud, you have to report to the Bonacaud Picket Station (Forest Checkpost). From here, you start your trek in a group along with a guide to the Agashyakoodam peak. The entire trek is 48 km long and can be completed in 2 or 3 days at your convenience.

agasthyakoodam trekking

This trek was one of the most physically and mentally challenging treks I ever did in the Western Ghats. When things got more demanding, I had to push myself to take the next step. You will probably face such moments during the trek.

But it is all worth it in the end. You will learn a lot about yourself in this process. Additionally, the views that you get from the Agasthyarkoodam peak and the sights you see during the trek itself will linger with you for a long time. So if you are an avid trekker or want to experience the Western Ghats in all its glory, this trek should be on your wishlist.

Have you done this mighty trek in Kerala? If not, do you plan to do it someday but still have some queries? Let me know in the comments, and I will be happy to help.

agathiyar malai trip

Jerry quit his 9-5 job to become a digital nomad and travel the world. Through Framedventures, he helps people have experiential and immersive travel adventures across India. He has travelled to 15+ states/UTs in India so far. Besides travelling, he's also passionate about landscape photography. Connect with him on his social media channels to get his latest travel updates!

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agathiyar malai trip

Awesome blogs Jerry. Very well documented and so much in details. Appreciate it. Am planning to do the agastyakoodam trek sometime, thanks again.

agathiyar malai trip

Thank you Shreyas! Hope you have an awesome trek at Agasthyakoodam. 🤗

agathiyar malai trip

Damn brother🙏 you took me through a visual adventure at the comfort of my house. Very well documented journey details. Am planning to scale this mighty peak this year. Waiting for the online registration to start. I wanted to know two things: if female trekkers are allowed currently. What would be the cost of food tokens at the forest department canteens. Awaiting response Jerry.

agathiyar malai trip

Thank you, Sharath! 😀

As mentioned in my blog post, female trekkers are allowed since 2019.

I don’t remember the exact cost of the food tokens but it was cheap. You’ll be good to go if you can carry INR 1,500-2,000. It’ll comfortably take care of all your food expenses during the trek.

All the best with your online registration! ✌️

agathiyar malai trip

durga Manikandan

hi jerry wondeful message about the agasthiyar trek , my self a yoga instructor with few of my students climbing the agasthiyar peak on sep , your details are really useful , we are bunch of women , my question is if we cant climb the peak of the last 2 km is that ok or will it be missed badly , these rocks look scary ,guide us ,

Hi Durga! I sent you an email with the reply. Hope you received it and read through it.

I’m answering your question again for the benefit of others who may have the same doubt.

The last 2 km does look scary but it’s not very difficult. There are ropes to guide you and people around you will help you out.

I recommend you climb the peak because the views there are unbeatable. You won’t get that kind of view anywhere else on the trek (or even in Trivandrum) and you’ll be thankful to yourself for climbing the peak.

At the top, I recommend spending 30 minutes to an hour taking in the views, meditating or relaxing.

Hope this helps!

agathiyar malai trip

Thanks for this amazing writeup. I am climbing on Jan 2023 and your infos will be highly useful for me. You just kept my sprint one level up for the climb. Thanks

Thanks Sandeep!🙂

Congratulations on getting the entry pass for the trek. Not everyone is as lucky as you.😅

All the very best for the trek!

agathiyar malai trip

Hi Jerry, thanks for the elaborate write up. We are trekking in February 2023. Can you throw some light on the trekking option outside the booking window? How to book, cost, special permit requirements etc.. Thank you again !!!

I don’t have much idea about the booking outside the trekking window.

You can visit this website for more details. Check the ‘Agastyarvanam Biological Park’ section specifically for the Agasthyakoodam trek.

agathiyar malai trip

Srinivasan Thyagarajan

Dear Mr. Jerry, Greetings. Read your blog and it triggered my intrinsic inner heart to plan and perform this trek. Nicely written by you with full details. I am 62 years old and would like to do this trekking soon. I live in Chennai with my family and now retired from the service. Recently, I had been to Parvatha malai and before that Kedarnath dham. Should you have more tips to guide me, kindly share the same. Take care. GOD Bless you. regards srinivasan

Hi Srinivasan!

Thank you for this lovely message.

You can follow all the details I’ve mentioned in the article for a successful trek.

If you’ve any specific concerns, do let me know! I’ll be happy to help.✌️

agathiyar malai trip

If I plan to hike 2nd week of January 2024, when would the reservation open up online?

Hey Arun! Sorry for the late reply!

It usually opens during the 2nd week of January every year but there is no fixed date as such. You can also hike in the 2nd week of January provided you’re able to book the pass online when they open the bookings.

agathiyar malai trip

Nice blog Jerry. I can see why you quit your 9-5 job. Please can you tell me about the afidavit for the trek, how to obtain it. And I heard someone say we should have some Life Insurance for going for this trek, how true it is?

I am planning for the trek in 2024. Please do let me know if any other documents are needed, I can’t find any source pointing at this. Please help. Thank you.

Hi Ganesh! Sorry for the late reply.

The affidavit will be sent to you when you successfully book the trek online. If not, you can also get it at the Forest Checkpost in Bonacaud. And life insurance is not needed.

The two important documents you need to have for sure are the trekking pass and an original photo id.

agathiyar malai trip

Srinivasan S

This is the most detailed and informative inputs that i could get about this place. Am fortunate to get a slot in Feb’24. Looking forward to enjoying this in person. Will update after i complete my trekking. Thanks for all the inputs.

Thanks Srinivasan! Hope you enjoy the trek.:)

agathiyar malai trip

Hello Jerry, super detailed blog, thank you! My husband, two cousins and I have got a slot olfor the trek Feb 6-8 (we decided to not to squash everything into 2 days).

Couple questions: 1. On the Day 1 trek, I understand there are streams and other such in the way. Are they deep? Will we get fully wet?

2. On Day 2, when we climb to Agasthyaarkoodam, is there an option to leave the trekking backpack at the basecamp? Or do we have to carry everything to the top?

3. Did you have any fellow female trekkers during yours, and anything they may have mentioned which would be good to know?

4. Since plastic is not allowed, do they allow plastic water bottle? And what about the plastic parts of the first aid kit, etc?

Please find my replies:

1. No, they aren’t deep at all.

2. Yes, you can leave your main backpack in your dorm. It’s preferable to carry a small backpack with water, snacks and the packed lunch on day 2 though as the ascent will be tiring.

3. No, I didn’t. But it is now open for females also so you don’t have to worry. They have separate washrooms for females and if I’m not wrong, they have a different dorm for females. I’m not sure what the policy is regarding couples.

4. Yes, you can carry plastic water bottles but ensure you’re not carrying the disposable ones. Similarly, I recommend you remove the plastic covers of packaged snacks, first aid, etc. and carry them in boxes to avoid inconvenience. The forest officials are a bit strict with plastics as it’s a reserved forest.

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Home » Europe » Moscow

EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024)

Moscow is the heart of Mother Russia. Just the mention of this city conjures images of colorful bulbous pointed domes, crisp temperatures, and a uniquely original spirit!

Moscow has an incredibly turbulent history, a seemingly resilient culture, and a unique enchantment that pulls countless tourists to the city each year! Although the warmer months make exploring Moscow’s attractions more favorable, there’s just something about a fresh snowfall that only enhances the appearance of the city’s iconic sites!

If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or simply wanting to see as much of the city as possible, this Moscow itinerary will help you do just that!

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Best Time To Visit Moscow

Where to stay in moscow, moscow itinerary, day 1 itinerary in moscow, day 2 itinerary in moscow, day 3 and beyond, staying safe in moscow, day trips from moscow, faq on moscow itinerary.

Here is a quick look at the seasons so you can decide when to visit Moscow!

The summer months (June-August) are a great time to travel to Moscow to take advantage of the enjoyable mild temperatures. This is considered peak travel season. Bear in mind that hotel prices rise along with the temperatures!

when to visit moscow

If you’re planning a trip to Moscow during fall (September-November) try to plan for early fall. This way the temperatures will still be pleasant and winter won’t be threatening.

Russian winters (December-February) are not for the faint of heart as Napoleon learned to his peril. Some days the sun will be out for less than an hour, and snow is guaranteed. Although winters are exceptionally cold, this is when you’ll get a true glimpse of the Moscow experience!

The best time to visit Moscow is during spring  (March-May). The temperatures will begin to creep up and the sun begins to shine for significant portions of the day. Hotel rates will also have yet to skyrocket into peak ranges!

agathiyar malai trip

With a Moscow City Pass , you can experience the best of Moscow at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!

Moscow is a large city with many accommodation options to choose from. Staying in a location that fits with your travel plans will only enhance your Moscow itinerary. Here is a brief introduction to a few great areas of the city we recommend checking out!

The best place to stay in Moscow to be close to all the action is Kitay-Gorod. This charming neighborhood will put you within walking distance to Moscow’s famous Red Square, thus cutting down on travel time. This will allow you to see more of the city in a shorter amount of time!

where to stay in moscow

It’s surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or just planning a quick weekend in Moscow, then this area is perfect for you!

Another great area to consider is the Zamoskvorechye district. This area of the city offers a blend of new and old Moscow. It has an artsy vibe and there are plenty of fun sites you can explore outside of the main touristy areas of Moscow.

Of course, as in all areas of Moscow, it’s close to public transportation that will quickly connect you with the rest of the city and make your Moscow itinerary super accessible!

Best Airbnb in Moscow – Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Modern and cozy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin and Red Square. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow, no question!

Best Budget Hotel in Moscow – Izmailovo Alfa Hotel

moscow itinerary

The Izmailovo Alfa Hotel is a very highly rated accommodation that provides all the components necessary for a comfortable trip to Moscow. There is an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, and an airport shuttle service. The rooms are modern and spacious and are equipped with a TV, heating/air conditioning, minibar, and more!

Best Luxury Hotel in Moscow – Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

moscow itinerary

If you’re touring Moscow in luxury, the Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre is the hotel for you! Elegantly furnished rooms are equipped with a minibar, flat-screen TV,  in-room safes, as well as tea and coffee making facilities! Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers, and free toiletries. There is also an onsite restaurant, bar, and fitness center.

Best Hostel in Moscow – Godzillas Hostel

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station. Guests will enjoy all the usual hostel perks such as self-catering facilities, 24-hour reception, Free Wi-Fi, and security lockers. This is one of the best hostels in Moscow and its wonderful social atmosphere and will make your vacation in Moscow extra special!

Godzillas Hostel is one of our favourites in Moscow but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

An important aspect of planning any trip is figuring out the transportation situation. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get to all of your Moscow points of interest right? Luckily, this sprawling city has an excellent network of public transportation that will make traveling a breeze!

The underground metro system is the quickest and most efficient way to travel around Moscow. Most visitors rely exclusively on this super-efficient transportation system, which allows you to get to pretty much anywhere in the city! It’s also a great option if you’re planning a Moscow itinerary during the colder months, as you’ll be sheltered from the snow and freezing temperatures!

moscow itinerary

If you prefer above-ground transportation, buses, trams, and trolleybuses, run throughout the city and provide a rather comfortable alternative to the metro.

Moscow’s metro, buses, trams, and trolleybuses are all accessible with a ‘Troika’ card. This card can be topped up with any sum of money at a metro cash desk. The ticket is simple, convenient, and even refundable upon return to a cashier!

No matter which method you choose, you’ll never find yourself without an easy means of getting from point A to point B!

Red Square | Moscow Kremlin | Lenin’s Mausoleum | St. Basil’s Cathedral  | GUM Department Store

Spend the first day of your itinerary taking your own self guided Moscow walking tour around the historic Red Square! This is Moscow’s compact city center and every stop on this list is within easy walking distance to the next! Get ready to see all of the top Moscow landmarks!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – The Red Square

  • Why it’s awesome: The Red Square is the most recognizable area in Moscow, it has mesmerizing architecture and centuries worth of history attached to its name.
  • Cost: Free to walk around, individual attractions in the square have separate fees. 
  • Food nearby: Check out Bar BQ Cafe for friendly service and good food in a great location! The atmosphere is upbeat and they’re open 24/7!

The Red Square is Moscow’s historic fortress and the center of the Russian government. The origins of the square date back to the late 15th century, when Ivan the Great decided to expand the Kremlin to reflect Moscow’s growing power and prestige!

During the 20th century, the square became famous as the site for demonstrations designed to showcase Soviet strength. Visiting the Red Square today, you’ll find it teeming with tourists, who come to witness its magical architecture up close!

The Red Square

The square is the picture postcard of Russian tourism, so make sure to bring your camera when you visit! No matter the season, or the time of day, it’s delightfully photogenic! 

It’s also home to some of Russia’s most distinguishing and important landmarks, which we’ve made sure to include further down in this itinerary. It’s an important center of Russia’s cultural life and one of the top places to visit in Moscow!

In 1990, UNESCO designated Russia’s Red Square as a World Heritage site. Visiting this historic site is a true bucket-list event and essential addition to your itinerary for Moscow!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – The Moscow Kremlin

  • Why it’s awesome: The Moscow Kremlin complex includes several palaces and cathedrals and is surrounded by the Kremlin wall. It also houses the principal museum of Russia (the Kremlin Armory).
  • Cost: USD $15.00
  • Food nearby: Bosco Cafe is a charming place to grat a casual bite to eat. They have excellent coffee and wonderful views of the Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin!

The iconic Moscow Kremlin , also known as the Kremlin museum complex, sits on Borovitsky Hill, rising above the Moscow River. It is a fortified complex in the center of the city, overlooking several iconic buildings in the Red Square!

It’s the best known of the Russian Kremlins – citadels or fortress’ protecting and dominating a city. During the early decades of the Soviet era, the Kremlin was a private enclave where the state’s governing elite lived and worked.

The Kremlin is outlined by an irregularly shaped triangular wall that encloses an area of 68 acres! The existing walls and towers were built from 1485 to 1495. Inside the Kremlin museum complex, there are five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.

The Armoury Chamber is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1851. It showcases Russian history and displays many cherished relics. Definitely make sure to check out this museum while you’re here!

The Moscow Kremlin

The churches inside the Moscow Kremlin are the Cathedral of the Dormition, Church of the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and the bell tower of Ivan Veliki (a church tower).

The five-domed Cathedral of the Dormition is considered the most famous. It was built from 1475–1479 by an Italian architect and has served as a wedding and coronation place for great princes, tsars, and emperors of Russia. Church services are given in the Kremlin’s numerous cathedrals on a regular basis.

The Grand Kremlin Palace was the former Tsar’s Moscow residence and today it serves as the official workplace of the President of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin seems to have bagged that title for life) .

Insider Tip: The Kremlin is closed every Thursday! Make sure to plan this stop on your Moscow itinerary for any other day of the week!

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Lenin’s Mausoleum

  • Why it’s awesome: The mausoleum displays the preserved body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin .
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Khinkal’naya is a charming Georgian restaurant with vaulted ceilings and exposed brick. It’s a popular place with locals and right next to the Red Square!

Lenin’s Mausoleum, also known as Lenin’s Tomb, is the modernist mausoleum for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. It’s located within the Red Square and serves as the resting place for the Soviet leader! His preserved body has been on public display since shortly after his death in 1924.

It’s located just a few steps away from the Kremlin Wall and is one of the most controversial yet popular Moscow attractions!

Admission is free for everyone, you’ll only need to pay if you need to check a bag. Before visitors are allowed to enter the mausoleum, they have to go through a metal detector first. No metal objects, liquids, or large bags are allowed in the mausoleum!

Lenins Mausoleum

Expect a line to enter the building, and while you’re inside the building, you’ll be constantly moving in line with other visitors. This means you won’t be able to spend as long as you’d like viewing the mausoleum, but you’ll still be able to get a good look. Pictures and filming while inside the building are strictly prohibited, and security guards will stop you if they see you breaking this rule.

The mausoleum is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday – unless it’s a public holiday or a day scheduled for maintenance. The hours it’s open for each day are limited, make sure to check online before you visit to make sure you can fit this into your Moscow itinerary for that day!

Insider Tip: The Lenin’s Museum is there for people to pay their respect; remember to keep silent and move along quickly, it’s not intended for people to congregate around. Also, men are not allowed to wear hats and everyone must take their hands out of their pockets when inside the building.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Why it’s awesome: A dazzling designed cathedral that showcases Russia’s unique architecture. This cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of the country!
  • Cost: USD $8.00
  • Food nearby: Moskovskiy Chaynyy Klub is a cozy cafe serving food items and pipping hot tea; it’s the perfect place to go if you’re visiting Moscow during the winter months!

Located in the Red Square, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral is probably the building you picture when you think of Moscow’s unique architecture. Its colorful onion-shaped domes tower over the Moscow skyline!

The cathedral was built from 1555-1561 by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was designed with an iconic onion dome facade and enchanting colors that captivate all who see it. Fun fact: If you’re wondering why Russian churches have onion domes, they are popularly believed to symbolize burning candles!

This iconic cathedral has become a symbol of Russia due to its distinguishing architecture and prominent position inside the Red Square. It’s one of the most beautiful, wonderful, and mesmerizing historical cathedrals in the world!

St. Basils Cathedral

The interior of the church surprises most people when they visit. In contrast to the large exterior, the inside is not so much one large area, but rather a collection of smaller areas, with many corridors and small rooms. There are 9 small chapels and one mausoleum grouped around a central tower.

Visiting the inside is like walking through a maze, there are even small signs all around the cathedral tracing where to walk, and pointing you in the right direction! The walls are meticulously decorated and painted with intricate floral designs and religious themes.

The church rarely holds service and is instead a museum open for the public to visit.

Insider Tip: During the summer months the line to go inside the cathedral can get quite long! Make sure to arrive early or reserve your tickets online to guarantee quick access into the cathedral!

Day 1 / Stop 5 – GUM Department Store

  • Why it’s awesome: This is Russia’s most famous shopping mall! It’s designed with elegant and opulent architecture and provides a real sense of nostalgia!
  • Cost: Free to enter
  • Food nearby: Stolovaya 57 is a cafeteria-style restaurant with a variety of inexpensive Russian cuisine menu items including soups, salads, meat dishes, and desserts. It’s also located inside the GUM department store, making it very easily accessible when you’re shopping!

The enormous GUM Department Store is located within the historic Red Square. It has a whimsical enchantment to it that sets it apart from your typical department store.

A massive domed glass ceiling lines the top of the building and fills the interior with natural sunlight. There are live plants and flowers placed throughout the mall that give the shopping complex a lively and cheerful feel! A playful fountain sits in the center, further adding to the malls inviting a sense of wonder and amusement!

The GUM department store opened on December 2, 1893. Today, it includes local and luxury stores, including Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and many more! There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and even a movie theater inside!

GUM Department Store

For a special treat, head into Gastronom 1. This 1950s-style shop sells gourmet food items, like wine, freshly-baked pastries, cheese, Russian chocolate, and of course, vodka! Also, be on the lookout for a bicycle pedaling ice cream truck with an employing selling ice cream!

The ambiance is simply amazing, a trip to this idyllic shopping mall is an absolute must on any Moscow itinerary!

Insider Tip: Make sure to carry some small change on you in case you need to use the restroom, you’ll need to pay 50 rubles – or about USD $0.80 to use the bathroom in GUM.

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Novodevichy Convent | Gorky Park | State Tretyakov Gallery | All-Russian Exhibition Center | Bolshoi Theater

On your 2 day itinerary in Moscow, you’ll have a chance to use the city’s excellent public transportation service! You’ll explore a few more of Moscow’s historic highlight as well as some modern attractions. These sites are a little more spread out, but still very easily accessible thanks to the metro!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Novodevichy Convent

  • Why it’s awesome: The Novodevichy Convent is rich in imperial Russian history and contains some of Russia’s best examples of classical architecture!
  • Cost: USD $5.00
  • Food nearby: Culinary Shop Karavaevs Brothers is a cozy and simple place to have a quick bite, they also have vegetarian options!

The Novodevichy Convent is the best-known and most popular cloister of Moscow. The convent complex is contained within high walls, and there are many attractions this site is known for! 

The six-pillared five-domed Smolensk Cathedral is the main attraction. It was built to resemble the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral and its facade boasts beautiful snowy white walls and a pristine golden onion dome as its centerpiece. It’s the oldest structure in the convent, built from 1524 -1525, and is situated in the center of the complex between the two entrance gates.

There are other churches inside the convent as well, all dating back from many centuries past. The convent is filled with an abundance of 16th and 17th-century religious artworks, including numerous large and extravagant frescos!

Novodevichy Convent

Just outside the convent’s grounds lies the Novodevichy Cemetery. Here, you can visit the graves of famous Russians, including esteemed authors, composers, and politicians. Probably the most intriguing gravestone belongs to Russian politician Nikita Khruschev!

The Novodevichy Convent is located near the Moscow River and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent remains remarkably well-preserved and is an outstanding example of Moscow Baroque architecture! 

Insider Tip: To enter the cathedrals inside the complex, women are advised to cover their heads and shoulders, while men should wear long pants.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

  • Why it’s awesome: A large amusement area in the heart of the city offering many attractions!
  • Cost: Free! 
  • Food nearby: Check out Mepkato, located inside Gorky Central Park for a casual meal in a cozy setting. There are indoor and outdoor seating options and the restaurant is child-friendly!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a large green space in the heart of Moscow. The park opened in 1928, and it stretches along the scenic embankment of the Moskva River. It covers an area of 300-acres and offers a lovely contrast from the compact city center.

You’ll find all sorts of wonderful attractions, from boat rides to bike rentals to tennis courts and ping-pong tables, and much more! there are an open-air cinema and festive events and concerts scheduled in the summer months.  A wide selection of free fitness classes is also offered on a regular basis, including jogging, roller skating, and dancing!

Although many of the options you’ll find here are more suited for outdoor leisure during the summer, you’ll also a selection of winter attractions, including one of Europe’s largest ice rinks for ice-skating!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

If you’re trying to decide what to do in Moscow with kids, the park also offers several venues designed specifically for kids. Check out the year-round Green School which offers hands-on classes in gardening and art! You can also feed the squirrels and birds at the Golitsinsky Ponds!

The park is very well maintained and kept clean and the entrance is free of charge, although most individual attractions cost money. There is also Wi-Fi available throughout the park.

With so many attractions, you could easily spend all day here! If you’re only planning a 2 day itinerary in Moscow, make sure to plan your time accordingly and map out all the areas you want to see beforehand!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – The State Tretyakov Gallery

  • Why it’s awesome: The gallery’s collection consists entirely of Russian art made by Russian artists!
  • Food nearby : Brothers Tretyakovs is located right across the street from the gallery. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant serving top quality food and drinks!

The State Tretyakov Gallery was founded in 1856 by influential merchant and collector Pavel Tretyakov.  The gallery is a national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the most important museums in Russia!

It houses the world’s best collection of Russian art and contains more than 130, 000 paintings, sculptures, and graphics! These works have been created throughout the centuries by generations of Russia’s most talented artists!

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The exhibits range from mysterious 12th-century images to politically charged canvases. The collection is rich and revealing and offers great insight into the history and attitudes of this long-suffering yet inspired people!

All pictures are also labeled in English. If you plan to take your time and see everything inside the museum it will take a good 3-4 hours, so make sure to plan your Moscow trip itinerary accordingly! This gallery is a must-see stop for art lovers, or anyone wanting to explore the local culture and history of Russia in a creative and insightful manner! 

Insider Tip: When planning your 2 days in Moscow itinerary, keep in mind that most museums in Moscow are closed on Mondays, this includes The State Tretyakov Gallery!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – All-Russian Exhibition Center

  • Why it’s awesome: This large exhibition center showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union in several different spheres. 
  • Food nearby: Varenichnaya No. 1 serves authentic and homestyle Russian cuisine in an intimate and casual setting.

The All-Russian Exhibition Center is a massive park that presents the glory of the Soviet era! It pays homage to the achievements of Soviet Russia with its many different sites found on the property.

The center was officially opened in 1939 to exhibit the achievements of the Soviet Union. It’s a huge complex of buildings and the largest exhibition center in Moscow. There are several exhibition halls dedicated to different achievements and every year there are more than one hundred and fifty specialized exhibitions!

All Russian Exhibition Center

The Peoples Friendship Fountain was constructed in 1954 and is a highlight of the park. The stunning gold fountain features 16 gilded statues of girls, each representing the former Soviet Union republics. 

The Stone Flower Fountain was also built in 1954 and is worth checking out. The centerpiece of this large fountain is a flower carved from stones from the Ural Mountains! Along the side of the fountain are various bronze sculptures.

You will find many people zipping around on rollerblades and bicycles across the large area that the venue covers. It’s also home to amusement rides and carousels, making it the perfect place to stop with kids on your Moscow itinerary! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and allow a few hours to explore all the areas that interest you!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Bolshoi Theater

  • Why it’s awesome: The Bolshoi Theater is a historic venue that hosts world-class ballet and opera performances!
  • Cost: Prices vary largely between USD $2.00 –  USD $228.00 based on seat location.
  • Food nearby: Head to the Russian restaurant, Bolshoi for high-quality food and drinks and excellent service!

The Bolshoi Theater is among the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world! It also boasts the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers!

The theater has been rebuilt and renovated several times during its long history. In 2011 it finished its most recent renovation after an extensive six-year restoration that started in 2005. The renovation included an improvement in acoustics and the restoration of the original Imperial decor.

The Bolshoi Theater has put on many of the world’s most famous ballet acts! Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiered at the theater in 1877 and other notable performances of the Bolshoi repertoire include Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker!

Bolshoi Theater

Today, when you visit the theater, you can expect a magical performance from skilled singers, dancers, and musicians with the highest level of technique!

If you don’t have time to see a show, the theater also provides guided tours on select days of the week. Tours are given in both Russian and English and will provide visitors with a more intimate look at the different areas of the theater!

The stage of this iconic Russian theater has seen many outstanding performances. If you’re a fan of the performing arts, the Bolshoi Theater is one of the greatest and oldest ballet and opera companies in the world, making it a must-see attraction on your Moscow itinerary!

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Cosmonautics Museum | Alexander Garden | Ostankino Tower | Izmaylovo District | Soviet Arcade Museum

Now that we’ve covered what to do in Moscow in 2 days, if you’re able to spend more time in the city you’re going to need more attractions to fill your time. Here are a few more really cool things to do in Moscow we recommend!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

  • Hear the timeline of the ‘space race’ from the Russian perspective
  • This museum is fun for both adults and children!
  • Admission is USD $4.00

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a museum dedicated to space exploration! The museum explores the history of flight, astronomy, space exploration, space technology, and space in the arts. It houses a large assortment of Soviet and Russian space-related exhibits, and the museum’s collection holds approximately 85,000 different items!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

The museum does an excellent job of telling the full story of the exciting space race between the USSR and the US! It highlights the brightest moments in Russian history and humanity and is very interesting and fun for all ages!

If you’re a fan of space or just curious about gaining insight into Russia’s fascinating history of space exploration, make sure to add this to your 3 day itinerary in Moscow!

The Alexander Garden

  • A tranquil place to relax near the Red Square
  • Green lawns dotted with sculptures and lovely water features
  • The park is open every day and has no entrance fee

The Alexander Garden was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow! The garden premiered in 1821 and was built to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s forces in 1812!

The park is beautiful and well maintained with paths to walk on and benches to rest on. The park contains three separate gardens: the upper garden, middle garden, and lower garden.

The Alexander Garden

Located in the upper garden, towards the main entrance to the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame. This monument was created in 1967 and contains the body of a soldier who fell during the Great Patriotic War!

The park stretches along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for about half a mile. Due to its central location in the city, it’ll be easily accessible when you’re out exploring The Red Square.

It provides a bit of relief from the city’s high-energy city streets. Bring a picnic lunch, go for a walk, or just sit and people watch, this is one of the best Moscow sites to wind-down and relax!

Ostankino Television Tower

  • Television and radio tower in Moscow
  • Currently the tallest free-standing structure in Europe
  • Make sure you bring your passport when you visit, you can’t go up without it!

For spectacular views of the city, make sure to add the Ostankino Television Tower to your itinerary for Moscow! This impressive free-standing structure provides stunning views of the city in every direction. The glass floor at the top also provides great alternative views of the city!

Ostankino Television Tower

It takes just 58 seconds for visitors to reach the Tower’s observation deck by super fast elevator. The tower is open every day for long hours and is a great site in Moscow to check out! There is even a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy rotating views of the city while you dine on traditional Russian cuisine or European cuisine!

The tower is somewhat of an architectural surprise in a city that is not known for skyscrapers! To see the city from a new perspective, make sure to add this stop to your Moscow itinerary!

Izmaylovo District

  • The most popular attractions in this district are the kremlin and the flea market
  • Outside of the city center and easy to reach via metro
  • Most popular during the summer and on weekends

Travel outside the city center and discover a unique area of the city! The Izmaylovo District is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and one of the coolest places to see in Moscow! The two main attractions we recommend checking out are the Kremlin and the flea market.

The Izmailovo Kremlin was established as a cultural center and molded after traditional Russian architecture. This colorful complex is home to several single-subject museums, including a Russian folk art museum and a vodka museum!

Izmaylovo District

Next to the Kremlin is the Izmailovo open-air market, which dates back to the 17th century! The market is connected to the Izmailovo Kremlin by a wooden bridge. Pick up all your Russian souvenirs here, including traditional handicrafts, paintings, books, retro toys, and Soviet memorabilia!

You will find many hand-made and hand-painted options available at higher prices, as well as mass-produced souvenir options at lower prices!

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

  • Closed on Mondays
  • Filled with old arcade games that visitors get to try out!
  • The museum also includes a small cafe and burger shop

For something a little different, check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games! The museum features roughly 60 machines from the Soviet era, including video games, pinball machines, and collaborative hockey foosball! The machines inside the museum were produced in the USSR in the mid-1970s.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

The best part is, most of the games are still playable! Purchase tickets and try the games out for yourself! The museum also has a neat little screening room that plays old Soviet cartoons and an area with Soviet magazines! This unique attraction is a fun addition to a 3 day itinerary in Moscow, and an attraction that all ages will enjoy! 

Whether you’re spending one day in Moscow, or more, safety is an important thing to keep in mind when traveling to a big city! Overall, Moscow is a very safe place to visit. However, it is always recommended that tourists take certain precautions when traveling to a new destination!

The police in Moscow is extremely effective at making the city a safe place to visit and do their best to patrol all of the top Moscow, Russia tourist attractions. However, tourists can still be a target for pickpockets and scammers.

Moscow has a huge flow of tourists, therefore there is a risk for pickpocketing. Simple precautions will help eliminate your chances of being robbed. Stay vigilant, keep your items close to you at all times, and don’t flash your valuables!

If you’re planning a solo Moscow itinerary, you should have no need to worry, as the city is also considered safe for solo travelers, even women. Stay in the populated areas, try and not travel alone late at night, and never accept rides from strangers or taxis without a meter and correct signage.

The threat of natural disasters in Moscow is low, with the exception of severe winters when the temperature can dip below freezing! Bring a good, warm jacket if you visit in Winter.

However, please note that Russian views on homsexuality are far less accepting than those in Western Europe. Likewise, Non-Caucasian travellers may sadly encounter racism in Russia .

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Now that we’ve covered all the top things to see in Moscow, we thought we’d include some exciting day trips to other areas of the country!

Sergiev Posad (Golden Ring)

Sergiev Posad Golden Ring

On this 7-hour guided tour, you’ll visit several scenic and historic areas of Russia. Start your day with hotel pick-up as you’re transferred by a comfortable car or minivan to Sergiev Posad. Admire the charming Russian countryside on your drive and enjoy a quick stop to visit the Russian village, Rudonezh!

You’ll see the majestic Saint Spring and the Church of Sergiev Radonezh. You’ll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, one of the most famous Orthodox sites in Russia!

Lastly, you’ll swing by the local Matreshka market and enjoy a break in a nice Russian restaurant before returning to Moscow!

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

On this 13-hour trip, you’ll discover old Russia, with its picturesque landscapes and white-stoned beautiful churches! You’ll visit the main towns of the famous Golden Ring of Russia – the name for several cities and smaller towns north-east of Moscow.

Your first stop will be in the town of Vladimir, the ancient capital of all Russian principalities. The city dates back to the 11th century and is one of the oldest and the most important towns along the Ring! Next, you’ll visit Suzdal, a calm ancient Russian town north of Vladimir with only 13,000 inhabitants!

The old-style architecture and buildings of Suzdal are kept wonderfully intact. If you’re spending three days in Moscow, or more, this is a great option for exploring the charming areas outside the city!

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

On this 9-hour private tour, you’ll explore the ancient town of Zvenigorod, one of the oldest towns in the Moscow region! As you leave Moscow you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery along the Moscow River, and make a few stops at old churches along the way to Zvenigorod.

Upon arrival, you’ll explore the medieval center, including the 14th-century Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. Next, you’ll take a break for lunch (own expense) where you’ll have the chance to try out the Russian cuisine! Next, you’ll visit the Museum of Russian Dessert and sip on tea at a Russian tea ceremony.

The final stop of the day is at the Ershovo Estate, a gorgeous place to walk around and enjoy nature!

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage & Faberge

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage and Faberge

On this full-day tour, you’ll enjoy a a full round trip to St Petersburg where you’ll spend an exciting day exploring another popular Russian city! You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Moscow and be transferred to the train station where you’ll ride the high-speed train ‘Sapsan’ to St Petersburg.

Upon arrival, you’ll start the day by touring the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Next, you’ll visit the Faberge Museum, where you’ll explore the impressive collection of rare Faberge Eggs! In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing boat ride and a traditional 3-course Russian lunch.

If you’re spending 3 days in Moscow, or more, this is an excellent trip to take!

Trip to Kolomna – Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

Trip to Kolomna - Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

On this 10-hour tour, you’ll escape the city and travel to the historic town of Kolomna! First, you’ll visit the 14th-century Kolomna Kremlin, home to the Assumption Cathedral and an abundance of museums!

Next, enjoy lunch at a local cafe (own expense) before embarking on a tour of the Marshmallow Museum – of course, a marshmallow tasting is provided!  Your final stop is the Museum of Forging Settlements, where displays include armor and accessories for fishing and hunting.

Discover this beautiful Russian fairytale city on a private trip, where all of the planning is taken care of for you!

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Moscow itinerary.

How many days you need in Moscow?

We recommend that you spend at least two or three days in Moscow to take it all in.

What’s the best month to visit Moscow?

The best time to visit Moscow is over the spring, from March to May as temperatures are mild, crowds are thin and prices are reasonable.

What are some unusual things to do in Moscow?

I mean, queuing up to see an almost 100 year old corpse is pretty unsual! Check out Lenin’s Mausoleum if you fancy it!

What are some fun things to do in Moscow?

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a fun place to explore the famous space race from the perspective of the ‘other side’!

We hope you enjoyed our Moscow itinerary! We’ve made sure to cover all the Moscow must-sees as well as some unique attractions in the city! Our addition of insider tips, favorite food stops, and day trips from Moscow is an added bonus and will guarantee you make the most out of your exciting Russian vacation!

Immerse yourself in the modern and traditional Russian lifestyle! Get lost in museums, witness awe-inspiring architecture, and indulge in Russian cuisine! Spend the day strolling through all of the charming sites of Moscow, admiring the beautiful scenery and discovering the city’s fairytale-like enchantment!

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And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

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Alya and Campbell

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Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow: The Best of Moscow!

I just got back from one week in Moscow. And, as you might have already guessed, it was a mind-boggling experience. It was not my first trip to the Russian capital. But I hardly ever got enough time to explore this sprawling city. Visiting places for business rarely leaves enough time for sightseeing. I think that if you’ve got one week in Russia, you can also consider splitting your time between its largest cities (i.e. Saint Petersburg ) to get the most out of your trip. Seven days will let you see the majority of the main sights and go beyond just scratching the surface. In this post, I’m going to share with you my idea of the perfect travel itinerary for one week in Moscow.

Moscow is perhaps both the business and cultural hub of Russia. There is a lot more to see here than just the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Centuries-old churches with onion-shaped domes dotted around the city are in stark contrast with newly completed impressive skyscrapers of Moscow City dominating the skyline. I spent a lot of time thinking about my Moscow itinerary before I left. And this city lived up to all of my expectations.

7-day Moscow itinerary

Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow

Day 1 – red square and the kremlin.

Metro Station: Okhotny Ryad on Red Line.

No trip to Moscow would be complete without seeing its main attraction. The Red Square is just a stone’s throw away from several metro stations. It is home to some of the most impressive architectural masterpieces in the city. The first thing you’ll probably notice after entering it and passing vendors selling weird fur hats is the fairytale-like looking Saint Basil’s Cathedral. It was built to commemorate one of the major victories of Ivan the Terrible. I once spent 20 minutes gazing at it, trying to find the perfect angle to snap it. It was easier said than done because of the hordes of locals and tourists.

As you continue strolling around Red Square, there’s no way you can miss Gum. It was widely known as the main department store during the Soviet Era. Now this large (yet historic) shopping mall is filled with expensive boutiques, pricey eateries, etc. During my trip to Moscow, I was on a tight budget. So I only took a retro-style stroll in Gum to get a rare glimpse of a place where Soviet leaders used to grocery shop and buy their stuff. In case you want some modern shopping experience, head to the Okhotny Ryad Shopping Center with stores like New Yorker, Zara, and Adidas.

things to do in Moscow in one week

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To continue this Moscow itinerary, next you may want to go inside the Kremlin walls. This is the center of Russian political power and the president’s official residence. If you’re planning to pay Kremlin a visit do your best to visit Ivan the Great Bell Tower as well. Go there as early as possible to avoid crowds and get an incredible bird’s-eye view. There are a couple of museums that are available during designated visiting hours. Make sure to book your ticket online and avoid lines.

Day 2 – Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Arbat Street

Metro Station: Kropotkinskaya on Red Line

As soon as you start creating a Moscow itinerary for your second day, you’ll discover that there are plenty of metro stations that are much closer to certain sites. Depending on your route, take a closer look at the metro map to pick the closest.

The white marble walls of Christ the Saviour Cathedral are awe-inspiring. As you approach this tallest Orthodox Christian church, you may notice the bronze sculptures, magnificent arches, and cupolas that were created to commemorate Russia’s victory against Napoleon.

travel itinerary for one week in Moscow

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Unfortunately, the current Cathedral is a replica, since original was blown to bits in 1931 by the Soviet government. The new cathedral basically follows the original design, but they have added some new elements such as marble high reliefs.

Home to some precious collection of artworks, in Tretyakov Gallery you can find more than 150,000 of works spanning centuries of artistic endeavor. Originally a privately owned gallery, it now has become one of the largest museums in Russia. The Gallery is often considered essential to visit. But I have encountered a lot of locals who have never been there.

Famous for its souvenirs, musicians, and theaters, Arbat street is among the few in Moscow that were turned into pedestrian zones. Arbat street is usually very busy with tourists and locals alike. My local friend once called it the oldest street in Moscow dating back to 1493. It is a kilometer long walking street filled with fancy gift shops, small cozy restaurants, lots of cute cafes, and street artists. It is closed to any vehicular traffic, so you can easily stroll it with kids.

Day 3 – Moscow River Boat Ride, Poklonnaya Hill Victory Park, the Moscow City

Metro Station: Kievskaya and Park Pobedy on Dark Blue Line / Vystavochnaya on Light Blue Line

Voyaging along the Moscow River is definitely one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the city and see the attractions from a bit different perspective. Depending on your Moscow itinerary, travel budget and the time of the year, there are various types of boats available. In the summer there is no shortage of boats, and you’ll be spoiled for choice.

exploring Moscow

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If you find yourself in Moscow during the winter months, I’d recommend going with Radisson boat cruise. These are often more expensive (yet comfy). They offer refreshments like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and, of course, alcoholic drinks. Prices may vary but mostly depend on your food and drink selection. Find their main pier near the opulent Ukraine hotel . The hotel is one of the “Seven Sisters”, so if you’re into the charm of Stalinist architecture don’t miss a chance to stay there.

The area near Poklonnaya Hill has the closest relation to the country’s recent past. The memorial complex was completed in the mid-1990s to commemorate the Victory and WW2 casualties. Also known as the Great Patriotic War Museum, activities here include indoor attractions while the grounds around host an open-air museum with old tanks and other vehicles used on the battlefield.

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The hallmark of the memorial complex and the first thing you see as you exit metro is the statue of Nike mounted to its column. This is a very impressive Obelisk with a statue of Saint George slaying the dragon at its base.

Maybe not as impressive as Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower , the skyscrapers of the Moscow City (otherwise known as Moscow International Business Center) are so drastically different from dull Soviet architecture. With 239 meters and 60 floors, the Empire Tower is the seventh highest building in the business district.

The observation deck occupies 56 floor from where you have some panoramic views of the city. I loved the view in the direction of Moscow State University and Luzhniki stadium as well to the other side with residential quarters. The entrance fee is pricey, but if you’re want to get a bird’s eye view, the skyscraper is one of the best places for doing just that.

Day 4 – VDNKh, Worker and Collective Farm Woman Monument, The Ostankino TV Tower

Metro Station: VDNKh on Orange Line

VDNKh is one of my favorite attractions in Moscow. The weird abbreviation actually stands for Russian vystavka dostizheniy narodnogo khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy). With more than 200 buildings and 30 pavilions on the grounds, VDNKh serves as an open-air museum. You can easily spend a full day here since the park occupies a very large area.

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First, there are pavilions that used to showcase different cultures the USSR was made of. Additionally, there is a number of shopping pavilions, as well as Moskvarium (an Oceanarium) that features a variety of marine species. VDNKh is a popular venue for events and fairs. There is always something going on, so I’d recommend checking their website if you want to see some particular exhibition.

A stone’s throw away from VDNKh there is a very distinctive 25-meters high monument. Originally built in 1937 for the world fair in Paris, the hulking figures of men and women holding a hammer and a sickle represent the Soviet idea of united workers and farmers. It doesn’t take much time to see the monument, but visiting it gives some idea of the Soviet Union’s grandiose aspirations.

I have a thing for tall buildings. So to continue my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow I decided to climb the fourth highest TV tower in the world. This iconic 540m tower is a fixture of the skyline. You can see it virtually from everywhere in Moscow, and this is where you can get the best panoramic views (yep, even better than Empire skyscraper).

top things to do in Moscow

Parts of the floor are made of tempered glass, so it can be quite scary to exit the elevator. But trust me, as you start observing buildings and cars below, you won’t want to leave. There is only a limited number of tickets per day, so you may want to book online. Insider tip: the first tour is cheaper, you can save up to $10 if go there early.

Day 5 – A Tour To Moscow Manor Houses

Metro Station: Kolomenskoye, Tsaritsyno on Dark Green Line / Kuskovo on Purple Line

I love visiting the manor houses and palaces in Moscow. These opulent buildings were generally built to house Russian aristocratic families and monarchs. Houses tend to be rather grand affairs with impressive architecture. And, depending on the whims of the owners, some form of a landscaped garden.

During the early part of the 20th century though, many of Russia’s aristocratic families (including the family of the last emperor) ended up being killed or moving abroad . Their manor houses were nationalized. Some time later (after the fall of the USSR) these were open to the public. It means that today a great many of Moscow’s finest manor houses and palaces are open for touring.

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There are 20 manor houses scattered throughout the city and more than 25 in the area around. But not all of them easily accessible and exploring them often takes a lot of time. I’d recommend focusing on three most popular estates in Moscow that are some 30-minute metro ride away from Kremlin.

Sandwiched between the Moscow River and the Andropov Avenue, Kolomenskoye is a UNESCO site that became a public park in the 1920’s. Once a former royal estate, now it is one of the most tranquil parks in the city with gorgeous views. The Ascension Church, The White Column, and the grounds are a truly grand place to visit.

You could easily spend a full day here, exploring a traditional Russian village (that is, in fact, a market), picnicking by the river, enjoying the Eastern Orthodox church architecture, hiking the grounds as well as and wandering the park and gardens with wildflower meadows, apple orchards, and birch and maple groves. The estate museum showcases Russian nature at its finest year-round.

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If my travel itinerary for one week in Moscow was a family tree, Tsaritsyno Park would probably be the crazy uncle that no-one talks about. It’s a large park in the south of the city of mind-boggling proportions, unbelievable in so many ways, and yet most travelers have never heard of it.

The palace was supposed to be a summer home for Empress Catherine the Great. But since the construction didn’t meet with her approval the palace was abandoned. Since the early 1990’s the palace, the pond, and the grounds have been undergoing renovations. The entire complex is now looking brighter and more elaborately decorated than at possibly any other time during its history. Like most parks in Moscow, you can visit Tsaritsyno free of charge, but there is a small fee if you want to visit the palace.

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Last, but by no means least on my Moscow itinerary is Kuskovo Park . This is definitely an off-the-beaten-path place. While it is not easily accessible, you will be rewarded with a lack of crowds. This 18th-century summer country house of the Sheremetev family was one of the first summer country estates of the Russian nobility. And when you visit you’ll quickly realize why locals love this park.

Like many other estates, Kuskovo has just been renovated. So there are lovely French formal garden, a grotto, and the Dutch house to explore. Make sure to plan your itinerary well because the estate is some way from a metro station.

Day 6 – Explore the Golden Ring

Creating the Moscow itinerary may keep you busy for days with the seemingly endless amount of things to do. Visiting the so-called Golden Ring is like stepping back in time. Golden Ring is a “theme route” devised by promotion-minded journalist and writer Yuri Bychkov.

Having started in Moscow the route will take you through a number of historical cities. It now includes Suzdal, Vladimir, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Sergiev Posad. All these awe-inspiring towns have their own smaller kremlins and feature dramatic churches with onion-shaped domes, tranquil residential areas, and other architectural landmarks.

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I only visited two out of eight cities included on the route. It is a no-brainer that Sergiev Posad is the nearest and the easiest city to see on a day trip from Moscow. That being said, you can explore its main attractions in just one day. Located some 70 km north-east of the Russian capital, this tiny and overlooked town is home to Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, UNESCO Site.

things to do in Moscow in seven days

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Sergiev Posad is often described as being at the heart of Russian spiritual life. So it is uncommon to see the crowds of Russian pilgrims showing a deep reverence for their religion. If you’re traveling independently and using public transport, you can reach Sergiev Posad by bus (departs from VDNKh) or by suburban commuter train from Yaroslavskaya Railway Station (Bahnhof). It takes about one and a half hours to reach the town.

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a great place to get a glimpse of filling and warming Russian lunch, specifically at the “ Gostevaya Izba ” restaurant. Try the duck breast, hearty potato and vegetables, and the awesome Napoleon cake.

Day 7 – Gorky Park, Izmailovo Kremlin, Patriarch’s Ponds

Metro Station: Park Kultury or Oktyabrskaya on Circle Line / Partizanskaya on Dark Blue Line / Pushkinskaya on Dark Green Line

Gorky Park is in the heart of Moscow. It offers many different types of outdoor activities, such as dancing, cycling, skateboarding, walking, jogging, and anything else you can do in a park. Named after Maxim Gorky, this sprawling and lovely park is where locals go on a picnic, relax and enjoy free yoga classes. It’s a popular place to bike around, and there is a Muzeon Art Park not far from here. A dynamic location with a younger vibe. There is also a pier, so you can take a cruise along the river too.

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The Kremlin in Izmailovo is by no means like the one you can find near the Red Square. Originally built for decorative purposes, it now features the Vernissage flea market and a number of frequent fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. Every weekend, there’s a giant flea market in Izmailovo, where dozens of stalls sell Soviet propaganda crap, Russian nesting dolls, vinyl records, jewelry and just about any object you can imagine. Go early in the morning if you want to beat the crowds.

All the Bulgakov’s fans should pay a visit to Patriarch’s Ponds (yup, that is plural). With a lovely small city park and the only one (!) pond in the middle, the location is where the opening scene of Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita was set. The novel is centered around a visit by Devil to the atheistic Soviet Union is considered by many critics to be one of the best novels of the 20th century. I spent great two hours strolling the nearby streets and having lunch in the hipster cafe.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To conclude, Moscow is a safe city to visit. I have never had a problem with getting around and most locals are really friendly once they know you’re a foreigner. Moscow has undergone some serious reconstruction over the last few years. So you can expect some places to be completely different. I hope my one week Moscow itinerary was helpful! If you have less time, say 4 days or 5 days, I would cut out day 6 and day 7. You could save the Golden Ring for a separate trip entirely as there’s lots to see!

What are your thoughts on this one week Moscow itinerary? Are you excited about your first time in the city? Let me know in the comments below!


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Ann Snook-Moreau

Moscow looks so beautiful and historic! Thanks for including public transit information for those of us who don’t like to rent cars.

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Yup, that is me 🙂 Rarely rent + stick to the metro = Full wallet!

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Mariella Blago

Looks like you had loads of fun! Well done. Also great value post for travel lovers.

Thanks, Mariella!

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I have always wanted to go to Russia, especially Moscow. These sights look absolutely beautiful to see and there is so much history there!

Agree! Moscow is a thousand-year-old city and there is definitely something for everyone.

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Tara Pittman

Those are amazing buildings. Looks like a place that would be amazing to visit.

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Adriana Lopez

Never been to Moscow or Russia but my family has. Many great spots and a lot of culture. Your itinerary sounds fantastic and covers a lot despite it is only a short period of time.

What was their favourite thing about Russia?

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Gladys Parker

I know very little about Moscow or Russia for the\at matter. I do know I would have to see the Red Square and all of its exquisite architectural masterpieces. Also the CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR. Thanks for shedding some light on visiting Moscow.

Thanks for swinging by! The Red Square is a great starting point, but there way too many places and things to discover aside from it!

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Ruthy @ Percolate Kitchen

You are making me so jealous!! I’ve always wanted to see Russia.

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Moscow is in my bucket list, I don’t know when I can visit there, your post is really useful. As a culture rich place we need to spend at least week.

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Looks like you had a great trip! Thanks for all the great info! I’ve never been in to Russia, but this post makes me wanna go now!

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Wow this is amazing! Moscow is on my bucket list – such an amazing place to visit I can imagine! I can’t wait to go there one day!

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The building on the second picture looks familiar. I keep seeing that on TV.

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Reesa Lewandowski

What beautiful moments! I always wish I had the personality to travel more like this!

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Perfect itinerary for spending a week in Moscow! So many places to visit and it looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to climb that tower. The views I am sure must have been amazing!

I was lucky enough to see the skyline of Moscow from this TV Tower and it is definitely mind-blowing.

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Chelsea Pearl

Moscow is definitely up there on my travel bucket list. So much history and iconic architecture!

Thumbs up! 🙂

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Blair Villanueva

OMG I dream to visit Moscow someday! Hope the visa processing would be okay (and become more affordable) so I could pursue my dream trip!

Yup, visa processing is the major downside! Agree! Time and the money consuming process…

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Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog

Moscow Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days In Moscow

By: Author Lotte

Posted on Last updated: March 2, 2023

Categories Trans Mongolian Express

Moscow is the capital of Russia and there are few cities in the world that have played such a significant part in history.

Home to the Kremlin, the Red Square, the colorful St. Basil's Cathedral, and many more famous landmarks, Moscow is a city like no other.

This Moscow itinerary will help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in Moscow. From the best places to see in Moscow to how to get around, this post has got you covered.

Moscow itinerary

View of the Kremlin Moscow

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

Moscow 3 day itinerary: map with highlights

Moscow itinerary map

Click here for the interactive map .

What to do in Moscow in 3 days

  • Day 1: The Red Square, GUM Department Store, St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, and the State Historical Museum.
  • Day 2: The Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Gorky Park, and the Bolshoi Theatre.
  • Day 3: Izmailovsky Market, Bunker 42, and Zaryadye Park.

The famous pedestrian street Nikolskaya Street (Никольская улица) located in Kitay-Gorod Moscow with thousands of fairy lights.

Important things to know when planning a trip to Moscow

The best time to plan a trip to Moscow is April-May and September-October . During these months temperatures are (generally) quite comfortable, though even in April there can be a bit of snow! The summer months are hot, both in regard to temperature as well as activities in the city. While it's a nice time to visit, it's also the busiest time of the year to visit Moscow. Hotel prices reflect this as well and summer definitely isn't a great time for budget travelers to visit Moscow. Winter in Moscow is cold, and I mean seriously cold (-15°C isn't rare). However, if you can withstand the subzero temperatures and freezing winds, it can be a magical time to visit. A snow-covered St. Basil’s Cathedral is a sight you will never forget. Keep in mind that days are short in winter and be sure to bring plenty of warm winter clothes!

The official currency in Russia is the Russian Ruble (₽ or RUB). Here you can find the current exchange rates, at the time of writing €1 is approximately 70RUB and $1 is around 62RUB.

Yes, you probably do. Getting a visa for Russia requires a bit of time and effort. You need to fill out several forms and provide a detailed travel itinerary and information about your accommodation. Also, you will need a Visa Support Letter which can be provided by your travel agency or your hotel. Depending on your nationality, there may be additional requirements, please refer to the information provided on the website of your country's Embassy in Russia.

While most of the things to see in Moscow listed in this post are within walking distance of each other, sometimes you will have to travel a bit further afield. The best way to get around in Moscow is by metro. It's cheap and efficient and a sightseeing activity in itself, because Moscow has the most beautiful metro stations in the world ! Among the most exquisitely decorated stations are Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Mayakovskaya, Taganskaya, and Prospect Mira Station, but there are many more worthwhile stations to be found in the Moscow underground. You can purchase a single ticket from one of the ticket machines or get a rechargeable Troika Card when you plan on taking the metro several times. Read more details on how to use the Moscow metro here . If you prefer to get around by taxi, that's possible too. We used the Gett app to order a taxi (similar to Uber) to avoid confusion about our intended destination and having to negotiate in Russian. A convenient extra for families is the Gett Kids option, these cars are outfitted with a car seat.

Moscow metro station

The best things to do in Moscow

While you could easily spend a week in Moscow (or more), most of us, unfortunately, don't have that much time available.

This 3-day Moscow itinerary will guide you to the most popular and important places to visit in Moscow, as well as to some of the more unusual things to do in Moscow.

Below you can find the list of the Moscow sightseeing highlights included in this post.

The Red Square

Gum department store, st. basil's cathedral, lenin's mausoleum, the state historical museum, the kremlin, cathedral of christ the saviour.

  • The Bolshoi Theatre

Izmailovsky Market

Zaryadye park.

Planning a trip to Moscow? Click through to read about the best things to do in Moscow and practical information to plan your Moscow trip. #Moscow #Russia #CityTrip

Plan your trip like a pro with these tools: ✈️ Find the best flight deals on . ? Get the best car rental deal for your road trip on . ?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda . ? Book the best tours via Get Your Guide , Viator or Klook . ? Plan your journey with the  Lonely Planet . ?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing .

Moscow itinerary day 1

The Red Square Moscow Russia

There is no better place to start your first day in Moscow, than at the world-famous Red Square.

This square is considered the central square of Moscow, not just because all the major streets start here, but also because no matter where you look when standing on this square, there are historic buildings all around.

Starting with the impressive GUM store and going clockwise, there is the colorful Saint Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin, Lenin's Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum, and the Kazan Cathedral.

However, before entering any of these Moscow must-see attractions, allow yourself a moment to take in the view and let it sink in that you're standing on historical grounds (and a UNESCO site).

The Red Square was the official address of the Soviet government and played an important part in history. Many military parades have been held (and are still being held) here. It's the place where protests have taken place, as well as high-profile concerts from famous international artists.

All in all, it's one of the places in Moscow you can't miss during your Moscow city trip!

Red Square with GUM department store in Moscow

Yulia from That's What She Had: it might seem like visiting a department store is not something you’d do on the first visit to Russia’s capital.

But GUM is not like any other department store and is well worth your time, if only for its unique architecture.

First of all, it’s located right on Red Square which makes it an easy stop on your Moscow trip itinerary. Second, GUM is not a simple mall, but an institution built in the late XIX century.

The abbreviation stands for  Glavniy Universalniy Magazin or Main Universal Store. Its impressive facade extends for over 240 meters along the eastern side of Red Square.

Inside you’ll find a beautiful glass ceiling supported by a metal framework, not unlike the ones found in the old train stations of Great Britain. 

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While shopping in GUM will cost you an arm and a leg, there’s one reason why tourists and locals come here anyways:  traditional Russian food  at Stolovaya #57. Stolovaya is Russian for canteen and this is where you can get your  pelmeni , borsch , and  pirozhki  fix!

Afterward, don’t forget to get the famous  plombir  ice cream in one of the kiosks on the ground floor.

Saint Basil's Cathedral Moscow

Saint Basil's Cathedral with its colorful domes is easily recognizable and one of the most popular Moscow tourist attractions. The building, built on orders from Ivan the Terrible, was completed in 1561 to commemorate the victory over Kazan and Astrakhan.

Until the construction of Ivan the Great Bell Tower (which can be found within the walls of the Kremlin), it was the tallest building in Moscow.

The design of St. Basil's Cathedral is truly unique; it's shaped like the flame of a bonfire and not one building in a similar style can be found in the whole of Russia.

A legend tells the story of how Ivan the Terrible had the architects of the Cathedral blinded so they could never build anything comparable.

This is a myth, however, but the fact remains that Saint Basil's Cathedral is one of a kind and it's not surprising it has become the symbol of Russia.

Lenin Mausoleum Moscow Russia

Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan: Lenin Mausoleum is hard to miss. It's a stepped-pyramid construction that sits right at the base of the Kremlin walls on the western side of Red Square.

Entrance is free but note that opening hours are quite limited, with visiting hours lasting only from 10 am to 1 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

If seeing Lenin's embalmed body is important to you, be sure to take this into account when planning your itinerary in Moscow.

One of my  top tips for travelers to Russia  is to arrive early, well before the mausoleum opens, as the queue is usually quite long. However, usually, the queue does move pretty quickly.

This is especially true now that they have lifted the ban on bags and cameras.

It used to be that all cameras, smartphones, and bags of any size had to be checked at a left-luggage office nearby. But now you can bring a small handbag or backpack as well as your camera and phone.

Photography inside the mausoleum is still strictly forbidden, but you are allowed to take photos of the graves of various other important Russian figures that line the path leading to the mausoleum.

Once you finally enter the mausoleum, the atmosphere is surprisingly peaceful and uncrowded. It doesn't feel nearly as rushed as when visiting Mao Ze Dong's tomb in Beijing or Ho Chi Minh's body in Hanoi , for example.

The illumination of the body is very well done and would make for superb photography if it wasn't forbidden. As an added bonus, just after you exit, you'll see the grave of Joseph Stalin outside.

State Historical Museum Moscow

Rai from A Rai Of Light: the imposing crimson building at the northern end of the Red Square is the State Historical Museum.

By decree of Alexander III, the museum was built with the support of Russian historians, philosophers, and artists. The red brick building, dating from 1875, was designed in the Russian revival style by Vladimir Shervud.

The National Museum of Russia houses a collection of over four million items, devoted to the history of the country's ancient and imperial period.

The exhibitions include many items previously owned by members of the Romanov dynasty, such as documents, artwork, personal items, furnishings, and decorations from the palace interiors.

Another exhibit features relics of the prehistoric tribes that once inhabited this region.

Notable items include ancient manuscripts, birch-bark scrolls, a longboat excavated from the banks of the Volga River, and the largest coin collection in Russia, sourced from the museums in St Petersburg .

The State Historical Museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee is 700₽ per adult.

Moscow itinerary day 2

Cathedral Square inside the Kremlin

When listing the best Moscow things to do, one cannot miss the Kremlin! The Kremlin houses the current seat of power in Russia and has done so for several decades.

Within its walls, the offices of the Russian Government can be found. During Soviet rule, the Kremlin was where all the important decisions were made but its history goes back for many centuries.

The first mention of the Kremlin in history books was in 1147, however, the current citadel dates from the 16th century.

The Kremlin is one of the major fortifications found in Europe, with walls that are up to 6.5 meters thick and 19 meters high in particular sections.

Inside the complex, there are many government buildings, however, these aren't accessible to the public.

Around Cathedral Square you'll find (as the name suggests) many churches and cathedrals, such as the Cathedral of the Archangel, Annunciation Cathedral, the Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe, and Ivan the Great Bell-Tower.

While Cathedral Square is definitely worth visiting, the highlight of the Kremlin is a visit to the Armoury.

Inside you can find an impressive collection of Faberge eggs, beautiful dresses worn by Catherine the Great, intricately decorated thrones used by the Tsars, and much more. Unfortunately, photography is forbidden inside the Armoury.

Practical information about visiting the Kremlin

In order to visit both Cathedral Square and the Armoury, you will have to buy two separate tickets. A ticket to Cathedral Square costs 700₽ and a ticket to the Armoury is 1000₽. Prices mentioned are for adults, children below 16 years old are free.

Tickets can be bought at the ticket office onsite on the same day, however, there's no guarantee tickets will be available, especially during peak season.

Conveniently, tickets can be bought online as well, which is highly advisable if you want to make sure you'll be able to visit the Kremlin during your city trip to Moscow.

How much time to spend at the Kremlin

Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the Kremlin, at least half a day but it's easy to spend more time as there is so much to see.

Please note there isn't any food sold inside the Kremlin, so bring a snack and enough water (especially in summer when it can get pretty hot).

Luggage storage

Backpacks aren't allowed inside the Kremlin, they can be stored (for free) in the cloakroom, but you can bring your camera and a small purse.

We could also take our Babyzen Yoyo stroller inside, which was very convenient as our 10-month-old son could take a nap while we explored the sights.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Moscow

After the original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was demolished by Stalin in 1931, a new version was completed in 2000.

The imposing building is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world (103 meters high), and is beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside.

Visiting the Cathedral is free of charge and it's open any day of the week from 10 am to 5 pm (except on Mondays when the opening hours are 1 to 5 pm).

When visiting the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour it's important to dress appropriately. For men, this means no shorts or tank tops.

Women can't enter with mini skirts or shorts, strap tops, or anything too revealing. Also, women are advised to cover their heads with a scarf as a sign of respect.

Inside the Cathedral photography isn't allowed, but believe me when I say there is plenty to see. There are beautiful frescoes, colorful icons, impressive statues, and other vivid decorations.

For a beautiful view over Moscow, walk up the stairs to the 40-meter high observation deck (entrance fee 400₽).  

Visit Gorky Park

Gorky Park ice skating Moscow Russia

Helen from Holidays from Hels : Gorky Park, named after the Soviet writer Maxim Gorky, has recently undergone extensive regeneration to become Moscow's central leisure hub for young Muscovites.

Every day of the week you can find many Moscow residents strolling along the banks of the river in the summer, hiring bikes, picnicking on the grass, or dining at one of the many restaurants.

Open-air cinemas, petanque, and ping pong are all on offer. Not to be missed is the iconic white stone entranceway and museum, complete with columns carved with Soviet hammers and sickles.

In winter, look out for the ducks waddling across the frozen Moskva River, and watch boats attempting to navigate through the cracked ice. However, the real winter highlight is to try ice skating on one of the biggest rinks in Europe!

Ice skating in Gorky Park

The park’s maze of pedestrian pathways is transformed into one huge skating rink, which can play host to up to four thousand skaters. 

Not surprisingly, Russians are talented ice skaters and there is a good chance you will find yourself next to a pirouetting ballerina.

Handily, you will find you will already be wearing most of what you need – gloves, hat, scarf, and thick socks and you can hire skates on-site. Lockers are included in the price if you don’t fancy skating with your day pack.

Disco tunes fill the air, and the whole arena is backlit in spectacular neon lights. Rest your weary legs and warm up at one of the cafes dotted along the frozen pathways, with the added bonus of not having to take off your skates.

Opening times

The rink is open from 10 am until 11 pm on weekdays and until midnight at weekends but closes between 3 and 5 pm. Like most attractions in Moscow, the rink is closed on Mondays. 

The prices range from 350-650₽ and go up in the evening, which is the best time for the light show. Arriving at 5 pm, just as the rink opens for the evening session will give you time to find your ice legs before it fills up with more confident skaters.

Whilst waiting for the rink to open, try out the nearby tubing track where you can shoot down a snowy hill on an inflatable ring repeatedly for a very enjoyable half an hour!

How to get to Gorky Park by metro

The nearest metro is Park Kultury Station, on the other side of the river. As always, check out in advance what this looks like in the Russian Alphabet so you know when to get off!

Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theater Moscow

James Ian at Travel Collecting : one of the best places to go in Moscow is the famous Bolshoi Theater, located only a short walk from Red square. Bolshoy means big in Russian, and the theatre is not only big but also beautiful.

There are two ways to see the theater: on a guided tour or by watching a performance .

Take a guided tour

  • English tours are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:30 am. Tickets for these tours can be bought (on the same day) at the ticket office located in the Historic building of the theatre (door #12).
  • A ticket costs 2000₽ per person, tours last one hour, and the number of people on a tour is limited to a maximum of 20. The tour takes you inside the theater and to the historic main stage.

Watch a performance

My favorite way to see the theater, though, is to enjoy a performance and experience the theater as a patron.

The entrance is a little underwhelming when you first arrive, the street lobby is small and quite plain and you will be immediately directed up to your floor.

There are helpful attendants on each floor to guide you to the correct door. Arrive a little early and head up to the Grand Salon on the top floor where you can enjoy a glass of champagne while people-watching (Russians dress up for the theater).

Then head to your seat and take in the stunning theater before enjoying the famous Bolshoi Ballet or another performance.

Be sure to book a show at the historic stage, there is a modern stage as well but that isn't nearly as much fun.

Moscow itinerary day 3

Izmailovsky Market Moscow

Karen from WanderlustingK : one of the most interesting Moscow places to visit is the Izmailovsky Market .

This flea market and tourist attraction a bit outside of the tourist center is a recreation of a Tzar’s Palace, known as a Kremlin, produced in a colorful 16th-century style.

The market is filled with tiny stalls that sell everything from snacks to kitsch to authentic items from Soviet times such as hats, pins, and other pieces of memorabilia.

You'll also find authentic antiques such as vases, paintings, and other religious items if you're looking to splurge within the interior parts of the market.

Negotiating in English is not always possible as many vendors only speak Russian, so be sure to practice your Russian numbers and see how well you can do with haggling.

It's important to carry cash when you visit given that many vendors do not accept cards. We ended up purchasing a series of hats at the market, along with a beautiful hot tea glass with a metal holder with a typical Russian scene.

Elsewhere in the market, you’ll also find a few tourist shops that sell typical Russian products. It takes a few hours to see the market in full, so arrive early as the best items go quickly! 

Hallway in Bunker 42 Moscow

Lindsey from Have Clothes, Will Travel : Bunker-42 was once a top-secret, Soviet military complex. Stalin commissioned its construction after the United States succeeded in creating a nuclear bomb.

An impressive 65 meters (or about 213 feet) underground, was the desired depth to protect Russia’s top officials from a nuclear attack.

Bunker 42 became operational in 1954. Fortunately, it was never needed for its true purpose, and instead it was used as the command center of strategic bombers for nearly 30 years.

Nowadays it's a museum dedicated to the Cold War and visiting is a truly unique experience!

You will need to join a tour in order to see the museum. You can call ahead to book your tour (the number is: +7 499 703-44-55), there are several English tours throughout the day that are held at 13:30, 16:30, and 18:30 (the price is 2200₽).

On Mondays, there is an extra tour at 17:30, which lasts an additional 30 minutes and costs 2800₽ per person. There is also the option to book a private tour. However, I am unsure of the price for this.

You will have to wait until exactly 15 minutes before your tour begins before you'll be admitted inside. After paying for your tickets and a quick restroom stop you will descend 65 meters underground…

Another option for visiting Bunker-42, if you would rather not do the tour, is to visit the restaurant inside Bunker-42. Actually, I highly recommend visiting the restaurant before or after a tour as well!

While the food is not that great, it’s worth visiting for a drink. The restaurant is also located within the bunker and is decorated in the old Soviet style.

From time to time there will be live performances and visiting Bunker 42 is definitely an experience worth having while in Moscow! After all, how many people can say they've had a drink in a top-secret Soviet military bunker?

If you’re visiting Moscow during peak season (June-July-August), it would be worth making a reservation, to avoid having to wait. Otherwise, I would not say you need to worry about a reservation at the restaurant.

Bunker-42 is a short cab ride away from Red Square (10-15 minutes). But I recommend taking the metro to get there. The closest station is Taganskaya, which is a beautiful metro station very much worth visiting.

Pedestrian boardwalk in Park Zaryad'ye (also called Zaryadye Park)

Park Zaryad'ye or Zaryadye Park is a lovely place for a stroll and a nice place to relax after a day of sightseeing in Moscow, especially when exploring Moscow with kids.

There are many things to see and do in this park, but I recommend starting your visit at The River Overlook , a 70-meter-long boardwalk with beautiful views over the river and the Kremlin.

Other interesting places to visit in Zaryadye Park are the Ice Cave, The Museum of Nature, and The Glass Crust. But most importantly, do as the Muscovites do and find yourself a nice place in the park to sit down and relax.

Enjoy the view, do some people-watching, and take a moment to think back about all the Moscow top sights you've seen in the past couple of days.

View from Zaryadye Park Moscow

Where to stay in Moscow

There is a huge amount of hotels in Moscow, ranging from budget hostels to exquisite 5-star hotels. Below you can find three well-reviewed Moscow hotels (rating of 8.5+ on Agoda and  Booking ).

3-star hotel in Moscow: MIRROS Hotel Mokhovaya

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This 3-star hotel is one of the best budget Moscow hotels and is all about location! From the hotel, it's just a 10-minute walk to the Kremlin and only 600 meters to the Christ the Savior Cathedral.

Set in a historic 19th-century mansion, the hotel features classic rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

The staff is friendly and there is a metro station nearby (Borovitskaya), making it easy to get to the Moscow attractions a bit further afield.

Click here to book

Modern hotel in Moscow: Barin Residence Myasnitskaya

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The Barin Residence Myasnitskaya is a newly built hotel, located about 1.2km from the Red Square (about a 15-20 minute walk).

The rooms and bathrooms are very modern and clean, the beds are comfortable and room service is available. This hotel is an excellent choice for travelers looking for a nice hotel without a hefty price tag.

Luxury hotel in Moscow: Hotel National Moscow

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Hotel National is potentially the best Moscow hotel. It's a gorgeous 5-star hotel located just a stone's throw away from the Bolshoi Theater, the Red Square, and the Kremlin.

The building was designed by architect Alexander Ivanov and completed in 1903 and has been welcoming international travelers ever since.

With its imperial architecture, luxury design, and charming classic rooms (some with a view of the Kremlin!), the Hotel National is a unique property.

Furthermore, you can enjoy an indoor pool, sauna, and fitness center as well as the well-reviewed Beluga restaurant that serves both Russian and European dishes.

While this hotel doesn't come cheap, your stay at the Hotel National will make your trip to Moscow an unforgettable experience.

Moscow itinerary and travel guide: in conclusion

I hope this guide to Moscow will help you plan a trip to this interesting Russian city. Feel free to ask any questions you may have by leaving a comment or  sending me an email !

Below you can find my other posts about the Trans Mongolian Express , and the stops we made along the way:

  • St. Petersburg itinerary
  • Irkutsk and Lake Baikal itinerary
  • Ulaanbaatar itinerary
  • Trans-Mongolian Express travel guide

Planning a trip to Moscow? This detailed Moscow itinerary will help you plan your trip and discover the best things to do in Moscow. #Moscow #Russia #CityTrip

This post was updated in December 2020.

17 Best Moscow Tours

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Are you planning a visit to the capital of Russia and looking for the best Moscow tours? From Red Square to the Kremlin and from world-class art to fairytale buildings, Moscow is an enchanting city that offers plenty of excitement and elegance. Its history dates back more than 800 years, and there is culture in abundance for visitors to immerse themselves in.

Make the most of your visit with 17 of the best Moscow tours that let you see everything the city and its surroundings have to offer.

1 – Guided Tour of the Moscow Metro

Guided Tour of the Moscow Metro

Moscow’s metro is world-famous, thanks to the architectural delights on offer underground stations around the capital. This guided tour of the Moscow stations, otherwise known as “the palace of the people” lasts for 1.5 hours and includes an English-speaking guide who will tell you how the Russian metro became one of the most beautiful in the world. Highlights include Mayakovskaya station with its aviation-themed mosaics.

  • Moscow metro tours

2 – Cosmonautics Museum Space Tour

Cosmonautics Museum Space Tour

Discover Cosmonautics Museum with this space tour. Dive into one of the greatest battles between the Soviet Union and the United States – the space race. Hear about the space programs of the USSR and learn about how the USSR shaped space travel and technology.

  • Cosmonautics Museum tours

3 – Guided Tour of the Kremlin

Guided Tour of the Kremlin

A Kremlin is actually a citadel in Russian towns, and Moscow’s version is, without doubt, the most famous. The Kremlin is the heartbeat of the city, and this guided tour takes you to the most important points of interest. See Cathedral Square with its orthodox temples; Tzar Cannon with its 890mm calibre, which is the largest in the world; and the exterior of the all-important government buildings that are located within the Kremlin’s walls.

Click here to learn how to book Kremlin tickets .

  • Kremlin tours

4 – Moscow City Walking Tour

Moscow City Walking Tour

One of the best Moscow tours for seeing everything the city has to offer, this small-group walking tour lasts for 2 hours and includes an expert guide. Make the most of the capital and see the cobbled spaces of Red Square, take pictures of St Basil’s Cathedral, visit the elegant Bolshoi Theatre, and enjoy the ornamental Alexandrovsky Garden.

  • Moscow walking tours

5 – Night Tour of Moscow

Night Tour of Moscow

When the sun sets, the fun begins – and it all starts with a night tour of Russia’s most famous city. The beauty of Moscow comes into full effect after hours, as iconic buildings like St Basil’s Cathedral illuminate against the night sky. Other locations on this tour include the Moscow River and the Ukraine Hotel, which is a landmark skyscraper that was constructed during the era of Stalin.

6 – Sergiev Posad Day Trip

Sergiev Posad Day Trip

One of the best Moscow tours that take you outside of the city, the Sergiev Posad day trip provides the opportunity to see The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s made up of a number of different buildings that include the blue domes of the Cathedral of the Assumption, Church of St. Sergius and the Bell Tower.

  • Sergiev Posad day trips from Moscow

7 – City Sightseeing Moscow Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Optional Cruise

City Sightseeing Moscow Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Optional Cruise

If your time in Moscow is limited, this hop-on, hop-off bus tour is ideal – and it even features an optional cruise on the river. Choose between a 2 and 3-day ticket and see famous landmarks like Red Square, the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre from an open-top panoramic bus with informative audio commentary. Take your experience to the next level by upgrading to a boat tour.

  • Moscow hop on hop off bus tours

8 – Guided Tour of the Tretyakov Gallery

Guided Tour of the Tretyakov Gallery

As one of the world’s most important galleries, the Tretyakov Gallery is a must-see for any art lovers and is one of the best Moscow tours for culture vultures. Learn about the masterworks of Pablo Tretyakov with a guided tour and discover the secrets behind the paintings. Other noticeable artists on view include Fedotov, Vasnetsov, Rokotov and Kiprenski, who is the author of the famous “Portrait of Alexander Pushkin”.

  • Tretyakov Gallery tours

9 – Alternative Moscow: 2-Hour Walking Tour

Alternative Moscow: 2-Hour Walking Tour

See a different side of Moscow with this 2-hour alternative tour. An expert guide will take you around quirky streets, suburbs and squares while as your veer away from the traditional tourist hotspots. Highlights include a ride on the famous “Annushka” tram and a visit to the neighbourhood of Khitrovka, which was once known as the criminal district of the city.

10 – St.Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square: Private Tour and Ticket

St.Basil's Cathedral and Red Square: Private Tour and Ticket

Combine two of Moscow’s biggest attractions with a visit to Red Square and St.Basil’s Cathedral. Admire the beautiful architecture of St.Basil’s Cathedral from inside and out, before wandering Red Square and learn about the soldiers, farmers and revolutionaries that all called this famous square their home. Round things off with the changing of the guard at Alexander Garden.

  • Red Square tours

11 – Bunker-42 Cold War Museum Guided Tour

Bunker-42 Cold War Museum Guided Tour

Moscow is notorious for the Cold War, which lasted for about 45 years between 1945 and 1990. Head to the world-famous Bunker-42, located 65 meters below ground level, and learn about the storied past. Visit rooms and passages that were set up to shelter 3,000 people in case of nuclear attack and discover other sections, such as the equipment room and the war-proof telecommunications system.

  • Bunker-42 Cold War Museum tours

12 – Architecture Tour of Moscow’s Metro and Kolomenskoye Estate

Architecture Tour of Moscow's Metro and Kolomenskoye Estate

Combine the beauty of the metro stations with the Kolomenskoye Estate and see some of Moscow’s grandest sights. After visiting the elegant metro stations, it’s time to go to the Kolomenskoye Estate, which is filled with UNESCO-listed sites that are dedicated to Tsar Peter the Great.

  • Kolomenskoye tours

13 – Tour of Soviet Moscow

Tour of Soviet Moscow

Unpick the history of the USSR with one of the best Moscow tours for discovering Soviet Moscow. Starting at Monument to the Conquerors of Space, a tribute to the success of the Soviet space programme, the tour includes historical landmarks and interesting tidbits about Soviet Russia. There is also a visit to the All-Russia Exhibition Centre (VDNKh), a site that was constructed under the aegis of the USSR in tribute to state achievements.

14 – Moscow: 2.5-Hour Luxury River Cruise with Dining Option

Moscow: 2.5-Hour Luxury River Cruise with Dining Option

Sail down the Moscow River on this 2.5 hour tour that provides a different perspective of the city and includes landmark sights. The boat features two decks and has panoramic views as well as free Wi-Fi access. Attractions along the route include Ukraine hotel, Sparrow Hills, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Crimean Bridge, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Zaryadye Park and more.

  • Moscow boat tours

15 – Izmailovo Market and Vodka Museum Tour

Izmailovo Market and Vodka Museum Tour

Visit the museum of Vodka and gain insight into one of Russia’s most famous exports and head to the Izmailovo antique and handicraft market to find a gem or two. The tour starts with Izmailovo market, which features the iconic matryoshka dolls, fur hats and amber jewellery. Next up is a trip to the Museum of Vodka, where you will discover a distillery that dates back to the 15th century.

  • Izmailovo market tours

16 – Súzdal and Vladímir Day Tour

Súzdal and Vladímir Day Tour

Discover Russia’s famous “Golden Ring” on this tour of two medieval cities outside of Moscow. The historic city of Vladimir is first up with its Golden Gate, which is an ancient city-fortress that dates back to the 13th century. Next up is the neighbouring town of Suzdal, which features historic architecture and the Kremlin, where you can see its striking white walls topped with blue domes.

  • Suzdal & Vladimir tours from Moscow

17- Moscow Food Tasting & Walking Tour

Moscow Food Tasting & Walking Tour

Sample the unique flavours of Moscow with this food tour that lasts for 3 hours and features more than 15 different food and drink tastings. Weave in and out of small alleys in the city centre while enjoying the best food spots in town. See Moscow like a local while trying classic dishes from local breakfast haunts, bustling markets, the oldest monastery in Moscow, and dumpling cafes where you can taste authentic dumplings and enjoy local coffee.

  • Moscow food tours


  1. 😱அகத்தியர் மலை பயணம் PART 2

    agathiyar malai trip

  2. Agathiyar Malai

    agathiyar malai trip

  3. Agasthiyar waterfalls

    agathiyar malai trip

  4. Agasthyarkoodam (also known as Agathiyar Malai or Agasthyakoodam

    agathiyar malai trip

  5. Agathiyar Malai History

    agathiyar malai trip


    agathiyar malai trip


  1. மேகமலை தேயிலை தோட்டம் ( Thirukovilur City Tea Point)..#shortsfeed #megamalai #theni #tamilshorts

  2. Shopping vlog✨மாந்துறையும் மண்பானையும் Manpaanai kadai in Trichy

  3. A Day In My Life ✨ என் வாழ்வில் ஒரு நாள் karukudi, Mettupalayam Vlog

  4. Sabari malai Ayyapan Kovil trip🙏 ||Bus Burst Gamer

  5. Madheswaran malai Trip

  6. Kannamangalam and Valli Malai trip


  1. Agastya Mala (Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum))

    Dec 2021 Agastyamala Or Agasthyarkoodam is located in Thiruvananthapuram, near Neyyardam. It is a very beautiful forest in which all the major ayurvedic medicines are available. Suggest edits to improve what we show. Improve this listing All photos (217)

  2. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve| Trekking Booking

    Booking Trek Booking Due to its ecological and religious importance, the Agasthyakoodam trek is open every year from the second week of January till March for close to 45 days. However, only 100 passes are issued by KFDC every day during this season. 75 seats online and 25 offline.

  3. Agasthyakoodam or Agasthyarkoodam or Agasthyamalai Trekking

    2024 Trekking to Agasthyarkoodam Hills 2022 Agasthyarkoodam Trekking Details Latest update- 2022 Agasthyarkoodam trekking permits canceled from 18th Jan to 26th Feb 2021 Agasthyakoodam Trekking Details Agasthyarkoodam Trekking 2020 Details Agasthyamalai Trekking 2019 Charges Entry passes to Agasthyarkoodam Trekking or Agasthyamalai

  4. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve| About Agasthyamalai

    And for more information on planning your trip, be sure to visit our website and discover all the hidden gems of this incredible destination. Biosphere Reserve Agasthyamala UNESCO's - 'World Network of Biosphere Reserves' Agasthyamala is a natural habitat of rare medicinal herbs and place was added to UNESCO's list of 'World Network ...

  5. Agastyaarkoodam

    The name Agasthaymala, came from the great Hindu Sage Agasthya muni, whose statue is situated at the top of the peak and the sage,among Hindu Religion,is considered to be an perfect bachelor (brahmachari). It is now a popular pilgrim site, The air itself is said to have medicinal qualities.

  6. Agasthyakoodam, Trivandrum (2024)

    Agastyakoodam, also known as Agastya Mala Peak is the second highest peak in Kerala with an extensive height of 1868 metre. Located within the premises of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Agastyakoodam is part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve and boasts of surreal natural beauty.

  7. Agastya Mala

    [3] Geography Agastyaarkoodam is 32 km from Neyyar Dam and 22 km from Bonacaud, near VITHURA & PONMUDI The major city and airport nearest to Agastyaarkoodam is Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and its Trivandrum International Airport, around 61 km away.

  8. Agastya Mala

    Dec 2021 Agastyamala Or Agasthyarkoodam is located in Thiruvananthapuram, near Neyyardam. It is a very beautiful forest in which all the major ayurvedic medicines are available.

  9. Agasthyarkoodam (Agasthyamalai / பொதிகை மலை) Trekking 2020

    Agasthyarkoodam (Agasthyamalai / பொதிகை மலை) Trekking 2020 | Day -1| Kerala Trekking Video Two Nomads 11K subscribers Subscribe 2.4K Share 93K views 2 years ago #tamiltrekker Booking link :...

  10. Agasthyarkoodam (also known as Agathiyar Malai or ...

    Agasthyarkoodam (Malayalam: അഗസ്ത്യകൂടം Tamil: அகத்தியர் மலை) (also known as Agathiyar Malai or Agasthyakoodam) is a 1,868-metre (6,129 ft) tall peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of South India. The mountain lies in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.

  11. 5 Days Trip to Agasthyamala

    Day three - Trekking towards the mind-numbing Agastya Mala (4 hours, 6 kilometres - 1868 metres), Orchid Trail and back to the base camp (3 hours, 6 kilometres). Day four - Trek to Bonnacaud. Transfer to Trivandrum. Departure to Bangalore (12 hours, 740 kilometres). Day five - Reach Bangalore.

  12. Agasthyakoodam Trekking / Agasthyamalai / Pothigai malai

    Women were not allowed until 2018 as Sage Agasthya was believed to be a bachelor but after the Kerala High Court lifting the restriction, from 2019 onward women are also enjoying this beautiful trail of nearly 44km through the core areas of Peppara,Neyyar Wildlife sanctuaries and Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve.

  13. அகத்தியர் மலை பயணம்

    IMAX MEDIA Whatsapp no - 8870627602Fund my Travel UPI id - kamalsaskay@okaxisPhonepe - 8870627602Gpay - 8870627602My account numberIndian bankR kamal raj 6...


    AGASTHYAKOODAM!!!!It is also known as Agasthyamalai, Agasthiyar Mountain or the Southern Kailash! I am sharing few interesting facts about this mountain. Ag...

  15. Agastya Mala Trivandrum Kerala

    Plan a trip Agastya Mala also known in various names like Agasthyakoodam, Agastyarkoodam or Agathiyar Malai is a 6,129 ft peak within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala.

  16. Agastya-Mala, Kerala

    The name 'Agastya Mala' actually refers to a 2000 meters tall peak located within the state of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Agastya Mala is located in the Western Ghats mountain range and is also a part of the Agastya Mala Biosphere Reserve and the Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.Agasthyakoodam (commonly known as Agastya Mala / Agasthyamalai / Agathiyar Malai and Agastyarkoodam) is also a famous ...

  17. Agasthyakoodam and the trekking

    Home Where to Go Hills Agasthyakoodam Peak in Kerala Agasthyakoodam is nature's ode to bird watchers. One of the highest peaks in Kerala, it has long been known as a bird watcher's paradise and many gather here to catch sight of exotic avian species. It can be viewed from near Neyyar Dam as well as Bonacaud.

  18. Agasthyakoodam Trekking: How To Have A Successful First Trek?

    Agasthyamalai (or the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve) is a protected forest area in the Western Ghats between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

  19. EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024 Guide)

    EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024) Moscow is the heart of Mother Russia. Just the mention of this city conjures images of colorful bulbous pointed domes, crisp temperatures, and a uniquely original spirit! Moscow has an incredibly turbulent history, a seemingly resilient culture, and a unique enchantment that pulls countless tourists to the city ...

  20. Travel Itinerary For One Week in Moscow

    Day 6 - Explore the Golden Ring. Creating the Moscow itinerary may keep you busy for days with the seemingly endless amount of things to do. Visiting the so-called Golden Ring is like stepping back in time. Golden Ring is a "theme route" devised by promotion-minded journalist and writer Yuri Bychkov.

  21. Agasthyarkoodam Trekking/Trip 2020 Online Booking Completed ...

    Information related to the 2020 Agasthyarkoodam online booking.Also how you should be prepared for the next year booking.Some small tips and tricks along wit...

  22. Moscow Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days In Moscow

    What to do in Moscow in 3 days. Day 1: The Red Square, GUM Department Store, St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, and the State Historical Museum. Day 2: The Kremlin, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Gorky Park, and the Bolshoi Theatre. Day 3: Izmailovsky Market, Bunker 42, and Zaryadye Park.

  23. 17 Best Moscow Tours 2024

    6 - Sergiev Posad Day Trip. One of the best Moscow tours that take you outside of the city, the Sergiev Posad day trip provides the opportunity to see The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. It's made up of a number of different buildings that include the ...