5 Free Things To Do In Moscow

5 free things to do in Moscow Associated Press Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 07:26 a.m., Thursday, July 5, 2012 MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian capital's hotel prices are exorbitant enough to make an oligarch cry, but the city has some fine free sights that may dry up a tourist's tears. Two decades after the Soviet Union died, a visit to the mummy-under-glass of its founder is more about creepy kitsch than political pilgrimage, but still a potent view into the totalitarian psyche. A dozen galleries, including that of internationally known art impresario Marat Guelman, an array of modish shops and a cafe draw the young and stylish on weekends — a way to get to this crowd without paying a cover charge at a club. Larger than the country of Monaco, this complex originally built to laud Soviet achievements features Stalinist Gothic architecture (don't miss the pavilion with a gargantuan bull charging off the roof), exuberant fountains, a Vostok rocket like the one that put the first man into orbit, and usually a few thousand Russians strolling, flirting and scarfing down shish kebabs and beer. Some of the massive pavilions that once housed Communist propaganda exhibits have been given over to capitalism, filled with warrens of tiny kiosks selling everything from medical devices to luminescent panties; others are falling into picturesque disrepair.

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