This Amazing Russian Photographer Captures Moscow's Magic in Every Season

Fireworks in Moscow I © Kristina Makeeva
Fireworks in Moscow I © Kristina Makeeva
Photo of Dasha Fomina
23 August 2017

Born in Moscow, photographer Kristina Makeeva now travels the world creating exceptional colorful fairytale-like images. Although work often keeps her away from the capital, she continues to capture the most magical views of her home city. In a brief interview with The Culture Trip, Kristina shares her favorite places and must-do list for first-timers in Moscow.

Fireworks on the Red Square

What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Moscow?

The most beautiful and magical place in Moscow is, of course, its heart, the Red Square. There is GUM decorated with thousands of warm glowing lamps, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the domes of which resemble ice cream cones so closely that you have to resist the urge to lick them. It’s here, on the Red Square, that you can find the most impressive festive ornaments and installations.

Which season is the best time to be in Moscow?

Moscow is huge, with lots of tarred streets, so in summer it often gets too hot and stuffy. People try to escape the heat in parks and shopping malls. Also summer is the roadworks season, which makes it harder to get around both on foot and in a car.

Bolshoi Theatre in winter

In winter there’s a lot of snow that hides the black asphalt, instead whimsically decorating the city’s monuments and buildings. With so many decorative lights as well as snowflakes gently floating down, Moscow turns into a truly magical place. I think that Christmas and the New Year holidays are the best time to visit Russia’s capital.

Spectacular street lighting

What parts of the city inspire you the most?

I love lamps and lightbulb garlands, that’s why I’m inspired by places with beautiful lighting. As for the architecture, to me the most spectacular architectural style in Moscow is from the period of Stalin’s Empire with its columns, exquisite statues and grand sense of scale. I particularly admire Moscow’s old metro stations and Bolshoi Theatre.

Beautiful lighting on GUM shopping centre

What are Moscow’s most photogenic sites?

My personal favorites are the Red Square, Bolshoi Theatre, Kuznetsky Most Street, Patriarshy Bridge, and four beautiful green spaces: Muzeon Art Park, Gorky Park, VDNKh and Sokolniki. Also I love strolling down the Moskva river embankment – from the aforementioned Patriarshy Bridge to the newly refurbished Luzhniki Stadium.

State Historical Museum

Is there a building in Moscow that appeals to you the most?

St.Basil's Cathedral in winter

How does living in Moscow influence you creatively?

There’s a lot of work-related travel in my job, so Moscow is mostly for ‘play’, not for work. But when I used to spend more time here, there were more architecture and urban landscapes in my work. Moscow’s creative community was also a big influence, especially when collaborating on different projects.

Red balloons fill Moscow's sky

Your five must-dos for a first-timer in Moscow?

Basically all the visual stunners are located in the centre of Moscow, within the Sadovoe Ring, my list of must-dos includes the following: the Red Square, Chistoprudny boulevard, and three great walking routes – from Kuznetsky Most Street to Kamergersky pereulok, from Muzeon to Gorky park, and from Patriarchy Bridge to the Red October creative hub.

Moscow at night | © Kristina Makeeva

To see other works by the talented Kristina Makeeva, check out her Instagram @hobopeeba

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