Mingle with locals in a square that is famous for associations with both poet Alexander Pushkin and a fast-food chain.
Pushkin Square has long been a center of Muscovite life. It is one of the city’s top meeting points and a hub of urban activity. The square has plenty for visitors to see and do. Browse the bordering shops or purchase a coffee and sit and people-watch.
Originally called Stratsnaya Square as homage to the Stratsnoy Monastery, this plaza became known as Pushkin Square only in 1937. It was named after Alexander Pushkin, a famous Russian poet. Read some of Pushkin’s most famous works, including Boris Godunov, the play about a 16th-century Russian tsar.
In 1990, Pushkin Square became home to the first McDonald’s fast-food outlet in Russia, serving 30,000 people on its opening day. Walk past the McDonald’s, which is still in operation today. The 700-seat restaurant also has 200 spots to sit in the open air. Although a McDonald’s might not have the novelty it once did, it is still a rarity to see a fast-food shop with such a major historical claim.
If you aren’t in the mood for fast food, select from numerous other places to have a snack on the square. A huge cinema here frequently hosts premieres, so look for film stars if it is hosting a major event. Pick up a souvenir a little bit different from other Russian selections in the Armenia shop. Here you will be able to find products such as candy and drinks from the Caucasus region.
Make a pilgrimage to the square to pay homage to its namesake poet. Pushkin was previously memorialized with a statue here, but you won’t find it today. The sculpture was moved to Addis Ababa in 2014 to commemorate the poet’s African heritage.
Staying true to its artistic tradition, Pushkin Square often features street theater of various types. Take a seat and relax for an hour or two watching street performers and observing the passersby.
The nearest metro stations to Pushkin Square include Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya and Chekhovskaya. Enjoy this symbol of Russia’s long-lasting literary strengths.