Moscow is a city of bridges, both historical and modern. Some of them are intended for vehicular traffic, others are pedestrian bridges, although there are also bridges that house Metro stations, lookout points or even shopping malls. You’re sure to come across many of them during your visit to Moscow. In this article I will take you on a tour of what in my opinion are the 10 most beautiful or unique bridges in Moscow, which are also the city’s most famous bridges.
I'm going to talk about ...
0. From historical bridges to modern 21st century bridges
It’s hard to know how many bridges there are in Moscow. Some sources say 450. Of course not all of them cross the Moskva River, but there are also other smaller rivers, such as the Yauza, or canals that go across the city.
Many historical bridges of prerevolutionary Russia were completely rebuilt during the Stalin era between 1930 and 1940, to create new infrastructure to accommodate the city’s growth. Other bridges were demolished.
In recent years many of these bridges have been remodeled, and lighting has been added, which gives them a very beautiful nighttime look that you shouldn’t miss.
In addition, new and truly spectacular bridges have also been built over the past two decades.
In this article I’ve made a selection of the 10 bridges in Moscow that are the most famous and beautiful for both their historical value and their modernism or uniqueness. You’ll be sure to come across many of them during your stay in Moscow.
The following list is not a list from best to worst but a list of my 10 favorite bridges from west to east over the Moskva River. It’s impossible for me to put them in the order of best to worst since each of them, as you will see, stands out for some peculiarity.
On the map below you can see the location of the 10 bridges I’ll be talking about. You’ll be able to see all the bridges up close by taking a sightseeing cruise on the river, with the exception of the Zhivopisny Bridge, which is further away from downtown and sightseeing boat tours don’t usually go that far.
1. The Cable-stayed Zhivopisny or Picturesque Bridge (2007)
This is Moscow’s first cable-stayed bridge and the biggest of its kind in Europe when it was officially opened in December 2007.
It is probably the most spectacular one in the city, not only because of the fact that it has a 105-meter high arch, but also because most of its length goes along the river and not perpendicularly.
At the top of the arch hangs a capsule-shaped ellipsoid, which looks as if it is floating in the upper part of the center of the bridge. The fact is that the engineers designed this capsule to be a 100-seat restaurant above the roadway with panoramic views of the river and the birch grove. However, for reasons of safety and wind- and traffic-induced vibrations, the project was abandoned, although recently it seems that the idea is being taken up again.
You can walk across the bridge to be able to see it up close, although it is far from downtown Moscow and it takes around 1 hour to get there, combining Metro and bus. If you are an architect or you like bridges you will find it a really interesting visit.
2. Bagration Bridge, the pedestrian bridge with a shopping mall (1997)
A futuristic bridge designed for pedestrians. It has two levels: a lower level, fully glass-enclosed with a walkway with stores, shops, cafes and restaurants. The partially glass-enclosed upper part has an observation deck.
It is 214 meters long, 16 meters wide and 14 meters high.
Built in 1997 to commemorate the city’s 850th anniversary, it owes its name to the army general Pyotr Bagration who became popular during the Franco-Russian War in 1812.
The bridge is located west of downtown Moscow and connects Kutuzovsky Street with the Moscow City Business Center. Near the bridge is the modern Vystavochnaya Moscow Metro station.
3. Borodinsky Bridge commemorating the victory over Napoleon (1912)
The present Borodinsky Bridge was built in 1911-1912 to commemorate the victory in the war against Napoleon at the Battle of Borodino. It was rebuilt in 1952 and in 1999-2001.
The bridge has two Roman porticos and two obelisks with the names of the heroes of the war.
It currently accommodates 8 lanes of vehicular traffic, 4 in each direction, and you can also walk across it.
4. Luzhnetskiy Bridge: the Metro Bridge (1959)
The Luzhnetskiy Bridge is also known as Metromost (or Metro Bridge), since it houses the Vorobyovy Gory Metro station.
It is a two-level arch bridge, an upper level where cars drive and a lower level through which Metro trains and people travel. Opened in 1959, it was rebuilt between 1997 and 2002.
This bridge connects Luzhniki with Sparrow Hills, although since 2018 pedestrians have the new Vorobyovy Gory Cable Car as an alternative for crossing the river at that point.
5. Pushkinsky Bridge, pedestrian bridge in Gorky Park (2000)
Nice pedestrian bridge over the Moscow River that connects the Pushkinskaya Embankment, next to Gorky Park, and the Frunzenskaya Embankment. It is a fairly new bridge, completed in 2000, using some of the structures of the old Andreevsky Rail Bridge built 1905-1907.
The name of the bridge is often confused with the bridge where the main arch comes from, as there is a plaque with a brief history of the old Andreevsky Bridge.
6. Krymsky Bridge, the Crimean Bridge (1938)
The Krymsky Bridge or Crimean Bridge is a steel suspension bridge built in 1938 as part of the ambitious reconstruction plan for downtown Moscow launched by Stalin.
It has 6 lanes for traffic and two 5-meter pedestrian lanes to walk across it. In its vicinity are the Park Kultury and Oktyabrskaya stations of the Moscow Metro.
7. Patriarshy Bridge / Patriarchal Bridge (2004)
A pedestrian bridge dated 2004 that crosses the Moskva River and the Vodootvodny Canal, connecting with the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
It’s a very popular bridge among newlyweds as it has become fashionable to put a padlock on its railings with the names of couples to “immortalize” their love. Don’t forget that the Cathedral of Christ the Savior is the most important one in Moscow and an excellent place to take wedding photos.
8. Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge, straight to the Kremlin (1938)
A steel bridge that crosses the Moskva River at the western end of the Moscow Kremlin. It was completed in 1938.
9. The Floating Bridge over the Moskva River in Zaryadye Park (2017)
A bridge located in Zaryadye Park, very close to Red Square. It’s a bridge that does not cross the Moskva River but enters it in the shape of a “V” or of a boomerang. It rises 15 meters above the water and is 244.4 meters long. Muscovites say it is “the unfinished bridge” because of its shape.
They also say that it is the only place from where you can see all the 5 red stars of the Kremlin at the same time.
In fact, it has become one of the city’s main tourist attractions because from there you can enjoy unique panoramic views of the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral or the apartment building in Kotelnicheskaya Naberezhnaya, the first of Stalin’s Seven Sisters to be completed in 1952, rising to a height of 176 meters. It’s the ideal place to take a selfie 🙂
10. The Bolshoy Ustinsky Bridge, at the confluence of the Moskva and Yauza Rivers (1938)
A steel arch bridge that crosses the Moskva River near the mouth of the Yauza River, Moscow’s other river. It was completed in May 1938, though it was rehabilitated in 1999-2000.
Cars and trams travel on it. You can also walk across it to get beautiful views of downtown.
And that’s it for my 10 favorite Moscow bridges. Are you missing any? You can leave your comments below.