If you plan to be in Moscow for the Victory Day parade on May 9, then you need to start planning far in advance! On the day, large portions of the city will be closed off and massive crowds will flock to the very best vantage points along the parades route. Anyone leaving things to the last minute is unlikely to see much at all. Because the exact plans for the parade change every year, I have avoided giving specific times – best to check for yourself as the parade day approaches. Below, I will give you a rundown of some of the more popular Victory Day parade vantage points.
The main parade route runs straight down Tverskaya street, so you will find the best Victory Day Parade vantage points – and biggest crowds – along this road. If you plan to grab yourself a slab of pavement for the parade, you will want to show up a few hours early, or else you risk not being able to see much at all. Some restaurants and bars along Tverskaya may also have a view and if you want a table at one of these establishments, make a reservation early. I mean really early. As in stop reading now and book.
Tverskaya Hotels and Apartments
A step up from the footpath is a hotel room or apartment that overlook Tverskaya. Popular options are the Ritz and the National. This option will be much more comfortable, but is not necessarily better! Every year there are reports of people on balconies overlooking the parade receiving visits from FSB agents, who tell them to get inside and close the window. This seems to happen more commonly with people using large telescopic lenses and binoculars.
Moskva Embankment Opposite St Basils
Although you wont get as close as those on Tverskaya, if you set up on the banks of the Moskva River across from St Basil’s Cathedral, you will see the procession as it leaves Red Square. Unless you have a 300mm + lens, then photography from here will not be impressive, but that means you can just focus on enjoying the parade and leave the photos for another time.
Can I View From Red Square?
The short answer is a resounding NO. The square is closed to the public and you need an invitation to enter. Invitations are in high demand and are reserved for VIP’s. So, if you are a VIP, start pulling those string and see what you can do!
There are many other vantage points out there, but they can change depending on factors such as security and minor alterations to the parade route. Those detailed above are tried and true victory day parade vantage points that won’t let you down.
If parades or military hardware aren’t your thing, there are also plenty of other events in Moscow on the day and the famous firework display in the evening that you can look forward to!