I visited the Great Patriotic War Museum with a private guide on a Sunday after spending several days around Red Square and the Kremlin. It is easily accessible via the Kutuzovskaya Metro station, about a five minute walk from the museum. The walk from the station to the museum is an integral part of the experience here as you can almost feel the Victory Monument’s winged Nike descend upon you as you near the museum.
Admission to the museum proper is a straightforward affair with a reasonable price (~100R if I recall). The interior is huge and roughly organized into four categories: the six famous dioramas, a didactic section on various aspects of the war, two large memorial halls, and everything else (exhibits, upper floor art gallery, etc.). We first toured the halls and then the dioramas, covering each in detail. I then spent the rest of day in the museum alone, exploring the collection for several hours until closing. The highlights for me were the dioramas and main collection. The latter had several unique exhibits that covered quite a bit of new territory for me especially regarding the battles in the Caucasus and the partisan wars, in addition to sections on "softer" topics such as home life and humor during the war. English signage is actually fairly adequate so those traveling alone will do fine. That aside, I found the interaction and commentary with my guide (Tatiana Sazonova at www.viewrussia.com) to be quite valuable. She was able to give interpretations and perspective on the museum along with several personal family stories that added a whole new dimension to my understanding of the time period.
No country suffered more than the Soviet Union during the Second World War and this museum complex is a fitting memory to those who served. Being an avid enthusiast of the time period I could have easily spent a second day here. I’d have a tough time recommending this above a visit to the Kremlin but it’s a close call. Suffice it to say that this is an absolutely essential stopover for those wishing to understand Russia’s past as well as its present.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.