Hardly a visitor to Moscow will not go for a stroll through its most famous street, the first pedestrianised zone of the Soviet Union - since the early 1980's. Traffic from central Moscow around the Kremlin towards the west will now go through the much newer Novy Arbat street further north.
The street, also known as 'Old Arbat', is about a kilometer long and goes from Arbatskaya Square to the west of the Kremlin wall towards Smolenskaya Square by the Garden Ring. With the cobblestones, its triple street lamp posts in retro style and the mostly end of late 19th/early 20th century architecture this makes for a very attractive walk.
Unfortunately - in my eyes - and worse every year, it has also become a very touristy street. Besides restaurants and cafés there are also many souvenir shops, selling Russian dolls, uniforms and hats of the Soviet days and all kind of bric-à-brac. There are portratists and caricaturists, street musicians, beggars, acrobats, people reciting poetry, especially in front of the Monument to the local bard Bulat Okudhzava. There are sandwich men, often from Africa, with advertisement boards in front and back and many persons dressed up in funny ways - such as a giraffe, an ice cream cone, an austronaut or whatever annoying passersby.
Public toilet boxes are available for 50 RUB. At both ends of the street are metro stations: Arbatskaya and Smolenskaya.