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Moscow’s Bunker-42 Cold War Museum (It’s 200+ Feet Underground!)

Bunker-42 was once a top-secret, Soviet military complex. Stalin had commissioned it to be made after the United States created a nuclear bomb. 65 meters (or about 213 feet) underground, was the desired depth to protect Russia’s top officials from a nuclear attack.

It became operational in 1954. Fortunately, it was never needed for its true purpose and was instead used as the command center of strategic bombers for nearly 30 years in Moscow. Now, it is a museum dedicated to the Cold War. It is a truly unique experience!

Going Inside Bunker-42

The entrance to Bunker-42
The entrance to Bunker-42

Yep! That means you can actually go inside a top-secret, Soviet military bunker when you’re in Moscow. The photo above is the only indication of the bunker, it’s otherwise set under a very ordinary looking building, that gives no hints to what’s below.

Tour of Bunker-42

Call ahead to book your tour (the number is: +7 499 703-44-55), there are several English tours throughout the day. (And yes, the only way you are getting inside is with a tour.) We went to the 6:30 pm tour as it was slightly cheaper, and it was a smaller tour as well.

You will have to wait until exactly 15 minutes before your tour to be admitted inside, then you can pay for your tickets and use the restroom before descending 65 meters underground.

Moscow's Bunker-42

You guide will also be dressed in a Soviet KGB uniform. Our guide was wonderful! (Pictured above.) And really did a great job of explaining the signficance of this bunker as well as the Cold War.

Bunker 42
Going inside the bunker!

There is an elevator, but you are encouraged to walk down the 18 flights of stairs to really get the experience. (Wear comfortable shoes!) Don’t worry…you can take the elevator back up!


And if you’re not up on your Cold War history, don’t worry! There’s a 20 minute video you’ll watch to get you up to speed.

A Nuclear Attack Simulation

You’re then lead into a room depicting the weaponry Russia had….oh, and then you get to take part in a simulated nuclear attack on the United States. No joke. Our guide did a wonderful job of depicting the seriousness of such an event and how horrifying it would be. (There’s also a disclaimer that given our current political affairs, this in no way meant as a slight to the US and is simply a simulation.)

Being given the “nuclear codes.”
My husband was one of the volunteers from the audience who was given the “nuclear codes.”

After that eery event, you’ll see tunnels leading to the metro station, Taganskaya. (In my last travel post, it’s the pretty subway station with light blue and gold panels depicting World War II Red Army and Navy servicemen.) You can actually hear the metro as it runs above you…it’s rather eery too.

You’ll end your tour with a stop in a room that has tons of Cold War memorabilia (no photos allowed). Your guide will also answer any questions you have…and also explain how you can host a paintball or airsoft gun party in the bunker. How crazy is that? (My husband used to be a professional paintballer, so needless to say, we might have to come back to check out the paintball activities.)

*At some point in your tour, you’ll also experience a simulated air raid attack. It’s also very eery and surprising. I won’t ruin it, though, by telling you when it’s going to happen…

Bunker-42 Restaurant

Bunker-42 restaurant

Oh yes, there’s also a restaurant inside Bunker-42. You’ll have the option to check it out after your tour. We just stayed for a drink, so I can’t attest to the food. It was not busy at all when were there at 7:30 on a Saturday night. It did start filling up after 8 pm, though. If you’re planning to eat there, many people suggest making a reservation. I do suggest at least going for a drink, though! It’s a unique setting.

I highly recommend coming to Bunker-42 on your trip to Moscow. We will be returning if any family or friends come to visit us here! And I’m curious, had you heard of Bunker-42 before this post? And would you be interested in experiencing it? Let me know in the comments!

*Click here for the Bunker-42 website.

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

Moscow’s Bunker-42 Cold War Museum (It’s 200+ Feet Underground!)
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  1. This is something unique to have a tour of atleast of what I have known … The place looks so spooky def my type of place to visit

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It was a different experience, definitely. 🙂

  2. Aliece Brown says:

    Such a cool trip!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh yes!

  3. Wow that lloks impressive!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It was. 🙂

  4. Stephanie says:

    Really cool! I never made it to Moscow (only St Petersburg) but this is something I would love to visit

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      You’ll have to come to Moscow one day! 🙂

  5. This is really interesting. I want to visit. So cool

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Hope you make it one day

  6. Life Of A Med School Wife says:

    Wow, this sounds like such a neat place to visit. That’s so cool that there is a restaurant too.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I thought that was cool too! Thank you for reading, Courtney. 🙂

  7. Really cool! Thanks for sharing!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  8. ohduckydarling says:

    This looks really interesting. I haven’t seen anything like it before.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It’s quite the experience!

  9. This is exactly something we would love!! We always enjoy tours better than something we do on our own anyways…we always learn so much more that way!! And we’d have to stay for dinner…how fun!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I hope you get the chance to visit one day, Jodie! 🙂

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