The Cold War Museum – Bunker 42 Moscow
For adventurous visitors, especially thrill-seekers Moscow has a really unique museum – the Secret Soviet Bunker 42, also known as the Cold War Museum Moscow.
A nondescript neoclassical building on a quiet street in the centre of the city looks very ordinary. This building was just a shell and served as an entry to the 7000 sq-meter space – one of the main secret objects of the USSR. The underground complex was built here in the 1950s in connection with an early threat of nuclear war. It is a museum now.
Each visitor gets “a secret pass” with his own photo on it (though in a gas mask) and proceeds by vator to the depth of 18th floor (65 meters) beneath Moscow. The facility you are going to explore operated as an emergency Command Post Headquarters and long-range aviation communications. The Bunker 42 was fully equipped with everything needed for a nuclear attack: air recycling system, diesel generators, stocks of food, fuel, artesian wells to provide clean drinking water. Up to 30000 people could live and work there for 90 days without assistance from the outside world. One entrance to the bunker leads to the Taganskaya metro station, the personnel used to communicate to the complex on special metro trains that ran at night.
The tours of the Cold War Museum Moscow are conducted in English by the museum staff guides. Wearing the Soviet KGB uniforms they are surprisingly friendly and fully involved. They do their best to make you feel as agents in charge of communication and other special tasks. After quite an impressive 20-minute film on the history of nuclear tests during Cold War the guides walk you through the underground “blocks”, the secured tunnels where you might here raid sirens. The exhibits are very hands-on. Pictures in the Soviet military jackets as well as “playing” with weapons are also welcomed. You are awaited of mysterious entourage of the object which helps you to feel the atmosphere of the Cold War, environment of those days.
Decommissioned in 2006 and sold off at the auction this ex-military communication post is now not only a museum but a big entertainment centre. Some of the former KGB rooms are used as the rehearsal space and concert halls for heavy-metal bands. It is available to hire for functions, be there conferences or team-building role play games with lasers and paint-balling. It also possesses a restaurant, conference rooms, a banquet hall. Some couples even enjoy weddings here.
Step by step guide to getting to the Bunker 42 from the center of Moscow
- One might need a jacket in summer: it is chilly in the underground space.
- Claustrophobes may prefer some other interesting places in Moscow.
- Some parts of the museum aren't illuminated properly and the floor isn't everywhere flat – move carefully.
Bunker 42 is not the only bunker in Moscow with the Soviet era museum inside of it.
Address and opening hours
Address: 5th Kotelnicheskiy pereulok, 11. Taganskaya (the Ring line) metro station. View Bunker 42 directions and visitor tips at our NEW site!
Opening hours and excursions – by appointment.
Guided tour of the Bunker 42 Moscow
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The guided tours are done in English.