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Most organized Moscow tours in English are unadventurous and overpriced, an unfortunate remnant of Soviet days when only certain sites were open to tourists and only the state tourist agency Intourist was authorized to escort them. One welcome exception is Patriarshy Dom Tours (tel. 495/795-0927; in the U.S. 1-650/678-7076; www.toursinrussia.com), which offers informative and unusual tours of Moscow that most tourists don't see. Selections include metro tours, tours of Jewish Moscow, antiques tours, Easter tours in medieval Orthodox towns, and tours of Bulgakov in Moscow. The tours run from an hour to a weekend in length.

For general city tours and Kremlin tours, Capital Tours (4 Ilinka Ulitsa, inside Gostiny Dvor; tel. 495/232-2442; www.capitaltours.ru) is the best-equipped and most friendly. Its Kremlin tours include the Armory and run 6 days a week at 10:30am and at 3pm, for 500 rubles plus admission. City bus tours run daily between 10am and 6pm for 500 rubles.

Intourist (11 Stoleshnikov Pereulok; tel. 495/234-9509) is still around and improving its service slowly to keep up with competition. It offers Kremlin and city tours, cruises along the Moscow River, and weekend trips to Sergiev Posad and Vladimir and Suzdal. Most tours must be booked 2 days in advance. Intourist also has offices in the Cosmos hotel.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.