Keeping up with the busy rhythm of a big city can get very stressful and we all may need some time to recharge. When this happens, connecting with nature works best. Moscow, as it turns out, has many wonderful green parks and gardens that will be perfect for a relaxing weekend.
Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure
The most popular park in the city, located right in its centre, is notable for its size and amount of attractions. It is more than one park, the complex includes Neskuchny Garden, Sparrow Hills, and Muzeon. There you can play badminton, volleyball, even play chess. Visitors can also rent a bike, a skateboard or roller skates and ride around the picturesque alleys. Another plus is free wifi on it’s territory.
The main part that locals refer to as Gorky Park itself, often hosts various festivals, concerts and holiday celebrations. During winter there is an open skating rink. In this park you can take a quest, ask for a free audio guide, or visit one of the most famous museums of contemporary art – Garage.
Neskuchny Garden is a historical part of the park, which used to be an Emperor’s residence. It was originally found in 1728 and now is a place where you would go to see beautiful architecture of many pavilions and bridges. Considering its scenery, it is probably the best location for romantic walks with your special someone.
Sparrow Hills is known to have one of the best viewing platforms in the city. It is located near the huge and impressive building of the country’s oldest college – Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Muzeon, formerly Fallen Monument Park or the Park of the Fallen Heroes, is located right by one of the buildings of Tretyakov gallery, where you can see modern Russian art. This is a dynamic contemporary space with hundreds of sculptures. Basically it is an open air museum on it’s own!
Found by Peter The Great, now this small but very impressive botanical garden is one of the favourite places of the locals. At first, it’s purpose was to grow medicinal herbs, and this is how the garden received its name. Now it is under the jurisdiction of Lomonosov Moscow State University and has several greenhouses and a park.
You can take a nice walk around its territory and sit in the shade of it’s marvellous trees, some of which are more than hundred years old. There is also a pond, miniature pine hills, section of medicinal herbs. Make sure to go inside all of the greenhouses on the territory of the garden. In the biggest one you will see majestic palm trees bathed in neon lights, carnivorous plants, orchids, and desert plants. Next to it there is a smaller greenhouse with tropical plants. And another greenhouse hosts various seasonal fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Another highlight is the amount of cultural events held on the territory of the park. Often they organise exhibitions where art connects with nature.
This is a big park with stunning neo-gothical buildings of 18th century, that were created for the Russian empress Catherine the Great. It is very popular for it’s spacious green zone and the architectural masterpieces of Vasili Bazhenov and Matvey Kazakov. This complex has two gorgeous palaces, many pavilions, pergolas, artificial grottos and several beautiful bridges.
Just waking or picnicking in this place, surrounded by the atmosphere of the royal grandeur, is a pleasure on it’s own. But those are not the only activities for your entertainment. There are also a museum and a greenhouse complex that visitors can see. And the “Bread House” often serves as a concert venue, so make sure to check their performance schedule!
Built only in 2017, in the very heart of Moscow, near the Kremlin itself, Zaryadye is a unique public space that combines nature, urbanism, science, and history.
There you can see the plants from different climates of the world, sectioned in different zones according to their place of origin. It has a unique floating bridge, that literally hangs in the air over the river and offers a good view on the Kremlin, the park, and the central part of the city. You can also visit their media centre that will show you Russia’s most beautiful sights and educate you about the country’s history with the help of innovative and interactive visual technologies. And this is not all! Its territory also includes a concert hall, amphitheatres, and 4D attractions.
Despite the fact that this park is not very big, it offers a great deal of entertaining activities that will manage to surprise you.