These are recreation areas outside Moscow.
In winter you can ski or snowboard, ride a snowmobile, drive in a sledge or toboggan, parachute or even go ballooning. In summer there’s bikes, motorcycles, swimming and sunbathing to enjoy.
Moreover, you’ll enjoy the scenery of Russian forests and hills. Get yourself a bunch of wildflowers and breathe fresh air.
An outdoor museum with many old buildings and churches, some of which have been moved here from elsewhere in Russia. Most are currently covered by scaffolding, but should be ready by the summer of 2006.
Excellent view of the Moskva River, pleasant river voyages in the summer. Nearby are lots of little places with shashlyk and beer at reasonable prices, but be prepared for long lines.
Nearest metro: Kolomenskaya, exit head of train, go left, then right. When you reach the surface and see the Orbit Cinema, you're in the right place. Keep going straight ahead to the park
Take The Scorpions' advice and follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park. Basically a big theme park, it's a bit rubbish, but there's a ferris wheel with a great view of the city. That's if you can keep your eyes open and ignore the dodgy looking Soviet engineering and the even dodgier looking guy who's operating it.
Get off the metro at Park Kultury station (Russians know it as Culture Park) and head for the impressive entry gates. After you’ve been on the wheel, go to Krimsky bridge and head for Sculpture Park, off Krimsky Val. This is where the Russian government decided to house the majority of Soviet era statues after 1991, and there are some wonderfully evocative works on show. They're all here - Lenin, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Brezhnev. A great place to wander, imagine or just get a few obligatory 'communism shots'. There's a small entry fee, and look out for the hideous/amazing statue of Peter the Great by the river.
Park Kultury Metro (on the brown ring / red line)
An enormous exhibition park, built to demonstrate the riches of the Soviet state. Filled with lots of huge Stalinist buildings, gigantic statues and grandiose water fountains. Within the park there are still sound speakers along the footpaths - probably used for pumping propaganda during communist times. Creepily, they now pump classical music.
The park is situated opposite the impressive Hotel Cosmos, built for the 1980 Olympics.
Must be seen if you want to get a feel of Stalinist Moscow.
Nearest metro: VDNKh metro station, one of the exits leads into the park
Visit the large forest parks within MKAD, which is the equivalent of the M25. The parks give an experience of the real Russians and counteract the sensationalist drivel about Moscow that most people outside Russia read in their newspapers.
In Sokolniki (metro Sokolniki) on Sunday afternoons, you can see pensioners dancing outside. Here you can buy shashleeks (kebabs) and drink beer all at a reasonable price and realise that most Russians are neither oligarchs, mafiosi or poverty stricken.
The best park in my view is Bitsevsky Park. This is a large forested area at least 10 km by 4 km in the southern part of the city. It is easy to get lost amidst the trees and the ravines, but you’ll eventually emerge at the bottom of a downhill ski run, a cross county skiing area, or by a spring where Russians are collecting spring water. You’ll see ordinary Russians playing chess and volleyball or relaxing with a barbeque or picnic.
There are many more parks in Moscow. A tourist who has no time to explore at least one will miss an opportunity to get behind the headlines and see reality.
Bitsevsky Park’s size means it is accessible from a few metro stations. Bitsevsky Park metro is the closest, but it is also possible to see the horse-riding centre (metro Chertanovka). The ski slope is at metro Konkovo. Skis can be hired there
A gigantic Soviet ‘Expo' from 1937, featuring more than 80 pavilions, lavishly constructed in the distinctive style of Stalinist neo-classicism. You can walk around the enormous site or take a ride on the monorail. Highlights include a 1960s space rocket, a triumphal arch topped with statues and the gilded Friendship of Nations fountain.
You can also take in the iconic monument to space exploration, a spectacular shard of metal topped with a B-movie space ship, which is just outside the park at the metro station.
Nearest metro: VDNKh
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