Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

If you don’t go to the tropics, the tropics will come to you! At least this summer the weather in the Russian capital is more typical for south-east Asia than for our middle zone. Where should Muscovites and tourists seek refuge from the heat and bustle of the city? Of course, in parks!

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

Moscow has plenty of green areas where you can relax in the shade of trees and exercise in the fresh air, combining this with sightseeing. A complete list of them, including not only parks, but also nature reserves, estates, gardens, boulevards, squares, is simply impossible to give here – for this you would need to write a whole book. So we chose seven of the largest parks to start with.

1. Elk Island

Nearest metro: Babushkinskaya, VDNH, Rokossovsky Boulevard, Shchelkovskaya

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

The moose for which the park is named still sometimes wander into the streets of northern Moscow near the Losiny Ostrov National Park. In the park itself, partly located outside the Moscow Ring Road, a chance encounter with a moose is much more likely than in the areas adjacent to it, and it is not necessary to go deep into the forest: moose often come right to houses, especially in the off-season and in winter. In the summer, it’s better not to hope for chance and go on an excursion to the Elk Biological Station, where, in addition to adult elk and elk calves, live sika deer and, separately, in a pen, sociable domestic goats. In addition to the biological station, the park has several horse yards where you can take riding lessons and horseback riding excursions with an experienced instructor; environmental education center; a museum dedicated to the history of Russian hound and falconry and just a lot of roads and paths that are good to wander, run or ride a bike.

2. Schoolchildren

Nearest metro: Sokolniki

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

The most cycling place in Moscow is Sokolniki Park adjacent to Losiny Ostrov. On weekends and holidays, so many cyclists gather here that park employees have to regulate traffic, making sure that cyclists do not steer from special paths into the pedestrian zone. The excitement can be explained simply: next to the park, at the exit from the Sokolniki metro station, there is the best bicycle market in Moscow. But pedestrians also have something to do in this park: there is “BookvoDom” with a co-working space, a library and a lecture hall, rides, karting, a skate and panda park, a sports complex with special ski and snowboard simulators for those who lack opportunities in the summer engage in winter sports. There is also a dinosaur exhibition that will surely delight children, and a flea market where you can buy everything from antique books to furniture and vintage clothing; it is open on Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm.

3. Botanical Garden

Nearest metro: VDNH, Botanical Garden, Vladykino

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

There are several botanical gardens in Moscow, but the largest of them is the Main Botanical Garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences named after N.V. Tsitsin, who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2015. Most of the territory of the botanical garden is occupied by a forest park with several ponds, where townspeople come to read a book in the fresh air or ride a bicycle. Entrance is free, but there are places where you can’t get without a ticket: a greenhouse with tropical plants, a rose garden, a Japanese garden with a cascade of mini-waterfalls and a stone stupa. After taking a walk among the centuries-old oak trees, you can go have lunch at one of the many restaurants at VDNKh, adjacent to the garden.


Nearest metro: VDNH

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

The history of the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements officially began in 1939, although it was then called differently – the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. The above-mentioned achievements were exhibited here in Soviet times, and today people come here to have fun: watch a dolphin show in the Moskvarium or a Cannes-winning film in the summer cinema, chat with animals at the City Farm, attend a pottery master class in the Crafts Park “, drink oriental coffee in the cafe of the Armenian pavilion. You can also take a photo against the backdrop of this and other pavilions of the former Soviet republics and the famous “Friendship of Peoples”, “Stone Flower” and “Spike” fountains. VDNKh regularly hosts concerts, exhibitions and festivals: for example, at the end of August the Festival of Music and Light and the 23rd International Flower Show will be held here. In addition to the Botanical Garden, within walking distance from VDNKh there is the Ostankino park-estate.

5. Izmailovsky Park

Nearest metro: Shosse Entuziastov, Partizanskaya

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

But we won’t go to Ostankino now, but rather take a trip to the southeast of Moscow and end up in the Izmailovo Park of Culture and Leisure. There are many sports grounds available to visitors here; among them are 5 tennis courts and 2 volleyball fields. There are also areas with training equipment, an archery and crossbow shooting range, a 50-meter Ferris wheel and a Round Pond with a boat station where you can rent a boat or catamaran. The park is relatively close to the 17th century Izmailovo estate and the cultural and entertainment complex “Kremlin in Izmailovo”. The latter is a remake, not an ancient monument, but it was created in 2003 to popularize Russian history and traditional crafts. And the huge Izmailovsky forest park is adjacent to the PKiO.

6. Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve

Nearest metro: Kolomenskaya, Kashirskaya

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

Another cultural and historical reserve is the Tsaritsyno estate, once the residence of Empress Catherine II near Moscow. Here there is something to rest the eye, tired of the monotonous landscape of the Moscow outskirts with panel high-rise buildings: palaces (Big and Small),

elegant gates, bridges and a covered gallery of the 18th century, pavilions, gazebos and a church of the early 19th century. At the end of the 2000s, the palace and park ensemble was restored and landscaped. True, this improvement, in the opinion of many, was to the detriment of the adjacent park: the island of wild forest was “licked” beyond recognition – even the turf was removed, replacing ordinary grass with lawn grass, which was greatly criticized by environmentalists. But everything has its advantages: now you can walk along the Tsaritsyn ponds in wet weather without fear of getting stuck in thick mud.

Green Moscow: 7 popular parks

More interesting places can be seen on excursions from local residents

If you are planning a trip, we recommend booking your hotel in advance on OneTwoTrip so you don’t have to think about it during your trip.

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