Walks With Folks
Walks With Folks
Walks With Folks
Walks With Folks

Top Parks and Nature Attractions in Moscow
Gardens and parks are an important part of Moscow's social life and for many are among the top places to visit when coming to Russia's capital. Nowadays, people visit parks not just for pleasant strolls in the shade of trees, but also for various sport activities, concerts, culture festivals, open air exhibitions and much more. Green areas take up about a third of Moscow's territory and in the last 10 years after a large scale renovation every green corner of the city has been transformed into a unique and special place. Both locals and guests have a wide choice where to rest from busy life of the metropolis and sitting on a bench, observing birds or just strolling around is what we all sometimes need. Below are some of our favorite parks in Moscow - find the option that you will enjoy the most!

Moscow Zoo

Working hours: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Entrance fee: 600 rubles, children under 17 are free of charge
Address: Bolshaya Gruzinskaya, 1 (Б. Грузинская д. 1)
Metro stations: Krasnopresnenskaya, Barrikadnaya

If you want to enjoy nature and at the same time see different types of animals from all over the world, then come to Moscow Zoo! Founded in the middle of the 19th century as a small park with just 286 species of mammals it turned into one of the most visited zoos 'in Europe and the most popular zoo in Russia. Today the Moscow Zoo has more than 10,000 animals and birds, including white whales, polar bears, pandas, Siberian tigers, giraffes and so much more. Due to recent renovations most of the animals are in in large open-air exhibits so they have a choice to hide in their enclosures or interact with people.

As you visit the zoo make sure to check the timetable of feedings on the official website www.moscowzoo.su and plan your route according to the preferred schedule. If you are going to visit the zoo with kids then do not worry about their safety, as there is no contact with wild animals and the zoo is clean and well maintained. Usually, people spend at least 2-3 hours here, but as it is such a fun place to be, many stay for much longer time. Take into account that in summertime the zoo is more crowded than in other seasons, so to avoid long queues come early in the morning or book tickets online.

Gorky Park

Working hours: 24 / 7
Entrance fee: Free
Address: Krimsky Val, 9 (Крымский вал, 9)
Metro stations: Oktybrskaya, Park Kultury

Gorky Park is considered to be the main park of Moscow. It was founded by Bolsheviks in 1928, fell into disarray in the 1990's and was reconstructed in 2011, after a long and tedious restoration project. Today the park consists of several separate territories and covers an area of 120 hectares or 300 acres (depending on how you count it). Every weekend about 250,000 visitors come to the park to relax and have fun, the park is so massive that there is enough space for everyone! Tourists often claim that the park is among one of the best cosmopolitan city parks they have ever been to. So, what makes it so special? First, it's the numerous opportunities for sport games: you can play tennis and ping pong, volleyball, badminton and favorite game of soviet kids - pioneer ball. You can rent a bike, rollers, skateboard or even a seven-seated velo taxi. If you prefer less active types of sports, then on Golitsinsky and Pionersky ponds you can rent a boat or catamaran for 400-500 rubles. Furthermore you can even take a boat tour that leaves from the pier at Gorky Park and see Moscow from the river.

For those that prefer long walks there are multiple paths with picturesque views along Moscow river with Wi-Fi available even in the most remote corners of the park. If you are ever tired or overwhelmed, there are many cafes and restaurants or comfortable benches and deck chairs where you can rest. During the summertime park visitors can enjoy open air cinema or free yoga and salsa classes, and in the winter the biggest skating rink in Europe opens here. Gorky park is marvelous in any season, so do not miss your chance to visit it when you are in Russia.

Zaryadye Park

Working hours: 10: 00-22: 00
Entrance fee: Free
Address: Varvarka str., 6 (Варварка, 6)
Metro stations: Teatralnaya, Okhotnyi ryad, Ploschad Revolutsii

The brand new Zaryadye park was opened in 2017 right in the center of the city. You can walk there during your visit to the Red Square, Bolshoi Theater or Tverskaya street, and see the fantastic panoramic views of old Moscow from the park's observation deck! In the last 50 years there were no new parks constructed in Moscow, so when the city government announced a competition for the best park design, the were out to create something really impressive. As a result, an international team of designers, architects and other experts created a new type of public space, which is an urban plaza, a park and cultural amenity all at the same time.

In Soviet times there was a huge hotel located here that was demolished in 2006 and the area remained vacant for many years, until the idea of a public space was approved. According to reviews of Walks With Folks tourists the best thing about Zaryadye is the observation deck that is hanging over the Moskva river. Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral, floating bridge, Seven Sisters Skyscrapers, magnificent Russian churches of the 16th and 17th century - unforgettable sights and amazing pictures are guaranteed.

All-Russia Exhibition Center (VDNKh)

Working hours: 24 /7
Entrance fee: Free
Address: Prospect Mira, 119 (Проспект Мира, 119)
Metro stations: VDNKh metro station

VDNKh Park is a very special place in Moscow. In Russian the abbreviation means "Exhibition of National Economy Achievements", so originally this public space was actually not designed as a typical park. In 1935 Soviet government started the construction of various pavilions for the Agricultural Exhibition of the USSR. This was the time when communists wanted to impress the rest of the world with their power and might thus designing very grand and vast structures attempting to demonstrate USSR's glory and technological achievements of the state. As a result, we have 235 hectares of authentic architectural masterpieces, buildings from the Soviet Stalinist era which today function as museums, cultural exhibitions, theaters, restaurants, etc.

Among top attractions are Cosmonautics and Aviation Center, Moskvarium - the largest oceanarium in Europe, and Pavilion # 75 with giant model of Moscow. You can easily spend the whole day here, walking from one pavilion to another, watching performances, spectacular fountains, colorful flower beds and sculptures of the Soviet past. In summer it's a great place for a pleasant walk while in the winter a large part of the park is covered with a huge ice skating course with food options ranging from small stands selling one item (like pies, corn, ice-cream) to family restaurants. VDNKh has something for everyone and it is a great place to visit any time of the year. To explore all the attractions in detail we recommend taking the Museum of Cosmonautics and VDNKh Tour to learn all the intricacies of the Cold War and the Soviet Union.

Aptekarsky Garden or Botanical garden of the Moscow State University

Working hours: 10:00-20:00
Entrance fee: 300 rub
Address: Prospect Mira, 26 (Проспект Мира, 26)
Metro stations: Prospect Mira

Aptekar in Russian means a pharmacist so literally this is a "Pharmacist's Garden." In 1706 Russian czar Peter the Great ordered to lay out the park to grow medicinal plants and make herbal pills. Later Moscow State University took charge of the garden expanding and opening it up to the public. Although compared to other famous parks the Moscow Botanical Garden is relatively small, it has a very relaxing atmosphere during the busiest summer days. Visitors flock here for different flower festivals, to see exotic plants or just to read a book in a calm place. After spending 30 minutes near the garden pond with koi fish you can easily forget that you are in the center of a 15 million metropolis!

There are several pavilions with tropical and subtropical plants, including succulents and orchids, while the plants that can withstand the harsh Moscow winters grow outside. The staff of the park takes care of every single herb, even the larch that was planted by Peter the Great is still preserved and continues growing. On weekends the botanical garden is always more crowded than on weekdays so plan your visit taking this into account to make your time here more enjoyable.

Kolomenskoye Park and Estate

Working hours: May to September 08:00-00:00, October to April 08:00-21:00
Entrance fee: Free
Address: Andropov Ave, 39 (Проспект Андропова, 39)
Metro stations: Kolomenskoye


If you like old wooden Russian architecture and want to feel the spirit of Medieval Rus than this park is just what you need. In Moscow there are very few former Royal Residences that are preserved in good condition and Kolomenskoye is one of them. The estate was constructed in the middle of the 14th century and during the next several centuries Russian monarchs came here to spend time close to nature. Today, the original royal palace does not exist anymore, but it was replicated according to numerous old drawings. There are some ancient buildings left - the two original wooden Russian fortresses can be found in the park, as well as 17th century wooden Orthodox Church and other medieval time structures.

Kolomenskoye is known mainly as an open-air museum of wooden architecture, however Muscovites like it as a great recreation spot.  The size of the park is 390 square hectares which makes it one of the biggest green areas within city limits. The park is also a nice place to ride a bicycle or stroll around, while visiting museums or taking a guided tour of Kolomenskoye Estate. Comfortable shoes is a must, because the distance between historical sights can be quite significant.

Tsaritsyno Park

Working hours: 06:00-00:00
Entrance fee: Free
Address: Dolskaya str., 1(Дольская, 1)
Metro stations: Tsaritsyno

Tsaritsyno is a tranquil estate originally founded by Dmitry Camtemir, a Moldavian prince allied with the Russian Empire. He constructed a wooden palace and laid out a French style garden with symmetrically located pathways and flowerbeds. When Russian empress Catherine the Great visited the estate, she liked it so much that she decided to buy it. Catherine ordered her court architect Vasily Bazhenov to construct a new palace, but after three years announced that the building had to be redesigned. So, another architect, Matvey Kazakov started a new construction, building an even more impressive and grand palace, but Catherine was stil not satisfied.

After Catherine's death the estate fell into disarray and remained partially ruined for over 200 years until the Moscow city government decided to restore it. In 2006 both the palace and the park were renovated and now function as an open-air museum. Explore the halls of the Royal Palace or visit the indoor pavilions to check-out temporary exhibitions. There are a number of coffee shops located in the park to refill your energy or take a rest feeding ducks next to the pond.

Conclusion

If you are in Moscow and want to spend some time close to nature, doing sports or just sitting on a bench sipping cocktail or coffee - you have plenty of opportunities for that. In the hot summer days more likely that all the wonderful parks from our list will be quite busy with visitors, so we encourage you to decide based on the activities that you prefer to do. Gorky park is the best option for active sports, All-Russia Exhibition Center (VDNKh) is a great place for history and museum lovers, Aptekarsky Botanical garden or Kolomenskoye and Tsaritsyno are more about tranquil relaxation. Make your choice, explore the city and join to the huge community of people who already love and enjoy the beautiful Moscow parks!
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