For the majority of our guests, seeing Russia for the first time is all about seeing its capital city. While most of the “New Generation” events take place in Moscow, we also take a few days to allow the participants of other events in Russian regions to see the city before they leave for the main location. That’s why we pay special attention to the sightseeing program in the Russian capital.
We’ve already told you about other tourist attractions in Moscow, like the Moskva River Cruise and Zaryadye Park. And now it’s time to talk about one of the most popular walking and leisure places for Muscovites - Gorky Park. After a large-scale reconstruction in 2011, the park welcomes about 40,000 people during weekdays and 250,000 on weekends and holidays. Why it’s so popular? Because it’s a place full of life, with loads of things to do for everyone, no matter the weather.
Active leisure and sports
The territory of the park is huge. It covers nearly 120 hectares and actually combines several “mini-parks”: the historic Gorky Park, Neskuchny Sad, Muzeon Park and Vorobyovy Gory (“Sparrow Hills”). Having a walk here is a pleasure in any kind of weather and you won’t need to worry about internet connection or charging your phone - the park has free Wi-Fi and special charging stations on the territory.
You can follow the Moskva River (just like in Scorpions' song!) and enjoy the river views and tour boats. Or you can head deeper inside the park, take a stroll along its multiple paths and enjoy the silence unusual for one of the biggest cities in Europe.
Alternatively, you can rent a bike, a pair of roller-skates, longboard or skateboard, download a special guide and explore the territory better, with interesting facts about the park’s many attractions. Or you can get a boat or catamaran and explore one of the two of the park’s beautiful ponds.
Gorky Park also has several playgrounds for football and basketball, special zones for extreme sports and even petanque (boules). This game popular among retired French people became popular among Moscow’s hipsters, thanks to the former ‘La Boule’ cafe that set up a few lanes back in 2011.
Another popular activity among the locals is free open-air dancing on the boardwalks right by the river. Here one can find like-minded lovers of any style (from Latin American dance to hip-hop) and dance till sunset.
The berths of the park fulfill their direct function, of course: here you can take a boat ride along the Moskva River.
A rich cultural life
Here, the guests can also find Russia’s largest museum of contemporary art, “Garage”, which hosts large exhibitions of the world’s and Russia’s most interesting artists and runs free lectures, workshops and cinema screenings.
The museum’s building currently looks like a modern polycarbonate construction but it wasn't always the case. Formerly an abandoned Soviet restaurant, the building was reconstructed and redesigned in 2015, by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
Gorky Park also has an open-air cinema “Pioneer” which screens a lot of movies (from mainstream and art house), often with English subtitles.
A dive into the history of Moscow
One of the oldest parks in Russia, Gorky Park opened in 1928 and was designed by the best Soviet architects. Just take a look at the 18-meter entrance arch: one can find the Museum of Gorky Park history inside it and an observation deck on top.
Another historical object worth a look is Muzeon Park. Taking a stroll here one can find a cemetery of old Soviet statues and busts “sent to exile” here after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Without a doubt, any Moscow sightseeing tour won’t be complete without Gorky Park. This place reflects the city’s charm, its history, rhythm and everyday life of its residents.