Image by Kira Tverskaya

Now fully revamped and merged with the wonderfully reconstructed Krymskaya Naberezhnaya embankment is this motley collection of (mostly kitschy) sculpture and monuments to Soviet idols (Stalin, Sverdlov, a selection of Lenins and Brezhnevs) that were ripped from their pedestals in the post-1991 wave of anti-Soviet feeling. All of these stand in lovely gardens with boardwalks and many inviting benches.

Moscow's answer to London's South Bank, Krymskaya Naberezhnaya features wave-shaped street architecture with many Scandinavian-style wooden elements, beautiful flower beds and a moody fountain that ejects water randomly from many holes in the ground – a sure way to make children (and some adults) run and laugh unstoppably for hours on a hot sunny day.

Moored here, the cruise ship Valery Bryusov is being converted into an art and educational venue, complete with a cinema, a music venue, cafes, a co-working space and even a barber shop.

The Vernisage, an artists market, is about the only place left here from the old days. The embankment begins near the tip of Bolotny island, where the mammoth-sized statue of Peter the Great authored by the controversial sculptor Zurab Tsereteli surveys the area from a giant column. We'd call it fully pedestrianised, if not for the cyclists and in-line skaters who often create what resembles a very normal Moscow traffic jam. There is a shop renting bicycles and in-line skating equipment. This is the starting point of the vehicle-free 8km route that runs through Gorky Park, Neskuchny Garden and Vorobyovy Gory.