The main wooden arch with light and walking people in Sokolniki park, Moscow,  Russia.

© AlxeyPnferov/Getty Images/iStock


Meshchansky & Basmanny

Changed beyond recognition in recent years, Sokolniki park is criss-crossed by cycling paths, and blends into a proper forest bordering on Losiny Ostrov national park (Национальный парк Лосиный остров). The area by the entrance (a short walk from Sokolniki metro station), centred on a fountain, is full of cool places to eat and welcoming benches. Further away, to the left of the entrance, is a funfair with rides and carousels. Another attraction is the Rosarium (Розариум), a manicured rose garden.

At least three outlets in the central part of the park hire out bicycles and other sporting equipment. In summer, beach bums head to the Basseyn (Бассейн) open-air swimming pool, which turns into a party zone in the evening. Come winter, the park opens a skating rink and Moscow's longest (200m) sledding hill. Dozens of intriguing exhibitions are scattered around the park, including the Modern Museum of Calligraphy and a showroom of ZIL limos, which transported Soviet leaders. All kinds of urban culture and sport festivals, including the popular Equestrian Fest (Конный Фестиваль; 29 August to 1 September), take place year round, with the main events occurring during weekends.

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