Bridge Over River Against Sky During Sunset

Getty Images/EyeEm

Gorky Park

Top choice in Zamoskvorechie

Moscow's main city escape isn't your conventional expanse of nature preserved inside an urban jungle. It's not a fun fair either, though it used to be one. Its official name says it all – Maxim Gorky's Central Park of Culture and Leisure. That's exactly what it provides: culture and leisure in all shapes and forms. Designed in the 1920s by avant-garde architect Konstantin Melnikov as a piece of communist utopia, these days it showcases the enlightened transformation Moscow has recently undergone.

Activities include cycling, rollerblading, beach volleyball, urban and extreme sports, table tennis and even pétanque. There are 13 bicycle- and skate-rental places around the park, with one conveniently located under the Andreyevsky pedestrian bridge. In winter, the ponds are flooded, turning the park into the city’s biggest ice-skating rink.

Art objects pop up throughout the park as part of various exhibitions and festivals, but Darya Zhukova's Garage Museum of Contemporary Art plays the flagship role. There are also numerous eateries in the form of small kiosks, the main cluster being the Gorky Park Food Row.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Zamoskvorechie attractions

1. Gorky Park Museum

0.05 MILES

The grandiose colonnaded arch that serves as Gorky Park's front entrance now contains a museum, its exhibition largely comprised of old photographs and…

2. Central House of Artists (TsDKh)

0.19 MILES

Sometimes called by its initials, this huge building attached to the New Tretyakov Gallery contains studios and galleries, as well as exhibition space for…

3. New Tretyakov Gallery

0.27 MILES

Moscow's premier venue for 20th-century Russian art, this branch of the Tretyakov Gallery has much more than the typical socialist-realist images of…

4. Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

0.28 MILES

The brainchild of Moscow art fairy Darya Zhukova, Garage is one of the capital's hottest modern-art venues. In 2015, the museum moved to spectacular new…

5. Church of St John the Warrior

0.32 MILES

The finest of all Zamoskvorechie’s churches mixes Moscow and European baroque styles, resulting in a melange of shapes and colours. It was commissioned by…

6. Art Muzeon & Krymskaya Naberezhnaya

0.43 MILES

Moscow's answer to London's South Bank, Krymskaya Nab (Crimea Embankment) features wave-shaped street architecture with Scandinavian-style wooden elements…

7. Church of St Nicholas in Khamovniki

0.47 MILES

This church, commissioned by the weavers’ guild in 1676, is among the most colourful in Moscow. The ornate green-and-orange-tapestry exterior houses an…

8. Moscow Museum

0.51 MILES

The permanent history exhibit here demonstrates how the city has spread from its starting point at the Kremlin. It is heavy on artefacts from the 13th and…