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Best of Moscow: Eight Ways to Enjoy the Last Gasp of Summer

Hire a Boat

Set sail on the open water

Summer is the perfect time to embrace your nautical side and make the most of Moscow’s lakes while they’re still in liquid form. Go to Golitsinsky pond in Gorky Park and choose your vessel. Prices range from 300 to 400 rubles for an hour, plus a 500 ruble deposit. Alternatively, try Tsaritsyno, where there are three separate ponds for you to explore. Two of the ponds are for old-fashioned romantic types who fancy trying their hand at rowing, but if you’re not in the mood for anything strenuous, try the speedboats on the upper pond. Prices range from 250 rubles to 600 rubles depending on how long you spend on the water. Bon voyage!

Gorky Park. 9 Krymsky Val, Metro Oktyabrskaya. park-gorkogo.com
Tsaritsyno Park.1 Dolskaya Ulitsa, Metro Tsaritsyno. park-gorkogo.com/en/places/108

Enjoy a terrace

Nothing says summer like dining al fresco

One of the best things about summer is relaxing outside in good company with a nice cold drink in hand. We would recommend Dom 12 for a relaxed summer vibe. A wine bar set in a secluded courtyard complete with fairy lights and rustic furnishings, the two-story veranda is a lovely spot to kick back with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Feeling adventurous? Try La Boule in Gorky Park and enjoy a game of petanque with friends while you sip on their speciality cherry beer. If you are part of a larger group, consider reserving one of the gazebos — Moscow never felt so much like the south of France.

Dom 12. 12 Mansurovsky Pereulok Metro Park Kultury. park-gorkogo.com/en/places/108

Botanical Garden at the Russian Academy of Sciences

The last blooms of summer

Enjoy one of Europe’s largest botanical gardens in the heart Moscow. The grounds are vast and sprawling, containing an astonishing 18,000 species of plants. In addition, the garden — set in the Russian Academy of Sciences — acts as a reservoir for plants to be studied by scientists for their ecological preservation. Check out horticultural delights such as the Japanese rock garden and the orangery, which contains rare and in some cases, carnivorous, plants. The best part? Entrance is free and you only need pay for certain attractions. It’s a real treat for budding botanists or anyone looking to breathe some fresh air in the center of the city. 

4 Botanicheskaya Ulitsa, Metro Vladykino. gbsad.ru

Serebryany Bor

Top up that tan

If you’re tired of the Moscow cityscape and long for the sensation of warm sand beneath your feet one more time before the summer ends, head out to Serebryany Bor, a favorite with sun-starved city dwellers. As its name would suggest, Serebryany Bor is famous for its beautiful pine forests — but fear not, it offers more than just trees. The park boasts 12 different zones, including several lush green areas, woods, three separate beaches and even a volleyball court. Take a picnic and spend a day with your nearest and dearest, soaking up the fresh air and sunshine. If you feel like testing out your sea legs, take a boat ride from the pontoon. Just don’t forget your bucket and spade.

Tram No. 28 from Shchukinskaya metro station, or any bus (except No. 43) from Polezhayevskaya metro station. s-bor.ru

Watch a movie in the open air

Films in the park

Make the most of the last sultry evenings of the summer by catching a movie under the stars. Pioner has outdoor theaters at both Gorky Park and Sokolniki Park, showing a variety of foreign films in their original language. Offerings at the moment include Woody Allen’s latest release, “Cafe Society,” period rom-com “Love & Friendship,” and for the little ones — and the young at heart — there’s the comedy animation “The Secret Life of Pets.” If you’re looking to inject a little culture into your life, check out the offerings from the French cinema festival, “Les Vacances Françaises,” organized by the French Embassy and Institut Français in Russia.


Shakespeare 400 Exhibit

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Get in touch with your inner 16th-century Elizabethan and experience your own Midsummer Night’s Dream at this interactive exhibition, which invites you to immerse yourself in the world of Shakespeare and his plays. Write a letter to Juliet — and maybe even receive an answer — find your way out of Ovid’s labyrinth and study a model of London’s Globe Theater, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. With plenty of kids activities, this exhibition is perfect for thespians of all ages.

7 Myasnitskaya Ulitsa, Bldg. 2. Metro Lubyanka. shakespeare400.ru

Watermelon Season

Feast yourself on fruit

Watermelon season is a treasured time for Muscovites young and old. The best of the bunch appear midway through August as watermelon bazaars pop up across the city with juicy produce from Astrakhan, Volgograd and Dagestan. According to official stats, Muscovites average around 600 grams of the pink fruit each month during watermelon season, which means the city as a whole will be munching through some 28,000 tons of watermelon this season. To find your perfect melon, look for the splotch where the watermelon has been resting on the ground. If the splotch is creamy yellow in color the melon is ripe. To be doubly sure, tap the underbelly of the watermelon. Do you hear a deep, hollow sound? If so, you’ve found yourself a keeper.

Cook Your Own Shashlik BBQ

Lighting fires legally

The last weekend of August is nearly upon us and if you still haven’t indulged you inner troglodyte, now is your chance. Shashlik is best enjoyed in the open air. And to avoid accidents of a fiery nature the Moscow government has designated barbecue-friendly zones in several of the city’s parks and green spaces. You may need to book in advance but with fire-pits, seating areas and plenty of leafy nature to enjoy, you won’t be dissapointed. You can cook shaslik legally at Kuskovsky Forest Park, Troparyovsky Park, Fili Park, Izmailovsky Park and Bitsa Park. See our handy listicle below for all the details.


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