Sokolniki Park/Парк Сокольники
107113, Москва, Сокольнический вал ул., 1, стр. 1
Hours: Always open but vendors vary, see site for details
Admission is Free
Sokolniki park is one of Moscow’s beautiful outdoor spaces, and especially fun to visit because it’s so easy to get to (directions follow). It’s a known secret for Muscovites, and a little less hectic than Gorky Park. Every weekend is like a festival at Sokolniki, because its sheer size allows for so many people to visit comfortably, and you’re sure to find something to do. Admission is free.
There’s an amusement park with rides, (mostly geared towards kids, but there are a few that would amuse adults.) There are lots of games, a billiard hall, rental bikes and peddle-vehicles of all sizes,* and plenty of food. You’ll find the usual outdoor food of hot dogs, sandwiches, coffee, and ice cream, for example. However, there are vendors of every kind: snack shacks, tiny roasted nut wagons, and cafes with outdoor seating. You’ll see an adventure area for children, (with rope bridge, tree house, and climbing walls) and fountains, gardens, and outdoor entertainment.
With all those visitors, it’s amazing that you can find a quiet place to read or relax, but it’s easy because of the layout. It’s a series of concentric circles, and as you get away from the center, there are fewer people, and a more private park feel.
It’s a great place for people watching. You could spend the whole day there or just stop by for lunch!
Directions: Head to the Sokolniki Metro Station on the North end of the red line. Exiting the station, you will open onto a busy square. The metro building itself is actually part of a long pedestrian promenade that leads to the park. The entrance to the park is only about a two-minute walk from the metro, and is actually visible as you look down the promenade.
*Rental places want your passport as collateral, and there will likely be a line on the weekends.