Walking Rout around Moscow
One of the most effective ways to know a city and plunge into its environment is a walking rout. For us it was an individual walking rout around Moscow. Nowadays walking is not an obligatory thing to do since there are other ways to see the city briefly and learn all main and most important attractions. There are plenty of ways to do this in Moscow. For example, there are touristic buses that will carry you around the center of the capital within two hours. You can also sail by ship though the very center of Moscow. We should thank the bed of the Moskva (Moscow) River for a chance to enjoy the most meaningful attractions of the city. By the way, we have already done the sail along the Moskva (Moscow) River.
But neither the bus nor the ship tours ever give a chance to stop at a place you like, change the route or stop it right on the spot. A walking rout in contrast does allow such luxuries. You only have to decide where to begin and where to end your walking. Apart from walking routs around the historic center of Moscow and the Kremlin we chose the rout that covered the following attractions (in order of walking):
- Europe Square by the Kievsky Rail Terminal
- Novodevichy Convent
- Neskuchny Garden
- Gorky Park
The length of the rout is 10 km (6.2 miles) and it lasts about 5–6 hours. You can avoid the midday heat and start at about 3 p.m. to enjoy the sunset at Gorky Park at about 8 p.m. It was the perfect plan, but the weather had its own plans for us.
Europe Square in Moscow
We crossed Bogdan Khmelnitsky pedestrian bridge to get from the right bank of the Moskva (Moscow) River to the left one. The bridge has rolling stairs and that makes walking along it even more comfortable. In some places one can even leave the glazed parts of the bridge and enjoy beautiful views of the Moskva (Moscow) River from the open parts.
By the way this is the pier by the Kievsky Rail Terminal where ships begin their an-hour-and-a-half-long sails along the Moskva (Moscow) River.
Having crossed the bridge we found ourselves in Khamovniki District. The biggest part of our walk is in this district. And we began from the Savvinskaya embankment. We walked along it for 1.5 km (0.9 miles). One can rent a bike here to either shorten time or ride as quick as the wind. There are many rent stations in the center of Moscow. Each of them has a map of other stations and instructions on how to rent a bicycle.
We went from the Savvinskaya embankment to the Novodevichy Avenue. Park Novodevichi Pounds is on its right. This place received its name after Novodevichy Convent nearby. The place is very pleasant. We made our firs pit stop here. We sat on a bench, fed ducks (one is better to have a piece of bread for this purpose). Later on we also met squirrels – they prefer nuts, so stock up with them as well.
There is a sculpture called “Make Way for Ducklings” on the bank of a Novodevichy Pound. It is named after a famous American book for children. Exactly the same sculpture is in Boston, USA. And this one in Moscow took its place in 1991 as a present from Barbara Bush to soviet children. One can also see from here Savvinskaya Tower of Novodevichy Convent and the tops of dooms of Smolensky Cathedral, dedicated to the icon Our Lady of Smolensk.
We went towards the street Khamovnichesky Val and along it towards the Moskva (Moscow) River. This part of the rout is 2 km (1.2 miles) long. But the rout is not hard to cover. We had to cross roadway several times, but our way mostly ran through pleasant parks and walkways.
There is entrance to Neskuchny Garden right behind the bridge. We could have gone further to Gagarin Square with monument to the first cosmonaut. Another way was to Sparrow Hills Park. To tell you the truth railway-bridge and active traffic confused us and we did not take the risk of walking through road junctions. As soon as we got to Neskuchny Garden it started to rain (not the first time that day). But thick tree crowns and short nature of Moscow rains appeared to be the positive sides of the situation.
Along Pushkinskaya embankment which stretches from Andreevsky Bridge we walked towards Pushkinsky Bridge and Gorky Park. The embankment is beautiful. It is pleasant to walk along it and bikeways give a chance to ride here as well.
Gorky Park, Moscow
We have already covered a half of our walking rout around Moscow. Only Gorky Park was waiting for us ahead. The border between Neskuchny Garden and Gorky Park is quite nominal and it is easy to miss the moment when you pass from one park to another. In fact we did not care about it. We were walking along the beautiful embankment, enjoying the sun, the view of the Moskva (Moscow) River and passing ships.
Flower gardens and rest areas are on both sides of the parkway. Park visitors enjoy using them with great pleasure. Apart from standard benches visitors can also lay on lounge chairs and pillows in Gorky Park.
Here is the fountain and the central entrance to Gorky Park which exists since 1955. In case if you are already tired you can leave home from “Oktyabrskaya” metro station which is very close from here.
We returned back to Pushkinsky Bridge along Pushkinskaya embankment. Do not be deceived by the sign, it is really Pushkinsky Bridge. These are only the bays of the old Andreevsky Bridge that base the construction of Pushkinsky Bridge.
There is a park named after Mandelshtam behind the Moscow Youth Palace. Trubetskie used to own the land. And if you are still strong enough you can go up to Devichie Field garden square. There are only two quarters from here to “Park Kultury” metro station along Zubovsky Boulevard. As for us, we finished our ten-kilometer-long walking rout around Moscow with a supper. After that we went to the hotel both full and tired.
Walking rout around Moscow is not very difficult. It only covers three bridges, a whole Moscow district (Khamovniki) and two parks – Neskuchny Garden and Gorky Park. Although the rout passes through the not most obvious and visited places it portrays modern Moscow. And instead of a smart cake Moscow turns into a real, alive, energetic city which is full of strength and ideas. After this walk even though the first part of it was watered with rain Moscow became closer to us.