Fodor's Expert Review Gorky Park
The official name of this park laid out in 1928 and covering an area of 275 acres is actually the Central Park of Culture and Leisure. It was made famous to Westerners by its other name in Martin Cruz Smith's Cold War novel Gorky Park, and Muscovites refer to it by yet another name, Park Kultury (Park of Culture). The welcome swath of greenery has undergone a remarkable makeover in post-Soviet years. Gone are the dilapidated rides and unkept lawns littered with passed-out drunks. Today, Muscovites come to the park for yoga and tango lessons, paddleboat rides and bike rentals, picnics on the lawns, a selection of cafés and eateries, and in the winter, snowboarding and ice skating. The park often hosts concerts, and the Garage Center for Contemporary Art features up-and-coming Russian contemporary artists. In summer, boats leave from the pier for excursions along the Moskva River.