How to enjoy Zaryadye Park in Moscow City this summer when visiting from the Middle East
When exploring Zaryadye Park in Moscow City during the summertime it is best for one to possess a great deal of curiosity, wear comfortable clothes and footwear, have a fully charged smartphone for spectacular photo opportunities, and be ready to be wowed!
Located alongside the placid Moskva River and within easy strolling distance of the iconic Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square, Zaryadye is officially classified as a city park – one of dozens that constitute almost 50% of the city area.
Designed by the American architectural company Diller Scofidio + Renfrom, in association with Hargreaves Associates and Citymakers, Zaryadye Park is an unparalleled mix of four perfectly curated Russian biomass types – tundra, steppe, forest, and wetlands – beautifully recreated and nurtured – down to the minutest detail – in gentle inclines, with sandy footpaths in-between.
However, since its official opening in 2017 at a cost of a whopping $480 million (AED1.7 billion) the 13-hectare unfenced park has quickly turned into a vibrant contemporary landscape, leisure and educational space for Moscow’s 12.88 million residents, as well as visitors from across the globe.
Panoramic Moscow City views
It is from this elevated position that one also gets a panoramic view of the Moscow City skyline, including rooftop views of the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russian Orthodox churches and turn-of-the-century residential and government buildings.
After arriving at the park’s main entrance from the nearest metro station (Kitay-Gorod) or after alighting from one’s personal transport, it is worthwhile to saunter along at a leisurely pace, taking in the extensive grey terrazzo tiling work on the ground, interspersed with slender young birch trees, before stepping into the futuristic-looking dome-shaped steel structure suitably named the Dome pavilion.
Dome pavilion info point
Free to enter, and barring a quick summer drizzle, the Dome pavilion serves as Zaryadye Park’s information centre for visitors. Apart from being fronted by a pair of receptionists who readily volunteer information about the park, every square inch of the curved interior walls and domed ceiling itself is covered with large, black and white backlit QR code acrylic tiles.
Scanning the tiles with a QR reader-enabled device provides up-to-date information about the whole park project, as well as information about the chequered history of the Zaryadye district on which the park now sits.
Multi-faceted Media Center
With absolutely no equivalent like it in the entire Middle East, Asia and Africa region and credited by TIME magazine as being one of the best places in the world to visit, Zaryadye Park also houses the Media Center pavilion.
The most highly recommended attraction in the Media Center is ‘Flight over Moscow’ – a mesmerising and unforgettable digital flight over the capital city from a drone-like perspective.
Here, without the need for wearing AR glasses or 3D specs and simply by viewing a cinema-sized screen in a large dark room one swoops down and over iconic landmarks across Moscow City, such as Red Square, the Moskva River, and even through cotton-white clouds – while being safely strapped into a seat that is hydraulically operated to shake, tip forwards and backwards, while also being unexpectedly moistened with a water vapour mist when flying through fluffy clouds on the large screen. ‘Flight over Moscow’ ticket price: 690 to 850 rubles (AED28-34).
Surreal Ice Cave
Also located in the bowels of the organic-shaped Media Center is the Ice Cave, a refrigerated cave-like zone with a -4 to -9C temperature, recreating the frigid winter temperatures of Russia’s Far North. The icy labyrinth walls of the Ice Cave are covered with shimmering ice crystals.
The Ice Cave is a complex installation – a spatial art construction integrated into the modern architectural context of Zaryadye Park.
On walking into the Ice Cave one is blasted with pulsating contemporary Russian pop music while thin trails of snowflakes fall sporadically from ceiling vents.
Add the blue, red and yellow strobe lighting and it is almost like being in a sub-zero discotheque! If not attired in warm enough clothing it is advisable to rent a thin white shawl for 300 rubles (AED12) before entering the Ice Cave. Ice Cave ticket price: 225 to 450 rubles (AED9-18).
Nature Center like no other
Time permitting; it is worthwhile also stepping into the Nature Center located on the park grounds. Here, a unique experimental greenhouse known as a florarium showcases how exotic tropical plants can be grown without the use of soil, in an air or water vapour mist environment. Nature Center ticket price: 190 to 250 rubles (AED7-10).
If one can spend the better half of a day exploring all the attractions of Zaryadye Park, including its eye- and ear-pleasing philharmonic concert hall, and, after having a delicious bite at the park’s own Gastroport pavilion head next to the adjunct Floating Bridge, also known as the Soaring Bridge.
Floating Bridge it is
One of Moscow City’s most-visited public sites, the Floating Bridge (see hero image) is a marvel of modern urban design and architectural elegance; a 70-metre long section of which protrudes over the Moskva River from the park landmass.
With a long wooden deck and high see-though glass panes on both sides the stark concrete and steel bridge offers the perfect opportunity for selfies with the Moscow City skyline in the background, all the more beautiful at sunset and dusk time during summer.
A word of caution: the 244.4-metre long V-shaped bridge tends to get rather busy with smartphone-wielding visitors and groups of tourists so choose a quick moment to get picture-perfect shots.
Family-friendly Zaryadye Park is open round the clock, seven days a week, with the exception of the pavilions and other ticketed areas, which follow daytime business hours.
menews247’s visit to Zaryadye Park was facilitated by the Moscow City Tourism Committee.
For more information about what to see and do as a visiting Middle East tourist in Moscow City, head to: https://discovermoscow.com/en/