Lost Soviet Paradise in VDNKh
With its’ remarkable history and carefully maintained Soviet atmosphere VDNKh has become one of the most favorite places to visit in Moscow. Once known as All-Russian Exhibition Center, museum or recreational area – this multi-purpose complex has always been one of the Capital’s most popular tourist attractions as well as the inviting point for city dwellers. Started as an agricultural fair back in late 1930s this spacious location has gone through a series of renovations to offer visitors many hectares of parks, monuments, pavilions and other points of interest for both relaxation and engaging sightseeing.
What can you see in VDNkh if you choose to include it in your Moscow tours? – “Plenty” is the right word to describe the amount of sights in the area. Those can be categorized as architecture masterpieces, museums and places of leisure. Check out the list of “must-see” ones below so you make the most out of your visit.
Main landmarks of VDNKh
- Worker and Kolhoz Woman sculpture. A giant symbol of labor and peasantry reign by Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina. The 24 meters tall sculpture will be on your right as you face the front entrance.
- There are four fountains. The dominant “Friendship of Nations” is just behind the Central pavilion along the main alley. Sixteen sisters in gold stand around a giant sheaf of wheat representing the republics of former Soviet Union. This eye catcher was put back on display in 2018 after major renovation.
- Perhaps the pavilions are the main architecture sights in the area. Built in different styles and sizes they all shape the unique ensemble of loft and grandeur of the whole neighborhood. The brightest and most picturesque pavilions are located around the fountains and along the parks’ centerline.
- Outer space highlights. The first thing you see before entry is the monument to the “Conquerors of Space”, a breathtaking launching rocket with swift exhaust as pedestal. Take a left on the Southern alley from the Fountains to reach the Soviet Shuttle vehicle “Buran” brought there from its former residence in Gorky Park. You can take the tour inside and even try operating it on a simulator. Proceed to the monument of “Vostok” rocket, which will be in your sight from there. This is the spacecraft, which took the first human Yuri Gagarin to space. Make sure to visit the Cosmos Pavilion behind it for the biggest Cosmonautics Museum in Russia.
- The center of oceanography and marine biology “Moskvarium”. An amazing sea world with water species from all over the world. They do all sorts of tours and shows. If you have time, you may go for swim with dolphins (pre schedule required).
- In wintertime, the park hosts the biggest ice skating rink in the world allowing visitors to skate around the fountain square. The rink has safety barriers, benches and cafes all over the place so you can have a pleasant and comfortable ride. There is one more rink for kids nearby with skating classes at extra fee.
- The kids will love the “City farm”, a well-designed agricultural demo involving visitors in organic farming practices. Located behind Pavilion #44 in the northern part of the park the site offers young farmers real live contact with cattle as well as many entertaining and educating classes and quests.
- Should your kids ask for more, go to Pavilion #2 west of the Central #1. It is where you find “RoboStation” – the world of funny or sometimes creepy electronic creatures created by man. Most of the items on display are interactive.
- The grand opening of the Future Amusement park in the Southern part of VDNKh is in the pipeline for 4th quarter of 2018. The theme park will offer the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe along with indoor and outdoor sets of coasters and launches.
VDNKh becomes a magnet for Muscovites on the weekends and nice weather afternoons. If you prefer avoiding crowded areas, consider visiting in the morning on working days. This will give you a chance for more peaceful and easy promenade and definitely less “foreign objects” on your pictures. They also play vintage Soviet music in the mornings.
Is it worth the time?
You bet! Visiting VDNKh is one of the best ways to realize the scale of transformations and accomplishments, which happened to the country in the Soviet times. For a complete picture of what USSR was all about consider visiting the place as an extension to Soviet Moscow Tour.
VDNKh completes the image of Moscow and means a lot to Muscovites. It has always been taken as a vision of bright future and a myth of lost paradise. In many ways, it has followed the path taken by the whole country.
What else can you do?
Relax and chill. Go for a walk or rent a bike to trail around Ostankino and Lanscape Parks. Both Located in western part of VDNKh, the parks have separate entrance from Botanicheskaya Street. Rent a boat to sail in one of the ponds or workout near by the stadium in the eastern side of park.
The place is also known for good food. Visit the “Soviet Sky” café located near by the Pavilion #57 for authentic Soviet cuisine. Travelers with children are suggested to visit “Anderson” on the outer Ring street. The place offers child room with toys and handcrafts to allow you dine peacefully as you child gets entertained and monitored by professional animator.
Where is VDNKh situated?
The site is in Ostankino district of Moscow. Take the subway to VDNKh metro station or “Vystavochniy Center” monorail stop and use the signs for correct exist. If you arrive by car, use the parking lots from Prodolniy drive side.
Consider Pradiz for your visit to VDNKh
Most of the interesting places in Russia require guidance for efficient sightseeing. VDNKh is no exception. The large territory and long list of attractions can make you lose track of time or miss something valuable. Pradiz private guide in Moscow would tailor your visit to the park so you get to see what really fits your expectations. Should you be interested in Soviet heritage, technology or looking for something fascinating for your kids, our team will get you covered.