There's an enormous park in Moscow that rivals Central Park — here's what it's like to visit
First opened in 1939 as an agricultural exhibition, Moscow’s Vystavka Dostinzheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva — you can call it VDNH— has grown into something much more than that.
After several name changes and renovations, the park is now a major hub of the Russian capital, even boasting its own eponymous metro stop. With more than two million square meters of territory to explore, VDNH is stuffed with museums, shops, cultural displays, amusement park rides, a functioning farm, and the largest ice skating rink in Europe.
Bring comfortable walking shoes.
As the full name of the park translates to “Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy of the USSR,” there are displays of Soviet might everywhere. Figuring prominently into the park’s geography are a number of ornate pavilions dedicated to former Soviet republics, each one containing displays (and gift shops) hawking that country’s wares.
VDNH simultaneously serves as a place to commemorate Soviet achievement as well as a place to enjoy a sunny Moscow afternoon. We visited in December, which is quite the frozen off-season, but there was still no shortage of things to see.To get to VDNH, we had to first ride the metro to the stop of the same name.
Before even entering the park, the foreboding “Monument to the Conquerors of Space” loomed high over everything. Built in 1964, this 351-foot statue depicts a rocket in flight, a tip of the hat to Soviet aviation ingenuity. But there’s much more inside the park.
A short walk away from the metro, we found the main entrance to VDNH.
You’ll notice there’s a construction platform around the plaza for restoration work. More on that soon.
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