One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” Henry Miller once said. We decided to challenge that. What if someone could discover Moscow while reading a book? What would that experience be like? Let’s say you have a fantastic time in Moscow and somewhere in the middle of your trip, you decide to take that one evening to savor. Chances are you took your favorite or a new book with you and the second after, you decide to open it meanwhile in your hotel / Airbnb room. But wait a second.
We’ve figured few places in Moscow that could take your reading experience to a whole new level. Who knows how much your life can change after reading that book outside during the warm evening in Moscow.
To reach the utmost effect make sure to come for the sunsets only.
During late spring your golden hour is anywhere from 6 pm. In summer, until the beginning of August, you perfect time is anywhere from 8 pm.
THE CROSSING OF SPIRIDONOVKA STREET WITH SPIRIDONYEVSKIY PEREULOK
The name of the streets came from the Spiridon’s church nearby. Also, Russian writer Aleksey Tolstoy lived there, that’s why Spiridonovka was renamed in his honor in 1957. But then, in 1994 this street again becameSpiridonovka. At first, it may seem like a busy street with lots of cars around, but the moment after you will realize that they almost every time stay in a traffic jam. A few meters away, you will find a free first-row seat on the bench.
Get ready; it is about time to immerse yourself in the book and let Moscow take care of the rest, gently disturbing you with its sunset’s sunlight falling on sheets of paper, people laughing passing by talking in Russian. You may even hear a coffee machine working in the corner cafeteria and music coming from a few blocks away breaking through the vibration of the megapolis. Besides, you will get to know Moscow’s intelligentsia who will most probably be going to “Patriki” (Patriarch Ponds). You are now a part of this city too.
- You can also take a coffee here: “Nude. Coffee & wine bar” – Spiridonyevskiy lane, 5
- Russian books that will perfectly match the experience: “Chemodan. Short stories” by S. Dovlatov; “The Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov; “Oblomov” by I. Goncharov
Located not so far away from the first secret corner it will take you about 20-25 min walking to reach this place. Zaryadye park was built by an architect from New York and Moscow urbanists. Earlier there was a hotel called “Russia” – the largest hotel in the world in 70-80’s. Earlier, in XIII century the market was located there which in Russian is “Za ryadami” that’s why the Park is called Zaryadye nowadays.
In less than a year after its opening, this park became one of the most favorite POI among locals and the top sight among tourists for its close location to Kremlin & the Red Square as well as the impressive panorama over the downtown opening from the very top of the amphitheater. Here, at the end of the park near the open air cinema and the “soaring bridge” there is a little church surrounded by some benches. That is our spot. Once you sit down, you will have a premium view with no extra efforts over the Kremlevskaya embankment. Nobody can disturb you here, and you are also in a good position to spectate.
- You can also take a coffee here: “Zaryadye Gastronomic Сenter” – Varvarka str, 6
- Russian books that will perfectly match the experience: “Crime and punishment” by F. Dostoyevskiy; “War and peace” by L. Tolstoy; “A hero of our time” by M. Lermontov
BOLSHOY SPASOGLINISHCHEVSKIY PEREULOK NEAR KITAY-GOROD
This was a place where clay was mined in middle centuries. There is a small park here which was founded not so long ago. Around its territory, there is an ex-hospital, and some buildings in avant-garde style and the park itself is always filled with Russian youth that represents different subcultures: someone has lunch on the grass, someone plays the guitar, and others join them. This place is oversaturated with a very local authentic atmosphere that you will hardly find in the city center of Moscow. Do not rush to find a seat, take some time to observe first and then you will intuitively find a quiet stop somewhere in the amphitheater-like area further down the path. The vibe is too good, you feel serenity in your chest, and chances are you finish that book all at once.
- You can also take a coffee here: “Surf and Coffee” – Solyanka, 1/2
- Russian books that will perfectly match the experience: “Dr. Zhivago” by B. Pasternak; “Roadside picnic” by Strugackie”; “Dead souls” by N. Gogol
In case the night will still be young for you – having a nice aperitif in one of these bars may sound like a great option for you.
These insights were contributed by Alexey Rybin