Moscow: 10 Things to Do

7. Gorky Park

Visitors roller skate at Moscow Sergei Vasilyev / ITAR-TASS / Landov
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It's not just where Martin Cruz Smith set his novel — which everyone around here knows and finds very funny. It's also a great spot to get an ice cream cone, take a walk along the Moscow River, and watch the locals at play — having a picnic, drinking, drinking some more, singing and cavorting. Make a point of entering the park at the Park Kultury metro station. You can't miss it: There's a huge, Brandenburg Gate–style structure that sits outside the entrance. Proceed toward the river, skip the Ferris Wheel, continue parallel to the river all the way to the Uzbek restaurant Chihana, where it would be very wise to get one of their specially prepared lamb dishes, a glass or two of red wine and green tea. Outside seating is available, or patrons can stretch out with a large pipe, or houka, in a darkened indoor lounge that feels more Central Asian than European. (It's a five-minute walk to Chihana from the Park Kultury metro; ask someone for directions toward the Neskuchny Sad bridge. The restaurant is near the rear entrance of Gorky Park and the lovely Neskuchny Sad garden.) After your meal, follow the path out of the park to the yellow and blue pedestrian bridge that spans the river; some of the best views of the city can be found here.

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