Moscow is a beautiful place in the summer. It’s a city full of parks of all shapes and sizes to suit any taste. If you and your sweetheart are avid cyclists, take them to Tsaritisyno for a cycling trip. Moscow has a very convenient bike rental system in place, so renting a bike will not only be cheap but also easy. Tsaritsyno is a very scenic place. The residence of Catherine the Great built in the park (and not finished within her lifetime) is the only example of Russian Gothic in Europe. It is a perfect place for a romantic, yet cheap date.
Dolskaya Ulitsa 1, Moscow, Russia. +7 499 725 72 87
VDNKh, or the Soviet exhibition centre, is one of the most unusual places in Moscow. It was designed to impress and to showcase the achievements of each of the Soviet republics. It is a prime example of socialist realism in architecture and it is a truly impressive place to go to, especially on a sunny day, when the gold-covered elements sparkle with light. There are plenty of museums here now, and in winter the central part of the park turns into the biggest ice-skating rink in the whole of Moscow. It’s a truly unique place for a date on a budget.
Prospekt Mira 119, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 544 34 00
Sokolniki is a park in the north-east of the city. It is a splendid place to go for walk or to have a picnic since it is full of green, unaltered areas. Some parts of Sokolniki feel more like a forest than a park. It’s sometimes hard to believe that you’re still within the city, just a short walk away from the nearest metro station. Be romantic, make some finger food and picnic away!
Sokolnicheskiy Val 1, Moscow, Russia, +7 499 393 92 22
If you and your sweetheart are into morbid historical trivia, go to Lenin’s mausoleum in the Red Square. You need to go there fairly early in the morning and you might end up waiting in a rather long queue but it’s worth it! The admission is free and seeing preserved Lenin’s corpse together is a story you will definitely tell your grandchildren.
Red Square, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 623 55 27
Moscow is one of the oldest cities in Russia, and Kitay Gorod is one of its oldest parts. It’s full of old churches, parks and cosy cafes. Kitay Gorod is a wonderful location for a long, romantic stroll followed by some delicious ice cream in a park.
There are seven Stalinist-realist towers overlooking Moscow: the visible testimony to the country’s difficult past. Despite their historic origins, they serve very mundane purposes, and are home to offices, shops, and libraries. One of them is also the home of one of the city’s most magical independent cinemas: Illusion. They don’t screen blockbusters, they don’t sell popcorn and there is live piano music half an hour before every screening. It doesn’t get much more romantic than this.
Kotelnicheskaya embankment 1/15, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 915 43 53
There is a very special shop in Moscow, ironically located right in front of the forever-headquarters of Russian and Soviet secret police, the predecessors of Federal Security Bureau which now occupies the building. It’s called The Central Children’s Store and very likely it is the most magical place you have ever been to. Get lost in Nutcracker-like interiors, check out the most impressive Lego sculptures and see a puppet-theatre performance in the main hall. And make out where nobody can see you – you’re on a date after all!
Teatralnyi Proezd 5/1, Moscow, Russia, +7 495 777 80 77
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The construction of the Moscow metro started in the 1930s and it was initially designed to impress passengers as much as to transport them. It has since undergone some thoroughly mundane phases, only to reach a new decorative stage in the recent decades. If the day is gloomy and you don’t feel like being outside, check out the history of Russia as inscribed on the walls of the 206 Moscow metro stations.
The idea of an anti-cafe is a rebelliously brilliant and a thoroughly Russian concept. Anti-cafes are establishments where you pay for the time spent there while you can consume all the tea, coffee and biscuits you can fit in. They are also very special community spaces: you can join any of the events organised there, play an instrument or chat to anybody who doesn’t seem too occupied with anything else. Whether you want to play the piano for your sweetheart, play some board games with them or just hang out with the locals, anti-cafes are the place to go.