Six Great Things to do in Moscow this Summer

19 July 2013

Dasha Zukhova's Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture

Dasha Zukhova’s Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture


Ride a bicycle in Gorky Park. It is vast, green and completely revamped now and you’ll meet plenty of nice people skating, roller-blading, playing table tennis or just sipping drinks on terraces, painting en plein air or cycling like you.

In the depths of the park, discover the stylish and oh-so-now Garage Center for Contemporary Culture founded by Dasha Zhukova. Its bookshop and café are a must and it also has a wonderful list of activities for kids.

Go to Strelka in the Red October district. This hip area is on an island in the very centre of Moscow, almost facing the Kremlin and Christ the Savior Cathedral with a vast choice of places to eat, drink or dance. It also has interesting photographic galleries and enticing showrooms to browse.

I personally love Bontempi restaurant. Some years ago I was lucky to have its chef and founder Valentino Bontempi as the chef for my birthday party. Go for the vitello tonnato and the zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella. His cuisine is like him: full of heart and authenticity.

Otherwise you can choose between Strelka Bar, Gipsy, Belka or the new Chateau de Fantomas.

Eat an ice-cream in GUM. Yes, it is a cliché but it’s such an old one that it’s almost new. In GUM besides its view of the Red Square and boutiques where summer sales are making shopping bearable, you have the GUM cinema, so cozy and velvety red, and the newly-relocated Pobeda Gallery with its photo exhibitions, currently Small Is Beautiful, miniatures by Alexandra Catiere, Jefferson Hayman and others, until end August.


stenmark blog ice cream

Go dancing at Simachev Bar or the just-opened FF Restaurant & Bar. Both are the brainchild of the same person – Ilya Likhtenfeld. And if Simachev (named after Russian designer Denis Simachev whose boutique is located on the top floor) is already an institution in the night life of Moscow, FF Restaurant & Bar has great potential to do the same. So come and bring part of yours to the style of this place.

Go walking and shopping in the place around Patriarchy Ponds. I would name Beryozka boutique for its choice of costume jewelry, Five Kids for the selection of children’s wear and Katya Dobryakova boutique for her funny t-shirts with Putin graphics.

Visit the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum.

During the summer the Pushkin is hosting two beautiful exhibitions:
Pre- Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde and Titian, from Museums to Italy
Controversy or Classicism: The Pushkin Museum is in the news at the moment due to the (forced?) departure of its Director, Irina Antonova who has ruled the Museum since 1961. Well, she’s not going far. She is set to become the Museum’s President. Though it’s the end of an era, the new Director, Marina Loshak who is a gallerist and contemporary art specialist will surely bring her vision splendid to this icon of the art world in Moscow.

Spending time in the Russian capital this summer? What do you have planned?

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