The All-Russia Exhibition Centre, also known as the VDNKh, is a national trading centre, amusement park and giant museum. It is also one of the largest exhibition and recreation complexes in the world.
Ekaterina Borodulina, a Muscovite who sees the centre as her backyard, will introduce you to some facts you won't learn on the official walking tour. She dug up her grandparents’ books and translated Russian webpages into English, and found out about the centre’s more obscure stories. You’ll discover details Muscovites don’t even know about. Hidden bunkers, Russian fairytales, and the story of a pavilion that hasn’t even been built yet – the VDNKh is an embodiment of the Soviet Union's grandiose ambitions.
Fontan Druzhba Narodov, The Stone Flower Fountain
Parking is in high demand there, so it's easier to use the Moscow subway. Get off at the VDNKh Station, about 20 minutes from the centre of Moscow. Once you've arrived, exit towards VDNKh. When you leave the station, turn left. You'll pass a giant obelisk topped by a rocket on your left and walk straight on until you reach the entrance arch. It takes 10-15 minutes by foot from the metro station to the VDNKh entrance. The main entrance address is Prospect Mira 121.
Places to stop along the way:
Oceanarium and the Green Theatre on the left-hand side of the Square of Industry.
The souvenir shop and restaurant at the entrance.
Best time of day:
Early morning, and ideally not on the weekend. It's definitely worth spending a whole day in the centre. Even in one day, it's extremely difficult see all the attractions. But it's also possible to make a quick visit if you have limited time.
Bring your ID card, cash and small change for the vending machines. Credit cards are not accepted everywhere. If you plan to rent a bicycle, scooter, balance bike, skateboard, velomobile, roller skates or winter skates, you'll need your ID.
Keep an eye on your belongings -- the place is crowded. Restaurants and cafes inside the centre are normally packed on weekends, so it can take time to get a seat. Also remember to dress comfortably, wear walking shoes, bring a bottle of water and -- most importantly -- enjoy yourself!
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