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Located on parklands overlooking the Moskva River, Kolomenskoye is an open-air museum that brims with architectural gems. Just south of Moscow, the 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site once served as a summer residence for the Grand Dukes of Moscow and Russian Tsars.
With more than 600 acres (250 hectares) and 17 different monuments—including churches, royal palaces, and pavilions—Kolomenskoye is a great choice of day trip from Moscow. Though you could easily spend the whole day exploring, it’s possible to take in the highlights on a half-day tour. Each monument is preserved as a museum, so visiting with a guide provides insight into the complex’s royal history and unique wooden architecture, some of the last remaining in Russia.
Highlights of the complex include the reconstructed Palace of the Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, the 16th-century Church of the Ascension, the George Bell Tower, the Vodovzvodnaya Tower, and the 19th-century Hunting Pavilion.
Electric carts andtroika (horse-drawn carriage) rides offer an alternative to walking around the park.
Admission to the park is free, however admission fees apply to the various museums.
There are restrooms, gift shops, and cafés near the main attractions of the park.
The park and many of the museums are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
Kolomenskaya is located about seven miles (11 kilometers) south of downtown Moscow. The closest metro station is Kolomenskaya, from where it’s a 10-minute walk to the park—you can enter from Bolshaya street or Andropova Avenue. Most tours from Moscow include hotel pickup and transfers to the park, a 25-minute journey.
Kolomenskaya park is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8am-9pm. Museums typically open from 10am to 6pm, though times can vary throughout the year so it’s best to check ahead. Summertime—when you can take a boat cruise along the river and picnic in the park—is the most popular time to visit, while spring sees the park’s cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
Once you’ve admired St. Basil’s Cathedral and visited the Kremlin, escape the city for a day trip to one of the historic monuments or towns surrounding Moscow. Along with Kolomenskaya, popular destinations include Sergiev Posa, home to the Trinity Lavra Monastery; the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Vladimir and Suzdal, both part of Russia’s Golden Ring; and the 19th-century Abramtsevo Estate. There’s also the medieval town of Kolomna; Losiny Ostrov National Park, where you can hike or cycle; and Lenin’s former home at Gorki Leninskiye.