Muzeon, Gorky Park & Sparrow HillsProbably the most pleasant and leafy route in the Russian capital, the track starting in Muzeon leads all the way to the end of Vorobyovy Gory (almost 10km). Cycle past the statue to Peter the Great and the New Tretyakov Gallery before entering the territory of Gorky Park. In Gorky Park, cycle along the embankment and take in some of the most spectacular views of the river, Christ the Savior Cathedral and the Ministry of Defence. Chain your bike up for a few minutes when you reach the pedestrian Andreevsky Bridge and go up it for some fantastic views of the city and Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills). Continue on the bike path and you will reach the Vorobyovy Gory area. From here you will get a spectacular view over Luzhniki Stadium. An even better vantage point is available from the top of Vorobyovy Gory but for that you will need to lock your bike up on the embankment and prepare yourself for a 15-minute uphill walk. It's well worth it though! If you reach the very end of the bike path, you’ll see the Moscow City business center shimmering beautifully in the distance. Even if you’re not the most enthusiastic cyclist, the trip there and back is not very straining because it’s mostly flat and there are many riverside cafes to sit down for a lemonade break.
Without too many photo stops, one-way this journey will take you about 35-45 minutes.
Sokolniki ParkLocated in central Moscow, Sokolniki Park is a historic public park with formal gardens and attractions. It is not at all far from the city center and is easily accessible by metro - you just need to get off at Sokolniki station on the red line. The park's current layout of clearings and alleys began under Tsar Peter the Great in 1900 when a "labyrinth", or network of alleys, was laid out. Today Sokolniki is a typical Russian park with recreational activities for people of all ages and a beautiful fountain on Fountain Square. In the warmer months, the central alleyways are a mass of brightly colored formal flowerbeds, while the depths of the park are a wilderness home to pines and spruces, birches and oaks, limes and maples - all trees native to the Moscow region - as well as a number of non-indigenous trees, such as larches, cedars, walnut, red oaks, etc. Most of the major alleys have a designated bike route so our advice would be to simply hop on your bike and explore all the corners of Sokolniki - and don't be afraid of getting a little lost!
Boulevard RingAlthough the Boulevard Ring doesn’t have very many specially designated bicycle lanes just yet, it’s possible to cycle all the way inside the leafy and green ring with plenty of charming squares, old houses and mansions along the way. Start at Christ the Savior Cathedral and continue on Gogolevsky Bulvar. You can take a quick detour down Bolshaya Nikitskaya (there’s a designated bike lane) to see the Red Square. Come back up Bolshaya Nikitskaya, turn onto Tvserskoy Bulvar and keep pedalling until you reach Pushkin Sqaure. After the obligatory photo of the statue of the great poet, continue on Strastnoy Bulvar with an optional little detour to have a relaxing break in Hermitage Gardens before pedalling up the steepest part of the Boulevard Ring – Petrovsky Bulvar. You will then reach Trubnaya Square so why not take a detour and discover the trendy Tsvetnoy Bulvar area? Follow Rozhdestvensky Bulvar which then turns into Sretensky Bulvar and then into Chistoprudny Bulvar. Chistye Prudy (Clean Ponds” is a beautiful little pond in the middle of the boulevard with a delightful café right on the water called Shater for you to take a break in. Before setting off, walk up to the Pokrovskie Vorota (Pokrovsky Gate), the home of the main characters from “Pokrovskie Vorota”, one of Soviet cinema’s most beloved comedies. While cycling on Pokrovsky Bulvar you’ll ride past Milyutinsky Garden, a small and cozy garden that used to be owned by the Land Surveying Office. And for the final stretch, ride down Yauzsky Bulvar and park your bike on Ustinsky Square or Ustinsky Gates (with the beautiful Peter & Paul Church in the middle) and walk right up to the Yauza River embankment with all its cute little bridges and a serene atmosphere. You can return to your starting point by cycling down the Moskvoretskaya Embankment, which then turns into the Kremlevskaya Embankment giving you the added bonus of cycling right past Moscow's most iconic sight - the Red Square, Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral. Alternatively, if you rent a city bike you have the option of returning it at one of the many rental points around the city center or you can rent an electric kick scooter, which is easy to transport on the metro.
Depending on the number of photo stops or lemonade breaks, one-way this route can take you anywhere between 2 and 3 hours.
Muzeon, Christ the Saviour, Red Square and Kitai Gorod routeIf you're really short on time but want to see the most interesting parts of Moscow's historic center, hop on your bike in Muzeon Park and cycle up the embankment until you hit Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge that takes you over the former Red October chocolate factory complex. From the bridge you will Christ the Saviour Cathedral on your left and the Red Square on your right. At the end of the bridge, you have the option of turning left on Volkhonka Street to get a good look at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral and perhaps even take a look inside (note that your legs should be covered from the knee upwards and women should cover their hair). Go around the cathedral, down onto Prechistenskaya Embankment, under the bridge and then turn left to get to Alexandrovsky Garden. This area is always pretty busy with tourists and locals alike so it would be wise to walk your bike around here rather than cycle. Take some time to explore the garden and then the Red Square and GUM. After you've passed all along GUM, hop back on your bike and peddle up Il'inka Street until you make it to Il'insky Square - and now you're in the heart of Kitai Gorod. The oldest streets of Kitai-Gorod - Nikolskaya, Ilyinka, Varvarka - were known as early as the 14th century. Continue up Maroseika Street which then turns into Pokrovka street, both beautiful renovated streets with lots of cafes and restaurants for when you want to take a little break. At the end of Pokrovka Street turn left on Chistoprudny Bulvar and finish your route at Chistye Prudy (Clean Ponds), a very leafy and scenic part of the city center.
Depending on the number of photo stops or lemonade breaks, one-way this route can take you anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. If you rent a city bike you have the option of returning it at one of the many rental points around the city center or you can rent an electric kick scooter, which is easy to transport on the metro.
Renting bikes in parksThe easiest way to rent a bike in one of the three above-mentioned parks is by renting from the park directly. In Muzeon, Gorky Park and Vorobyovy Gory there are several bike rental points and each one has bicycles for adults and children, including child seats, child bicycle trailer and baby carriages. Apart from bicycles you can also find run bikes for children, velomobiles, roller skates, longboards and kick scooters for children and adults. A normal adult bicycle will cost 200Rbl for the first hour and then 100Rbl for every subsequent hour. Note that you will need to leave a 1500Rbl and some form of ID as a deposit. Both cash and card payments are excepted; bike rental is open from 10am until 10pm.
In Sokolniki there are five rental points: the Main Alley, Mitkovsky Proezd, near the Siren' cafe, the Zolotoy Pond and the Putyaevskie Ponds. Renting an adult bike will cost 350Rbl per hour and like in Gorky Park, you will need to leave a cash and ID deposit. Children's bikes, kick scooters and multi-gear bikes are also available for hire.
Renting bikes in the cityThis year, the bike rental season in Moscow was launched on April 29 and is the fifth season in a row that bicycles are available for rent in the capital. Close to 3,200 bicycles can be rented at about 350 bike-share stations across the city - by 2019, the number of stations and bicycles is expected to reach 480 and 4,600, respectively! In addition, electric bikes have been available since last year. They can be rented at six stations near large residential areas, at the Moscow City business area and at the embankments.
Bicycles can be rented by Muscovites as well as visitors. Riders need to register either through the terminal at the bike-share station, or at the website www.velobike.ru or using a mobile app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. When registering, the user must indicate his first and last name, e-mail address and a mobile phone number to which an SMS will be sent with a login and password to access the service.
Renting a bike for 24 hours costs 150Rbl if you keep each ride under 30 minutes. Monthly rental comes out to 600Rbl and a season pass is 1200Rbl.
Other convenient rental points include Oliver Bikes (www.bikerentalmoscow.com)
on Pyatnitskaya Street (they also offer bike tours in English, Spanish and Russian), Electra at the main entrance to Muzeon Park (www.electrabike.ru/page/prokat-velosipedov-electra) and Bike Electro for a wide selection of electric bikes and scooters conveniently located on Frunzenskaya Embankment, just across the river from Gorky Park (www.bikelectro.ru). Bike Electro can also arrange group tours on electric kick scooters.