As the sweltering heat of the Moscow summer settles in, city-dwellers dream of cool oases from their packed metro carriages. Fortunately, the beach is closer than you might think. Here's where you can get out, top up your tans and cool off with a dip this summer.
This small beach is situated in the grounds of Troparyovsky Forest Park and is a favorite among locals. It is an ideal place to have a swim and relax in the southwest of the city. Troparyovsky is a popular haunt for Moscow's younger crowd as visitors can rent catamarans, boats, bicycles and rollerskates for a modest sum. The more adventurous — or those curious to know what a hamster feels like — can try their hand at water sorbing on the lake. Free Wi-Fi, a sports field and a children's play area add to the charm. While it doesn't have the flashy facilities of a proper beach resort , it's the ideal place for a relaxed day with the family. There is a car park just next to Ulitsa Akademika Vinogradova if you're coming by car or it's a brief walk from the nearest metro.
Tyoply Stan metro station
A green oasis beyond the center
Situated on a curve of the Moscow River, Serebryany Bor is a popular retreat for sun-seeking Muscovites. This island of natural beauty offers a wide range of activities and a great chance to observe Russians in full holiday swing. Serebryany Bor boasts three beaches, which become awash with bare flesh during the hot summer months. Beach No. 2 is ideal for families thanks to its plethora of child-friendly activities in its "kids' space," which features swings, trampolines and assault courses. There are swimming pools, volleyball courts and it's even possible to rent boats if you're hankering to set sail on the Moscow River. The area boasts a good selection of restaurants and cafes as well as several picnicking pavilions for those on a budget. Over the summer months there will be plenty of evening concerts and comedy nights to keep night owls entertained. The best part? Entrance is completely free and you can get there within 30 minutes of leaving the center.
Tram No. 28 from Shchukinskaya metro station, or any bus (except No. 43) from
Polezhayevskaya metro station
Water sports, cocktail bars and foam
Relax with the rich and the beautiful in one of the city's most prestigious regions at Rublyovo beach. From wakeboarding to beach games and even the occasional foam party, there's something for everyone to enjoy at this upscale resort. Little ones can play for hours in a special children's area featuring an impressive waterfall. Meanwhile, most Saturdays during the summer the club hosts late night beach parties for its youthful revelers — check the VKontakte page for full details. It's not quite St. Tropez, but the water is clean, the sand is silky and there are plenty of beach chairs for whiling away the day with a good book. Take a dip and then kick back on a shady veranda with an Aperol spritz. Entrance costs 200 rubles.
1 Myakininskoye Shosse
Bus No. 129 or marshrutka No. 159 from Molodyozhnaya metro station
Out of town nature spot
This picturesque beach is located on the edge of a forest to the east of Moscow. Translated into English, its name means "black lake" — which admittedly sounds more like a trashy horror film than an inviting beach resort. But do not be put off. Despite its murky appearance — caused by peat at the bottom of the lake — the water is incredibly clean and perfect for a summertime swim. The "back to basics" ethos means there are none of the cafes, boats for rent, or other amenities that the more upscale beach clubs offer — but there are none of the flashy loud guests either. Once you are settled on your beach towel, it will feel like a sanctuary of calm, far from the bustling streets of the city. A play area and lifeguards mean you don't need to worry if you bring children, and the small beach is free to all visitors. What it may lack in infrastructure, it certainly makes up for in charm. We can't think of a more tranquil environment to have a picnic and a swim this summer.
Ulitsa Chyornoye Ozero
Bus No. 602 from Vykhino metro station
Royal Bar Beach Club
Swanky, sophisticated and exclusive
If you're looking to really treat yourself this summer or you've had a stressful week at work and fancy being pampered, head down the luxury Royal Bar Beach Club, situated off Leningradskoye Shosse. The services match those of the best resorts in the world — the pools are heated, there are VIP areas, and the frequently renewed sand is kept as white as the beaches in the Caribbean. Try your hand at waterskiing then relax on a sun bed before dining at the on-site Japanese or Italian restaurant. If you are looking to really indulge yourself you can even rent a room for the night and enjoy a tranquil sunrise swim before the crowds arrive. For those who happen to own a boat — a Muscovite can dream — full mooring facilities are provided. At 1,000 rubles for the day it is much pricier than your average Moscow beach — but you get what you pay for.
39 Leningradskoye Shosse, Bldg. 23
Vodny Stadion metro station
Bolshoi Gorodskoi Prud
Loved by the locals
This beach and pond is one of Moscow's most popular due to its size, location and pristine condition. Situated to the west of Moscow, entrance is free and even on the hottest summer days there is space on the sand to pitch your parasol. The biggest reservoir in Zelenograd, it will take you around an hour to reach by bus from Rechnoi Vokzal. As well as swimming and sunbathing, you can play volleyball, air hockey, ping-pong, billiards and even rent a boat and explore the full length of the pond. The area is great for families as there is a special children's zone with aquatic attractions, including water slides. Located in the grounds of a large, leafy park, you could easily spend an entire day basking in the sun, walking through the tree-lined avenues and enjoying the beautiful fountains as you picnic after your swim.
Bus No. 476 from Rechnoi Vokzal