Sunsets, music and fun: Where to love life in Moscow this summer

TASS/Pavel Golovkin
Until a few summers ago Moscow made no use of its stunning river views, colorful sunsets and pleasant temperatures. Roof top bars were unheard of, the nascent music festival scene took place mostly indoors and spending time outdoors was limited to strolls in the park or going to dacha paradise.

Thankfully, the Western trend of making the most out of the urban outdoors has caught on and, as Bismarck’s famous saying goes, “the Russians harness their horses slowly but they drive them fast.”  Now Muscovites are spoiled for choice. We present to you the coolest, hippest and generally most awesome events and places for you to live, love and play this summer in Moscow.

Moscow’s coolest outdoor and rooftop clubs

Photo credit: TASS/Sergei Bobulev
One of the first places to embrace the outdoors and greet the sunset and sunrise was Krysha Mira (Roof the World), cast under a white-tented rooftop overlooking the river and Moscow skyline. Located atop an industrial complex complete with dodgy arrivals area, it is actually one of the most exclusive nightclubs in the capital, attracting the crème de la crème of Moscow’s socialites for DJ-fueled dance parties and summer events at its large outdoor summer terrace.

Head to the Krasny Oktyabr (Red October) complex in the middle of Moscow River, dotted with a wide selection of hip bars and restaurants that make for a perfect spot to sip on cocktails and enjoy breath-taking views over the river and Moscow’s most iconic sites – Christ the Savior Cathedral – while DJs spin very low key electronica on select evenings.

Photo credit: TASS/Sergei Bobulev
One of the most beloved clubs on the island – or indeed in the whole of Moscow - is Gipsy. After undergoing renovation, the club opened its doors in mid-April and is bigger, better and more banging. The A-List’s bar du jour is a guarantee of quality DJs, crowd and atmosphere until the wee hours. The incredible views the terrace offers over the river and the Peter the Great statue make the struggle with face control worth it.

Old favorites for that sunset mojito are Strelka, Joy’s Bar, Reka and Bon Tempi but it’s also worth taking the time to explore the complex because new gems pop up all the time.

Photo credit: Lori/Vostock-Photo
Rodnya club, a loft-like space in the Artplay complex near Moscow’s Kurskaya railway station, boasts a very cool rooftop terrace with views over industrial Moscow and invites local and international DJs to spin underground electronica for that edgy, younger feel. The area surrounding Rodnya is full of quirky, artsy shops, cafes, galleries and creative businesses.


International Usadba Jazz Festival (June 20-21)

Photo credit: TASS/Svetlana Bobrova
Usadba Jazz Festival is the biggest Russian open-air festival that has joint jazz, funk, world music, acid-jazz, lounge, jazz-rock, blues and other directions of contemporary improvised music. Ever since its debut in 2004, the beauty and splendor of the Arkhangelskoe Estate, a true masterpiece of Russian architecture of the 18th century, played venue to the festival. This year the venue will be changing. We’re not going to use the word “unfortunately” here because the venue is the no less impressive or atmospheric Tsaritsyno Estate closer to Moscow’s center.

Apart from music, fairs, quality gastronomy and grandiose fireworks truly make it an event for everyone.

Park Live Festival (June 19) and after party (June 20)

Photo credit: RIA Novosti/Vladimir Astapkovich
Tailored more to the rock and metal crowd, this festival hit the scene with a bang back in 2013. Held under the open stars at Moscow’s iconic All-Russia Exhibition Center for the first two years, it attracted headliners like Limp Bizkit, the Killers, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy and Deftones, among others.

This year the festival decided to spread its wings beyond the All-Russia Exhibition Center to the new Otkrytye Arena where English rock legends Muse are set to tear the roof up (if the stadium had a roof, that is) together with Incubus. So where’s that lovely outdoor action, you ask? Well, this year Park Live will host its after-party in Gorky Park. We’d be lying if we said we could contain our excitement when we learned that the amazing atmosphere of the park would be made even better by the performance one of Norway’s finest electronic outfits – Royksopp! DJ Olof (The Knife), Sister Bliss DJ Set (Faithless), Volga and DJ Robin Axford will continue the night.

Etnomir (events all throughout the summer)

Photo credit: TASS/Sergei Bobulev
Get in touch with your inner hippy and become one with yourself, others and nature at ETNOMIR - the largest Russian Ethnographic Park just 110km out of Moscow. Although the park is open all year around, the best time to visit is, of course, summer. Events like “Fiesta Latina”, “Festival of the Sun” and many other gastronomical and cultural events are best enjoyed out in the open – under the shining sun or glaring stars. 

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