"VDNH" - the All-Russia Exhibition Centre.

If Moscow seems a bit crowded and you just need to take a break - visit "VDNH"! It used to be the exhibition ground where people could see the outstanding achievements of Soviet economy. These days, it's a public place called "VVC".

Once inside, you'll be amazed by the size of this thing. It's at least several kilometers long and a couple wide, so you'd better have some free time!

You'll walk by fountains, retro-styled pavilions, stunning flowerbeds, and even statue of Lenin! There's enough space for everyone, which is great if you're tired of crowds.

VDNH Fountain of Friendship of the Nations. Courtesy of Svonog at Flickr.com

Fountain of Friendship of the Nations.

Consider taking a photo of pavilions. They have that imperial, "Soviet" look and will make a great exhibits of your photo collection.

I know that for sure, because once I took my foreign friends to "VDNH" and there was no way to get them out until they pictured every piece of architecture they could find!

It took us ages to finish the tour, but I can't blame them. After all, it's hard to find a better souvenir than a picture of real Stalin-era building!

Stalin's Wheat on VDNH

That's a darn big plant!

There are lots of shops inside the pavilions selling almost everything. You can buy some great souvenirs in #64 ("Optics"), so make sure you pay it a visit!

Come in summer, when the weather is warm and sunny. This is the time when you can enjoy outstanding flower exhibitions. The best way to do it is from the giant Ferris wheel - I'd say it's the tallest one in Russia!

Cosmos hotel is just across. You'll even see it from your cabin once you're high enough!

VDNH flowes from waaaay above.

What a view!

I remember the World War II exhibition, where one of the flowerbeds was picturing a strategic map!

It was so well-done I couldn't believe it was made of flowers! A pity I didn't take a photo of that "map", but have a look below.

VDNH Flower composition. Courtesy of Alan Cordova at Flickr.com

Flower power!

This was just one of the many compositions we stumbled upon that day, so if you hit "VDNH" at the right time - expect to see much more!

Don't pass by the "Fountain of the Friendship of Nations". Enjoy the sparkling water bursting out of 16 golden statues that represented Soviet republics.

It's best to see this fountain during the summer, when it's on. But even if you come some other time of the year - it's still a great place to take a photo!

If you continue straight up from the fountain, pass the statue of Lenin and pavilion behind it, you will eventually see the full-scale model of space rocket! Now isn't it nice?

VDNH Rocket. Courtesy of Alan Trotter at Flickr.com

Space. The final frontier...

There used to be couple of old Soviet jets as well, but they were taken down recently. A shame. You could even get inside!

If the Ferris wheel is too boring, why don't you ride a breathtaking roller coaster? There're plenty of them around in case you need a dose of adrenaline!

Got hungry? There's "McDonalds" restaurant near the main entrance and many small cafes inside. The choice is yours!

Even if you put aside the buildings and monuments, "VDNH" is a great strolling place which helps you escape the stress and congestion of big city, enjoy great views, and get back to your hotel refreshed and ready for the next day!

Click here to visit my newer post about VDNKh

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