Weekend Route: Moscow to Nokola-Lenivets – Weekend in the countryside
This is my second post of the series on how to spend a weekend or a day in the Moscow region. In this post I am going to tell you about “Nikola-Lenivets”, the largest art park in Europe, which is situated around two hundred kilometers away from Moscow.
1. “Bobur” 2. “Universal Mind” 3. “Lighthouse” 4. Trinity Church 5. “Brodsky Rotunda” 6. Cafe “Ugra”
How to get to Nikola Lenivets
By car along the Kaluzhskoye highway, turn right to Medyn, then follow the arrows.
By suburban train from Kiyevsky railway station to Kaluga city, from there – 80 km by taxi (the usual price is 1,500 rubles). Travel time is about one and a half hours.
By bus from the metro station “Teply Stan”. Take a bus “Moscow – Kondrovo” (daily at 14:30 and 15:30), then take a taxi to the village of Nikola-Lenivets. By bus you can return to Moscow at 06:30 am the next day.
The trip in numbers
250 rubles is the ticket price to enter the park
600 hectares of fields and forests are in the Art Park
22 meters – the height of the largest art object in the park
220 kilometers from the Moscow to Nikola-Lenivets
80 kilometers from Kaluga to Nikola-Lenivets
300 rubles – the price of the most expensive meal in cafe “Ugra”
500 rubles – the price of three hours bike rental in the park
Nikola Lenivets Art Park
The park occupies an impressive area – 600 hectares of fields and forests. There you will see famous architectural and sculptural art objects. The main material for the objects created in Nikola-Lenivets Park is wood. For that reason even the craziest of the art works blend with the surroundings of the nature. The newest ones look like something that was created in cooperation of ancient people and aliens (I mean they really look crazy).
The biggest art objects are located at the fields near the Ugra river banks. The smaller ones you can find in the woods. I recommend you to use a detailed map, which you can take from the information desk.
The park is maintained with the personal money of a billionaire Maxim Nogotkov. He is a founder of Svyaznoy chain of network and mobile stores (they have shops all around Russai). While the art objects are created by an artist Nikolai Polissky and his friends and colleagues with the help of residents of the surrounding settlements.
In addition Nikola-Lenivets area offers its guests housing, food and tries to make the time there comfortable in general.
One of the objects that cannot be missed in the park is Brodsky Rotunda. A snow-white wooden two-storey circular structure with many doors. It stands alone in a clean field at a distance from the road. The project of the architect Alexander Brodsky received the ArchaWood award of 2010 as “the best object made of wood.”
The 22-meters tall “Bobur” tower was presented to the park in July 2013. It is made of metal tubes, each one is wrapped in birch bark, which makes the structure look lightweight and twisted. It has an observation platform at the top.
The oldest of the permanent objects of the exhibition is “Mayak” (Lighthouse). Made from elm trunks, the 12-meter-high construction (there is also a viewing platform on the top of it). And the most awkward thing is that literally a couple of hundred meters from this crazy object you will see a 211-year-old Trinity Church.
The Trinity church now is inactive and honestly I think it is the only “normal” thing in the area.
Probably the most bizarre among dozens of park objects is “Universal Mind”. It is a huge creation of curved wooden beams with mirror plates on them. It really reminds a brain.
Festivals Season in Nikola Lenivets
During the festivals the biggest objects become a center of all kinds of performances and night light shows. However, it is a special pleasure to walk around the Nikola-Lenivets on a non-festival, uncrowded day. In addition, you can swim in the Ugra river.
The journey from one end of the park to the other without stopping takes about an hour.
Bicycle rental: 500 rubles for three hours or 1,500 rubles per day. At the reception you can sign up for a morning bike tour – you only have to pay for renting a bicycle.
There is a souvenir shop and among the popular products they sell – insect spray. Trust me you better buy one for yourself.
Food – Where to eat
The most civilized eating place in the art park is the summer cafe Ugra. The veranda is located right by the water of the square pond, a few steps from the campsite. In the menu nothing is more expensive than 300 rubles. The cafe is open three days a week, from Friday to Sunday.
During the festivals in the park, a food court also there. There you can choose food for almost any taste, from a kilogram of fresh vegetables (50 rubles) to a duck breast with an orange (450 rubles). The prices there might vary a lot.
Sleeping – Where to spend a night
Right behind the parking there is a tent camp capable of receiving several thousands of people. There you can put up your own tent for 600 rubles per day and use the shower and toilet for free.
Booking.com has some options available to stay in Nikola Lenivets.
Also there the park itself has villa kind of houses available for rent. The prices start from 2500 per room for two people.
Children – What to do if you travel with kids
Children really fall in love with the park itself. They think of the art objects as they were huge toys. The big towers don’t attract them much but the two-meter-high beasts and alien things get a lot of attention from kids.
Summer 2019 in Nikola Lenivets – Events and Festivals
26-28th of July Arkhstoyaniye
Highly recommend you to visit the official website if you are planning to go there.
I wanted to visit the park for a long time and as soon as I got a company we went there together. The park is great for taking pictures. The food was good too. Unfortunately we didn’t stay there for 2 days but in my opinion if you enjoy slow and peaceful vacations in a countryside then try to plan and spend there 2 days.
If you want to explore Moscow area more I recommend you to go to Sergiev Posad.
You are still planning your trip to Russia? Read about the best time to visit Russia.