The Silvery Islet (Serebryanny Bor) -- This unusual island in northwest Moscow is a surprising refuge of oak-lined paths, silky dunes, and even beaches. It's well upstream from the factories and other pollutants that make the Moscow River so murky in the center of town. The island's relatively clean air and parkland, and its proximity to the Kremlin, made it a prime spot for dachas (country cottages and gardens) for the Soviet elite, and its well-protected cottages are still prized real estate. Several small beaches line the two shores, some more secluded than others, including sections preferred by nudists and gays. Water equipment such as pedal boats and canoes are available for rent, beach volleyball games are common, and a few rides have been set up for children. On hot summer weekends the island gets crowded, but summer weekdays, or pleasant weekends in spring or autumn, are great times to enjoy a break from traffic-clogged streets and watch Muscovites unwind.

To get to the island, take the metro to Polezhayevskaya; then take trolley bus no. 20, 21, or 65 to the last stop, on the island. A taxi ride from downtown Moscow takes about 15 minutes, except during rush hour.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.