20 Jul Nikola-Lenivets: experience the creative side of Russia
Nikola-Lenivets is nothing you’d normally associated with Russian art and landscape. If you think about Russian architecture, you probably imagine iconic churches with golden roofs on one hand and grey soviet buildings on the other. Hardly anyone realises how creative Russians are, and thanks to many young artists, Russian landscape becomes colourful and unusual. Nikola-Lenivets is one of the best examples, which shows the modern, fun and experimental side of this country.
What is Nikola-Lenivets?
“Nikola-Lenivets’s mission is to create a natural self-regulated environment for life, recreation, art and work in harmony with nature.”
This art-park is located 200 kilometers away from Moscow, in Kaluga region. A part of the territory belongs to Ugra National Park, which is a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
On the territory of 650 hectares, you will find almost 40 fascinating art-objects (created by leading Russian and international artists), stunning landscapes, as well as all of the necessary infrastructure for recreation: different type of accommodation, public spaces, cafes, etc.
What can you do there?
First of all, you go to Nikola-Lenivets to have fun and enjoy its unusual, mind-blowing scenery. All the objects and installations are located relevantly far from each other, so in order to see all of them, we recommend renting a bike. Or even better – going for a guided bike excursion, during which you will learn much more about the whole place, and actually understand what’s going on there:). We tried excursion ourselves – Anton was a great guide, fun, relaxed and happy to answer all our questions.
Nikola-Lenivets is worth visiting especially during the ARCHSTOYANIE festival, which is arranged around three main themes: architecture, music and performance. This July, it will be held for the 8th time already, attracting around 6000 guests from Russia and abroad.
Except the festival, there are several other events happening in Nikola-Lenivets during the summer season, from design and electro music to harvesting. Check their program for details.
How to get there?
The easiest way is to reach Nikola-Lenivets by car. In case you don’t have one, you can take a bus from Tyoply Stan metro station to Kondrovo, or elektrichka (fast suburban train) from Kiyevsky railway station to stations Obninsk, Maloyaroslavets, Tikhonova Pustyn’ or Kaluga-1, and then drive to Nikola-Lenivets by taxi. You may also check car sharing websites, like BlaBlaCar.
Where to eat?
If your budget is limited or you simply enjoy picnics, bring your own food and drinks. If you don’t have a grill, you will be able to use one of the fireplaces located on site. You can also visit their lovely cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for a reasonable price.
Or, visit a farm, which during the day offers homestyle food served with veggies directly from the garden and transforms into a bar in the evenings. Although it’s a bit chaotic, its atmosphere is worth a try.
Where to sleep?
There are a few options. The simplest and cheapest is to come with your own tent. You can also rent a spacious, comfortable on-site tent (with mattress, sleeping bag and towel included), stay in a hostel or rent one of the cute cottages. There’s a good infrastructure on the camping site with relevantly clean toilets and showers with hot water (but no soap anywhere, so don’t forget yours). No matter where you sleep, be prepared for cold nights – the temperature can go drop rapidly, even if it’s really hot during the day. Accommodation can be easily booked on their website.