The Golden Ring is a popular destination that is really worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. It is a tourist route that passes through the ancient cities of North-Eastern Russia. There are lots of unique monuments of Russian history and culture and centers of folk crafts. In various sources the of the cities of the Golden Ring vary. However, traditionally it includes 8 towns:
1. Rostov the Great
A small town in Yaroslavl Oblast and one of the oldest towns in Russia that was founded in 862. Now it is an architectural open-air museum full of historical monuments and super old buildings. A trip to Rostov is a real time machine. The mirror of Lake Nero, strict and elegant monasteries, quiet streets and the majestic Kremlin give a from the hustle and bustle;
The sparkling diamond northeast of Moscow that is called the soul and the heart of the Golden Ring and is full of historical wooden houses. Here unique monuments combine with natural splendor. The landscape characteristic of Suzdal is the white-stone Kremlin walls along the banks of the river and the domes of churches glittering in the sun;
The city on the left bank of Klyazma River with adorable buildings serving from the early 12th century. Three landmarks there are in the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Assumption Cathedral, the Dmitrievsky Cathedral and the Golden Gate;
One of the oldest cities in Russia that was founded in 1010 and became the first Christian city on the Volga River. It is the center of Russian merchants and just a very beautiful city with more than 800 monuments of architecture.
5. Sergiev Posad
Known as the heart of Russian Orthodoxy, it has lots to offer, including one of the largest monasteries in the world called the Trinity Lavra of Saint Sergius as well as many old churches and cathedrals. The ensemble of the monastery includes more than 50 buildings for various purposes;
A city where the past (both Imperial and Soviet) can coexist and look amazingly interesting altogether (but the main tourist attractions still date back to Medieval Ages, including Monastery of Saint Ipaty and the local wooden architecture);
Ivanovo is also known as The City of Brides due to the local textile industry that brought hundreds of thousands women to this place, is also famous for its Medieval architecture, monasteries and the museum of chintz;
A town only 140 km from Moscow that was founded in 1152 that is famous for its monasteries and also for its location on Lake Plesheevo, where Peter the Great built his toy fleet in 1688. This is a cozy and clean Russian town with beautiful landscapes, ancient Orthodox churches and old houses along the main streets.
Things to do on the Golden Ring route.
In one of the latest posts we listed the towns that for a Golden Ring route (they might be added either to your Moscow part trip or the one with St.Petersburg).
What no to miss in these towns:
- see wooden craved windows (in every old part of the towns)
- try local drink medovukha (Suzdal)
- go into an old orthodox church (any of the towns)
- check wooden architecture (Suzdal outdoor museum)
- take a horse carriage ride (Yaroslavl, Suzdal and others)
- take a boat (almost in every town)
- check Church of the Intercession on the Nerl River chuch at dawn (Vladimir)
- listen to the church bell melody
- enjoy the view from the observation deck in Vladimir
- try pirozhki and blini (pancakes) with local berries
- experience banya (Russian sauna)