What is the Golden Ring: Cities and Monasteries
The gold ring is an area that is close to the city of Moscow, which consists of 10 cities. These cities are noted for their historical and cultural monuments and close to each other, located northeast of Moscow. Starting from right to left, and starting from the capital Moscow, is Sergiev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov Veliky and Yaroslav, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal and Vladimir. In 2015, the city of Kasimov joined the gold circuit and in 2016 the city of Kaluga did the same.
Sergiev Posad, is the starting point for excursions in the gold ring, is located at a distance of 52 km from Moscow and is the most distant point of the tourist “oval”, meanwhile Kostroma, is 306 km from Moscow .
Along with the classic route, of which the main cities to visit are Suzdal, Vladimir and Sergiev Posad can also be extended, according to taste and availability and many other variables, visits to other cities that are not included in the circuit, which By the way, they are no less remarkable in terms of landscapes, traditions and culture: Kalyazin, Moore, Ples, Rybinsk, Uglich, Gus-Crystal, Palekh, Alexandrov and many more.
Although they are a little further from the main cities, in the central regions of Russia there is always something to see and this atmosphere and spirit of these settlements fit perfectly within the framework of the Golden Ring: cozy cities always adorned by domes that shine under the sun and surrounded by magnificent landscapes.
Golden Ring Routes
The options for excursions in the gold ring, there are in a large number. In addition to the classic ones mentioned above, the extended route around the Yaroslav region is popular with visitors from the Uglich, Myshkin, Rybinsk and Tutaev regions. Its total length is about 1000 km.
You can make this trip around the Golden Ring not only in a circle, but also radially: for example, start from Rostov Veliky to Borisoglebsky Monastery, from Yaroslavl to Tutaev, from Kostroma to Plyos and Shchelykovo, from Ivanovo to Shuya and then visit the samples of folk crafts in Palekh, Kholui and Mstera. In most cases, these mini programs include visits to only 4-7 cities.
According to the duration of the trip, they can be calculated for between two and three days (weekend tours) or for those from 9 to 10 days if you want to make a complete trip and get to know in depth the main cities and surroundings. The most popular options are 2 to 5 days, although there are also many people who like to make many longer and more detailed visits, especially in the summer.
With what transport go
The most convenient way to get around the gold ring is an organized excursion. Despite the inevitable long duration of this tour, the advantages of this option are obvious: “all-inclusive” transfers, meals, visits, guides in the language itself may be available.
Travelers on their own should focus on personal transportation or intercity buses. The railway is one of the most appropriate means of transport most suitable for individual visits not only for the cities of the Golden Ring but for a large part and Russia, since it only connects regional centers (which is convenient, for example, for Yaroslavl or Vladimir). It should be taken into account that in many small places, the station is tens of kilometers away from tourist places. Another option to quickly reach the opposite side of the “ring” is by plane: for example, flights to Kostroma from Domodedovo airport in Moscow, has a frequency of twice a week. Travel time is less than 1.5 hours.
What cities of the Golden Ring can be visited
Not all the cities of the Golden Ring are located on the banks of navigable rivers, but most of them can be visited by boats during river cruises. All river cruise routes are made in such a way that, in addition to the cities of the Golden Ring, the ship enters other points.
Some cruise routes to the cities of the Golden Ring:
Moscow – Uglich – Myshkin – Kostroma – Ples – Yaroslavl – Tutaev – Rybinsk – Kalyazin – Sosenki – Moscow. The duration of the route is 7 days.
Moscow – Uglich – Yaroslavl – Kostroma – Myshkin – Moscow. Duration 5 days.
Moscow – Sosenki – Kalyazin – Rybinsk – Yaroslavl – Myshkin – Moscow. Duration 5 days.
Moscow – Konstantinovo – Kasimov – Ryazan – Kolomna – Moscow. Duration 7 days.
The cost of the cruise varies greatly depending on the route chosen and the boat, as well as the type of cabin. In addition to the above, there are many other routes. All possible options are better to consult with the tour operator.
Connection and Wi-Fi
Finding a free Wi-Fi hotspot in the cities of the Golden Ring is no problem. The internet is not everywhere, but it covers a good part of the cities more than everything in the most tourist and central parts. In small cities like Sergiev Posad there is access in most of the central cafes and popular restaurants. Some institutions also offer free Wi-Fi only to customers.
In larger cities, such as Vladimir, the network can be found in large plazas and in the main attractions area.
As for hotels, it is convenient to ask before booking, if you have free Wi-Fi service, however, in most hotels you can count on this service. Tourists in large cities will have a wide coverage of Wi-Fi services. Access problems can occur in small mini-hotels or guest houses.
Hotels in the Golden Ring
Fortunately, the times when traveling inside Russia was a challenge to find a suitable hotel more precisely, due to the lack of quality stay options, have already been forgotten. Today, in any city of the Golden Ring there will be at least a couple of good hotels, as well as many options in the private sector: such as apartments and even daily rental cottages and undoubtedly as in each tourist city, there is a wide variety of hotels of various standards and prices.
A highlight and pleasant, so to speak, for tourists from large cities that are accustomed to technology and modernity, is accommodation in old houses in the suburbs or in the villages in the area.
Accommodation prices range from RUB 550 to 1500 per room in private homes, condominiums or at a camp site. Between 2400-5100 RUB per well furnished room in a modern hotel or in a well-kept private hotel. The accommodation with bussiness quality will cost between RUB 6000-10000 for a double room with breakfast.
What to Bring
The crafts and souvenirs of the cities of the Golden Ring are just as attractive to travelers as visits to monasteries, temples and museums. In addition to the standard range, almost all kinds of things can be found with the image of local architectural monuments. almost all cities are famous for the exceptional products of their artisans; in Kostroma, for example, they make splendid bark souvenirs: tueski and boxes, boxes and canes. In addition, linen and home textiles, regular and embroidered, are brought from here. From Pereslavl-Zalessky it is worth taking some wonderful pieces of interior and carved wooden kitchen. Vladimir is known for the scraps, enamels and ornaments made of semiprecious stones, and Suzdal tapestries.
In Ivanovo, by all means, you can find products from local weavers: calico and patterned fabrics, home and bedroom textiles. The places of the “big” gold rings (Kholuy, Mstera, Palekh) are famous throughout the world for the art of lacquer miniatures.
Kitchen and Restaurants
Due to the tourist interest, largely by foreigners, there are no problems with restaurants and food in the gold ring. From sandwiches and glasses of some economic typical drink, to restaurants of Russian cuisine there are many gastronomic offers for every taste.
In the cities of the Golden Ring, you should definitely try local gastronomic delights, donuts in Yaroslavl, cheese in Kostroma, mead and cucumbers in Suzdal in all its forms, from fresh to pickles and in Rostov Veliky, pike dishes.
It is worth noting that in low-cost establishments you can get good food and bottles at quite affordable prices: the food is fresh, the portions are quite generous, the prices are cheap, after all, these are not expensive restaurants of the of main cities. Buffet is rarely offered at hotels: breakfasts are usually continental and dinner can be ordered à la carte at the hotel restaurant.
In Sergiev Posad: the Trinity-Sergio Lavra with a lot of magnificent monuments and religious architecture and a museum-reserve, there are also churches, chapels, sketches, steeples, chambers and palaces, as well as the Toy Museum.
In Pereslavl-Zalessky, there is the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Savior, the churches of Alexander Nevsky and Simeon the stylite, the Goritsky, Nikitsky and Trinity-Danilov monasteries, the heritage of the museum “The little boat of Peter the Great”, the Iron Museum and the Locomotive Museum.
In Rostov Veliky has the Rostov Kremlin Museum, the Church of the Savior in Pesky, the Mother of God of Tolga and the Church of the Ascension, the Nativity, the Spaso-Yakovlevsky and Borisoglebsky monasteries, and the Enamel Museum.
In Yaroslav, there are the Transfiguration Monastery, the churches of the Epiphany, Elijah the Prophet and Nikola Nadein, and many secondary churches, Gostiny Dvor, the Metropolitan chambers, etc.
In Kostroma: the commercial gallery, the Church of the Resurrection in Debre, the Ipatiev Monastery and the Trinity Cathedral, the Bogoyavlensky Anastasiin Monastery, numerous churches, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Nature Museum and even the Museum from the feat of Ivan Susanin.
In the churches Ivanovo – Vvedenskaya, Ilinskaya and Kazan, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the Museum of Regional Art Ivanovo, the Historical Museum of Local History Ivanovo, the Museum of Ivanovo Calico, the House-Museum of the Tsvetayev family.
In Suzdal: the Kremlin of Suzdal, the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, the Chambers of Bishops and the bell tower, the Pokrovsky and Euthymeus monasteries of the Savior, the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin, the Cathedral of Borisoglebsky, the Museum of Wooden Architecture under the open sky.
In Vladimir: the Golden Gate and the Water Tower, the Cathedrals of the Assumption and Dmitrievsky, the museum complex of Chambers, the monasteries of Rozhdestvensky and Knyaginin, the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin, Nikita the Martyr, the Intercession from Nerl and the Trinity, as well as the beautiful frescoes by Andri Rublev.
8 things to do when traveling around the Golden Ring
- Collect holy water from the sacred source of the Trinity-Sergio Lavra in Sergiev Posad.
- To celebrate Snow Maiden’s birthday in April in Kostroma.
- Buy designer boots and shawl in Ivanovo.
- Go through the “bear” places in Yaroslavl and buy a local “stuffed animal” for memory.
- Make a wish on the Blue Stone of the former Pleshcheeva lake in Pereslavl-Zalessky.
- Catch a pica in Rostov the Great and murmur “according to my wish.”
- Take a steam bath and try all the varieties of mead in Suzdal.
- Take a fabulous photo of the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl in Vladimir.
Gold ring for children
The gold ring for children is, above all, a trip to a Russian fairy tale. The New Year and Christmas festivities will be especially remembered by the children. The main point on this route is Kostroma, the birthplace of Snow Maiden. The emblematic places of the city are the Snow Maiden’s Tower and its residence, as well as the fabulous Land of the Snow Maiden Museum. Kostroma in general is a very entertaining city. A lot of fun for children: you can see the “Les-Wizard” and “Peter’s toy” museums.
The theme of New Year’s miracles is continued by Vladimir, where even the fairs in the winter become theatrical stages.
Fun is very noisy on New Year’s days and in the complex “Birth of a fairy tale”, 25 km from Pereslavl-Zalessky. It is worth returning to this city in the summer to visit the Russian Park, which offers dozens of programs for children’s activities.
A unique place in Suzdal is the “Shchurovo Gorodishche” museum, where the atmosphere of the old Russian’s life is recreated. In early spring, the only Russian festival of fairy tales is celebrated here.
In Yaroslavl, children are accepted as warriors in the museum-theater “Aleshino Compound”. Zoo and dolphinarium are worthy of attention.
In Rostov the Great he organized magnificent Christmas trees of the Kremlin. It would not be superfluous to look at the Onion Establishment Museum and the Shchuchy Dvor soup soup academy in the Rostovsky complex.
Ivanovo and Sergiev Posad cannot boast so much fun, but there is much to do here. In the zoo of Ivanovo, for example, live more than 800 representatives of the animal world. And in Sergiev Posad, an excellent place for family vacations is the Miracles amusement park.
Parties and Events
In the cities of the Golden Ring, they live and have fun in the best Russian traditions: they take traditional sleigh rides, escapes noisily from winter by burning stuffed animals, dancing and dressing someone on that mountain.
The brightest holidays are held in the regions in the New Year and Christmas. In this regard, entertainment programs delight Vladimir, Kostroma, Rostov the Great and Yaroslavl. The atmosphere of total immersion of the just life is guaranteed in the carnival weekend. The celebrations are accompanied by songs, loud performances and eating pancakes with dozens of ingredients. Great demand for the gold ring and Easter.
In the century that Kulich buys in supermarkets, a Holy Week trip to the city of the Golden Ring clinking with bells will give unforgettable impressions.
The summer season in the gold ring opens with the May holidays and continues with the night festivities in Ivan Kupala. Spectacular event in the land of Yaroslavl in July – Balloon Festival. In Vladimir, at the beginning of autumn, Princely Fun Warriors competitions are held.
Holiday kaleidoscope Suzdal boasts. In the middle of summer, tourists from all over the country come to the city to celebrate Cucumber Day. The local laptop race is widely known.
Climate and Season
The climate in the cities of the Golden Ring is classic, temperate, with a pronounced seasonality: it is warm in summer, cold in winter and rainy in autumn and spring.
High season: end of December to January, when crowds of tourists rush inland to celebrate the New Year and Christmas. Winter here is “right”: with the frosts that paint the windows, the accumulations of snow and the fresh snow, without which the tourist attraction of the cities, perhaps, would have suffered a lot. It is full of people in the Golden Ring and Carnival, when people are in a hurry to participate in colorful popular festivals.
In the spring, as in other matters and in the fall, life in the cities decreases: on the route there is a lot of rain, it rains. The flow of tourists resumes in May. Summer in the old Russian cities is an ideal season to rest unconditionally. First, trees grow here, not high-rise buildings, and it’s beautiful. Secondly, at this time of the year many street festivals are held in the Golden Ring, it’s fun. Well, not in Moscow the clean rivers and lakes that are on the route, will greatly brighten the rest for swimming lovers.
Important Gold Ring Details
Where to stay
Where to stay: for radial excursions around the Golden Ring, it is better to stay in hotels in Moscow. Going to the Great Journey in the Ring, you can stop at the old Vladimir, a Suzdal toy, the beautiful Kostroma, the cozy Yaroslavl or Sergiev Posad.
Where to go
Where to go: in Sergiev Posad, famous for the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, in Pereslavl-Zalessky, rich in Russian architecture, in Yaroslavl, one thousand years old, in the “homeland of the Romanov royal dynasty” Kostroma, in the city- Suzdal museum, at the Golden Gate of Vladimir, to the smallest and oldest Uglich, in a little funny Myshkin.