Golden Ring of Russia: routes and prices
What are the cities of Russia’s Golden Ring in the classic itinerary of a trip? What is worth seeing and visiting? On what to go on a trip – by car, by ship or by bus? Prices for tours, cruises, accommodation costs.
The phrase “Golden Ring” originated in the 70s of the last century – it was the name under which literary works by Yury Bychkov on ancient Russian cities were first published. Later the name was given to the most popular tourist route in the country.
Routes along the Golden Ring of Russia
Initially, the Union of cities that formed the classic route of the Golden Ring included eight settlements: Vladimir, Suzdal, Ivanovo, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov the Great, Pereslavl-Zalessky and Sergiev Posad. Later joined Kasimov and Kaluga. Gradually, the list of attractions expanded. Other variants of routes were developed, including Uglich, Myshkin, Rybinsk, Tutaev, Ples, Yuryev-Polsky, Alexandrov, Kaluga, Shuya, Murom and Moscow.
Prices for tours on the Golden Ring of Russia – 2022
Journeys can be both on the Golden Ring of Russia and radial, taking 2-3 days or 7-14 days. Tour prices in 2022 depend on the tour program and the length of the trip. Weekend programs start at 7 thousand rubles. The cost of the classical bus tour for two persons for 4-6 days with food and accommodation (half or full board) – from 25 thousand rubles.
Weekly cruises around the Golden Ring on a motor ship cost from 10 thousand roubles per person. The prices depend on the ship, the cabin, the chosen itinerary and the duration of the trip.
What to see. Classical route
Sergiev Posad. It is more convenient for Moscow residents to start a trip around the Golden Ring of Russia from this city – it is the closest to the capital. The asphalt surface is excellent, and the whole road will take no more than an hour. The most visited sites are Trinity-Sergius Lavra, the Hermitage of the Holy Spirit, the Chernigov church and the cave church. On weekends and holidays there are always lots of people – pilgrims flock to the holy places.
Pereslavl-Zalessky is the next point of your trip along the Golden Ring of Russia. This ancient city was founded by Yury Dolgoruky. It is located on the shore of Lake Pleshcheevo. There are several Orthodox churches, a museum-estate where a boat made by Peter the Great is kept, and a sacred Blue Stone, an object of worship of pagans and followers of unconventional teachings. Children and adults will enjoy the multicolored Berendey’s House. There they sell wooden toys and averters, organize various master classes and excursions, and during the holidays hold noisy folk festivals.
Rostov the Great. The panoramas of the Rostov Kremlin, well recognized thanks to the famous comedy of director Gaidai, Sarskoye Gorodische and the Life-Giving Cross in the village of Godenovo await tourists here. Romantic couples shall have a ride on the ancient Lake Nero (price from 300 to 550 rubles). If you get hungry, try Russian dishes and drinks: sbiten and mead will keep you warm during the cold season and kvass and mors will cool you down in the heat.
(Photo: IgorShubin / pixabay.com)
Yaroslavl. Pay special attention to this city on your trip along the Golden Ring of Russia. Yaroslavl stands on the steep bank of the Volga River and is famous for its Orthodox churches (more than 30) and magnificent historic center. Tourists are especially impressed by the merchant’s rows and old mansions. The art museum exhibits works by Russian painters: Kramskoi, Bryullov, Repin, Perov, Kustodiev. Do not miss the ancient fish soup, try the arms of Russian heroes at Alyosha’s farmstead and buy some Poshekhonsky cheese on your way.
Kostroma. It is a quiet and cozy town which will be appreciated by lovers of Russian old times. Take a look at the 14th century Ipatiev Monastery, the local museum of ethnography, and the fairytale lodge of the snow-white-faced Snegurochka! Find out what to see in Kostroma.
Suzdal. Explore the streets with wooden houses, the Suzdal Kremlin and the Golden Treasury, and the Russian Museum of Wooden Architecture. You’ll wish you could buy pickles here, but you’ll never know how to praise the local citizens. Take a look at our Suzdal itinerary.
Ivanovo. The abode of weavers with its variegated chintz and new buildings will seem too young and not so important, but here you can buy excellent souvenirs.
Vladimir. This is the final point of the trip along the Golden Ring of Russia. The city is famous for its Golden Gates. It is a good omen to get into the city through them. Tourists like the Assumption Cathedral with works by Andrei Rublev himself, the Nativity Monastery, the Trading Rows, the Kozlov shaft and the Sobornaya Square. Excellent panoramic photos are obtained from the observation deck.
(Photo: _perSona_ / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
What to drive
Independent travelers can take a trip around the Golden Ring of Russia in their own car. The road coverage in most areas is good, and overnight accommodations are available anywhere. The cost of hotel rooms for two people ranges from 900 rubles to 2.5 thousand rubles per night. It is better to book in advance, especially if the trip is planned for the holidays.
Of all the proposed options, the most popular is traveling around the Golden Ring of Russia by bus. The distance between the two nearest cities of the classic ring is no more than 100 km, and most of the travelers will be looking at the sights rather than being on the road.
Traveling around the Golden Ring of Russia by motorboat is in demand during the summer. Cruises take place on navigable rivers, so they cannot cover all cities and key points of the ring. By water you can visit Plyos, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Uglich, Myshkin, Tutaev, Rybinsk and Ryazan.
It is convenient to get by train only to some large cities – for example, Vladimir or Yaroslavl.
Tours to the Golden Ring of Russia
Filling the piggy bank of your travels with the cities of the Golden Ring is like stringing pearls together with ordinary beads. Each ancient city of the route is special and will be remembered for a long time.
Sergiev Posad with its famous Lavra receives pilgrims and ordinary tourists from different countries all year round. Here is also Chernigov hermitage with underground caves.
Plyos was a source of inspiration for Levitan’s works. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
Pereslavl-Zalessky impresses with numerous museums: iron, wooden toys, steam engines… Here at the Blue Stone one makes wishes and returns with words of gratitude for the granted.
Who hasn’t heard of Myshkin, where rodent figures are just everywhere? Or Ples, whose landscapes are depicted in paintings by Levitan? These towns are also often part of the program.
Tours of the Golden Ring of Russia are in demand in any season, with itineraries with a varied set of cities offered in 2022. Find one that will be of interest to you.
Traditional route on the Golden Ring
The term “Golden Ring” appeared in the late 1960s. Then the newspaper “Soviet Culture” published a series of publications about the ancient cities of Russia. The name caught on, and later became not just an official one, but a real brand, of which today people know far beyond the country.
Traditionally, tours of the Golden Ring of Russia in 2022 include cities:
- Sergiev Posad, near Moscow;
- Yaroslavl Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov Veliky and Yaroslavl itself;
- Ivanovo; and its regional city of Suzdal.
Classical Golden Ring on the map (departures from Moscow)
Big Golden Ring
Interest in traveling along the Golden Ring grew, and more offers for tourists began to appear. Over time the itinerary began to include other cities encountered along the way. In the programs appeared no less beautiful and rich in history places. Officially they do not belong to the brand, however, strengthened such a concept as the Great Golden Ring, it is complemented by other cities:
- in the Vladimir region – Bogolyubovo, Alexandrov, Gus-Khrustalny, Gorokhovets, Murom;
- in Moscow region – Dmitrov;
- in Tver region – Kalyazin;
- in the Yaroslavl region – Uglich, Myshkin, Rybinsk, Tutaev;
- In Ivanovo region – Plyos.
Tours of the Golden Ring of Russia in 2022 – is a weekend itinerary, and week-long and 10 days. Travel agencies add different cities to them, but eight major cities are considered “classics”.
The Big Golden Ring on the map (departure from Moscow)
Ivanovo: a trip to the youngest city of the Golden Ring
Everyone remembers that “Ivanovo is the city of brides”, but it had equally striking characteristics. Russian Manchester, the city of chintz kings, the birthplace of the first council – this is all about it. Here you can see the most unusual in the country houses of the era of constructivism, see a unique collection of avant-garde and contemporary art. And just take a walk along the streets and art spaces of the brightest city of the Golden Ring.
Weekend itineraries (1-4 days).
Always busy people have only weekends left to spend them on tourist trips – and those are short ones. That’s why weekend itineraries are in demand. And if this leisure is organized on a turnkey basis, there is no need to worry: get on the bus – and there is a change of sight, impressions of a new city.
What to see in one day? For example, Sergiev Posad. It’s as if you are in a Russian fairy tale. Apart from temples and chapels, you will visit Gremyachiy waterfall, and taste the genuine Russian cuisine, which will be served by young ladies in kokoshnikas.
For a couple of days you can go to Kostroma . You’ll walk through the halls of the Noble Assembly, visit the Museum of Wooden Architecture and the jewelry factory. The program includes visits to the Ipatiev and Bogoyavlensky-Anastasinsky monasteries.
Or see the Kremlin of Rostov the Great first at sunset and then at dawn. These pictures will remain not only in photos, but also in memory.
Kineshma: how merchants walk on the bank of the Volga
Do you know where the first cinema appeared in Russia? Not in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but here – in Kineshma. It was one of the richest merchant towns in pre-revolutionary Russia. Today Kineshma has preserved the color of its cozy streets and the charm of a quiet town on the bank of the Volga. You are welcome to come here for this and other reasons.
Multi-day tours (from 5 days)
Tours of the Golden Ring of Russia offered in 2022 may last for several days or even weeks. But count on your strength: you will have to walk a lot, the information from the guide is overwhelming. To avoid blurring the picture, and to enjoy your vacation, choose which cities you want to see in one trip.
Going to the birthplace of Hollywood’s founders
Rybinsk is called the birthplace of the founders of Hollywood and the burlesque capital. Here the merchant center of the city is almost intact – as it was during the reign of Catherine II. The most interesting thing is to go on a tour to the second largest city in the Yaroslavl region on a tourist retro train of Russian Railways. Every Saturday morning it departs from Yaroslavl Moskovsky Station and in 2.5 hours arrives in Rybinsk.
Going to May Holidays
What can be more beautiful than a spring trip, when everything is already green, the heat has not set in, and the air is full of freshness and floral scents. At this time, as a rule, the navigation is open, so many tours include walks on the ship. It is a double pleasure to see the city panorama from the water.
During the May holidays, all options for trips around the Golden Ring are available, and you can plan a long weekend in interesting ways.
The best itineraries to the artisan capitals
Did you know that in Vologda not only women but also men weaved lace? And to check the quality of the Orenburg shawl, you had to put it through a ring? Folk arts and crafts are widespread in Russia, and many of them still exist today. Learn about the crafts of different regions, traditions, and businesses that preserve the heritage of their ancestors in a new multimedia project “KP”.
See ancient cities in the summer
Most often tours of the Golden Ring of Russia are booked for the summer, in 2022 are popular as a classic route, and extended. After all, many people take vacations, and demand gives birth to supply.
One interesting date to plan such a trip is Ivan Kupal Day, celebrated from July 6 to 7. Do you remember the legends about the blooming fern on a short summer night and the bonfires, through which they jumped, danced and sang next to them? In the olden days, all the women had to come to such a bonfire. After all, the one who stayed home that night would be recognized as a witch. Now in the cities of the Golden Ring it is a tourist attraction, but it has not ceased to be interesting.
Choose a route for the Golden Autumn.
There is no need to guess. Choose a tour, which includes a cozy Ivanovo Plyos. A quiet embankment with a monument to the dacha woman. Levitan’s mountain, where the artist wrote his paintings, filled with love not only for the local landscapes, but also for Sofia Petrovna Kuvshinnikova. They spent more than one summer here. And the golden autumn, of course. Kuvshinnikova coffee house is also a local landmark. You can find here a very delicate kuleika with a cottage cheese filling (hello to the European cheesecake), apple and cherry pies, and also “Levitan’s favorite cookies” – it has the same name. After such a breakfast, a walk around the autumnal Plese will seem even more hearty to you.
“Silver Route”: a rich trip to ancient towns
Cruise on a tourist train of Russian Railways “Silver Route” is a great alternative to the tedious bus tours along the Golden Ring. After all, you travel on a comfortable train, and at each stop – in Pskov, Veliky Novgorod, Rybinsk and Yaroslavl – a kaleidoscope of impressions awaits you.
New Year and Christmas tours
Like all New Year’s tours, the Golden Ring of Russia in 2022 should also be booked in advance. Winter Suzdal is beautiful. You can’t call it cheap, but it’s bright and cheerful for sure. There are three-day tours from Moscow with a stop in Gus-Khrustalny and Murom. We suggest to look in the direction of Kostroma. After all, this is where Snegurochka lives in her terem, while the residence of Santa Claus is in Veliky Ustyug.
For parents with children
Tours of the Golden Ring of Russia in 2022 provide programs for parents with children. Younger schoolchildren will be especially interested in Myshkin. In the palace “Myshkin Chambers” they will be met by the Tsar and Tsarina, they will be shown the halls and museums. Usually still included is the Museum of a felted tree and the old mill.
It’s easy to guess who the main tourist symbol of Myshkin is. Photo: globallookpress.com
In Pereslavl-Zalessky, the children will no longer see the Mouse King, but the King Berendey, who lives in a terem with a carved porch. Along with him and other fairy tale characters.
Rostov the Great – home of the hero Alyosha Popovich. To make the kids feel a little bit like bogatyrs and defenders, the master class on archery is offered. Try to draw a string! And also in the local Kremlin scenes of “Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession” were filmed.