Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

We continue to share amazing routes created especially for you together with Russian Explorers photographers. Andrey Belavin (@ted.ns) has prepared a guide to the Vladimir region! And so that you can use it as soon as possible, in our telegram channel we are giving away discount on tickets to the Vladimir region, as well as on accommodation there.

My first tourist trip to Russia took place ten years ago. Then I went to the ancient city of Suzdal, and the impressions I received significantly changed my life. I began to travel a lot within the country, and for the last eight years I have not traveled abroad at all. And all these years I regularly travel to the Vladimir region, I love it very much and invite you to spend the weekend in places close to me.

When to go and how to prepare

I have been to Suzdal in every season and I think that the city is good in its own way at any time of the year. My favorite period is from mid-May to early June, when bird cherry, cherry, apple and lilac bloom in turn, after sunset the nightingale trills are heard in the city, and in the mornings thick fogs form on the Kamenka River. But the second half of summer is also a great time to travel. The fields around Suzdal are decorated with round bales of hay, and hundreds, if not thousands, of birds circle over the city center at sunset. This is their annual ritual before migrating south.

Be sure to take cash on your trip – cards are not accepted everywhere yet. Wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot on trails and cobblestones.

How to get there

From Moscow to Suzdal, a 200 km journey takes three hours without traffic jams. You can also get there by public transport. High-speed trains and electric trains run from the Kursky and new Eastern stations to Vladimir. The ticket costs from 590 rubles*, the journey will take you from one and a half to two and a half hours. Buses run regularly from the Vladimir bus station, which is located across the road from the railway station, to Suzdal. The journey will take a little less than an hour and cost approximately 128 rubles*. But I recommend going by car – this way you will cover not only the city, but also its surroundings, and there is a lot to see there. Renting a car on OneTwoTrip in Moscow will cost from 2,500 rubles* per day.

Where to stay

In order to feel the atmosphere of Suzdal, I recommend staying in a guest house with carved platbands and a cat on the premises. This option is suitable even for a large family or group of friends. If you require daily room cleaning and breakfast included in the price of your stay, then there are such options in the city. Here are the ones I personally like:

GTK Suzdal – from 3900 rubles* per night for two;
Dacha Bely Bereg – from 6600 rubles* per night for two
Estate of coppersmith Chicherin – from 10,000 rubles* per night for two.

What to visit and what to do in the Vladimir region


Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

If you’re hungry after the road, stop by the Flour Lounge. The establishment is open from 8:30 and there you will find the best breakfasts in the city. When you reach Dmitrievsky Cathedral, be sure to take a walk around and admire the white stone carvings. In 1992, this church was even included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There will be eight such medieval architectural masterpieces on our way. Next to the Dmitrievsky Cathedral there is another one – the Assumption Cathedral, which was once the main temple of Vladimir-Suzdal Rus’. It’s worth visiting to see with your own eyes the rarest surviving frescoes by Andrei Rublev. The entrance ticket costs 150 rubles*, tourists are allowed in from 10:00. But there is a life hack: early in the morning services are held in the cathedral and you can get inside for free.

Walking further along Bolshaya Moskovskaya, turn onto the pedestrian Geogievskaya Street. This is a cozy place with historical buildings, museums, cafes, an observation deck and urban sculptures. After looking into the courtyard behind the bell tower, go to Eidos-Bukinist. This is an incredibly atmospheric shop that sells used books and postcards. Take with you literature on the history of Vladimir Rus’ or a book about the architecture of local white-stone monuments of ancient Russian architecture.

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

At the end of the pedestrian zone you will come to the former water tower building. Now it houses a museum, which I recommend visiting. The ticket costs 150 rubles*. The exhibition tells about the life of the city at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. But this place attracts me primarily with its spiral staircase and panoramic platform on the top floor. It offers a view of the entire center. I recommend finishing your walk around Vladimir at the Golden Gate.


Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

The village of Bogolyubovo is located 2 km from Vladimir. There we are interested in the monastery with the so-called Bogolyubsky Castle – the white stone palace of Grand Duke Andrei Yuryevich Bogolyubsky, in which he was killed by the conspirators. After visiting the monastery, we cross the railway tracks over the bridge and go for a walk through the water meadow. If in April you will need high rubber boots to get to the famous Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, then in the summer it will be a pleasure to go.


Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

The road from Bogolyubov to Suzdal takes about an hour and passes through Suzdal Opol with its picturesque hills, ravines and fields.

After settling in, we go to explore the city, where for every 30 local residents there is one historical and cultural monument. My favorite route begins with a path on the high bank of Kamenka. To get there, go through the green gate at house 117 on Lenin Street. It is usually quiet here and you can enjoy the views without crowds of tourists. Further along Gastev Street we reach the Alexander Monastery, through which we make our way to the Deposition of Robe Monastery. The Reverend Bell Tower on its territory is the tallest building in the city. You can climb it for 100 rubles*. Calculate your strength: the height of the bell tower is 72 meters, a steep spiral staircase leads up. But the views are impressive! At the same time, appreciate how much the city has changed over the last century. In 1912, the panorama of Suzdal from this bell tower was captured by the father of digital photography – Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorsky.

Suzdal is a unique city in terms of cinema. Its views are familiar to us from hundreds of films for which local streets served as scenery. I will highlight “The Tsar” with Pyotr Mamonov. And this summer they are working on filming the series “In Chair Park.” Walking along Staraya Street, pay attention to house 13 – “The Marriage of Balzaminov” was filmed here. Through the Trade Rows the road leads to the Suzdal Kremlin. The Kremlin is the entire territory inside the city ramparts of the 11th-12th centuries, and not just the museum complex, so take a walk along the three streets of the oldest part of the city: Kremlyovskaya, Lebedev and Varganova. People still live here, there are private wooden houses, most of which are architectural monuments. The ramparts offer postcard-perfect views. One of them is to the St. Nicholas Church, depicted by Boris Kustodiev in the painting “In Old Suzdal”. If you have been to the Tretyakov Gallery and seen this work, you will recognize the view.

The heart of the Kremlin is considered to be the pre-Mongolian Nativity Cathedral with blue domes with stars. If this is your first time in the city, be sure to go inside to see the Golden Gate, preserved from the 13th century, and ancient frescoes. The ticket will cost 200 rubles*.

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

Walking along the cobblestone street down to the river and crossing it on a pedestrian bridge, also stop by the Museum of Wooden Architecture. Exhibits were brought here from all over the Vladimir region. This open-air museum contains not only wooden temples and traditional huts with recreated interiors, but also, for example, windmills. The museum ticket office is open until 18:00, tickets cost 400 rubles*.

We’ve already looked at the city from above, now let’s go on a boat trip and look at it from a different angle. Every hour a tourist tram departs from the pedestrian bridge. The last flight is at 19:00, I recommend it. Firstly, it is pre-sunset time with beautiful soft light. Secondly, we walked a lot during the day – in the evening it was time to relax and listen to the audio tour included in the program. A river trip will cost 800 rubles*. I advise you to buy a ticket in advance, for example, on the way to the museum. To do this, there is a terminal near the boat that accepts cards.

We take the return route through the Ilyinsky Church on Ivanova Gora, the protected Ilyinsky Meadow and the humpbacked pedestrian bridge leading to Naberezhnaya Street. This part of the city is not so popular among tourists, but no less interesting, in my opinion.

If you have booked a guest house, you can cook yourself in the kitchen or outdoor grill. But the gastronomic scene in the city is very developed. I recommend going to the Baker’s Nest restaurant, which recently moved to Tolstoy Street, as well as Ogurets. There, try cucumber raff and take cucumber jam and gingerbread with cucumber as souvenirs to your friends. If the surroundings and atmosphere of the establishment are more important to you, then go to the Lepota restaurant for dinner, it is located just next to the Museum of Wooden Architecture. Designer Elena Makhrova worked on its impressive interior in the style of a Russian fairy tale.

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

Start the second day actively: wake up at dawn and go for a ride on a stand-up paddle board, having previously agreed on a rental. Early in the morning a different atmosphere reigns in Suzdal: there are no tourists at all, only local fishermen can be found. And the fog that spreads along the river gives the landscapes a mysterious look, as if you are being transported into the distant past. The seagulls circling overhead only complete the picture. At dawn, no one and nothing interferes with enjoying the city.

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

There is another part of Suzdal that we did not visit yesterday. Let’s see her. Let’s start with the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery, which is often confused with the Kremlin because of its red brick walls. In the 40s of the last century, prisoners of war were kept there, among whom was Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus. Now there is a museum complex, entrance to which costs 400 rubles*. Open from 10:00.

From there we go down and cross the wooden bridge to another monastery – Pokrovsky. It is active and famous throughout Russia as a place of imprisonment for representatives of aristocratic families who were tonsured as nuns. The most famous of them is the wife of Peter I, Tsarina Evdokia Lopukhina.

Let’s complete our review of Suzdal on the territory of the State Customs Committee. This is a large hotel complex built in the second half of the 20th century – a real island of the “good USSR”. This project was not covered by Khrushchev’s decree on the fight “against architectural excesses.” As a result, the building became an example of Soviet architecture and design. Facades with mosaics and stained glass, interiors with oak panels and a restaurant with huge samovars. Locals go here to the pool and also to feed the ducks that live by the river.


Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

4 km from Suzdal in the village of Kideksha is the earliest white-stone building in North-Eastern Rus’ – the Church of Boris and Gleb. In the 18th century, a tented bell tower was erected near it, which has now tilted to such an extent that it is noticeable to the naked eye. The Russian analogue of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, no less.

Abandoned temples of the Suzdal region

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

Dozens of temples are slowly being destroyed around the city. Some of them will impress even an experienced traveler with their size, architectural forms and miraculously preserved frescoes on the walls. I will highlight those churches that are located in the villages of Voskresenskaya Slobodka, Ves and Kibol. In the first one you can even climb the bell tower. Just be careful and careful – the condition of the stairs there is deplorable.

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region


Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

In order not to return the same way, take a route through another ancient city – Yuryev-Polsky. Its name is not associated with Poland, as it might seem, but with Opole, which I have already mentioned. The journey from Suzdal will take about an hour. If you arrive before 17:00, you will have time to visit the historical and architectural museum, located in the St. Michael the Archangel Monastery inside the Kremlin earthworks. By the way, they are also worth a walk. Going down the path on the western side of the embankments, you will find yourself at the magnificent 13th-century St. George’s Cathedral. Among the details of its unique white stone carving, find the figure of an elephant. This is the only ancient Russian temple with such an image. Hint: look at the top of the facade.

A couple of years ago, the city improved the center around the Trading Rows and made it pedestrian. On Sovetskaya Square, don’t miss the building of the merchant Khlebnikov’s shop – the massive wooden door and the carved “Books” sign are worthy of special mention in the guidebook. I was also impressed by the building of the Central Regional Hospital, located nearby in the former almshouse of the Meshcherins. In architecture, it resembles a small European castle. Yuryev-Polsky is not as popular among tourists as Suzdal, but has retained many beautiful buildings and details: cast-iron fences, ancient signs, etc. Set aside a couple of hours for it before the final rush home.

Route from Russian Explorers: Vladimir region

The route, designed for an active weekend, stretches over three and four days. If you like to completely immerse yourself in the atmosphere of new places, Suzdal encourages you to slow down and not rush anywhere. I want to return there again and again. For experienced tourists, I advise you to diversify your trip by including a flight over the city on an airplane or kayaking. In order to fly over ancient monasteries, come to the airfield in the village of Pavlovskoye and negotiate directly with the pilot. They don’t have a price list, but the cost will be several times lower than in Moscow. Rafting along the Nerl on Soviet kayaks is organized by cultural downshifter Andrei Popov. With his creative team, he created art objects along the route in the spirit of Nikola the Lenivets.

*Prices valid at time of publication

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top