Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Vyatskoye is an unusual village in the Yaroslavl region. It is considered one of the most beautiful in Russia, and there are also museums, picturesque architecture and black baths. Unlike many other villages and hamlets, there is something to do in Vyatskoye. We’ll tell you why you should go to a settlement 300 kilometers from Moscow.

Vyatskoye is part of the “The Most Beautiful Villages of Russia” association. It includes villages, villages and small towns with a population of no more than 2,000 people. Now the list includes 44 settlements that have preserved their old architecture and way of life. The most beautiful villages are in the Arkhangelsk region – 25, another 9 in Buryatia and 2 in the Yaroslavl region.

How to get there

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Photo: Kartashova/

By plane, train, car or bus. The distance from Moscow is 305 km, from St. Petersburg – 780, and from Yaroslavl only 38. It is better to combine a visit to Vyatsky with a trip to Yaroslavl, Tutaev and/or Rybinsk, but more on that later. 

The flight from Moscow to Yaroslavl by Aeroflot will take only an hour, then you need to transfer to a bus or car. The cost of a round-trip ticket starts from 3,000 rubles*. You can fly from St. Petersburg only with a transfer in Moscow. By the way, if you suddenly have a light helicopter, then fly on it. The site is within walking distance from the main attractions.

Search for a flight

The train from Moscow to Yaroslavl takes about 4 hours, the high-speed Lastochka takes about 3 hours. A ticket for a seated carriage costs from 560 rubles*, a trip on the Lastochka will cost approximately   900 rubles*. The fastest train from St. Petersburg will deliver to Yaroslavl in 11.5 hours and 1,800 rubles* per person. 

Bus numbers 123 and 130v depart from Yaroslavl to Vyatskoye from the Zavolzhye bus station. The schedule is on the village’s official website. The cost of one ticket is 102 rubles*. 

We traveled to Vyatskoye by car from Moscow through Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov the Great and Yaroslavl. The village became part of a trip around the Golden Ring of Russia and other small towns in the Yaroslavl region. The route turned out to be interesting. If you want to repeat, then one day for each city will be enough. In addition, you will be able to visit another beautiful village in the region – Velikoye. It is also included in the association and is located halfway from Rostov to Yaroslavl. There is a school built in 1868, museums, churches and an old linden park. 

Where to stay

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Photo: V. Smirnov/

There is one hotel in Vyatskoye, so if you can’t book a room there, you can spend the day in the village and return to Yaroslavl for the night. Here are a few options with a rating above 8.7 out of 10:

Hotel “Alyosha Popovich Dvor” – from 2,900* rubles per night for two.

Hotel “Kuptsov’s House” – from 3,300* rubles per night for two. 

Boutique hotel “Music and Time” – from 2,800* rubles per night for two. 

What to see

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

In 2015, Vyatskoye was the first in Russia to join the national association. Now it is a historical and cultural complex with 15 museums, fifty architectural monuments, a cinema and concert hall, a restaurant, a bath complex, an ice skating rink, excursions in vintage cars and a festival program. A special pride of Vyatka is the preserved layout of the 18th century with merchant houses and almshouses. 

The cultural life of the village, where only 868 people live, is surprising. 

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

For example, the Sounds of Time museum contains a collection of sound recording and sound reproducing musical instruments. This is the kingdom of barrel organs, gramophones, music boxes and pianolas. Some exhibits are very rare, for example, here is the organ of the Brugger brothers, produced by craftsmen back in the 19th century. There are only four of them in Russia: in the Hermitage, the Glinka Museum of Musical Instruments, the Polytechnic Museum and in Vyatka. 

The museum “Pages of the History of Printing” recreates the atmosphere of a printing workshop. Old working machines are kept here, on which visitors print prints. Master classes are held for children on creating monotypes, engravings, etchings and linocuts. The cost of the master class is 200 rubles*. 

You will be offered to get acquainted with the traditions of Russian bathhouse culture at the “Black Bathhouses” museum. First they will show you the structure of the baths, and then you can take a steam bath. The cost of a two-hour pleasure is 3,000 rubles for a company of 4-6 people*.

Also in Vyatsky there is a Museum of Russian Entrepreneurship, “Vyatka Trading Peasant”, “The Wonderful World of Mechanisms and Machines”, kitchen machinery, Russian amusements and others. A single ticket to visit the 10 most popular museums costs 1,050 rubles*, and if you pay for entrance to each separately, the cost of one ticket will vary from 120 to 150 rubles*. 

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Vyatskoye also celebrates Krasnaya Gorka, Harvest Day, Russian Wreath Festival, and organizes jazz evenings and the Nekrasov Days in Vyatskoye festival. Now they are preparing for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth, which will take place this year. Vyatskoye is considered a Nekrasov’s place: in the poem “Who Lives Well in Rus’” the village of Greshnevo is mentioned – the author’s family estate was located there, and Vyatskoye became the prototype of the village of Kuzminskoye. And nearby, in the village of Abbakumtsevo, there is a school that Nekrasov helped build, the family tomb and the grave of the poet’s mother. 

Active tourists will enjoy the rope park. The cost of one passage for an adult is 500 rubles, for a child –  200*. Quests are also held here. For example, the detective quest “The Case of Stolen Valuables” costs 1,000 rubles per person*. You will visit six museums on a guided tour and try Vyatka-style food. 

In winter in Vyatskoye they go cheesecake and ice skating. They can be rented at a hotel for 200 rubles per hour*. And the local library lends out books to read for free, so if you’re traveling for a few days and like a leisurely holiday, keep that in mind.

Here are a couple more ideas for a trip to Vyatskoye in early spring. Starting March 8, the village will host cheese week, which will end with Maslenitsa on the 14th. Folk festivities, burning of effigy and games will be held in the central square. Guests will be treated to pancakes and invited on excursions. A detailed program is on the Vyatsky website.

Where else to go in the Yaroslavl region: Tutaev and Rybinsk

75 kilometers from Vyatsky there is a small town of Tutaev, part of  to the list of historical settlements in Russia. It used to be called Romanov-Borisoglebsk – the two sides of the city, separated by the Volga, are now called Romanovskaya and Borisoglebskaya. It is interesting that there is no bridge connecting the two halves of Tutaev: in the summer there is a ferry, and in the winter the locals simply cross the Volga on the ice. We were in town for the New Year holidays, so we were lucky enough to take a walk along the river. There are many churches of the 17th-18th centuries in Tutaev; they are picturesquely scattered throughout the hills of the city. There are also merchant houses, museums and estates here. 

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

From Tutaev it’s a stone’s throw to Rybinsk – only 50 km. It’s worth going here to see the local Red Square, the majestic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the museum’s exhibition “Nobels and the Nobel Movement,” and also to go to the theater cheaply to see a play by Ostrovsky, for example. Tickets to the stalls for “The Forest” cost 400 rubles per person*. Rybinsk is also considered the capital of barge haulers and is famous for its reservoir, which looks more like a sea.

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

Unobvious tourism: a trip to the most beautiful village in Russia

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