Miracles beyond the Moscow Ring Road

Many tourists coming to the Russian capital, devote a few days to visit the small historical towns in its vicinity. No wonder! They are a real treasure trove of history, ancient architecture and crafts. And there you can feel the charm of real Russia, which is a bit different than in the giant metropolis!

Visit the Russian Railways website to organize your country trips; the English version of the website is also available! Also you may like the Blablacar service, which gave a good account of itself in Russia. Here you can find a car that will drop you on the way to the desired point for a small cost.

So, where, how and why to leave Moscow?

1. The City of Vladimir

What to see: Vladimir is one of the most beautiful cities of the so-called Golden Ring of Russia, the famous route through the ancient cities of North-Eastern Russia. Here you will admire the famous white stone architecture and many UNESCO world heritage sites — the Assumption Cathedral, St. Demetrius Cathedral, the Golden Gate.

How to get there: by train from the Kursk railway station (Kurskaya and Chkalovskaya metro stations).

Travel time: 2 hours 50 minutes.

By a high-speed train: The Strizh High-Speed Train with a stop in Moscow and Vladimir, most often arrives at Kursk railway station.

Travel time: less than 2 hours.

2. The City of Kolomna

What to see: the magnificent Kremlin, built at the beginning of the 15th century, the monastery, whose history is closely connected with the name of one of the main Russian saints — Sergius of Radonezh, and the merchant posad. You will be able to see a wide variety of samovars in the local Museum of samovars: round and rectangular, Russian, Asian and European, for hiking and for home use, simple and luxurious. And be sure to try the local delicacy - the famous Kolomna pastila! By the way, there is also a Museum of pastila here.

How to get there: by train from Kazan railway station (Komsomolskaya metro station).

Travel time: about 2 hours.

3. The City of Yaroslavl

What to see: the white-stone nunnery of the beginning of the 14th century, the ancient churches, the amazing Volga embankment and the unique zoo, where more than 1600 animals of 250 species are kept out of cages in a large area.

How to get there: by train from Yaroslavl railway station (Komsomolskaya metro station) or (to make it more picturesque journey!) by bus from Schelkovsky bus station (Schelkovskaya metro station).

Travel time: 3.5–4 hours.

4. The City of Tula

What to see: walk along the walls and garden of the Tula Kremlin, visit the interactive Museum of Weapons which is built in the form of a helmet and, of course, taste the world-famous Tula gingerbread! By the way, look at this monument to gingerbread — resembles Chinese mooncake, doesn’t it?

The Kulikovo field, where in 1380 the troops of Prince Dmitry Donskoy defeated the Golden Horde, and Yasnaya Polyana with Leo Tolstoy’s estate are both located in the vicinity of Tula.

And in the center of Tula there is a pretty creative space called Octave. It is worth visiting if you want to see the interactive museum of Russian industry development, have a cup of coffee on the roof overlooking the city center, or learn how the creative ideas are generated and implemented by Russian youth. Curious facts: half a century ago, Yury Gagarin said his famous “Let's Go!” into the microphone of Octave, and world-class musicians, such as Sting and U2, used this factory’s products to record their iconic albums.

How to get there: by train from the Kursk railway station (Kurskaya and Chkalovskaya metro stations).

Travel time: 2.5 hours.

5. The City of Pereslavl-Zalessky

What to see: many ancient temples and monasteries, such as the white stone Cathedral of the 12th century in the city center and Lake Pleshcheyevo — a unique lake of glacial origin and the largest freshwater reservoir in the European territory of Russia. There is Rybnaya Sloboda on the shore of the lake, be sure to try smoked fish here. And nearby you can see the legendary blue stone of volcanic origin, which was the object of pagan worship and even today is shrouded in many legends.

How to get there: by bus from Schelkovo bus station (Schelkovskaya metro station).

Travel time: 2.5 hours.

6. Nikola-Lenivets Art-Park

And finally we have something amazing for you!

This Park was created by artists and architects around the tiny village of Nikola-Lenivets, about 200 kilometers from Moscow. Now it is a powerful center of attraction for Muscovites and visitors from other cities, especially for creative youth. A collection of more than 100 objects of modern art, which is constantly updated, is inscribed in the most beautiful natural landscape. Many art compositions of Nikola-Lenivets have become iconic for modern culture. In addition to unforgettable walks in the park, you will be able to taste real country food and buy charming wooden souvenirs; and once a year it hosts Archstoyanie ("Architectural standing”) festival, with lectures, classes, concerts, and creation of avant-garde architectural (including interactive) objects.

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