Golden Ring

The Golden Ring of Russia is a popular tourist route starting in Moscow, going through seven major cities, and leading back to Moscow, thus creating sort of a ring on the map. The whole region represents that special historical flavor typical of the medieval Russia. Every town along the Ring is like an open-air museum. Be sure you will see a lot of beautiful places and hear numerous fascinating stories about Russia 

What to do in golden ring

Golden Ring tours to Russia allow tourists to uncover the rich history and fascinating culture of this great country. Following the route, you will visit Suzdal, Vladimir, Sergiyev Posad, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, and Uglich. Each of them is a home to numerous examples of a unique Russian architecture, such as churches, monasteries, kremlins, and so much more!

Count irons in Iron Museum while visiting Pereslavl-Zalesskyi
Celebrate Maslentsa in Suzdal – a special Russian carnival – and burn scarecrow
Taste the local cheese in Uglich and Kostroma
Explore churches, chapels, Bell towers in Trinity Lavra of St Sergius in Sergiev Posad
Visit Kremlin in Rostov and learn about red chamber, holy gates, towers and white stone
Walk through ancient village houses and churches in Kostroma Sloboda – museum of wooden architecture in Kostroma

Some Facts

The Golden Ring route is about 800 km long, and there are many interesting things about its cities:
The most popular beverage in Suzdal is medovukha – a Slavic drink consisting of honey and yeast.
Sergiyev Posad annually holds the St Sergius Skies hot air balloon festival.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiyev Posad has the heaviest functioning bell in Russia.
Yaroslavl and Kostroma are two cities of the Golden Ring located on the banks of the longest river in Europe – the Volga.
The Museum of iron in Pereslavl-Zalesskiy features a collection of irons with over 200 pieces, which have been found in different corners of Russia
The city of Vladimir has been the capital of Russia for almost 150 years.

Laurel About the Golden Ring

“Well, this is not the golden ring every girl dreams of but it is no worse. When my boyfriend took me on one of the Golden Ring tours to Russia, I was not expecting too much from the trip. But as soon as we arrived at the first city on the route, I changed my mind. Every destination showed us something new about Russia and Russians. Both fun and educational, it was a great experience indeed!”

A Bit of History

There is no official list naming all the cities that make up the Golden Ring. We have only listed the principle ones, but many smaller towns in the region consider themselves as a part of the Ring too. The story of the term’s appearance dates back to the 70s when trade unions were actively promoting tourism in the country. They designed a convenient ring bus route starting and ending in Moscow and including the most ancient cities in Russia to attract international tourists.

The history of the Golden Ring of Russia is astonishing and at the same time rather tragic. Many cultural monuments and historic landmarks had been destroyed and lost in time because of those indifferent people striving to build something new in place of something old and ruin this old along the way. One of the dramatic examples is Uglich. During the construction of the local hydroelectric power station, there was a big explosion, which affected the Uglich Intercession monastery. Its entire building and its numerous unique monuments of the 15th-17th centuries were drowned in the water. It has taken much effort and time to restore some of the structures.

However, a better part of the Golden Ring heritage preserved, and many monuments are now marked as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most interesting ones you will see on your way include the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius, the Assumption Cathedral, the Cathedral of St Dmitry, the Suzdal Kremlin, The Ipatiev Monastery, and much more. All of them have played an important role in the Russian Orthodox Church formation.

Traveling along the Golden Ring, you will be able to see not only the sights related to religion but also lots of museums with military pieces, old books, beautiful handicrafts, amazing paintings of great Russian artists, and various showpieces that represent the attributes of the Russian way of life through centuries.

A Bit of Geography

The Golden Ring is situated in European Russia. The route crosses the Moscow region, Yaroslavl region, Kostroma region, Ivanovo region, and Vladimir region. All the towns are geographically close to each other, mostly at a distance of not more than 100 km, so a bus drive from one to another usually doesn’t take more than an hour and a half. Typically, the route starts in Moscow, but Vladimir, Yaroslavl, and Kostroma can serve as starting points too as they have airports. 

A Bit of Climate

Golden Ring tours to Russia are a good choice for a short vacation in any season of the year. The climate of the area is continental, which means you will need some vodka to warm up if you travel in winter. At the same time, summers there are not hot, so you won’t look all sweaty on your photos with local bears. Yes, there are many real bears, especially in Kostroma forests, and you will be able to take pictures with each of them!

A Bit About Locals

Following the route, you will visit different cities and get familiar with their culture by discovering local sights, trying local food, and meeting local people. Residents of the cities of the Golden Ring are friendly, open, and compassionate. How else can it be if they are living on the most popular route in Russia and regularly meet dozens of tourists?
Unlike metropolitans, local people live and have fun following the best Russian traditions. Dancing in circles, worshiping cucumbers, and riding in sleighs are a common practice there. By the way, many locals are somehow engaged in the tourism industry, for example making various handicrafts and selling them to tourists. So, while you are reading this, some babushka in Ivanovo may be weaving a carpet or a blanket for you!