Sitting at the point where the mighty Volga river meets the smaller Kotorsol, Yaroslavl is a prosperous town dating back to 1010, which is rightly often referred to as the capital of the Golden Ring. Famed for its beautiful river side promenade, medieval churches and frescoes Yaroslavl boasts a UNESCO protected city centre filled with 18th and 19th Century Russian architecture peppered with huge medieval gates and towers. In addition to its pristine architectural sights, Yaroslavl also has a fine art museum and a wealth of historic treasures on show in the main monastery. Perfect for a relaxing city break Yaroslavl can easily be seen in a weekend, while if you have an extra day or two it’s a good jumping point for a trip to the picturesque river ports of Kostroma and Ples just a 1.5hr bus ride away.
- Arriving and getting around
- Hotels and hostels
- Restaurants and Cafes
- Churches and places of interest
Arriving and getting aroundFrom Moscow
Yaroslavl is a four hour train ride from Moscow and although there are many trains a day which leave Moscow and pass through Yaroslavl on their way to the Urals and Siberia, it is still wise to book your tickets a few days in advance. Trains to Yaroslavl usually leave from Yaroslavsky station (metro Komsomolskaya).
From St. Petersburg
There are four trains a day travelling to Yaroslavl. The journey takes between 12 and 14 hours depending on which train you take. From St. Petersburg’s Moskovsky station (metro Pl. Vosstaniya) trains depart at 17:11 and 18:14. Check www.tutu.ru for the latest timetable.
From the train station in Yaroslavl there are numerous buses (including the very regular trolley bus №1) which go towards Pl. Volkhova, Yaroslavl’s most central square.
Hotels and hostelsAlthough the majority of foreign visitors to Yaroslavl usually arrive here on river cruise liners, the city also has a more than reasonable selection of good hotels that are ideal for tourists and new European standard budget options are also gradually opening.
- Gostsevoy Dom na Volzhskoy naberezhnoy
- Hostel Good Luck
- Hotel Volzhskaya Zhemchuzhina
- Ibis Yaroslavl Center
- Ioann Vasilevich
- Ring Premier Hotel
Restaurants and CafesA prosperous town with noticeably friendly and laidback citizens, Yaroslavl has a good range of dining options which are welcoming for tourists. Fine dining is not really in the city's style, although that's not to say that the many restaurants in the centre are not good. There are in fact a number of memorable places to eat here, some of them feature great traditional Russian food while others serve European favourites like pizzas, pasta and steaks. With a sizeable student population there's enough to keep you entertained at night too. You can expect far lower prices than in Moscow and St. Petersburg for food, although alcohol prices can still reach the same heights as in the capital.
Our price guide is based on the average price of a main course:
€ 0 - 400Rbl
€€ 400 - 800Rbl
€€€ 800 - 1,200Rbl
€€€€ 1,200Rbl plus
ShoppingYaroslavl is not famous for any particular crafts or decorative items, so if you are looking for souvenirs, most likely you'll just want to pick up a magnet or a postcard. The monastery has a good selection of very cheap souvenir stalls and there are also a few in front of the new Uspensky Cathedral.
For food shopping try the city centre market at Sovietskaya Ulitsa 5 which has stalls piled with local fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese, honey and dried fruits.
SightseeingWith many pedestrianised streets and a delightful historic centre, Yaroslavl has managed to create for itself a small-scale café culture while culturally the biggest love of the locals is theatre and the arts.
Down by the Volga embankment you can walk for miles along romantic tree-lined promenades and admire the passing boats as well as visiting a number of museums situated in old merchant’s houses along the way. The biggest sights of Yaroslavl are its cathedrals, namely the new Assumption Cathedral, recently rebuilt on the site where the Soviets many years earlier had demolished that very same church, and the Spaso-Preobrazhensky (Saviour of the resurrection) Cathedral situated in the impressive monastery of the same name.
Churches and places of interest
- Assumption Cathedral (Uspensky Sobor)
- Church of Nikolai Nadein
- Church of St. Elijiah the Prophet (Ilya Prorok)
- Monument to our Lady of Kazan
- Spaso-Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration of the Saviour) monastery museum reserve
- Volkov Drama Theatre
- Volzhskaya Naberezhnaya (Volga Embankment)