Side Trips from Moscow: Places to Explore


  • Abramtsevo Estate Museum

    The 18th-century, wooden Abramtsevo Estate was at the center of Russia's cultural life in two different periods of the 19th century. It's easier to name the cultural figures of the early 19th century who... Read more

  • Leo Tolstoy's Museum in Yasnaya Polyana

    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) spent 50 years of his life at Yasnaya Polyana, where he was born, wrote his most significant works, undertook social experiments, and was buried. Here he freed his serfs and taught... Read more

  • New Jerusalem Monastery

    Far from the crowds, yet enticingly close to Moscow, this grandiose monastery is surrounded by captivating Russian countryside, a marvelous setting for walks. On a long summer's day, this would be an ideal... Read more

  • Pereslavl-Zalessky

    Pereslavl-Zalessky was founded in 1157 by Prince Yuri Dolgoruky, son of Vladimir Monomakh, the Grand Prince of Kiev. Yuri was given control over the northeastern outpost of what was then Kievan Rus' (the... Read more

  • Rostov

    Rostov, also known as Rostov-Veliky ("the Great") so as not to confuse it with Rostov-on-the-Don, is one of the oldest towns in Russia. Founded even before Riurik, a semi-legendary Viking prince, came... Read more

  • Sergiev-Posad (Zagorsk)

    Sergiev-Posad is a comfortable and popular day trip from Moscow. The town's chief attraction is the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, which for 500 years has been the most important center of pilgrimage in Russia... Read more

  • Suzdal

    Suzdal is the crown jewel of the Golden Ring, with more than 200 historic monuments and some of the most striking churches in Russia. This quiet tourist town of 12,000 on the Kamenka River is compact enough... Read more

  • Tchaikovsky's House Museum in Klin

    Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–93) spent a total of eight years in Klin, where he wrote Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique) and two of his three ballets, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. He resided at a series of... Read more

  • Vladimir

    Although this city of 350,000 seems unassuming today, half a millennium ago it was the cultural and religious capital of northeastern Rus'. Several of the monuments dating to this time of prosperity and... Read more

  • Yaroslavl

    Yaroslavl has a very storied history, beginning with an apocryphal founding. It's said that local inhabitants set loose a bear to chase away Prince Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054). Yaroslav wrestled and killed... Read more