The 20 best sights of Vladikavkaz – descriptions and photos

What to see in Vladikavkaz in one day

The sun almost always shines here: 260 sunny days a year, and the average winter temperature is only -8 ° C. Travelers come here at any time of the year, and everyone finds something interesting to see.

I made an itinerary for a walk around the city. The walking part will take about 2 hours, we will walk 5.5 km. Almost all the attractions are in the center, and the order of their visit can easily be changed.

What you will see

How to get to Vladikavkaz.

By plane. From Moscow to Vladikavkaz there are daily flights of different airlines: S7, Aeroflot, Pobeda, Utair and others. Depending on the season the ticket costs 2,500-9,000 R, in summer and winter it is more expensive. This is easy to explain: there are the cities of Kavkaz Mineralnye Vody and Prielbrusye in 200 kilometers from Vladikavkaz, and the ski resorts, such as Arkhyz and Dombai, in 380 kilometers.

Tickets to Mineralnye Vody Airport sell out quickly and cost from 5,000 R. Travelers who want to save money buy tickets to Vladikavkaz and then take 3,5 to 5 hours to get to the resorts.

Tickets are much cheaper in the spring and fall. For example, I several times got under the “Pobeda” offer and bought a one-way ticket from Moscow for 500 rubles – but without baggage, only with hand luggage. The journey by plane takes 2.5 hours.

From Saint-Petersburg the plane takes a little over 3 hours, the ticket costs about 5000 P.

The plane does not arrive in Vladikavkaz, but in Beslan. The airport is 25 km from Vladikavkaz. It takes 25 minutes to get there by cab. In the application “Yandex” trip costs from 600 R . Cab drivers, who stand at the entrance to the airport, usually assess a person by their appearance and call different amounts. The average price of a trip they have – from 1000 R . At the same time, many private cab drivers agree to take travelers at the cost of “Yandex” when they see that they call for a car through the application.

The bus goes to the bus station of Vladikavkaz in about 30 minutes, the fare is 31 R . The stop is at the exit of the airport.

By train. Train number 034S runs from the Kazanskiy railway station in Moscow to Vladikavkaz, and train number 135A from the Kurskiy railway station. The trip takes 1,5 days, the train comes practically in the city center. A place in the coach costs 2200 R, in the coupe – from 3500 R.

It takes two days to get from Moscow to Vladikavkaz by train.

From St. Petersburg the train takes two days. The ticket for second-class carriage costs from 5269 R, for compartment – from 5748 R.

From train station to the beginning of the route – 15 minutes on foot.

By bus. From Moscow bus stations “Schelkovskaya”, “Teply Stan”, “Krasnogvardeyskaya”, “Mitino” and “Kotelniki” are direct buses. The trip will take about a day, the ticket costs 2200-3000 R.

From bus station of Vladikavkaz to the beginning of the route you can go by bus № 8, 17 and 77 – get off at the stop “GGAU”. The fare costs 15 R.

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The route

The Lutheran church is the only building of its kind in southern Russia. It was built in 1866 for local Germans. They came at the invitation of Catherine II, who promised benefits. There were many Germans, they settled in colonies, one of which appeared in Vladikavkaz. Most of the newcomers worked as doctors, pharmacists, teachers and served in the Russian army.

The kirche stands out against the rest of the buildings with its Gothic style. There is a legend that during the construction of the building golden bricks were put inside, but it was never found, although the church was rebuilt. Now the building has been restored to its original appearance.

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During the restoration, the hall of the church was trimmed with wood for good acoustics. Source: Sergei Afanasev / Shutterstock

In the 1930s, the church was closed and the building was converted into a club. Today it has a branch of the Mariinsky Theatre – the North Ossetian State Academic Philharmonic Society. Valery Gergiev performed on its stage, and Tugan Sokhiev, the chief conductor of the Bolshoi Theater, began his career here. There is even a joke among the locals about this: “There are sticks in the blood of Ossetians. Conducting sticks.”

The concert schedule is posted on the Philharmonic’s website, and tickets are sold there as well. They cost from 100 to 500 R .

Evgeny Vakhtangov Theater. Evgeny Vakhtangov was born in Vladikavkaz, so the local theater is now named after him. The performances have been staged here since 1871: this is one of the oldest theaters in southern Russia. Mikhail Bulgakov’s name is also connected with its history: he wrote and staged his first works in Vladikavkaz. It was here that Bulgakov gave up his career as a doctor and went into creative work.

The auditorium can seat up to 800 people and has excellent acoustics – ballet performances are even staged here.

The theater’s website regularly updates the playbill. Previously tickets were only sold at the box office, so we booked them in advance by telephone. Now they’ve started selling them on the website too. The prices are affordable: a seat in the stalls costs 350-500 R, a seat in the amphitheatre costs 330 R and a seat on the balcony costs 100 R. The main idea is to have a seat on the roof of the Kremlin.

A seat on the balcony of the Evgeni Vakhtangov Theatre

I’ve been to a few classical productions, and the performances here seem to be particularly heartwarming. In Ossetia, many people know each other, so they play as for a close relative.

Peace Avenue. At first it was called Nesterovsky, after the arrival of the Emperor Alexander II it became Alexandrovsky, then Proletarsky, Stalinsky – and then Mira. But locals call it simply: Prospect.

The length of the avenue is slightly more than a kilometer, almost all of its length it is pedestrian – cars are allowed to pass it only at crossroads with other streets. Parking on it is also not allowed, but some people break this rule.

The avenue is being repaired now, but in parts, so the work does not interfere with walks. The street used to be tramways, but they have stopped the traffic for the time of the repair – only the rails are left.

There is an alley of sycamore trees in the center of Prospect Mira. I like to just walk along it and look at the old houses. Here famous photographers, writers, and members of the royal family – Evgeny Vakhtangov, Maria Savina, Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander II and his sons and many others – have created, lived and visited.

Houses on both sides of the avenue have restaurants and cafes. I especially like the nameless bakery at the corner with Mayakovskaya Street. It’s off the map and off the Internet, but the smell of fresh pastry spreads along the avenue – it’s almost impossible to resist buying it. Aromatic soft bun with jam as in the childhood is only 15-20 R, sandy muffins with cottage cheese – 30 R, a cup of coffee – 50 R.

National museum of North Ossetia is rich in antiquities: some exhibits date back to the Bronze Age. There are rare exhibits here, such as samples of Caucasian and Oriental weapons. In the museum you can also see reconstructions of the life of highlanders and their national clothes.

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Almost all the exhibits are signed, but to avoid wasting time reading the signs, I recommend taking a tour guide. The cost of his services is only 200 R . He will tell you about interesting Ossetian traditions and how the locals managed to live in the mountains without modern conveniences.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. The ticket for an adult costs 100 P, for a child 30 P.

Guide services in the National Museum of North Ossetia.

All these items and utensils used to make Ossetian beer. Source: alaniyanatsmuseum.rf

In 2020, the museum completed the restoration – now it is a modern space. Lectures and events are even held in the courtyard – such as this “Night at the Museum”. Source: National Museum of North Ossetia

Imperial Hotel. This beautiful three-story building is one of the oldest hotels in the city. At the end of the 19th century it was specially built to be a hotel. You can still book a room here today. Prices are higher than the city average, but they are manageable: for example, a double room with breakfast in November costs from 2950 P .

Once upon a time, for the first time in the city, dinners were held here to the accompaniment of a symphony orchestra.

K. L. Khetagurov Park is located between Prospekt Mira and the Terek River. It was named in honor of the famous Ossetian writer and poet Kosta Khetagurov. The park is one of the oldest in the south of Russia, it has many ash trees, linden trees, maple trees, plane trees and willows by the edge of the pond.

At first, the park was a small garden with a paid entrance. Then the garden was enlarged and bicycle races were held, a pond was built, bridges were built, paths were widened.

Recently, the local authorities began to take special care of the park: the paths were restored, the benches were renewed, the pond was cleaned. The park has stalls with ice cream, cotton candy, hot dogs and other snacks.

If you like more active rest, I recommend to take a ride on catamarans, for 30 minutes you will pay 150 R . More bike rentals in the park: an hour of riding costs from 100 P, a day – 500 P . Rental stations are open from 10:00 to 22:00.

It costs to rent a catamaran for half an hour.

If you are with children, I recommend visiting the amusement park “Tropic-Land”. There are a lot of merry-go-rounds for children, tickets cost 150-250 R. The park has a Ferris wheel with closed cabins. From its top you can see the Terek embankment, the Sunni mosque, and the streets and squares around the park. It won’t have a wow effect, but I think it’s a great way to relax during a long walk and see the city from a different perspective. One lap costs 150 R .

The Sunni Mosque is clearly visible from the Ferris wheel and is located on the opposite bank of the Terek River from the park. Locals like to say that it is a copy of one of the Cairo mosques, but I have found no confirmation of this fact. When they talk about the history of construction, they mention Al-Azhar mosque, but externally they are not similar at all.

The mosque in Vladikavkaz is beautiful and elegant. White limestone was brought for it from Baku, then the facades were lined with red bricks, and the building itself was decorated with stone vaulted windows and domes of sky-blue color.

The mosque is active and tourists are only allowed inside when there is no prayer going on. The exact schedule of prayers is available on the website of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of North Ossetia-Alania. If you get a chance, I recommend you to go there: the sumptuous decoration of the mosque fascinates me. The walls here are painted with quotations from the Koran, and the inscriptions themselves are made of pure gold. However, if you want to go inside, you should take care of appropriate clothing: avoid tight clothes, cover your arms and legs, women should wear a headdress.

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Terek River Embankment. Vladikavkaz is located on both banks of the river, so there are many well-appointed embankments here. I recommend walking from the Sunni Mosque to the street of General Pliev, twice Hero of the Soviet Union – it is him who has a monument on the square next to him. Locals call this monument “Batman” – probably because of his waving cape.

The Terek is a turbulent river, but it slows down its running in the town because small dams have been built here. On the waterfront there are kiosks with ice cream and other street food. Prices are average: for example, a hot dog costs 150 R , and five donuts with toppings – 100 R .

In another part of the embankment – near Kirov Bridge – a restaurant called “Premier” has recently opened. I like the fact that in the warm season there is an open area on the roof: it’s nice to sit in a soft chair and look at the river. A salad with veal loin, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, mozzarella and pine nuts, dessert and a cup of coffee costs 700 R. They also make great Ossetian pies, which I will tell you about further on in the article.

If you walk from “Premier” a little further to the river, you will come to the tavern “Old Bridge”. I have not been there myself, but my friends say that the food here is tasty and inexpensive, the average bill per person – 300-800 R . They especially like kebab and grilled vegetables.

The embankment of Vladikavkaz from the side of K.L. Khetagurov Park. One can even not believe that the river roars and boils somewhere in the mountains.

Memorial of Glory. It takes 22 minutes to get on foot from the previous point of the route, General Pliev Square. You can go part of the way by bus number 32 – get on at the stop “TSUM” and get off at the “Memorial of Glory”.

In the park opened one of the largest memorial complexes of the Caucasus – several monuments related to the Great Patriotic War. A column stands in the center of the complex, which spirally indicates the main milestones in the history of the war: the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk Bulge, the Battle of the Caucasus. At the foot of the column burns eternal flame. Around the complex stretches for 170 meters a memorial wall – a marble mosaic depicts scenes of war.

The Vladikavkaz aviation club. At the Memorial of Glory we will finish our walking tour. But if you still have some free time – go to the local aviation club. It is located in a small distance from our route, it is better to go there by cab – the road will take about 25 minutes and will cost about 200 R .

Vladikavkaz and North Ossetia are mountains. One day in the city will not be enough for a hike, but you will be able to go to the mountains by plane: you will see snow-covered peaks, thin threads of mountain rivers, green plains alternating with sharp cliffs.

The duration and the price depend on the type of plane – Vilga-25 or L-29. The ten minute flight on the usual plane costs 3500 R per person, half an hour on the jet plane – from 45,000 R . It is also possible to order the flight on a glider – it lasts 8-15 minutes and costs 1500-3000 R. Detailed information on the prices and instructor contacts are on a site of the aeroclub.

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What to see near Vladikavkaz

This point I will make separately, because many travelers come to the city just to make a trip to the mountains. Some believe that the landscapes of North Ossetia can be compared to the Alps. The most popular spots are Fiagdon, Tsei and Digor gorges.

Table Mountain is the same one that can be seen from Pliev Square, it is also depicted on the coat of arms of Vladikavkaz. Ossetians call it “Mady-Khokh”. which means “Mother Mountain” or “Mother Mountain”. Many see the outline of Stalin’s profile on its slope, but personally, no matter how much I tried, I could not make it out.

The mountain is accessible to climbers, and hikes are often organized on it. There are now many guides in town who will undertake to organize a tour of the mountain, and I personally went several times with the “Alania” tour club. They publish the schedule of upcoming hikes in social networks. Prices vary depending on the duration and program of the route. On average, the hike costs 1500 R per person.

Fiagdon. It takes only 50 minutes to get from the city to Fiagdon. At the Central market take a minibus № 270, which goes in the direction of Harisdzhin. There are three trips a day: at 09:30, 14:30 and 18:30. The fare is about 120 P .

The 20 best sights of Vladikavkaz – descriptions and photos

Table Mountain is depicted on the coat of arms of Vladikavkaz and is perfectly visible from the city. It is also present on the coat of arms of the Republic of Ingushetia, as it stands on its border with North Ossetia-Alania. It is one of the largest peaks of the Rocky Range of the Caucasus Mountains, its height is about 3000 m.

Vladikavkaz Zoo

The zoo in Vladikavkaz is small, but very cozy. It brings together animals from all over the world: lions, camels, bears, bison and many others. The zoo accepts and nurses sick animals even from other countries, thus enlarging its collection.

Imperial Hotel in Vladikavkaz

Construction of the Imperial Hotel in Vladikavkaz was completed in 1896. After the revolution, the building was briefly occupied by the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, but it was soon taken over by the hotel, only under a different name of Intourist.

Zhukovsky Children’s Park in Vladikavkaz

A small children’s park named after the poet V. Zhukov in Vladikavkaz. I. Zhukovsky, was built in Vladikavkaz in the 30s. of the 20th century in the place of the demolished temple, the city cemetery and Alexander Square. It used to have amusement rides and boisterous life.

National Museum of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania

The end of the 19th century in the North Caucasus was marked by active archaeological work, as a result of excavations have been found objects of the 20-4th centuries BC, corresponding to the Koban culture. A huge number of finds needed a place for storage and display, and in 1893.

The Kosta Khetagurov Park

The Central Park named after Kosta Khetagurov is the oldest and is considered the best in the North Caucasus. It was landscaped back in the first half of the 19th century, when the fortress of Vladikavkaz began to turn into a town.

Khetag Grove

Khetaga Grove is a sacred place for Ossetians, and its emergence is associated with an ancient legend. It says that Khetag, a Kabardian Christian who refused to accept Islam, fled to Ossetia, but he had no strength to reach the forest and hide there.

Bestuzhev Russian Drama Theater

The history of the Russian Drama Theatre named after Bestuzhev began in the 1920s, when a travelling orchestra from Moscow came to Verkhneudinsk on tour. The troupe that traveled all over the country was offered to stay in Buryatia. The actors agreed – so the city got its own drama theater.

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St. George’s Cathedral of Vladikavkaz

St. George’s Cathedral of Vladikavkaz is the largest and most beautiful Orthodox Church in North Ossetia, according to the opinion of inhabitants and tourists alike. Its construction began in 1996 on a specially allocated plot of land in the western part of Vladikavkaz, on the site of an old cemetery.

North Ossetian Opera and Ballet Theatre

The theater in the capital of North Ossetia was founded in 1958 as a musical and dramatic theater, in 1972 it introduced a ballet and opera repertoire, and in 2017 it became a branch of the Mariinsky Theater. In 2012, the theater received the status of National Treasure of the Republic.

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Sunni Mosque in Vladikavkaz

In the amazing city of Vladikavkaz on a relatively small area you can find a lot of temples of different religions. One of the noticeable sights of the city is a surprisingly slender Sunni mosque, standing on the left bank of the Terek River, at the foot of the picturesque Table Mountain.

Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Osetinskaya Gorka

The Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the oldest in North Ossetia, it was built and consecrated in the early 19th century. Later the church was reconstructed and expanded, it got its modern look in 1896. It is often called simply Ossetian church because of its location on the Ossetian hill.

Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator in Vladikavkaz

The Caucasus is diverse and bright as a kaleidoscope. Vladikavkaz, the main city of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, is no exception. On its streets you can meet representatives of the mass of nationalities, and, therefore, there are many churches of different faiths and religions.

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Table Mountain near Vladikavkaz separates not just North Ossetia-Alania and Ingushetia, but the two worlds of Christian and Muslim. Folk memory has preserved the legends of ancient times, associated with the centuries-old confrontation of religions. One of the most colorful is about the Khetag grove. Nature itself protected the fugitive from furious tribesmen. Every year local residents gather there, pray by the sacred trees, and treat each other to delicious Ossetian pies.

Modern Vladikavkaz is a hospitable city in the Caucasian style. Tourists enjoy strolling through the historic center, built up with rich houses at the beginning of the last century. The building of the Imperial Hotel and its garden-restaurant, which serves Caucasian cuisine, stand out among them. Children enjoy the small but very cozy zoo. In summer, in the park in the name of Kosta Khetagurov. Kosta Khetagurov Park opens a water park “Tropic-Land” with slides for children and adults, waterfalls and fountains.

History lovers waiting near the park in Prospekt Mira, 11, the National Museum of the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, with rich collections of various historical artifacts.

After years of persecution religious buildings were returned to believers of all religions. The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Ossetian Hill has been restored. The miracle-working icon of the Mother of God is especially revered here. The Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator is no less interesting. The red-brick building belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The Sunni Mukhtarov Mosque on the bank of the Terek River also attests to modern religious tolerance.

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