The 30 best sights of Rostov Veliky – description and photos

Rostov Veliky sights with photos and descriptions

This article contains TOP 21 of the best and most interesting places that you should see in the first place during your visit to Rostov Veliky. What to see in Rostov in 1 day from the main sights on your own and where to go in the evening to walk the streets? What delicious places to visit for dinner at sunset? We’ve put together an itinerary for such a walk and hasten to share a map, video review, photos, and other information.

Rostov, once called “The Great” on par with the ancient Russian cities, Veliky Novgorod and Veliky Ustyug, is located on the western shore of the picturesque Lake Nero. The famous tourist center, part of the “Golden Ring of Russia” route, first of all, attracts travelers who want to get acquainted with orthodox customs, admire beautiful landscapes, marvel at the jewelry work of masters of the past and the flight of fancy of modern history admirers. We have compiled a small list of Rostov Veliky sights with photos and descriptions, which will interest all members of the family.

Rostov Kremlin

Kremlin

The first place where we advise to go in Rostov Veliky is the Kremlin. Surrounded by majestic walls of white stone, there are several objects at once, about which we will talk in more detail. All of them belong to the museum-reserve “Rostov Kremlin”. Most visitors will find the structure, crowned with 11 domes, and decorated with large arched windows and tracery passages, familiar. Do not be surprised. You saw it in the movie “Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession”.

For a small fee, you can climb the Kremlin walls, and from the height you can see the beauty of Lake Nero on the one hand, and the sights of the city, photos and descriptions of which are presented in guidebooks, on the other. According to tourist reviews, the best time to go is spring. The area of the Metropolitan Garden, where fruit trees are planted, is drowned in snow-white flowers.

In the halls or “chambers” are arranged numerous museum collections. Here are some of the exhibits that are worth checking out.

Museum of Fine Art

Finifiti

Rostov finift or enamel painting is one of the original crafts. “Fire writing” came to Russia from Byzantium, and quickly acquired its unique features. First of all icons were executed in this genre, it was used to produce paintings, caskets, kitchen utensils with rich floral ornaments. Until 2000 the entire collection was in the building of the Rostov Kremlin. Today only a small part of the exposition is represented there. That is why we included in our review the next object, which is not far from the Kremlin walls.

Museum-factory “Russian Finift

One of the main museums of Rostov the Great. In it about 2000 works of fire art are presented. During the tour you will find out all the details of the technology and get acquainted with traditional Rostov painting styles. Floral ornaments, landscapes, biblical themes prevail in them. Be sure to watch a video review of the products, very fascinating things to buy for yourself.

Museum of Church Antiquities

Museum of Church Antiquities

In the White Chamber are exhibited ancient icons, sculptures, books. Widely represented are religious items, for church services and rituals. There is a small exposition devoted to household items and weapons, with the help of which the monks defended the monasteries in dashing times.

You will be definitely told the story of miraculous recovery in 2010 of one of the Rostov Velikiy’s landmarks, a 16th century altar cross, which was stolen from the museum at the end of the last century.

Ancient Russian Art” exposition

Old Russian Art

We advise you to visit the rumbling halls of the Samuilovsky building and get acquainted with 130 examples of Russian icon-painting. Not only icons made in paint are on display here. A whole hall is devoted to church embroidery, including the Stroganoff embroidery, known far beyond Russia.

Bell Art Center

Bell Art Center

Bell Center

The exposition is small, but interesting. It presents not only church bells, but also horse-drawn bells. The staff will tell about the history of bell art in Russia, show a film about the technology of bell manufacturing and hold a small master class.

Assumption Cathedral

Assumption Cathedral

One of the places we recommend to see in Rostov Veliky. Especially because it is a part of Rostov Kremlin. How old the Cathedral is not reliably known. In the XII century, it was rebuilt from stone on the site of the burnt-out temple. Since then, there have been two more fires. The construction of the 16th century in the style of Russian church architecture survived to this day. Today its inner rooms are under restoration. Architects are restoring the surviving walls of the old building, frescoes, gravestones of Rostov princes. However, visitors are allowed inside.

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The bell tower of the Assumption Cathedral

Bell Tower

The construction is so unique, that we allowed ourselves to talk about it, as a separate sight of Rostov in the Yaroslavl region. In the sizes it is equal to the Assumption Cathedral, the height of which is about 60 meters. Belfry is a four-tiered freestanding building. It is divided into 4 parts.

In one of them, the biggest bell out of 16 crowning the bell tower, “Sysoy” is placed. It weighs at least 2000 poods or about 32 tons. Besides him, 4 more bells have names: “Polyeleyny”, “Swan”, “ram” and “Golodar”. Their sound is unique, enhanced by the proximity of the lake. The Rostov Kremlin bells’ chime served as a musical accompaniment to some movies. You can go up to the observation platform of the belltower and take unique pictures.

Church of the Resurrection of Christ

Church of the Resurrection

Entering the territory of the Rostov Kremlin through the main gate, raise your head and pay attention to the gate church. How modest in appearance, so interesting is its interior decoration. Under the five domes hides a hand-painted iconostasis.

Church of Hodegetria

Hodegetria Church

On the territory of the Kremlin it is the only church that is not monumental in size. It is modest and one-domed, incredibly light and airy. Its unique diamond-shaped decoration gives it the latter qualities. On the second floor there is an exposition “Gold and azure shine”, which is devoted to religious rites and church articles.

The Church of the Savior on the Hay

Church of the Savior on the Hay Valley

The temple itself used to be a house church, combined with the private apartments of metropolitans. Pay attention to the simplicity of the decoration. There are only murals on the walls. The church has an exit to a garden and a small pond. It is true that the territory became a garden quite recently. In ancient times it was a vegetable garden, which supplied vegetables to the metropolitan’s table.

Red Chamber.

Red Chamber

inside the chambers

Seemingly unremarkable building of white stone. Attention is attracted only by large, untypical for dashing times, windows and two-tier openwork porch. Nevertheless it is one of the Rostov sights, which is worth not only to look at, but also to be photographed on its background. Yes, this is exactly the place where episodes of the chase from the Soviet film about Shurik and Ivan the Terrible were filmed.

Nero Lake

Nero

Shallow lake presumably of preglacial age. According to the most conservative estimates it is not less than 500 thousand years old. But that is not the point. Along the embankment of the lake in Rostov there are several piers, from which boats go on a small water journey in the summer. On their board are obtained remarkable photos of the city.

We recommend visiting the lake and fans of fishing. According to the local residents, in its waters catch large specimens of roach, bream, perch and pike.

Spaso-Yakovlensky monastery

Spaso-Yakovlensky Monastery

We advise to admire the water surface of the lake and the Rostov Kremlin from the observation deck of the Spaso-Yakovlensky monastery. The monastery itself is also worth seeing. In the 18th century by order of Empress Catherine the Great, the Spaso-Yakovlensky Dmitriev Monastery, which has already celebrated its 500th anniversary, and the younger Spaso-Pesotsky Monastery were united here.

Trinity-Sergius Varnitsa Monastery

Trinity-Sergius Varnitsa Monastery

What you can and should see in Rostov Veliky. We will take the liberty to recommend a visit to the Trinity-Sergius Varnitsa Monastery. Elegant building in white and maroon colors with gold and green domes, erected on the site of the ancestral home of St. Sergius of Radonezh. And although the first monks appeared in the monastery in 1427, our contemporaries can see the buildings that were built during the last 3 centuries.

Church of St. John the Theologian on Ishna

Church of St. John the Evangelist

If time permits, take a little trip. Just 3 kilometers from the city in the village of Bogoslov there is a unique monument of Russian church architecture. It was erected in the XVII century on a picturesque bank of the Ishna River.

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Khors Art Gallery

Horse

Contemporaries also do not stand still. In the gallery “Khors”, created by the Rostov artist M. Selischev you can get acquainted with the life of the city at the end of the XIX century. In addition to household items, documents and original photographs, the old mansion also houses an exhibition of the master’s works, among which a special place belongs to mosaics and stained-glass windows.

Frog Tzarevna Museum

Where to go with children

For tourists traveling as a family, the question of what to visit all together in such a way that no one gets bored is always relevant. The kingdom of the frog transforming into a beauty is that very place. During the tour you will learn everything about this inconspicuous mammal, where it lives and what it eats, in which fairy tales, rituals and beliefs it plays a key role. At the end of the tour guests are invited to a small interactive adventure.

Alyosha Popovich’s farmstead

Alesha's farmstead

Theater of Alyosha Popovich

Among the attractions for children, we would like to mention an interactive museum. Its visit will please active children and inquisitive adults who know that the strongest and bravest heroes lived in Rostov Veliky. Here you can not only see the bogatyr equipment, but also use them in the fight against the enemies of the land of Russia during the quest.

Museum “Baklushi” and the Library of jam.

Baklusha Museum

jam

This is the smallest and tastiest museum that we recommend to visit with children in Rostov and see how they make and paint wooden spoons, make a birdhouse with your own hands and taste the jam that is served with aromatic tea.

City Park

Where to walk in Rostov

There are few entertainments in Rostov Veliky. The city park on the lake shore is popular with residents and its guests. In summer, there are rides and trampolines, for little travelers are open playgrounds. In the winter, you can rent a “whirlpool” and take a breeze ride down the slide.

What to see in Rostov in 1 day of sights?

  • From what to see in one day in Rostov from the sights, note first of all Rostov Kremlin. It is located in the central part of the city and combines several tourist attractions at once. We recommend to start from the Assumption Cathedral and its famous bell-tower, see Voskresenskaya Church, admire openwork walls’ interlacing of Hodegetria Church, and go up to the museum “Sparkling gold and azure”. It will take you at least 3 hours to see and take a picture.

There are several museum expositions available in the Kremlin. To save time, choose the ones you want to visit in advance. Climb the snow-white walls and then go down through the Metropolitan Garden to the lake. Getting around Rostov in 1 day is difficult, and a boat ride will allow you to explore the city and take numerous photos. For such a walk in the first place we recommend to take a tour, you won’t regret it.

All the sights are located near each other, so you can see a lot for 1 day on your own, especially on sightseeing tours with fascinating guides.

Rostov the Great: dinner on a king’s style, a Dutch fortress and archaeologist’s office

Beginner travelers and foreign tourists may be confused by the fact that there are two Rostovs in Russia. The million plus city and regional center on the Don has an older namesake in the Yaroslavl region, 200 km from Moscow. This is Rostov the Great.

I offer to get acquainted with the oldest city in our country. I will tell you where to go, what to see and where to eat in order to spend unforgettable weekends in Rostov Veliky.

What to see in Rostov Veliky: sights of the city

Rostov Veliky was founded in 862, and its fate has never been easy. The city survived arson, destruction and even a tornado, for three hundred years it was the center of the Rostov principality, had its own metropolis, but over time it lost its importance. Rostov Veliky is also a part of the route of the Golden Ring of Russia.

All the main sights of Rostov the Great can be seen on the map to make a plan for your own walk.

Rostov Kremlin

It is the visiting card of the city. The Kremlin was built in the 17th century and served as the residence of the metropolitan. The complex was not built as a defensive structure, so it lacks any specific fortification features – the towers have no solemn embrasures, the line of the upper battlements is continued by windows with casings, the entrance gate is too wide for a fortress. The first inhabitant of the Rostov Kremlin, Metropolitan Jonah Sysoevich, conceived his residence so that it corresponded to a biblical description of paradise: “Surrounded by walls with towers the paradise garden with a mirror of the pond in the center”.

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A hundred years later the metropolitan pulpit was moved to Yaroslavl, and the spacious buildings of the Rostov Kremlin began to be used as a storehouse. Worship services in the temples were not conducted, the complex gradually dilapidated. The situation got to the point, that in the second half of XIX century the Kremlin was wanted to be demolished, but local merchants restored it with their own money.

In the 1950s a tornado hit the city, which damaged the architectural monuments – almost all buildings lost their roofs and domes. The restoration took three years.

At the end of the 1970s, the Rostov Kremlin played the role of the Moscow Kremlin in Leonid Gaidai’s famous comedy Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession, so we can say that everyone in our country has seen it at least once.

The Rostov Kremlin is a museum-reserve. From Sunday to Thursday on the territory are allowed from 09:00 to 17:30, on Fridays and Saturdays you can stay up to 19:00. The museum has one day off – January 1.

A walk through the Kremlin grounds without visiting the exhibitions will cost ₽100 per person. Tickets are sold at the official website and in the ticket offices of the museum-reserve. It is recommended to buy a complex ticket for all exhibitions, it costs 850 ₽. Rostov Kremlin’s expositions are open every day from 10:00 to 17:00, except for the first Tuesday of every month.

If you are planning a visit from May 1 to October 17, you can walk along the fortress wall and see the frescoes in the Church of the Resurrection (it is closed in the cold season). The visit is included in the comprehensive ticket, and if you want just here, it costs ₽300.

The main dominant feature of the ensemble is the five-domed Assumption Cathedral, built in the early 16th century, which is a hundred years earlier than the Kremlin itself. Unlike other attractions of the complex, there is no admission charge. I should warn you: inside there is absolute devastation, almost nothing is left of the frescos, there are gaping holes in the iconostasis, there are scaffolding along the walls. The restoration is slow, because the temple was not heated, and work is only allowed during the warm season. In late 2019, the heat was done, but with the onset of the pandemic, the repairs were put on hold.

I share with you a secret that I learned only on my fourth trip: on the right side of the iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Assumption there is a staircase that leads to the chapel. You can go down to the shrine, where the relics of the patron of the city Leontius of Rostov are located. This is not prohibited, but the entrance for some reason is not labeled.

Near the temple is another famous attraction – bell tower of the cathedral. It was built in 1682, at the same time Moscow masters cast two huge bells: “Polyeleyevnyi” weighing 1000 poods (16 tons) and “swan”, stretching to 500 poods (8 tons). A little later the bell tower was adorned by a giant bell “Sysoi” weighing 2000 poods (almost 33 tons). It was named in memory of the builder and the first inhabitant of the Kremlin, Metropolitan Jon Sysoyevich. For “Sysoy” to take its place in the belfry, an additional tower was attached to it. “Novodel” is easy to distinguish – it is larger in volume. You can take a closer look at the antique bells – climbing to the belfry costs 100 ₽, payment in cash.

In the White Chamber is the Museum of Church Antiquities . You will see icons, first books, textiles, furniture, weapons and other antiquities. Notice the big windows and vaulted ceilings – metropolitans used to receive important guests here and gave dinner parties. Tickets cost ₽100.

A smiling lion is one of the symbols of the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality, of which Rostov was a part. It can be found on frescoes, bas-reliefs, door handles and in the Museum of Church Antiquities

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But Ivan Vasilievich from a Gaidai comedy was feasting in another room – the Red Chamber. The building can be easily recognized by the carved porch with two tents. By the way, you can also have lunch there.

In the Church of Hodegetria, there is an exposition of Treasures of the Rostov Kremlin. It combined works of Baroque period: artistic silverware, icons and even tombstones. The entrance fee is ₽100.

Museum of Rostov finery occupies the oldest building of the complex – the Court Prikaz (the local administration was located here). Miniature enamel painting is a traditional craft of Rostov the Great. The ticket costs ₽200.

In the Center of Bell Art you can not only look at the large bells and very small bells, but also ring some of them. The entrance fee is 100 ₽.

The Metropolitan Garden, which adjoins the walls of the Kremlin on the south side, deserves special attention. It’s best to walk there in May, when apples, pears, plums and cherries blossom. For several years, scientists have been restoring the layout and composition of crops, so that we had the opportunity to walk in the garden of the XVII century archbishop’s residence.

Don’t be surprised if you happen to wander into beds in the garden. It is a reconstruction of metropolitan’s kitchen garden, the creation of which was also the responsibility of historians. By the way, quite an interesting assortment was grown here: valerian, peas, basil, and even artichoke.

In the Pantry Chamber there is a working room of the archaeologist. You can get acquainted with the secrets of his work, see ancient finds. There is an exposition of open storage of archaeology fund. Tours are held three times a day at 11:00, 13:30 and 15:30 on Fridays and Saturdays, for groups of no more than 15 people. A visit to the archaeological museum is not included in the single ticket. To sign up for this tour, call the museum’s information line at 8 (930) 116-17-05.

The Kremlin is surrounded by another attraction along its perimeter – the Zemlyanaya Fortress. This is an old Dutch fortification system, which was created by engineer Jan Cornelius van Rodenburg at the request of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich. The fortress was built in the middle of the XVII century, but it had never been used, but almost all ramparts, bastions and curtain walls were preserved, and some of the moats are still filled with water. If you look at a satellite image of Rostov the Great, you can see a star, whose beams diverge in different directions from the Kremlin.

To feel the atmosphere of the old merchant town, look into the Trading Rows. I can’t guarantee that you will be interested in the assortment of local stores, but you can make a photo of a one-story gallery with the domes on the background.

If you walk from here along Volodarskogo street, and then along Sovetskaya street, in five minutes you’ll find yourself in the City Park on the embankment of Nero lake.

There are several historical events associated with the lake. Rostov was the second city of Kievan Rus, which was baptized. In 991, Prince Vladimir baptized the local residents in the waters of Nero. In honor of the event, a Memorial Cross was erected on the shore.

Peter I planned to build a fleet here, but changed his mind because of the shallowness of the lake. As an entertainment you can rent a boat at the pier and take a boat trip around the Nero. There are beautiful views of the city from the water. The price to rent a catamaran is ₽600 per hour, the boat is ₽700. A boat ride for a large group (11 people) will cost ₽700 each.

Swimming in the lake is not recommended because of the high content of sapropel – centuries-old silt deposits.

Tourists with children are advised to visit the Museum of Tsarevna-frog. The interactive program includes a journey into the fairy tale, a battle with Koshchey, refreshments and many exhibits. The price for adults is 150 ₽, for children 100 ₽.

At the Onion Village, guests will be told about local customs associated with this root vegetable and will be offered lunch in a themed cafe. Tickets for the interactive program are ₽ 220 for adults, ₽ 150 for children.

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Where to eat in Rostov Veliky

The restaurant infrastructure is better developed than the hotel one, Russian cuisine prevails.

Inexpensive and tasty lunch can be had in Alyosha Popovich, a cozy cafe in a log house. You will be offered dishes from the products of Yaroslavl region farms. The hits of the menu are pelmeni (with meat or fish), “Rostov” hodgepodge, pikeperch dishes. Try the holodecks served in the cremains in the manner of dessert and take a samovar of tea – it looks photogenic and served with dried fruits and jam as a compliment. The average check for the place is from ₽400.

I always take tea from Alyosha Popovich with me as a souvenir, different blends (with flower petals, berries, needles, herbs) are sold here in Kraft bags.

For dinner I recommend to go to the restaurant-museum Sobranie To spend an evening in the atmosphere of Russian antiquity – in a large hall under the vaulted ceiling of the Red Chamber of the Rostov Kremlin. The interior of this place is familiar to many people from the film “Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession”, the scene of the feast was shot exactly here. Pay attention to the specialties – daily cabbage soup and Guryevskaya porridge by Leo Tolstoy’s recipe. The average bill is within 500-700 ₽.

Be sure to stop by the People’s Academy of Uchi Dvor . I recommend the appetizer “Zakolot” (fish with mushrooms baked in sour cream under a cheese crust) and kulebyaka “pike assortment”, which is accompanied by onion jam. The average bill is 700 ₽.

When to go to Rostov Veliky

The best time to go to Rostov Veliky is in the summer. From May to June, the city has the most sunny days, with an average temperature of +20-25 °C. There are mild winters (-8-10 ° C) and snow adds a special charm to the local scenery. I do not advise to come in autumn – strong winds blow from Lake Nero.

The air temperature in summer is up to +25 ° C, in winter about -10 ° C.

How to get to Rostov Veliky

The nearest airport to the city is in Yaroslavl. You can take a cab for 1400 ₽ or bus number 183 changing at the Yaroslavl bus station to the route number 107. The way without traffic will take just over two hours.

Through Rostov Veliky go trains to Moscow, Adler, Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Vorkuta, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Chita. I recommend to buy tickets in advance, in season they can be sold out even a week before date of trip.

The bus station and train station are on Dostoevsky st., 5 minutes from the Kremlin by cab (about 100 ₽) and 25 minutes by bus (for 21 ₽).

I recommend getting around the city on foot (often even faster than taking a bus) or by cab, the average check per trip is 100 ₽. There is no carsharing, nor is there a scooter rental service.

Where to stay in Rostov Veliky

It is better to choose accommodation in the maximum proximity to the Kremlin. Behind Karla Marksa Street historic buildings give way to the typical construction.

In the center, I advise to look for housing with caution, carefully analyze ratings and reviews. So that small windows under the ceiling or old feather pillows do not spoil the rest, you can stay in Azimut, it is the only chain hotel in town.

Tips for tourists

1. Before your trip, watch “Ivan Vasilievich changes his profession”. In this way a walk around the Kremlin will turn into an interesting quest through the iconic places.

2. It is better to take a complex ticket and walk around the Rostov Kremlin for a whole day – there is a lot to see.

3. in summer rent a boat to enjoy the panorama of the city from the water, and in winter – skates to visit an unusual skating rink in the walls of the Kremlin.

4. Tea lovers I advise to look into the cafe “Alyosha Popovich”, the drink is served with the utmost respect – in a samovar. You can bring your favorite tea blend as a souvenir.

5. Take a closer look at the hills and ravines – this is part of the Dutch fortress and architectural monument, you can take a route along the perimeter.

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