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Kostroma in One Day – Explore Golden Ring Russia

a large building

Kostroma is one of the ancient towns northeast of Moscow, and belongs to Golden Ring Russia, a complex of historic cities, one of the oldest in Russia. Founded in 1152, Kostroma is mostly known for being the motherland of Romanov family, who lived here before becoming the Russian Tsars.

The Ipatiev Monastery

Start your day in Kostroma from visiting the main attraction of the city – the Ipatiev Monastery, where the first Romanov Tsar Mikhail was saved from Polish invaders. The Ipatiev Monastery was founded in the 14th century and now it functions as a museum. It preserves big exposition, which describes the Romanov’s dynasty and has a great collection of icons from different historical periods. You will easily spend here couple of hours wandering around the numerous buildings of the monastery, including the Trinity Cathedral.

Ipatiev Monastery

Before going to Kostroma (or any other town of Golden Ring Russia), don’t forget to pack proper clothes. In the orthodox churches visitors are expected to wear long trousers/ skirts and to cover your heads with a scarf (if you’re a female). In some places, for example in Ipatyev Monastery, you can also rent (for free) special skirts and scarf, which you wear on the territory of the church. Like this:

visit a church in Kostroma

Just outside of the monastery, you will find a market, where local vendors sell very typical to this regions textiles made of linen: blouses, skirts, dresses and tablecloths.

Must-sees of Kostroma

Moreover, in the same part of the city there is Museum of Wooden Architecture. There you can see real example of old wooden Russian houses and churches. What is exciting you can see how people lived there, what were the attributes of their daily life. Also quite often the museum hosts different oriental shows with original songs, dances and costumes.

Afterwards, take a walk to the other side of the Kostroma River and explore the attractions in the centre of Kostroma. Practically all of them are around the central square, the Susanin Square, which locals sometimes call a “frying pan”, because it heats up so much in the warmer days that it’s impossible to stay there too long.

The Fire Tower is the main attraction of the square. It’s of the symbols of Kostroma built in classicism, with columns and a traditional porch.

Kostroma city tour

Another interesting building is the guardhouse built in the 19th century with beautiful exteriors in the Empire style. Inside, there’s a historical military museum, which exhibits weapons, awards, medals from the 12th to 20th century. In the museum, you can even try on an old military costume at their interactive exposition.

Kostroma local tour

In the afternoon simply walk around the cozy streets of Kostroma and admire the beautiful buildings from the 18th and 19th century.

Kostroma wooden house
white stone Russian architecture
Kostroma building
wonderful Kostroma

Where to eat in Kostroma?

If you’re up to a traditional Russian food, visit Slavyanskyrestaurant. Not the cheapest, but for sure very tasty option with big variety of Russian dishes: soups and main courses. It can be a nice closing of your sightseeing, as the restaurant is located right in the centre. Address: Molochnaya Gora, 1

If you just want to grab a snack and coffee, we recommend a cafe called “Roga i kopyta” (“Horns and hooves”). All decorated in style of the early 20th century, it will be a nice “pit stop” to get some energy for further sightseeing. Address: Sovetskaya street, 2

We recommend combining visit to Kostroma with other Golden Ring Russia cities, for example with Yaroslavl. You can book one of the existing itineraries or we can tailor a trip to Golden Ring just for you!