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Yaroslavl in One Day – Explore Golden Ring Russia

a small clock tower in the background

Yaroslavl is a city located about 270 km away from Moscow. Unlike other Golden Ring cities, Yaroslavl has a considerably big population of over 600 thousand inhabitants. Tourists like this city mostly for the ancient sights, as the city was found in 1010.

Yaroslavl view

Saviour Transfiguration Monastery

Go to the historical centre and explore the main attraction of Yaroslavl: Saviour Transfiguration Monastery.Monasteries in old times in Russia functioned as fortresses, because in case of a war, they could protect the inhabitants behind its walls. Saviour Transfiguration Monastery was found in 11-12th century, but the oldest building remained only since 16th century as the complex survived through several big fires. This monastery was beloved by Ivan the Terrible and during the time of his ruling was very rich and got many lands to its property.

You will be expected to buy tickets at the entrance to the monastery, as it is functioning as a museum right now. If you don’t want to visit the whole complex, you can buy tickets for to enter particular buildings. The must see is the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral, which preserves the oldest fresques from Ivan the Terrible times, 16th century. Keep in mind, that it is closed during the winter time from 1st of October to the 1st of May.

Yaroslavl church
The best view to the city is observed from the top of a bell tower, which is available for public with its two levels. It has a very intriguing architecture, as it was built in the 16th century in the traditional style of orthodox churches and then was additionally decorated in the 19th century with rather extravagant elements of pseudo Gothic.
Yaroslavl city view

The best thing about the bell tower is that you can see the whole city from the top of it. Enjoy the view of the river and the historical part of the city and compare it with the modern look of the town.

Bell tower Yaroslavl
Yaroslavl bells
Yaroslavl Chapel

Kazan’s chapel

Just outside from the monastery, if you walk out on the side of the Volga river, stands the Kazan’s chapel. It was built in 1997 and is rather small but the special thing about it, is that it is drawn on Russian banknote of a 1000 rubles. A must thing to do in Yaroslavl is to compare the banknote drawing with the original chapel 🙂

Kazan's chapel

Church of Ilya the Prophet

In a walking distance from Saviour Transfiguration Monastery there is another landmark of Yaroslavl – , built on the place of two wooden churches in 1647-1650. It is decorated with beautiful green onion domes and inside it preserves original frescoes of 17th century, which survived till today practically with no changes.
Yaroslavl Monastery

When you finish exploring the Church of Iliya the Prophet, take a relaxing walk along the embankment of Volga River and Kotorosl River. Expect not only an amazing view of both rivers but also many attractions on its banks, including ancient churches and manor houses. Moreover, it is the favourite place for local to jog, bike and just hang out here.

Church of Iliya the Prophet

Where to stay in Yaroslavl?

In Yaroslavl you can find a wide choice of locally owned hotels and guest houses, which will show you even more of Yaroslavl lifestyle.

We recommend a new complex called Korovinskaya Sloboda, where you live in a wooden room, which smells of wood! Everything is new and tight and you can choose from different room types. There is also a banya (Russian sauna) on the territory. The hotel is located a bit far from the centre, so the easiest way is to reach it with a private car.

If you’re looking for something closer to the centre, you can try Merchant’s house or Alyosha Popovich Dvor. They are a bit more expansive but located in a walking distance from all main Yaroslavl attractions.

We recommend visiting Yaroslavl together with other Golden Ring Russia cities, for example, Kostroma.