Onion Domes and Old-World Charm

If you’ve made it as far as Vladimir it would be a shame not to hop on a bus and make the 40-minute journey to Suzdal, rightfully referred to as the diamond of the Golden Ring. If you’re looking for rustic charm, more wooden carvings than your Instagram account can cope with, and a remarkable ratio of churches to human beings, Suzdal is the place for you.

Start your explorations at the Suzdal Kremlin, home to the beautiful blue-domed Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral, a museum, a few streets of houses and several smaller churches. Leaving the Kremlin, take the bridge across the river to the Museum of Wooden Architecture and Peasant Life. It’s more about the former than the latter, but the picturesque Church of the Transfiguration from 1756, a café serving medovukha (a honey based drink) and the old mills make it a lovely place to while away an hour or two.

Further north is Suzdal’s biggest monastery, Saint Euthymius. The complex features buildings and churches funded by Ivan the Terrible and the wealthy Pozharsky family. There is no shortage of guest houses and restaurants, so if making the journey back to Moscow doesn’t seem like an attractive option, spend the night and have dinner and a few glasses of Georgian wine on the terrace at Gostiny Dvor.

There are no direct trains from Moscow to Suzdal, it is necessary to go to Vladimir first and then travel on from there. Take the express train from Kurskaya Station to Vladimir. Cross the road to the bus station and buy a ticket to Suzdal. Buses depart every 30 minutes. Many visitors choose to make a weekend out of seeing Vladimir and Suzdal.

Suzdal, Moscow Region