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Here's Why You Should Travel The Golden Ring In Russia

Posted by Jen King on 11/10/14 12:36 PM


Ready for a tour of some of the oldest cities in Russia? Take a trip through the Golden Ring of cities ... starting in Moscow.
Moscow and St. Petersburg are the biggest attractions for foreigners in Russia, but if you want to see true Russian life and how a majority of the country lives, you only need to travel a few hours outside of Moscow!
You can also get a good glimpse by volunteering in Russia — that guide is crammed full of the answers you're looking for. 
Get a view of beautiful old churches, monasteries, and a less bustling daily life. Many of Russia's most sacred sites are in cities like Vladimir and Suzdal. These cities (and a couple others) make up Russia's Golden Ring. And according to Lonely Planet, it's "textbook Russia: onion-shaped domes, kremlins and gingerbread cottages with cherry orchards." 

Yes, please. 

ILP Volunteers in Russia
This suggested itinerary gets you through the entire ring in under $100 USD!  Many recommend having at least 5 days to spending traveling around the whole ring. If you don't have time to visit each city, ILP volunteers living in Moscow can easily make a weekend trip to just Vladimir and Suzdal, two very ancient and proud Russia cities.


Start the trip by visiting world famous Moscow (or by living there!). Many ILP volunteers live in Moscow and teach English part-time at different schools around the city, giving you lots of free time to explore the city during the week. Oh, and you'll have every Saturday and Sunday off to explore even more here, or explore another Russian city. 

ILP Russia


Get a feel for the more traditional life in Russia by going to one of bigger cities in the Golden Ring like Vladimir. Vladimir has lots to offer with less of the hectic, Westernized influences that you might get in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Located just over 100 miles from the east of Moscow, Vladimir is a good first stop on "the Ring". It once was the capital of Russia and has plenty of interesting history to offer like gorgeous old churches, monasteries, and museums.  


Just 3-4 hours from Moscow by bus or train and only 20 miles north of Vladimir. Suzdal is one of the smallest towns in the ring (a population of around 13,000) and gives you a view of the much slower paced life in Russia, especially when compared to big city Moscow.

Take a stroll around the hilly countryside to get views of old buildings that are still in great shape.  Supposedly the city hasn't changed much since the 12th and 13th centuries so you can really get a feel for the old world charm of historic Russia. You can't walk a block without seeing an old church or monastery! 

ILP Russia


Kostroma is a quiet town located along the Volga River. A lot of people enjoy just strolling through the town and also seeing the Ipatiev's Monastery. Head here for a quiet couple of days of exploring and finding some local food with your ILP group. 

Each volunteer is set up with a group of college-aged volunteers that you'll travel with and teach with, so you won't be exploring rad cities like Kostroma alone. 


Yaroslavl is the biggest industrial city along the Ring, but has interesting history and architecture. Because it sits along a river, it was a huge shipping port and used to be one of the most powerful and wealthiest cities in all of Russia. 

Rostov Veliky

Just 3-4 hours from Moscow by bus or train. Rostov Veliky is one of the smallest towns in the ring, very similar to Suzdal. Wondering how to spend a day here? How about wandering around the Kremlin and taking a walk by Lake Nero. Oh and don't forget your camera — you won't want to miss out on the sites in this Russian city. 

ILP Russia

Ready to spend a semester as an ILP volunteer living in Russia? You'll be a part-time English teacher, part-time traveler ... no experience necessary! 

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Topics: Russia, Travel Destinations

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