The Golden Ring tailor-made holidays
A visit to Russia would be incomplete without taking in the wonder and the madness that is Moscow. The city pulsates, with people, with energy, and with commerce. It's huge, both in size and in history. The buildings are huge too, from the Stalin-Gothic skyscrapers to the old cathedrals, and their architectural contrasts typify the contrasts to be found throughout the city - stratospheric wealth and streetside poverty, cynical politics and idealistic art, BMWs and the Bolshoi Theatre.
The heart of the city holds its history, here sits St Basils Cathedral on Red Square although Stalin wanted to demolish it, as it stood in the way of impressive military marches. Here lies Lenin's Mausoleum too, in the shadow of the Kremlin. The city spreads out from here like ripples in a pond, a series of circles making navigation easy.
Moscow is a surprisingly easy city to walk in, but taking the Metro is a real treat too, with some stops rivalling cathedrals with their soaring halls and frescoes - there is history everywhere in this city for cultural city breaks, but plenty of modern glamour too, with sleek designer shops and multi-starred hotels that drip luxury.
By way of contrast, close to this clamorous capital lies a circle of ancient towns that when combined, form one of Russia's oldest and most delightful destinations. Collectively known as the Golden Ring, these towns are medieval masterpieces. Suzdal, set by the gentle Kamenka River retains a romantic rural atmosphere, thanks to its protected status. Chickens and goats wander grassy thoroughfares interspersed with architectural gems, including 12th century churches.
The open-air Museum of Wooden Architectural Life emphasizes the real sense of old Russia found in this town. Vladimir, once considered the capital of ancient Rus, and Yaroslavl, filled with dreamy domes and spires, are just as enchanting. Combined with a stay in the capital in a tailor-made tour, the Golden Ring adds another, ancient dimension to a break in Moscow.
Top itineraries in Moscow & The Golden Ring
Russia is undoubtedly one of Europe's biggest cultural draws and this five-night tour lifts the lid on its two most celebrated cities: Moscow and St Petersburg.
Explore Russia's urban powerhouses in Moscow and St Petersburg as you uncover everything from imposing neoclassical cathedrals and 18th-century citadels to Stalinist metro stations and museums containing masterpieces by Raphael and Rembrandt.
Take in the beautiful city of St Petersburg before boarding one of the world's most luxurious trains, the Golden Eagle, and setting off on a quest to find the Northern Lights in the Russian and Norwegian Arctic.
Top places to stay in Moscow & The Golden Ring
Where to go in Moscow & The Golden Ring
Vladimir is a gem on the Golden Ring, the circle of towns north-east of Moscow that combine to form a dreamy circuit of gilded domes and monastic spires. This Golden Ring city and one time capital of Russia enjoyed its Golden Age in the 12th century, during which the glorious five-domed Cathedral o…
Founded by Yaroslav the Wise at the spot where the rivers Volga and Kotorosl meet, Yaroslavl grew quickly to become a thriving trading town, with the Volga delivering Persian, Indian, Ottoman and European traders. It still thrives, although now commerce is of the industrial variety.
Suzdal is surrounded by an aura of enchantment. This Golden Ring medieval capital is federally protected, and as a result is almost as rural as it was centuries ago. It's all a bit fairytale - Suzdal sits by the meandering Kamenka River, surrounded by meadows and wildflowers, and within the hill to…
When to go to Moscow & The Golden Ring
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