Top Russia Attractions: Golden Ring One of the most popular destinations in Russia is The Golden Ring – a few ancient cities and towns to the north-east of Moscow which form a circle. They are often referred to as “open air museums” and boast unique Russian architecture of the XII-XVII centuries: old churches made of white stone, ancient fortifications, mysterious monasteries. These towns are among the most picturesque in Russia and are definitely of great interest to anybody looking to explore the Russian history and culture. If you are staying in Moscow for a couple of weeks, the towns of the Golden ring, situated relatively near (about 3-5 hours by car, coach or train), can be a nice change from the hectic big city. In the smallest towns of the ‘Golden Ring’ you will to see quieter, more peaceful life, experience provincial way of Russian life with some artefacts of the Soviet era. There is no exact list of the Golden Ring towns, sometimes you can see a list of 12, sometimes of 11 or 13. So if you are planning a trip along the route of the Golden Ring, you can either choose what you want to see yourself – if you are travelling on your own, or rely on your guide. In any case, you will surely see the main attractions. The ‘classical’ route begins in Moscow and goes through Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Rostov Velikiy, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy and Sergiev Posad. I have been to a few Golden Ring towns and cities but happened to have spent more time in Suzdal (about 226 km/ 140 m north-east of Moscow). Suzdal is a small ancient town first mentioned in the chronicles in 1024. During the Tatar Yoke in 1236-1259, Suzdal was partly destroyed and raided by the Tatars. Due to the vulnerable location, close to the enemy’s settlements, Suzdal was losing its strong position to Moscow. Nowadays, it is a quiet little town with a 19th century provincial feel – wooden houses, sleepy streets, geese and goats strolling freely near ancient walls of monasteries and churches. Planning to go to Russia? We are happy to assist with Russian visa support or any questions you have regarding your journey.