Ancient temples and monasteries, merchants’ mansions and craft workshops, colorful city streets and picturesque Central Russian landscapes – all this is Yaroslavl, the first Russian city on the Volga. In 2016, it was recognized as the capital of the Golden Ring of Russia: it is one of the five most popular tourist regions, about 2 million travelers come here every year, and 3 cities of the Golden Ring adjoin at once on the territory of the Yaroslavl Region – Yaroslavl, Rostov and Pereslavl-Zalessky. Traditional and unusual museums operate in the regional center, the first Russian theater and the residence of the Empress Maslenitsa, and the Yaroslavl embankment is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.
According to ALLCITYCODES.COM, the symbol of Yaroslavl is a bear: according to legend, the city was founded on the spot where Prince Yaroslav the Wise hacked to death a bear, released on him by pagans. The legendary beast adorns not only the coat of arms and the flag of Yaroslavl – on the city streets you can see a lot of bear sculptures.
What to try
Guests of the city are fed with old Volga dishes, in which fish and bread (a variation – porridge – is the head of everything). In the city, you should definitely try the Volga fish soup, kulebyaka, cold and hot smoked fish.
In the menu of most restaurants, you can find Volga pike perch, which is cooked here according to recipes from the 19th century. Tourists especially like smoked and stuffed pike perch.
You should not pass by local pastries – pies with meat, fish, pickles and apples, kurniks and other closed pies – with salmon, chum salmon, cabbage, lingonberries. In the shops at the monasteries you can buy delicious monastic bread with pieces of vegetables or dried fruits.
The Yaroslavl province has long been famous for its delicious cheese: before the revolution, there were 300 cheese factories in the region, and a special breed of cows, Yaroslavl, was even bred for cheese making. Today, here you can try author’s cheeses prepared according to original recipes based on Italian, French and Dutch technologies, as well as the traditional Poshekhonsky variety.
Popular drinks are kvass and mead, made from honey from Borisoglebsky apiaries. You can taste and buy unusual varieties of kvass at the Kvass Museum: here you can try cranberry, mint, cherry and beetroot versions of this drink.
10 things to do in Yaroslavl
- To recite “Is it not time for us, brethren, to begin a word about Igor’s campaign…” in the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery.
- Admire the amazing frescoes and the most beautiful iconostasis of the Church of Elijah the Prophet.
- Take a walk along one of the most beautiful embankments in Russia – Volzhskayaand visit at least one museum located on it.
- Listen to a gramophone recording of Nadir’s aria performed by Leonid Sobinov in his house-museum.
- Stand in reverence before the oldest icon of Russia – the Almighty Savior in the Yaroslavl Art Museum.
- See the entire Golden Ring of Russia in miniature in the Golden Ring show layout.
- Go out to the premiere of the play at the first Russian theater – Volkovsky.
- Take a picture with a thousand-ruble banknote against the backdrop of the monument to Yaroslav the Wise.
- Independently make a Yaroslavl tile in the craft space “ArtEl”.
- In memory of the city, buy bears of all textures, sizes and colors.
Cafes and restaurants in Yaroslavl
Cafes and restaurants in the historical center of Yaroslavl enjoy the interest of tourists in sights and offer a good selection of Russian and international dishes – from pies and khachapuri to burgers and pizza.
For a quick bite to eat during the excursion “race”, you can have pancakes at the counter or take away – the usual ones and with stuffing up to smoked fish and caviar. Many cozy cafes are located on the Kirov pedestrian street (where you can also admire the buildings of the 19th century) and Deputatskaya parallel to it. In the refectory “Russian Tea”, for example, fragrant donuts and tea of different varieties are served. A large selection of pies is available at the Shtolle chain cafe.
With children, you can have lunch at the AnderSon or Freken Bok cafes, have a cup of delicious coffee at the Horns and Hooves author’s coffee shop on Pervomayskaya. Vegetarians will appreciate the “Monastery refectory” at the Cyril-Afanasevsky Monastery: lunch here costs only 150-200 RUB.
Upscale restaurants in Yaroslavl are located mainly on the Volzhskaya embankment (with excellent views of the river) and on Svoboda street. Delicious seafood is served at Persona on Pervomayskaya, fish dishes are best ordered at the Mili restaurant near the station, Traktir and Sobranie specialize in Russian cuisine. Dinner for two with a bottle of wine in such establishments will cost 1500-2000 RUB.
Top 5 restaurants in Yaroslavl
- “Fairy Tale” – a restaurant in the center of Yaroslavl, on the street. Freedom. Both traditional and author’s dishes are prepared here in the Russian oven, and the pride of the establishment is a rich wine collection.
- “Penates” – an exquisite restaurant of modern molecular cuisine. The menu includes beef tartare with mustard ice cream, smoked duck with glazed pear, tomato soups, pike perch cutlets and seafood delicacies.
- “AnderSon” – a small family cafe in an old mansion with games rooms and an open veranda. Children and adults alike enjoy the varied menu, beautifully presented dishes and delicious desserts, especially the pistachio roll.
- Mili is a conceptual restaurant of author’s cuisine where you can order fish and meat dishes from different nations of the world: Baikal soup with omul, pike or duck cutlets, Turkish manti, halibut and grilled salmon.
- “Ioann Vasilyevich” – a restaurant of Russian cuisine at the hotel of the same name. Here they cook fish soup, cabbage soup and hodgepodge, beef stroganoff and fire cutlets, fried pike perch and sea bass.
In Yaroslavl, not only traditional but also alternative art flourishes: the ancient city has many modern art objects, street art festivals are held, buildings are decorated with works of street artists. The most interesting graffiti can be seen on the street. Svoboda, Republican and Saltykov-Shchedrin: from cartoon characters to portraits of famous scientists, artists and writers.
In the park on Revolutsionnaya, an art object “Twist IT” was installed. This is a plane with 33 multi-colored tablets on which different desires are written: from “I want to sleep peacefully” to “to see the end of the world.” In order for the wish to come true, you need to turn the selected plate three times.
An avant-garde punk-style sculpture rises on October Avenue – a huge copper skeleton of a dinosaur. At the shoe store on St. Svoboda exhibited a model of an unusual vehicle – a red shoe of an impressive size with a steering wheel and wheels.
In the international creative center “Emalis” on the Volga embankment, you can not only see the works of leading artists from around the world, but also master a rare art form – artistic hot enamel. At the master classes, everyone will be able to make a small enameled souvenir and burn it in a muffle furnace.
The Art-Picnic art workshop hosts master classes in drawing and cooking original dishes, and musicians, poets, rock bands and even magicians perform in the cozy art space Teplo, located in the basement of a merchant’s mansion on Sovetskaya Street.
With schoolchildren, it is worth a look at the Museum of Entertaining Sciences and the Yaroslavl Planetarium with a powerful telescope, 5D attractions, an interactive class and a museum. And on the Yaroslavl Children’s Railway, young visitors can try themselves as railway workers: here you need to monitor the condition of the road, control the train schedule, and be responsible for the technical condition of the locomotives. The Museum of Extraordinary Journeys operates at the railway.
The most popular nightclub in Yaroslavl is the Med floating club on the Kotorosl River. It is considered one of the best dance locations in the country: the technical equipment meets European standards, music shows are accompanied by color lighting and other impressive effects, and energetic DJs will not let you get bored. The club hosts themed parties and performances by show business stars, where you can dance all night long.
Those who can’t sleep should also look into the King to the King club with three dance floors, the Gorka Hall entertainment center with a bar, bowling and billiards, or the art club with the original Chinese Pilot Jao Da menu. Incendiary discos are held in the restaurant “Kuvshin”, specializing in Georgian cuisine. Several halls, karaoke, a disco bar and a summer terrace are open for guests.
5 best films about Yaroslavl
- “Big change.” The first film that was completely filmed in Yaroslavl. Strelka, the Medveditsky ravine and the theater named after M. Volkov, factory workshops were filmed at a local refinery, an evening school – in a building on the street. Ushinsky.
- “Women”. Soviet melodrama about the difficult post-war fate of Russian women. The scenes of the film were filmed on the Volzhskaya embankment, Epiphany Square, st. Sovetskaya, near Gostiny Dvor and the Transfiguration Monastery.
- “Afonya”. This comedy immediately went into quotations, and its main characters are immortalized in bronze in the center of Yaroslavl. The story of an unlucky plumber unfolds against the backdrop of city streets, squares and local attractions – churches and the Transfiguration Monastery.
- Crew. The first Soviet disaster film, part of the episodes was filmed in Yaroslavl. The main character flies in a helicopter over the city center and over Tutaev. In the film, you can also see the building of the Main Post Office, the Kotorosl embankment and ancient churches.
- “Doctor Zhivago”. The 2004 series was filmed in Tutaev and Yaroslav. The buildings of the old Gostiny Dvor, the Church of Elijah the Prophet, the Bristol Restaurant and the March 8 Hospital appear in the frame.
5 best books about Yaroslavl
- A. Orlova, “Yaroslavl: stories for children.” An unusual guide made up of stories and poems about city sights and famous residents of Yaroslavl.
- “The Golden Ring of Yaroslavl”. A colorful gift edition about cities, villages, estates, monasteries and natural monuments of the Yaroslavl region.
- V. Moskovkin, “Tug Mountain”. Historical story about the Yaroslavl uprising against the Mongol-Tatar yoke.
- V. Ideas, “City of Yaroslavl”. A historical novel about the events of the Time of Troubles, reproducing life in Yaroslavl in the 17th century in the smallest detail.
- N. Obnorskaya, “Tales that live in Yaroslavl.” Entertaining stories based on urban legends and interesting facts from the past of the ancient city.
A tourist in Yaroslavl will meet the classic Central Russian weather, not spoiled by gasoline fumes and dispersal of clouds. In summer it is warm without heat, in winter it is moderately cold.
In general, the best time to visit Yaroslavl is summer (the festival of choral music “Transfiguration” and the festival “Jazz on the Volga” are held here in August), but in winter you can take part in colorful folk festivals on the occasion of Christmas and Maslenitsa.
A distinctive feature of the weather in Yaroslavl is high humidity, up to 70%, due to the breeze from the Volga. In early spring and late autumn, it can be very chilly because of this, and it is better to dress warmer on excursions under the open sky.