All points of interest in Suzdal.

Suzdal

Suzdal is one of the most beautiful Russian cities, located in the Vladimir region; a city-reserve that is more than a thousand years old. Suzdal is a museum city, because nowhere else can you find so many monuments of the history of Russia, as well as old buildings, unique churches, and objects of wooden architecture, which have been preserved intact until now. Interestingly, at the same time in Suzdal there is not a single industrial enterprise, which makes it an environmentally friendly place.

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Video: Suzdal

Climate and weather

The average temperature in Suzdal in January is -8 °C, and in July the thermometer column stays around +24 °C. The climate is temperate. Suzdal is pleasant to visit regardless of the season, but the most comfortable time in the city will be in May and June or during the velvet autumn season, as Suzdal is particularly beautiful this time.

Suzdal Market Square and the Resurrection Church of Our Savior and St. Euthymius Monastery Kamenka River

Suzdal sights

Suzdal Kremlin is the first point in the program of any tourist. It is impossible to pass by it! And what’s interesting is that Suzdal Kremlin has no walls! Nevertheless it doesn’t prevent it to be as beautiful as it was many years ago…

Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery Winter in Suzdal

There are many religious sights in Suzdal, so if you are interested in Orthodox culture and architecture, you will certainly be interested to visit Vasilievsky Monastery, Pokrovsky Monastery and Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery, and each of them has its own charm, its own history.

Tourists who want to immerse themselves in the charming antiquity of Russia, we suggest visiting the Museum of Wooden Architecture, which is located in Suzdal not far from the Kremlin, on the bank of the river Kamenka. There you will see old Russian huts and taste the aromas of the old Russian way of life.

An unnecessary but curious Museum of Wax Figures of Suzdal, if not surprising, at least amuses tourists (especially young ones).

Entrance Jerusalem Church Museum of wooden architecture. The wheel well of the middle of the XIX cent.

Excursions

In Suzdal, as in many other tourist centers, sightseeing tours are led by professional, experienced guides, whose services can be used by both groups and individual tourists.

New Year in Suzdal Cucumber Day Shrovetide Festival Bogatyr Zabavy

Besides, every year Suzdal hosts traditional festivals, including the Suzdal New Year, Wide Maslenitsa, Goose Fights, Pickle Day (second Saturday of July), Ivan Kupala celebration, Festival of Russian cartoons and fairy tales (March). Suzdal carefully keeps its traditions, so every holiday that is “celebrated” here is remembered for a lifetime.

A pleasant addition to the excursions in Suzdal will be folklore gatherings with mead and traditional Russian banya.

History of Suzdal

The first mention of Suzdal is found in 999 in the Novgorod codex. “The Tale of Bygone Years” mentions it in connection with the rebellion of the peasants in 1024, already then Suzdal was quite a big city. In the 11th century a fortress was built in Suzdal, and the church of the Dormition of the Holy Virgin grew inside it, and then the monastery of Demetrius of Thessaloniki.

Suzdal had its heyday during the reign of Prince Yury Dolgoruky. At that time Suzdal became a center of Rostov-Suzdal princedom. Trade and crafts people flocked here, and in the eastern part of the city there was an increasing number of settlements.

Suzdal of the 19th century

Yuri Dolgoruky’s son Andrei Bogolyubsky moved the capital to Vladimir, and then the principality became known as the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality. In the 13th century, it was divided, and then Suzdal became the capital of the eponymous principality, the first ruler of which was Yuri Vsevolodovich.

During the Tatar-Mongol invasion Suzdal was ruined and burned. The city lost its political importance in the 14th century, becoming part of the Moscow principality, and from that time it became a center of religion and culture.

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In the 16th century Suzdal actively built monasteries – only for a short time there were built more than a dozen of them. Also in Suzdal appeared silversmiths, engravers, icon painters.

Until the end of the 19th century the city was a large trade center: the goods went from Moscow to Arkhangelsk and Petersburg through Suzdal.

Old photos of Suzdal

By the 20th century Suzdal had become a small provincial town with only a few factories.

During the second half of the 20th century Suzdal gradually regained its former glory, and was officially recognized as a museum city.

Accommodation

Tourists visit the city almost at any time of the year, so be prepared for their influx, especially in summer. If you want peace and quiet, choose a hotel far away from the busy center of Suzdal.

Suzdal offers many different types of hotels and guesthouses: high-end hotels in the city center, mid-range hotels, and economy hotels both in and outside of Suzdal.

Entertainment, Sports & Leisure

Suzdal offers a variety of options for outdoor activities. Here are just a few of them:

  • Horseback rides: exciting trips on horseback through the city are offered. There are also a lot of horseback riding tours.
  • In winter in Suzdal the most popular are skiing and sledging.
  • Sauna is one of the Suzdal’s symbols of hospitality, and there are different kinds of saunas – from classic Russian to elite SPA in hotels.
  • Fishing, organized by professionals of tourist business.
  • Hunting in Suzdal’s broad-leaved forests.
  • “Sabantuychik” – typically Suzdal “chip”, merrily and professionally organized thematic events, from meeting of cronies to promotion.

Don’t forget to bring swimwear as Suzdal and rest on the water are closely connected to each other!

Shopping

Suzdal mead is a must-try and a tasty thing to buy! It is produced in Suzdal both industrially and by hand. Stock up – you won’t regret it!

Black clay pottery is another one of the Suzdal’s undoubted attribute. This earthenware is made according to ancient technology (potter’s wheel + smoking in sawdust). The dishes are both beautiful and functional. You can buy souvenirs in the store of ceramics “Dymov” (located in the suburbs of Suzdal, in the village of Ivanovskoe, in Solnechnaya Street, house number 7).

As souvenirs from Suzdal, travelers also enjoy buying wood crafts from local craftsmen.

How to get there

From Moscow to Suzdal you can get by bus from the metro station “Schelkovskaya”. Buses run daily. Travel time is about 5 hours.

You can also get to Suzdal from Moscow by buses going to Ivanovo and Kostroma – their route goes through Suzdal.

Many tourists prefer to get to Vladimir and from there to Suzdal by minibus or bus. Shuttle buses go every 15-20 minutes, and the trip will take no more than 50 minutes. Note that trains to Vladimir go from the Kursk train station, which makes the trip more convenient. The distance from Moscow to Suzdal is about 222 km.

If you go by car from Moscow to Suzdal, you can get there by M7 highway, which may be narrow in some places. Moreover, you can not avoid traffic jams in Balashikha. Please note – to go to Suzdal by private car should be during daylight hours, because the road is very poorly illuminated.

Distances by car from Suzdal to other centers of Russian tourist interest: Moscow – 222 km, Saint-Petersburg – 909 km, Yaroslavl – 191 km, Myshkin – 287 km, Kalyazin – 324 km, Rybinsk – 273 km, Pereslavl-Zalessky – 175 km, Rostov Veliky – 162 km.

What to see in Suzdal in one day

In the center of Suzdal there are no high-rise buildings, at every step there are churches, monasteries and small wooden houses. And outside the city – untouched nature.

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Suzdal belongs to the Golden Ring of Russia and is located 35 kilometers from Vladimir. In 1992 UNESCO included the white-stone monuments of these two cities into the list of the world heritage.

I vacationed in Suzdal in 2019 with my parents. We came here for a weekend. The city seemed to me calm and peaceful, without the hustle and bustle of the city – this place as if it goes back a few centuries.

I made a route of 4.8 km, which you can walk. I included the most beautiful monasteries, churches and museums, viewing platforms and a walk on a river streetcar. The program will be rich – to have time for everything, leave the trip at 8 am.

What you’ll see

How to get to the beginning of the route

By car. Usually you get to Suzdal by car from Moscow along Gorkovskoye or Yaroslavskoye highways and M8 highway. The distance is about 250 kilometers. Taking into consideration the traffic jams the trip may take three or four hours.

By public transport. In Suzdal there is no train station and no airport. If you plan to get there by public transport, first take a train or bus to Vladimir: the distance between cities is 35 km, the trip by bus takes 40-50 minutes. In Vladimir, the train station and bus station are located opposite each other. If you come to the city by train, you will reach the bus station in one minute. About how to get to Vladimir, we told in detail in another T-G article.

Bus goes daily from Vladimir bus station to Suzdal bus station about every half hour, the first – at 06:30, the last – at 21:40. There are direct and transit flights to Ivanovo, Yaroslavl, and Shuya. Direct bus fare on the route number 159 costs 122 R . Children under 7 years old travel for free, children under 12 years old – for 50% of the full ticket price. To be in Suzdal for sure, book tickets in advance. You can see the flights on “Yandex-timetable”.

A cab ride will cost 600-700 R . The rating of the best cab services in Vladimir and their phone numbers can be found at reiting-taksi.ru.

From Moscow to Suzdal it takes about 4 hours by bus. Tickets cost from 619 R . Buses leave from the Central bus station near the metro station “Schelkovskaya” and arrive at the Suzdal bus station. Flights are every half hour to hour, the first – at 06:30, the last – at 00:45.

Buses run and from other cities in Russia. If you want you can book a sightseeing tour. But I recommend to go to Suzdal by your own car: this way you won’t make unnecessary stops, and if you have time, you can see interesting places outside the city. I’ll tell you about them below.

Our walk begins at the intersection of Spasskaya Street and Lenin Street, right by the walls of the Spaso-Evfimiev monastery. To get to the place you can walk or take a bus. The nearest stop is “Pozharsky Square”. The bus number 1 goes to it. To another stop nearby – “Ivanovskaya Zastava” – go by buses number 2 and 3. The fare is 21 R . You can pay with cash, card or smartphone.

If you want to get around Suzdal, you can take a ride in a carriage with a professional coachman. An hour ride costs 5,000 P. Photo: Anastasia Osyan

Route

A viewing platform on Kamenka. There is an observation deck to the left of Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery on a small hill, from which you can see the Kamenka River and the opposite bank. I advise to start the walk from there, rather than from historical monuments, to admire the city and the winding river. The views are calming, and there is peace and quiet all around.

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Pokrovsky monastery is located on the right bank of the river. It is very easy to find it: the main structure of the monastery, the golden-domed Intercession Cathedral, surrounded by walls of white stone, is visible from afar. The monastic complex also includes the Shatrovaya bell tower, the refectory, the Church of Conception, and the Holy Gate with a gate church.

The convent was built in 1364 under Prince Dmitry Konstantinovich. In the 16-17 centuries it was considered the largest in Russia. For a long time high-ranking officials were exiled there. Now people come to the Pokrovsky monastery to visit the relics of Venerable Sophia of Suzdal and to visit the burial vaults of famous nuns.

The monastery is open daily from 07:45 to 17:00. In winter – from the feast of the Intercession to Easter – it is closed at 16:00. Evening services are held every day at 17:00 and morning services from Monday to Saturday at 08:00. The schedule of services is available on the website of the monastery. Entrance to the monastery is free. You can book an hour-long excursion on site for a donation, which you can decide for yourself.

In wooden houses on the territory live nuns of Pokrovsky monastery. There is also a shelter for girls.

Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery is located on the left bank of the Kamenka River. From the outside, it looks like a real Old Russian fortress: majestic brick walls with towers and loopholes, a huge area with many churches, belfry and prison castle.

Now the monastery operates as a museum complex, the service is no longer conducted there. In the St. Nicholas church and other buildings with expositions are stored unique finds of the 12-17 centuries: ancient books, jewelry, iconostasis, castings. Also you can admire the frescos of the 16th century and paintings of walls in the Transfiguration Cathedral, look at the prison block and walk through the loopholes. I especially recommend listening to the bell ringing and the male orthodox choir in the main cathedral.

The monastery is open daily from 10:00 to 19:00. There are separate tours of each exhibition, but I suggest taking a single ticket with a two-hour tour of the entire complex. It runs daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for groups of two to five people. The cost of the ticket for an adult is 800 P . Concessional tickets for 600 P may be purchased by students over 16 years, students and members of the Russian Military Historical Society on presentation of documents. Children under 7 years old admission is free.

There is a tour of St. Euthymius Monastery.

On the territory of the monastery there is an apothecary garden with medicinal plants, apple orchards and flower beds. There is a cafe where you can have a full and inexpensive lunch and a souvenir shop with mugs, spoons and magnets with images of Suzdal.

The Rizopolozhensky nunnery is a 15-minute walk from the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery. The road to it goes along the main street of the city – Lenin street. Along it there are wooden, mostly one-story buildings of 19-20 centuries, various cafes, restaurants, refectory and the park of the 950th anniversary of the city – the only one in Suzdal.

Rizopolozhensky monastery – one of the oldest in Russia, founded in 1207. It contains the relics of St. Euphrosyne, to whom people come to pray for the birth of children and health.

Unfortunately, many of the buildings are ruined and need restoration, but I recommend visiting this monastery for the views that open onto the city from the 72-meter high Prepodobenskaya Bell Tower. The observation deck is open daily from 07:00 to 20:00. Adult ticket costs 100 P, children admission is free.

Also on the territory of the monastery you can visit the three-domed 16th century Rizopolozhenny Cathedral, admire the Holy Gate with two large arches decorated with tiles, and buy natural farmer cheese, the price for 100 grams – 200 R .

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Market Rows – a long gallery with arches and columns, built in the early 19th century. Previously, each archway housed a merchant’s shop. Nowadays, in the Trading Rows they sell souvenirs, household items, and even clothes: color shawls, woolen shawls, socks, felt boots. There is also an antique store. Near the rows is an exhibition and sale of paintings by Suzdal artists and a children’s playground.

Suzdal residents advise visitors to try mead. You can try 10 kinds of local mead for free in the Trading stalls: with raspberry, lime, horseradish, mint, juniper, and others. If you like it, you can buy mead: the price for 1.5 L is 300 R .

I liked the fact that the Trading Rows are located on the paved stone square – it creates a special atmosphere of the past. On the square towers another small church.

If you walk around the Trading Rows, you’ll come to another viewing platform. There is a cafe “Graf Suvorov” opposite it – I recommend to visit it: for 300 R you can have a good snack and enjoy a beautiful view of the Church of Our Lady of Jerusalem.

The malls are open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on weekends until 8 p.m. Source: falco / pixabay.com

The Assumption Church is part of the ensemble of the Suzdal Kremlin. To get to it, turn from Lenin Street to Kremlin Street. The church is open daily from 08:00 to 20:00 and admission is free.

Church of the Assumption is one of the oldest churches of the Suzdal Kremlin, it was built presumably in the early 17th century. After a fire in 1719, the building was rebuilt in the Naryshkin baroque style, atypical for Suzdal at the time. Believers come here to worship the relics of St. Arseny of Suzdal. They are believed to cure many childhood diseases.

Next to the church there is a real fortress moat and protective ramparts, which are worth climbing. There are always a lot of tourists there: now the moat has turned into an unusual observation deck, which offers a view of the city and the river.

Suzdal Kremlin has existed since the 10th century, it is the oldest part of Suzdal. The Kremlin has preserved earth ramparts of 1400 m in length and fortress moats. On the territory of the Kremlin there are several churches and an ensemble of bishop’s courtyard with the ancient Nativity Cathedral. I especially recommend to see Nikolskaya church – wooden building in the form of a hut.

There are eight halls with expositions in the building of Bishop’s chambers. Here you can see ancient icons and paintings, walk around the interiors of the 18th century, visit the reconstructed Zemsky School and the provincial fair.

Exhibitions are open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, and the territory of the Kremlin itself – from 09:00 to 19:00. A full ticket to the Suzdal Kremlin costs 400 R, a preferential ticket for students over 16 years old, students and members of the Russian Military Historical Society – 250 R. You can also book a guided tour.

Museum of wooden architecture and peasant life is a large museum complex, on the territory of which there are wooden buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries. They were brought from all over the Vladimir region.

Open-air museum is actually a traditional Russian village. Here are several wooden churches, houses, windmills, wells, barns on stilts and other outbuildings with thematic exhibitions. You can enter almost all the buildings and see how the poor and well-to-do peasants and merchants lived.

The museum operates daily from 09:00 to 19:00. Entrance ticket costs 400 P, reduced price – 250 P.

From the pier of Museum of wooden architecture you can go for a river trip. Sightseeing tours on the river Kamenka are from May to October.

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Streetcar trip from the pier to Spaso-Evfimiev and Pokrovsky monasteries and back takes 45 minutes. The streetcar leaves every hour from 12:00 to 19:00, regardless of the number of passengers. Tickets are sold at the ticket office on the pier. The price for an adult – 500 R, for children under 10 years – 350 R . You can also order a personal tour for 5500 P.

It costs a ticket on the river streetcar

A stroll on a streetcar is an opportunity to see the main sights of the city from a different angle, and take a break from walking.

The Church of Elijah the Prophet is a small, single-domed church on Ivan’s Hill. It has a beautiful view from both banks of the river. There are apple orchards near the church and an observation deck overlooking the Kremlin.

Unfortunately, the church itself is closed to the public, but a walk here would be a beautiful ending to the route.

Details

Food. There are many places to eat in Suzdal, the prices vary. Among the popular ones is the restaurant “Trapeznaya”, where they cook according to old Russian recipes. The restaurant is beautiful, tasty and of high quality, but expensive: village cabbage soup costs 390 R , a portion of beef tenderloin in sauce – 760 R . All prices are on the menu.

You can also have a budget snack in the tea houses, coffee houses and refectory, which are located on Lenin Street and at the monasteries. The average bill for a full meal for one person – 300-1000 R .

Lodging. If you want to feel the atmosphere of the city and save money, choose a guest house, not a hotel. Rent a room in a hotel for two people costs from 2500 R , and accommodation in a guest house – 1500 R .

In most cases, a guest house in Suzdal is a small wooden house on the outskirts of the city, where hospitable hosts meet and welcome guests. They introduce tourists to their life, household and inhabitants of the house, offer homemade food and all amenities.

During the trip, I lived in the house of the foundryman Nikulichev. It is run by a married couple who keep two cats, a dog and a pig. I chatted with the animals every morning and ate delicious porridge in a pot from the hostess for breakfast. This welcoming home was one of my fondest memories of the trip.

Entertainment. In Suzdal there are fairs, games and festive mass festivities: for the New Year, Shrovetide, Epiphany. Gardening is one of the main occupations of local residents, so Suzdal residents celebrate Cucumber Day on a special scale. On this day there are fairs and tastings of all sorts of cucumber dishes, you can listen to traditional folklore music, see the parade of cucumbers, learn how to carve vegetables and learn many recipes.

Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. If you go to Suzdal by private car, I advise you to visit a place nearby – the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. It is 1.5 km from the village of Bogolubovo and a 40 minute drive from Suzdal along the M7 highway.

The white-stone church of the 12th century is one of the main historical monuments of the Vladimir land. Artists and landscape photographers like to come here – the views are really stunning.

Svyato-Bogolyubsky Nunnery is 2 km from the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl. Of all the buildings of pre-Mongolian Russia, only this monastery survived partially. Here is one of the largest temples of Russia – Bogolyubsky Cathedral.

Travelers walk around the beautiful territory with a small pond, look at the monastic economy: greenhouses, garden, flower bed. Believers can worship the Bogolyubsky icon of the Mother of God – the first image of the Virgin Mary written in Russia.

I took a picture of the Bogolyubovo Meadow on the way from the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl to Svyato-Bogolyubsky Monastery

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