Golden Ring Road Trip – Rostov-Veliky, Russia

This post continues our 4 day road trip on the Golden Ring outside of Moscow. For an overview of the entire trip see Golden Ring Road Trip, Day 1 – Moscow to Vladimir.

Day 4 – Yaroslavl to Moscow

Drive time – 4.5 hours (264K)

Yaroslavl to Rostov-Veliky – 1 hour (58K)

Rostov-Veliky to Sergiev Posad – 2 hours (140K)


We arrived in Rostov-Veliky at 9AM and were surprised to see the collection of impressive towers and domes in the center of this somewhat shabby town. Much of the Kremlin complex looks like it has been recently painted and they were diligently working on the road and walkways directly in front of the complex. We easily found parking, marked with a P, a short walk from the Kremlin.

With the construction it wasn’t clear how to enter the Kremlin complex but we followed others along the wall and entered the gate directly in front of the Cathedral. There was no ticket office that we saw. Short on time we walked around the courtyard for a few minutes to take some photos and left through the back towards Lake Nero. Taking the muddy road out to the lake we passed through a residential neighborhood with a mix of houses in good repair and others abandoned shacks.

After a few photos at the lake I noticed a path that led up a hill and thought it might lead to a better view. No great views of the Kremlin but a pretty shot of a local garden, houses and towers in the background. The path continued around the Kremlin wall and led us back to where we started at the entrance.

We saw only a few other visitors.

Drive back to Moscow

The road back to Moscow on a Saturday morning had heavy traffic in spots but nothing compared to the traffic we experienced leaving Moscow 3 days earlier. This road is also in much better condition with only a small fraction under construction compared to the numerous construction sites on the road to Vladimir. The road, while a major auto route for most of the way to Rostov-Veliky and on to Sergiev Posad, passes through small towns with the typical gingerbread style rural Russian architecture of this area. Small vendors were selling the last bounty from the garden – apples, squash and potatoes – and jars of preserves.

Our original plan was to also stop in Sergiev Posad but the weather turned rainy and the traffic and number of tour buses around the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius was more that I was willing to put up with. After days of Russian churches, as intriguing as they may be, I’m churched out, especially if it involves dealing with crowds of tour groups. On Saturday around noon finding parking place was also a headache. There is no one parking lot for the complex. If you plan on visiting this site, choose a weekday and arrive early or late if you want to avoid some of the madness.

October 12, 2019

For links to all the posts in this series see the Russia page.