The 9 Best Things to See and Do in Rostov Veliky

Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery
Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery | © Liza veta / WikiCommons
Dasha Fomina

As an ancient town with a history dating back to 862, Rostov Veliky is a popular spot on the Golden Ring trail. Famous for its historic architecture, traditional culture and authentic food, it’s also perfect for a day trip from Moscow. Here are the nine best things to see and do when in town.

Check out Lake Nero

Lake Nero is estimated to be around 500,000 years old. One of Rostov’s major draws, it’s popular with locals and tourists alike. Stop off here to go on a fishing trip, recuperate on the beach, try your luck at horse riding or just stroll along the bank and enjoy the views.

Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery at Lake Nero, Rostov

Take a picture at Avraamiev-Bogoyavlensky Monastery

Avraamiev-Bogoyavlensky Monastery

Visit Rostov Kremlin

One of the best preserved Russia’s medieval fortresses, Rostov Kremlin is the city’s most recognizable landmark. Originally an archbishop’s residence, the Kremlin comprises five churches, the iconic Dormition Cathedral and a number of civic buildings – all surrounded by a defensive wall. Rostov Kremlin also appeared in the classic Soviet film comedy Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future.

Rostov, Rostov Kremlin, Church of the Resurrection of Christ

Marvel at Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery

The ultimate visual stunner, this monastery complex has an equally spectacular location on the shore of Lake Nero. Founded in the 14th century, the monastery is a living pageant of Russia’s history – many Russian monarchs prayed in its churches, including Catherine the Great, Alexander II and Russia’s last emperor – Nicholas II.

Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery

Take in Kekin Gymnasium

This gymnasium named after Kekin was founded in 1910. Hailing from Rostov, A.L. Kekin was a successful merchant in St.Petersburg. After his only son died, the fortune he left to his hometown was used to build this visually arresting and well-preserved gymnasium.

Kekin Gymnasium

While away the hours at Lukova Sloboda onion musuem

Housed in a lovely wooden building and styled as a traditional izba, this is probably the most unusual place in Rostov Veliky. As the name implies, this museum is all about onions. The first floor of the building is occupied by a cafe, where every item on the menu is cooked with onions. The second floor is home to a small museum, devoted to the history of onion farming in the region.луковаяслобода

Browse Rostov Enamel Museum

Rostov Veliky has always been famous for enamel miniatures. This craft came from Byzantium in the 10th century and was particularly popular in Russia in 16th and 17th centuries. The museum holds the largest collection of Rostov enamel miniatures, which includes some 2,500 pieces created between the 18th and 20th centuries.

Check in at the Museum of the Frog Princess

Based in a refurbished 18th-century mansion, this museum is devoted to the Frog Princess – one of Russia’s most popular fairy tale characters. The museum is a hit with kids, who love the fun interactive quests, adorable frogs and food baked in a traditional Russian oven.

Enjoy Troitse-Sergiev Varnitsky Monastery

Unlike other monasteries on the list, this one underwent a fundamental restoration, during which a new cathedral was built. A sheer feast for the eyes, the monastery was named after the Saint Sergey Radonezhsky, who founded the original Trinity monastery.

Troitse-Sergiev Varnitsky Monastery I

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article