Saturday, November 10, 2018

Travel Guide: Vladimir, Russia

I was in Russia for almost a month and one of my stops was Vladimir, the latter is one of the Golden Ring Cities. I was looking for a small town vibe away from the bustling city of Moscow, and I got just what I was looking for with my trip here.


Travel Guide

Vladimir played a significant role in Russia's history, it used to be one of the medieval capitals of the country. It's Golden Age was around the 12th century where it served as a defensive outpost. You'll see glimpses of its past when you see the UNESCO-listed white monuments in the city's old town. 

I took the afternoon train from Moscow, so I arrived rather late in the evening to see much of the historical center. So I took a quick walk to see the sights before it got too dark. After I got a glimpse, I was eager to see more of the city in the morning.

Places of Interest

I walked the whole time since the old town was picturesque, I was fortunate to have clear blue skies during my autumn visit. The colorful leaves were perfect complements to the ancient white buildings.

The attractions listed on UNESCO's Heritage list include:

  • Assumption or Dormition Cathedral - constructed in 1158-1160
  • The Golden Gate - constructed in 1158-1164
  • St. Demetrius Cathedral - built in 1194-1197

Assumption or Dormition Cathedral (UNESCO Heritage Site)

Assumption or Dormition Cathedral (UNESCO Heritage Site)



The city has other noteworthy structures that are centuries old outside of the ones on UNESCO's Heritage list.




Golden Gate (UNESCO Heritage Site)






I liked the small town vibe of the neighborhood as I walked in and out of alleys in the residential areas.




St. Demetrius Cathedral (UNESCO Heritage Site)

St. Demetrius Cathedral (UNESCO Heritage Site)
There are museums and theaters in the city for those who are interested, was unable to check prices.

How to Get to Vladimir

It's easy to get to Vladimir from Moscow, there are regular trains (my suggested form of transport) to and from both cities. The bus station in Moscow is too far away from the center that's why I suggest taking the train. Click on Russian Railways to book online, find prices and find a schedule that fits your itinerary.

A day trip to Vladimir is possible, but you'd have to start early and end late. I suggest you spend a night at least.

Where to Stay

I stayed at Hostel WOW, which was within walking distance from the old town and historical sites, and places to eat and buy food. Dorms are cheap and comfortable, but only one staff member could speak good English. I was using a translator to ask questions. It's only a short taxi ride from the train and bus station.

Going Around

I walked most of the time since the place I was staying at was relatively near the places I wanted to see. There are buses that go around the city and to the stations. You won't have a difficult time navigating the city because of its small size.

Most people don't speak English so have a translator ready,if you don't speak Russian. Some restaurants have English menus.

If you plan to include Suzdal, the bus fare is around 98.5 Russian Rubles per person, the trip takes around an hour. You have to pay extra for big bags (for those spending the night there).

Expenses

Everything's in Russian Rubles

714 - Train to Vladimir from Moscow
400 - 1 night Hostel WOW
192 - Transportation
853 - Food and drinks
200 - Adapter (I had to buy one, the plugs were different)
519 - Train to Moscow                                                        
2878 - Total

I regret not staying an extra night to explore nearby Suzdal. I ran out of time as I enjoyed exploring the old town and going in and out of the surrounding neighborhoods. Everything seemed picturesque under the golden glow of autumn. I pre-booked some train tickets and accommodations before coming to the country, and didn't want to change them as it would be costlier to do so. Missing out on a trip to Suzdal will give me a reason to return.

If you are a fast walker, it's easy to see all the important sites in Vladimir within a couple of hours since they're near each other. There are entrance fees (these are cheap, around 200 Rubles more or less) for some of the attractions.



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