City breaks in Russia - 9 best destinations for mini-holidays

22 June 2020

A couple of years ago, this format was unpopular, and now (especially in a pandemic) - this is one of the best solutions for recreation.

What it is

City breaks are short trips to other cities. You can break out for the weekend and arrange a mini-vacation, which will be remembered for a long time.

The advantages are obvious: you do not need to take a full vacation and spend a lot of money. You can travel quite often and see many cities. But there are also some nuances - you have a little time left, and you will definitely not be able to see all the locations. In addition, you have to carefully plan everything.

How to prepare and what to do

Explore the city virtually. See what's interesting here. Your task is not to try to see everything (you just do not have time), but to choose the most important thing for yourself and have fun. Sketch a rough route right away to make it easy for you to move around the city.

Choose a strategy. You can walk around the most popular attractions or find interesting places that only locals know about. It’s usually easier to get into the spirit of the city.

Buy all tickets in advance and book your excursions online - so you won’t have to queue and waste time. If you do not plan to take excursions, it makes sense to read on the Internet about the sights in advance in order to come and just enjoy the views.

Book a hotel in the city center or in the area where you plan to walk. Then you do not have to spend time moving around the city, and nothing will spoil the impression of rest.

Searchcafes and restaurants in advance. You can immediately see the photos and study the reviews of visitors. And you will always know where to go if you are hungry.

Take a minimum of things with you. Take only the essentials so as not to carry large bags. The advantage of such trips is that you can always travel with hand luggage.

Where to go: 9 top destinations

You can read more about the current situation in each region on "Russia.Travel" in the "Regions of Russia" section. Read this information carefully before traveling.

Kazan

You should come here to look at the color ful buildings and try the local cuisine - hot Tatar noodles and delicious pastries.

In two days you will have time to walkthrough the center and see the main attractions. Look into the Kremlin and look at the Kul-Sharifmosque and the falling tower of Syuyumbike. Take a walk along the promenade and look at historic mansions, take a boat ride in Lake Nizhny Kaban. And spend a couple of hours in the open water park "Riviera".

How to get there. From Nizhny Novgorod and Ulyanovsk you can take a bus or car and spend from three to six hours on the road. And it is better for residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg to travel by train (you can get overnight) or by plane (fly in a couple of hours).

Nizhniy Novgorod

Come to walk along the old streets and feel their atmosphere, enjoy the beautiful views and try ... shawarma!

In a couple of days you will have time to walkthrough the beautiful Kremlin and climb the famous Chkalovstairs to see the city from a height. Take a walk along the promenades and ride the longest cable car in Europe. And, of course, eat the famous shawarma on the Middle.

How to get there. The easiest way to get here from Vladimir is about three hours on the road by car or bus. It is better for residents of Moscow to take the train (you can travel by high-speed train in three hours).

Moscow

You should come here to feel the frantic rhythm of the city and recharge your batteries, take a ride on the subway (one of the most beautiful in the world!) And make a wish at zero kilometer.

Over the weekend, you will have time to walk in the center, look at Red Square, take a walk in the Zaryadyepark and enjoy the view of the city. Try the famous ice cream in GUM and climb to Moskva City to the highest observation deck in Europe.

How to get there. You can quickly get to Moscow by bus, train or car from Sergiev Posad, Tver and Tula (no more than three hours on the way). From St. Petersburg you can get here by the Sapsan in just four hours.

Kaliningrad

Come here to feel yourself abroad, without leaving the borders of Russia. And also - breathe the sea air, try fresh seafood and find amber on the beach after a storm.

A couple of days is enough to explore the atmospheric region of Rybnaya Derevnya, visit the Cathedral (and the tomb of Kant), visit the dilapidated forts and explore ships and submarines at the Museum of the World Ocean. And if there is a free day, be sure to go to the sea in Zelenogradsk or Svetlogorsk.

How to get there. To get to Kaliningrad is now possible only by air. It takes about two hours to fly from St. Petersburg and Moscow.

St. Petersburg

It is worth coming here to look at the old buildings, feel almost in Venice and feel the breeze of the Baltic Sea. And, of course, try the crumpets.

Over the weekend, you will have time to walk around the city center on foot, look at the Hermitage (at least from the outside, it takes a lot of time to examine it), Savior on Spilled Blood and Kazan Cathedral. Climb to the observation deck of St. Isaac's Cathedral and ride along the canals of the city. See the bridges and white nights and eat a couple of dumplings on Bolshaya Konyushennaya street.

How to get there. The easiest way to get from Velikiy Novgorod is by train or bus, you can get there in three to four hours, and by car even faster - just two and a half hours on the way. From Moscow you can gethere by Sapsan in four hours.

Kaluga

Come to marvel at the contrasts of the city (and fall in love with them), take a walk in the largest art park in Europe and taste the famous Kalugapastry.

In a couple of days you will have time to walk around the old streets, look at the Kremlin and churches, and also look into the Tsiolkovskiy Cosmonautics Museum. Devote a separate day to the Nikola Lenivets Instagram art park - you can reach it by car or taxi in just an hour and a half.

How to get there. The easiest way to get to Kaluga is from Tula and Serpukhov (by car only an hour and a half, by train - two to three times longer). From Moscow by car and train it will take about three hours.

Vladimir

You should come here to forget about the hustle and bustle of big cities, admire the views of nature and ancient architecture and buy a mead.

In two days you will have time to see the Dmitrievskiy and UspenskiyCathedrals, the Golden Gate, an unusual water tower and the Gothicchurch of the Holy Rosary. Take a walk in the Patriarchal Gardens and ride on a Ferris wheel, try the Bogolyubov bun and mead.

How to get there. You can quickly get here from Murom (about two hours by car or bus). From Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod, getting here is about the same – about three and a half hours by car (and even faster by train).

Tula

Come to stroll along the streets, look at unusual city sculptures, enjoy the views and the famous Tula gingerbread cookies.

In a couple of days you will have time to look into the Kremlin, walk along the promenade and go to the weapons museum. From Tula, only half an hour drive to Yasnaya Polyana, and you can also drive a little further from the city and visit the retro car museum.

How to get there. The easiest way to get to Tula is for residents of Kaluga and Novomoskovsk (no more than two hours by car or train). From Moscow to the city can be reached in two and a half hours by car, bus or train.

Yaroslavl

You should come here to admire the beautiful old buildings and suddenly get to some festival – they often take place here. And as a bonus, try a local mulled wine called a “soul maker”.

Over the weekend in Yaroslavl, you will have time to explore the entire historical center of the city, see the unusual church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. Take a walk along the promenade and the park on Strelka, ride a ferries wheel. Try the “pickle” appetizer and local cheeses, as well as drink “soul makers”.

How to get there. It is easily accessible by car or train from Rostov (an hour on the way), Kostroma (one and a half-hours by car and about four on its own) and Ivanovo (two to three hours). From Moscow you can get to Yaroslavl in four to five hours.