Questions: Golden Ring’s Vladimir& Yaroslavl &(near St. Petersburg’s)Vyborg
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 20, 2012 2:32 AM Last Post By: greekness2007
Oct 10, 2012 2:39 AM
Are the Golden Ring’s Vladimir & Yaroslavl generally beautiful cities (like Riga, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Lviv, etc.) or are these 2 destinations mostly for those interested in church architecture? Otherwise, Vyborg is near St. Petersburg yet most tourists only hear about Pavlovsk, Peterhof & Pushkin (for their palaces). Is Vyborg anything of a must-see tourist destination or is it simply a pleasant-but not extraordinary-provincial town?
Oct 10, 2012 4:36 AM
1Vladimir is not beautiful - it's basically a standard Soviet city with some historical Churches. (Suzdal, on the other hand, is exceptional, in that it has loads of historical buildings and virtually no Soviet era development.) I can't speak for Yaroslavl.
Vyborg is much more interesting than the average golden ring town IMO. There's a lot of interesting (if crumbling) early C20th Finnish architecture, plus the Castle. Probably best visited in good weather, though, as its other highlights are the sea views, small beach, boat trip round the various inlets, and the Mon Repo park,
Oct 10, 2012 12:34 PM
Perhaps I did not word my questions properly. Should you visit Vladimir & Yaroslavl for their churches specifically or are they generally beautiful towns to see? SEPARATELY, Vyborg is a bit far from St. Petersburg but 'close enough'. Is Vyborg a 'must-see' attractive destination or is it simply a pleasant provincial town but not special?
Oct 10, 2012 5:13 PM
3I'd sort of agree with twoleftfeet's description of Vladimir...the 'historic centre' is basically the main thoroughfare that runs for approx 1km and contains all the 'sights' that Vladimir has to offer...which are basically the 2 cathedrals, monastery and Golden Gate...most people spend an afternoon there before heading to Suzdal which has enough to detain a visitor for 2 full days...so I wouldn't classify Vladimir as a beautiful town to see but one to visit if you're travelling in the vicinity or as a day-trip from Moscow...
Yaroslavl is much more attractive with many architectural highlights, a fine riverside setting and interesting centre...as ever with Russian cities, you're talking about one square mile approx of attractions surrounded by apartmentii containing 650,000 people...still not sure I'd call it beautiful, though...the best way to approach the Golden Ring region is to take in as many of the towns as possible to get the best of what it has to offer...none of them are outstanding (with the exception of mysterious Suzdal, perhaps), but they all have their moments...
Unfortunately, I have yet to visit Vyborg so can't really comment...
Oct 10, 2012 8:36 PM
4One visits Peterhof and Pushkin to see Romanov palaces, Vyborg to see the castle and to get away from the city. They are different. I don't think anyone visits these locations to see provincial towns. They go for specific sites.
Vladimir isn't a beautiful city and it's sites are usually seen in half a day as part of a trip to the region which includes Suzdal and one or two other churches.
The place you didn't mention which I would consider also worthwhile is Veliky Novgorod.
Oct 11, 2012 9:00 AM
5Vladimir has two cathedrals and Golden Gates - and that's all. But this is a must see for everybody, who's interested in Russian architecture or history (these are buildings from mid-12-th century in excellent condition; almost nothing remained from that time). Vyborg is just one more European city (built by Swedens and Finnish), and not a very ancient one. It's quite nice, and there is more to see, but there is nothing really special in it. Yaroslavl -- don't know, let somebody else says. I think that it's an average Volga (read "Russian" or "Soviet") city with occasional interesting sites.
Velikiy Novgorod maybe is the best solution here: it's even more ancient than Vladimir, it's very authentic, and it's quite large. There is full kremlin (= main city fortress) of 12th century buildings (it's different, dont' expect a Western European fortress with narrow stone streets). You can spend there 2-3 days sightseeing.
About city comparisions: Novgorod is like a Tallinn in some sense - it's a city which was very rich and important 500 years ago, but later it became poor and nothing serious was built there. Vyborg is more like Lvov (although Lvov is larger) - some provincial center which was built by different people.
If you want to exchange e.g. Pavlovsk for Vyborg - don't do it. If you consider Vladimir - then Novgorod is better.
Edited by: dmitrys
Edited by: dmitrys
Oct 13, 2012 10:08 AM
6Vyborg is not a must-see place when you visit St. Petersburg. You go to Vyborg only if you've spent a couple of weeks in St. Petersburg and have seen everything else. The drive takes at least 2 hrs. one way.
Besides the summer palaces in Pushkin, Peterhof and Pavlovsk, which you have mentioned, there are two more well worth visiting - in Gatchina and Oranienbaum, both closer to St. Petersburg than Vyborg.
Oct 19, 2012 2:56 AM
7I second what has been said: Vladimir isn't worth it, except perhaps for a few hours, combined with Suzdal. Suzdal on the other hand is a nice and quiet village, away from Sovietic buildings. Of course, if you've already had your fill with churches and monastries, you might want to skip it.
Novgorod is beautiful too, and can be done as a stopover / day trip on the way from Moscow to St Petersburg.
Oranienbaum is very nice and I felt completely alone there. Sadly, quite a few buildings were closed for repairs but it was still a good way to get out of the city. Be sure to bring a lot of mosquito repellant though, I headed back to the hostel that day with hundreds of bites...
Oct 20, 2012 2:32 AM
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