Top ChoiceMuseum in Veliky Novgorod

Novgorod State United Museum

Within the kremlin walls is this must-see museum that houses three strikingly comprehensive exhibitions covering the history of Veliky Novgorod, Russian woodcarving and Russian icons. The latter contains one of...

Top ChoiceCathedral in Pskov

Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour

The Unesco-protected, nonworking Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is the highlight of the Mirozhsky Monastery. Its 12th-century frescos are considered to be one of the most complete representations...

Top ChoiceCathedral in Smolensk

Assumption Cathedral

Dominating the skyline is this huge green-and-white working cathedral topped by five silver domes. A church has stood here since 1101; this one was built in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Even more...

Top ChoiceCathedral in Veliky Novgorod

Cathedral of St Sophia

This is the oldest church in Russia (finished in 1050) and one of the country's oldest stone buildings. It's the kremlin's focal point and you couldn't miss it if you tried – its golden dome positively glows. St...

Top ChoiceFortress in Veliky Novgorod

Veliky Novgorod Kremlin

On the west bank of the Volkhov River, and surrounded by a pleasant wooded park, the kremlin is one of Russia’s oldest. Originally called the Detinets (and still often referred to as such), the fortification...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Western European Russia

Mikhailovskoe

Russia’s most beloved poet, Alexander Pushkin, lived several years at his family estate, Mikhailovskoe, near the small town of Pushkinskie Gory (Пушкинские Горы; Pushkin Hills), 120km south of Pskov.The family...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Yasnaya Polyana

Yasnaya Polyana

This late 19th-century estate is where Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina, as well being the place he was born, lived most of his life and is buried. A long birch-lined avenue leads from the...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tula

Arms Museum

Tula has been a weapons manufacturing centre for centuries, a legacy celebrated at this fantastically kitted-out new building that houses an impressive collection of metal weaponry and armoury dating back to...

Top ChoiceCathedral in Yelets

Ascension Cathedral

Designed by Konstantin Ton (1794–1881), the genius behind Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Kremlin Armoury and the Grand Kremlin Palace, this beautiful cathedral lords over Yelets from the foot of ul...

Top ChoiceGallery in Smolensk

Art Gallery

Housed in a beautiful building with wrought-iron staircases, this splendid collection includes pieces by luminaries such as Valentin Serov, Ilya Repin and Vasily Tropinin, as well as a good sampling of socialist...

Top ChoiceHistoric Building in Tula

Tula Kremlin

This restored stone fortress, first constructed out of wood in the early 16th century, is home to the stunning 18th-century Assumption Cathedral. The kremlin’s grounds are entered through the green-domed...

Top ChoiceChurch in Pskov

Trinity Cathedral

This blindingly white 72m-high structure, with its top dome shining gold, can be seen from miles away on a clear day. Consecrated in 1699, it’s the fourth version of a church to have stood on this spot since the...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Tula

Tula Regional Arts Museum

This exceptional gallery charts a course from gilded icons and late-15th-century European paintings through to fascinating pieces of socialist realism from the 20th century, including animated porcelain figurines...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Staraya Russa

Dostoevsky House Museum

The author’s family lived on the 1st floor of this riverside dacha, which contains many original pieces. Dostoevsky’s bookcase is still stocked, and his desk has replicas from his mazelike drafts – you can see...

Museum in Western European Russia

Spasskoe-Lutovinovo

Spasskoe-Lutovinovo

Surrounded by beautiful countryside, Spasskoe-Lutovinovo, 65km north of Oryol, is the family estate of Ivan Turgenev (1818–83), where the 19th-century novelist completed most of his novels, including his famous...

Museum in Smolensk

Flyonovo

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, illustrious artists and musicians, including Stravinsky, Chaliapin, Vrubel and Serov, visited Flyonovo, the pretty riverside estate of art lover Princess Maria...

Historic Site in Smolensk

Fortress Walls & Around

Making a circuit of the restored city walls, long sections of which boast fine towers reminiscent of the Moscow Kremlin, is a pleasant way to pass a warm summer evening, with parks, various monuments and churches...

Monastery in Pechory

Pechory Monastery

Founded in 1473, this monastery sits in a ravine full of hermits’ grottoes. With all the high ground outside, it’s an improbable stronghold, but several tsars fortified it and depended on it. A path descends...