You’ve committed to a Russia trip. You’re fascinated by the history, architecture, and mysticism of the great northern unknown. Moscow, St. Petersburg and other big cities are on the list of course. You want to see the Kremlin, walk through Red Square in a furry hat and marvel at Saint Basil’s Basilica. The famous tourist spots are famous for a reason but you want a little more. You want to see what’s out there beyond Moscow. You want to know what kind of options you have for day trips from Moscow.
Here at AllTheRooms, we love when an opportunity comes up to help you find adventure. In other words, day trips from Moscow are right up our ally. Here are our picks for some of the best adventures outside of the capital city.
One of the main attractions outside of Moscow is the Golden Ring — a ring of ancient cities located northeast of Moscow. They’re architectural wonders filled with Russian Orthodox churches, Cathedrals, and monasteries. To visit these cities is a trip back in time and nothing short of a dream vacation for history buffs.
Yaroslavl is our favorite town in the ring. Here you can walk along the Volga and visit some of the town’s 800 architectural monuments including monasteries from the 11th century. The Governor’s House Museum is a can’t-miss for those looking to learn more about the region’s history and the role of the Golden Ring in the development of Russian culture.
2. Gorki Leninskie
What would a trip to Russia be without a day dedicated to learning about Vladimir Lenin? Gorki Leninskie is a collection of monuments, museums and of course, the revolutionary’s house, located just a few miles south of Moscow.
There are three museums on the grounds: the Lenin Museum, Lenin’s Kremlin Cabinet Museum, and the Peasant Life Museum. While the museums are dedicated to Lenin as an individual, there is also great attention paid to his vision for Russia and its peasantry.
3. Sergiev Posad
Considered to be the heart of Russian Orthodoxy, Sergiev Posad is an excellent choice for those looking for religious history and the famous onion domes that so many of us picture when we think of Russian architecture. You can also check out 14th-century monasteries and, for a change of pace, explore the Museum of Toys. Maybe you’ll take home a Matryoshka Doll (Russian nesting doll).
Also, be sure to check out Assumption Cathedral, a beautiful 16th-century cathedral commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1559.
4. The Central Air Force Museum
Located just 20 miles east of Moscow in the small town of Monino, you’ll find the coolest display of military aircraft in the region. The Central Air Force Museum is an open-air museum home to more than 170 Russian aircraft and 100 aircraft engines, where you can spend hours walking through the displays and letting your imagination wander. You’ll find everything from World War II fighters to artifacts like the uniform of captured American U2 pilot Gary Powers. You can even go on a tour guided by ex-pilots.
5. Abramtsevo Estate-Museum
What about fans of Russian writers and literature? The Abramtsevo Estate-Museum is a 19th-century estate once owned by Russian writer Sergey Askokov. It’s here that Askokov wrote some of his greatest works and it quickly became a popular visiting place for other great Russian writers of the time. Right near Sergiev Posad, the museum is an easy day trip from Moscow.
6. Tank and Bazooka Excursion
Maybe all the museums have you a little tired. You’re looking for something a little more active and fast-paced. How about driving around in a Soviet-era tank and shooting a bazooka? Yes, there really is a tour for this located just outside of Moscow. You can ride around in a Soviet-era van, take a tank ride and try out a variety of Soviet weaponry. You can even have a field lunch complete with Vodka. We just had to include this.