Vladimir Oblast, Russia

The Vladimir region is located in Central Russia between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. Many cities of the region are included in the Golden Ring.

The region is interesting for numerous monuments of ancient Russian architecture, picturesque small towns, as well as production and a rich museum of crystal. There are no famous natural sights in the vicinity of Vladimir, but the low population density for Central Russia, the absence of industrial giants and convenient transport links make the Vladimir Region a great place for small hiking and water trips.

Like other regions of Central Russia, the Vladimir region is located on the East European Plain and is distinguished by a small elevation difference. In the north-west of the region, the Klinsko-Dmitrovskaya ridge passes into the rugged terrain of the Vladimir Opolye, to the south - into the flat Meshcherskaya lowland, and to the east - into the low Gorokhovetsky spur and the Oka valley. Typical heights are 100-200 meters above sea level. The geology of the region is just as unremarkable: peat is mined in the Meshchera swamps, quartz sand is mined in the vicinity of Gus-Khrustalny, and limestone is mined in the central part of the region. With the exception of Opole, which is more like a forest-steppe, the territory of the Vladimir region is occupied by mixed forests: from the deaf Murom forests of Vladimir Polissya to the equally deaf, and also swampy thickets of Vladimir Meshchera. The main river is the Klyazma, which flows through the entire region from west to east. The shores are flat in places, and in places, on the contrary, are steep: with cliffs and magnificent panoramas.

The territory of the Vladimir region was inhabited in prehistoric times. By the 12th century, the surroundings of Vladimir became the center of the Vladimir-Suzdal principality and all of northeastern Rus'. At the time of the Mongol invasion, there were at least seven cities here: Suzdal, Murom, Vladimir, Yuryev-Polsky, Gorokhovets, as well as the disappeared Starodub-on-Klyazma and Mstislavl. In the XIV century, the rise of the Moscow principality takes place, and the Vladimir region forever becomes a deaf - albeit historical - province. New cities mainly appear along the Klyazma as the main trade route. Later, the railway and motor roads to Nizhny Novgorod passed along the same line.

The modern Vladimir region is a relatively small Russian region (an area of 29 thousand km2) with three large cities: Vladimir (344 thousand people), Kovrov (148 thousand people) and Murom (118 thousand people). There is a lot of industry, but it is located quite compactly and is mainly represented by mechanical engineering (Vladimir, Kovrov, Mur), as well as a glass factory in Gus-Khrustalny. Although the Vladimir region is adjacent to Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, the influence of megacities is almost not felt here: summer cottages stretch only along the M7 and end after Vladimir. Then a completely real and at the same time accessible Russian "outback" begins, disturbed only by the tourist business in the cities of the Golden Ring and especially in Suzdal, which is perhaps the most promoted and visited small town in Russia.

✦  Official tourist portal of the Vladimir region.



Vladimir is a diverse city. Remarkably located on the high bank of the Klyazma, it greets travelers with several UNESCO-listed ancient Russian monuments, after which tourists usually go straight to Bogolyubovo or Suzdal. For those who are more inquisitive, Vladimir can open up from a completely different side: a wooden city of the century before last with narrow streets climbing up the hill and old parish churches hidden in them, including the Knyaginin Monastery with a wonderful cathedral and frescoes of the 16th-17th centuries.
Suzdal is known far beyond the Vladimir region. In Soviet times, it was perhaps the only city in Russia that was completely dependent on tourism, and since then, if not the quality, then certainly the number of tourist services provided has only increased. Suzdal is famous almost exclusively for its churches and monasteries, of which there are several dozen, and among them are unique: for example, the pre-Mongolian Nativity Cathedral or churches of a special Suzdal style, with a concave tent shape. In addition, in Suzdal there is a museum of wooden architecture, and a few kilometers from the city, in Kideksha, there is another pre-Mongolian church, Boris and Gleb.
Yuryev-Polsky is an exemplary provincial wilderness just 180 km from Moscow. The city got only one ancient Russian temple, but it was unusual: back in the 15th century, it collapsed and was restored from the available material, as a result of which it lost half its height and acquired mysterious relief decorations, which became the first puzzle in Russian history quite successfully assembled by Moscow masters. Along with the younger Archangel Michael Monastery (XVII century), Yuryev-Polsky perfectly preserved the atmosphere of a county town of the century before last, which became the backdrop for the filming of the Golden Calf movie.
Alexandrov - the famous settlement of Ivan the Terrible, the historical center of the oprichnina with architectural monuments of the 16th-17th centuries
Vyazniki is an old merchant town with magnificent panoramas of the Klyazma
Gorokhovets is a merchant town that has preserved an integral ensemble of urban development of the late 17th - early 18th centuries, only slightly disturbed by later buildings.
Gus-Khrustalny — the center of crystal production
Murom is an ancient city with a rich history and architecture, the birthplace of Ilya Muromets, famous for kalachi



Other destinations

Bogolyubovo is an ancient village with a large monastery and a magnificent Church of the Intercession on the Nerl
Kideksha is a small village with the Church of Boris and Gleb (1152), one of the oldest monuments of pre-Mongolian architecture.
Kovrov is a city of military glory, in the historical part of the city the typical architecture of a county town of the 19th century has been perfectly preserved
Klyazma town - a village on the site of the ancient city of Starodub-on-Klyazma
Meshchera National Park is a protected forest area on the border of the Moscow, Vladimir and Ryazan regions
Muromtsevo - manor in the Gothic style
Mstyora is the center of traditional art crafts

Alexandrova Sloboda is a monastic complex of the 16th–17th centuries, which arose as the oprichnina capital of Ivan the Terrible
Architecture of the old merchant cities in Gorokhovets and Vyazniki. In addition to stone buildings, wooden ones, including modern wooden ones, have been preserved.
Museum of Wooden Architecture in Suzdal: small by Russian standards, but perhaps the only one in Central Russia
The Crystal Museum in Gus-Khrustalny contains an impressive collection of local products exhibited in the former city cathedral
Monuments of ancient Russian architecture are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and are presented in various formats - from the capital's cathedrals of Vladimir to the clumsy temple in Yuryev-Polsky, the village church in Kideksha and the magnificent Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, built in an open field next to Bogolyubovo.
Panoramas of Klyazma: with the flat character of the terrain, they are no less impressive than ancient Russian architecture. The best viewing platforms in Vladimir, Vyazniki and Gorokhovets.
There are medieval monasteries and churches in most of the old towns. The best ensembles have been preserved in Suzdal, Murom and Gorokhovets.


What to do

Water trips along the Klyazma are especially popular in the west of the region, above Vladimir, where the river flows next to the railway. From the point of view of water tourism, Klyazma is of no interest (there are only a few simple rifts along its entire length), but it is good for weekend trips. You can also raft on smaller rivers - the Nerl, Gus, Sudogda.
Ski resort near Gorokhovets

The Golden Ring passes through the cities and villages of the region.
Old Russian heritage of the Vladimir region: the ring route Vladimir - Suzdal - Yuryev-Polsky for 3-4 days
On the Vladimir road: from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod can be reached in just four hours, but driving with stops is much more interesting.


Getting in

By plane
There are no operating airports in the Vladimir region. The nearest international airports are in Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. There is a small regional airport in Ivanovo.

By train
Trains between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod pass through Vladimir. Trains from Moscow to Kazan usually stop in Murom and at the Vekovka station near Gus-Khrustalny. Finally, some trains coming from Moscow to the north stop in Aleksandrov.

By bus
Interregional routes from Vladimir to Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo, Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Ryazan. Two or three times a week there are direct buses to St. Petersburg, Tolyatti and some other remote cities.

By car
There are quite a few roads. The main route from the Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod regions is the M7 highway, as well as:

Ivanovo region: A113 from Ivanovo (via Suzdal) and P71 from Shuya via Kovrov
Moscow region: continuation of the Shchelkovo highway A103 (via Kirzhach, Yuryev-Polsky) and the road from M8 through Aleksandrov
Nizhny Novgorod region: P72 from Arzamas (via Murom), P125 from Pavlovo to Murom, as well as the road from Pavlovo to Gorokhovets.
Ryazan region: P73 from Ryazan (via Gus-Khrustalny) and P125 from Kasimov to Murom
Yaroslavl region: P74 from Pereslavl-Zalessky (via Yuryev-Polsky)


Getting around

By train
The road to Nizhny Novgorod: (Moscow) - Petushki - Vladimir - Kovrov - Vyazniki - Gorokhovets - (Nizhny Novgorod).
Despite the proximity of major cities, commuter trains are relatively few. Electric trains run 3-4 times a day (between Vladimir and Kovrov - 6 times a day), including two express trains from Vladimir to Moscow and one to Nizhny Novgorod. In addition to Vladimir, some long-distance trains make stops in Kovrov and Vyazniki, but usually pass through the Vladimir region at night.
The road to Kazan: (Moscow) - Vekovka - Murom - (Arzamas).
Electric trains Cherusti - Vekovka and Vekovka - Murom 5 times a day. Long-distance trains usually stop in Murom and Vekovka.
Vladimir - Gus-Khrustalny - Tuma: two suburban trains per day.
Kovrov - Murom: two direct suburban trains per day, as well as one or two non-connected trains to the intermediate stations Selivanovo and Volosataya.
Alexandrov - Kolchugino - Yuryev-Polsky - (Ivanovo): one suburban train and a daytime train Moscow - Ivanovo (No. 677M / No. 678CH) almost coinciding with it, as well as a night train Moscow - Kineshma.

By bus
According to Russian tradition, the region is dominated by radial bus routes. Main directions: Moscow (by filling), Suzdal (every 20-30 minutes), Murom (every half an hour to an hour), Gus-Khrustalny (buses every half an hour to an hour, as well as minibuses by filling). There are fewer buses towards Nizhny Novgorod (on average once an hour), and half of them go only to Vyazniki. However, official and semi-official interregional buses that are not marked in the schedules run in large numbers along the M7 (you should look for them near bus stations or right on the highway if the route passes through the city). Hitchhiking is also possible (especially on a paid basis).

Chord routes are most active in the northwestern part of the region: from Kolchugino to Alexandrov, Kirzhach and Yuryev-Polsky (every 1-2 hours). In the south and east of the region, at best, a couple of buses a day go along the chord roads, and more often there is no regular service at all.

By car
M7 (Moscow) - Pokrov - Vladimir - Vyazniki - Gorokhovets - (Nizhny Novgorod). Four-lane throughout the entire length, except for a fifteen-kilometer two-lane section of the southern bypass of Vladimir. The asphalt is mostly good, the road is often repaired. There are many settlements to the west of Vladimir, and traffic remains active even at night. To the east of Vladimir, the road runs through sparsely populated areas and is usually not busy. Traffic police posts: the beginning of the southern bypass of Vladimir, Seninsky courtyards (turn to Kovrov), Gorokhovets. Gas station every 10-20 km. There are not very many cafes and motels, but in general the infrastructure is not bad. When driving in transit, the southern bypass of Vladimir lengthens the route, but noticeably facilitates the road: the old, northern bypass has turned into one of the city streets and is very busy, especially in the daytime.



There are no culinary specifics in the Vladimir region, but there are many local alcoholic products, among which Suzdal mead is especially famous - a sweet low-alcohol drink based on honey. Beer is brewed everywhere: the Starodub (Kovrov) and Maltsov (Gus-Khrustalny) brands are especially good. Vodka and tinctures are produced by factories in Vladimir and Aleksandrov.

There are many cafes and restaurants, and their level generally correlates with potential demand: an excellent choice and culinary exoticism in Vladimir and Suzdal, several decent establishments in Alexandrov, Murom and Gorokhovets, and at best one or two acceptable cafes in other cities. Of the interesting cities, the least favorable situation with food is in Yuryev-Polsky and Gus-Khrustalny.


Precautionary measures

The Vladimir region is quite safe, although away from the tourist spots, you should follow the standard precautions in the evening and at night. When going out into nature, remember about vipers, which are especially numerous in Vladimirskaya Meshchera. Cases of tick-borne encephalitis are rare, but the ticks themselves are very active: especially in late spring and summer.



The oldest traces of human presence date back to the Upper Paleolithic. The found sites of a man of the Upper Paleolithic (about 34 thousand years BC) in the Sungir area indicate that the Vladimir land has been inhabited since ancient times. Also, the Karacharovskaya site near Murom and the Rusanikha site within the boundaries of modern Vladimir belong to the Upper Paleolithic. In the Neolithic era, tribes of the Volosovo culture (Panfilovskaya camp) lived here, in the Bronze Age - tribes of cattle breeders of the Fatyanovo culture.

Archaeological excavations of Murom and other settlements tell us about the Finno-Ugric roots of these lands. The territory of the region was inhabited by Meshchera, Muroma and Merya.

From the 10th century, the Slavic colonization of the region began, the cities of Murom and Suzdal arose. The territory of the modern Vladimir region became part of Kievan Rus. In the XI century, it became part of the Rostov-Suzdal principality, in the XII century the Vladimir-Suzdal principality. At the beginning of the XII century, Vladimir arose, then, probably, Yaropolch-Zalessky. In the middle of the XII century, under Yuri Dolgoruky and Andrey Bogolyubsky, the lands of the Vladimir region were developing rapidly. The cities of Yuryev-Polsky, Gorokhovets, Starodub-on-Klyazma, Mstislavl, the princely residences of Kideksha and Bogolyubovo arose. The most obvious historical monuments - the preserved cities remind of ancient Russian and medieval history - the peak of the cultural development of these places, and detailed documents about the history of the last centuries (Vladimir province, Vladimirsky tract).

In January 1929, after the liquidation of the provinces, the territory of the former Vladimir province became part of the Ivanovo industrial region. In August 1944, the Kostroma and Vladimir regions were separated from the Ivanovo region.