As exciting and action-packed as Moscow may be, it is always a good idea to escape the city for a weekend to explore surrounding areas. From the quaint small town of Ruza to the history of Zvenigorod, these weekend destinations, which are all nearby to Moscow, perfectly showcase the authentic atmosphere of old Russia.
Zvenigorod is just half an hour away from Moscow, and is often referred to as Russian Switzerland, due to the fact that it is home to healing waters and holy springs. The city is visited by over half a million people each year, who seek out its natural healing qualities, as well as its diverse nature and wonderfully fresh air. Another of Zvenigorod’s highlights is the Savva-Storozhevsky Monastery, which has been exquisitely restored over the years but still retains many of its original features, some of which date back to the 1400’s and the 1600’s.
Ruza is a beautifully quaint small town, and many would consider it to be the most attractive town in the Moscow region. The Ruzsky District Museum of Local Lore is a must-visit for those spending the weekend in Ruza, as you will learn so much about the town’s turbulent history, as well as its rich culture.
Located 65 kilometres, or a one and a half hour train ride, north of Moscow, Dmitrov is the third largest district in the Moscow region and is home to a number of different historic landmarks. From Soviet Square, where you will find a monument that honors Vladimir Ulyanov, to the Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption, which many believe to be one of the finest examples of Russian architecture, there is plenty to see here.
Located to the south-east of the capital, Zaraysk is famous for being an important Paleolithic site from the Ice Age, and many excavations have been carried out here. A number of discoveries have been made in the area, and many of these can be viewed at the Regional Museum, which is right on the town’s main square. Another of Zaraysk’s attractions is its Kremlin, which was built in 1531 and has been preserved extremely well.
Located at the point where the Nara River and Oka River converge, Serpukhov is home to a number of attractions to fill your weekend with. The city is home to two monasteries that date back to the late Middle Ages, as well as the Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve, which is known for its population of European Bison. The bison is bred in the park itself, and visitors will be able to see these animals up close, experiencing them in a way that cannot be done anywhere else. Sobornaya Gora is also a must-visit, as this is where you will find fantastic examples of church architecture, from a variety of different periods throughout history, as well as the remains of the city’s Kremlin.
There are so many places to choose from when planning a weekend getaway from Moscow. Whether you opt for the nature and wildlife of Serpukhov, or the history of Dmitrov, these destinations are all worth considering the next time you are in Moscow.