If the only thing that comes to mind when you think of Russia is the Kremlin, then this article is for you. Here is a list of the 10 prettiest small towns in Russia. Cities with authentic charm. Some of them are close to Moscow or St. Petersburg, others are on the country’s borders, but all of them deserve to be the destination of your next vacation. Take this into account if you are planning an excursion from major Russian cities.

10 cities in Russia that won’t disappoint you

10 cities in Russia that won't disappoint you


If there is one excursion not to be missed from Moscow, it is the one that leads to the former residence of the tsars. Each building in this city is protected and has specific characteristics that give it its own importance. The Church of the Ascension should be one of the first stops on your visit. The various sanctuaries which were successively built there have preserved the pyramidal structure of the initial construction. The palace of Alexis I, built in an architectural style of which he is the last representative, is also in this city. The Church of the Virgin of Kazan is also worth a visit.

Serguiev Possad

It is to the northeast of Moscow that the Golden Ring is located, a complex of cities of great beauty. Among them, the city of Sergiev Posad is one of the most beautiful in Russia. If you visit it, do not miss to go to the monastery of Saint Sergius. The roofs of this city have nothing to envy to those of the Red Square. Their colors will enchant you. Don’t forget either the tomb of the Godunovs, or the Cathedral of the Ascension.


If you want to see examples of typical Russian architecture, Uglich is one of the cities you will love to visit. Its churches will leave you speechless. And you can recover from your emotions by strolling through its charming streets that seem to have been designed to welcome visitors. Do not miss to admire the cupolas of the cathedral.


The course of the Volga is dotted with geographical accidents such as the lagoon which shelters the village of Sviyazhsk. Its monastery is one of the most interesting sites. After renovation, it was re-consecrated and is now inhabited by monks. Part of the original village disappeared with the construction of the Kuïbychev dam, but the historic quarter, located on top of a cliff, survived.


It is on the border with Estonia that one of the most beautiful cities in Russia can be seen. This is Ivangorod. You can still see towers and fortifications that bear witness to the historic clashes between these two countries. It emanates from this city a powerful charm, due in large part to its ramparts and its battlements. You can also visit a surprising museum.


Pereslavl-Zalessky has so many architectural gems and such great historical and cultural interest that one might think it is a capital. Its size, however, makes it part of our list of the ten prettiest small towns in Russia. Here, there is a stark contrast between the more modest neighborhoods and the stately homes. Walking through its streets feels like walking through two different cities. Do not miss to visit the Cathedral of St. Savior and the Monasteries of Goritsky and Troitse-Danilov.


One of the prettiest towns in Russia is located not far from Saint Petersburg. This is Shlisselburg. This city shelters the castle of Orechek, object of many confrontations which marked the history of the area. Do not forget to visit the Ladoga Canal whose granite gates are sure to impress you.

Rostov Veliki

When you visit this city, you will understand why we have ranked it among the most beautiful in Russia. Do not miss to visit its kremlin or admire the bells of the cathedral. They each weigh 32 tons. A bishop, Jonas Sysoyevich, worked to make this city a setting worthy of a fairy tale. He did not look at the expense to build the cathedral… or to build his own palace. The surrounding nature did the rest.


To discover Mychkine, nothing like a cruise on the Volga. At the bend of a meander, you will see the city appear which does not seem to have changed since the 19th century. A graceful and charming little town. Its inhabitants, proud of its name which means mouse, have even dedicated a museum to this small rodent. Visit it as a curiosity.


Suzdal is a place that houses a very large number of religious monuments and churches. They even represent a third of the buildings. The magnificence and white walls of the Monastery of the Savior St. Euthymius are sure to hold your attention, as will the blue domes of the Cathedral of the Nativity. And if you are tired of the spiritual domain, you can still walk near the ramparts that surround the city.

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