Rostov-on-Don Airport has domestic flights, as well as flights to and from Europe, Africa and Asia. The airport is tiny and crowded, and it's easy for visitors to miss the baggage claim room; as you enter the arrivals area, the baggage claim is up a few steps on your right. The airport is a ten-minute taxi ride to downtown.
Rostov-on-Don is also home to a few train stations, the two most important being Rostov-Glavniy (servicing long-distance trains) and Rostov-Prigorodniy (servicing mostly commuter routes). Both of these stations are centrally located and are only a three-minute taxi ride to downtown. Occasionally, long-distance trains may be routed toward Rostov-Pervomayskiy, a smaller station in the far west of Rostov. This station is a twenty-minute taxi ride to downtown.
If you are traveling from Moscow to Rostov, and looking to save money, take the plane, as the flight costs about the same as taking the train, and is less than two hours (as opposed to sixteen hours on the train).
There is no metro system in Rostov, and the tram (light rail) system is limited. The bus system can be hard to understand, but is VERY efficient and reliable. However, any public transport can be used to some degree if you have a GPS-capable phone, or an application such as YandexMaps to find routes. Alternatively, route maps are posted on many bus stops; just show up to the bus stop, determine the bus number, and wait. Buses come very often in Rostov, so you won't have to wait long. If you are unsure of what bus you need, most buses have their entire route listed on the side (in Russian only).
Buses in Rostov are often very crowded, but are inexpensive (13 - 15 rubles per trip, as of July 2014). If you are issued a small ticket on either the bus or the tram, keep it, as the conductor may ask to see it.
SkyExpress taxi  offers service in English, and Leader taxi  can be booked online, probably with Google translate. A word of warning: Rostov is home to several unlicensed taxi "companies" which may attempt to scam foreigners. ALWAYS determine the fare to your destination before sitting in the taxi.
Don River Lookout, Beregovaya ulitsa. (47.215538,39.721733)edit Often referred to as "The Enbankment", visitors and locals alike will enjoy a stroll along the riverside. More than a picturesque view, the Embankment is lined with several restaurants, statues, lighted fountains, and a few shops; It is the center of nightlife in Rostov. Several steamboats are docked along the bank, and tickets for hour-long excursions can be purchased at the ticket booths on location for about 200 rubles.
An Obelisk at Teatralnaya square, Teatralnaya ploshad. (47.226097,39.745800)edit Affectionally dubbed "Stella", by locals, the obelisk appears as a winged tower, across the street from Maxim Gorky Drama Theatre. As one approaches the obelisk, inscriptions honoring the arts, science, agriculture, military, and education can be seen at the base. On the south side of the obelisk, the golden lady (Stella) hovers between the wings.
Pushkin Street. Visitors may enjoy a stroll down this highly ornate, landscaped boulevard, lined with thousands of trees, restaurants, food kiosks, flowers, benches, statues, and memorials. A favorite sight near the eastern end of the boulevard are the wrought-iron globes, depicting scenes from Pushkin's most popular works. Pushkin Street leads into both the City Park (Park Gorkovo) and October Revolution Park, where visitors will see more meticulously cultivated garden beds and other diversions such as amusement parks and souvenir kiosks.
Underground Tile Work, While perhaps not the most impressive sight, tile mosaics (depicting scenes of Soviet life, found on the walls of underground street crossings ("perekhody"), make for a momentary distraction. Though mosaics are found under several street crossings on Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, the most beautiful and well-maintained mosaics are under the intersection of Boshaya Sadovaya and Buddyonoskiy Prospect. Note: Appreciate the tile work as you walk; do not stop and stare, or you will block other pedestrians.
Note: Many statues and monuments not listed here can be found in almost every public park and major street of Rostov.
Rostov State Opera and Ballet, (134 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street), . Rostov has a nice Musical Theatre,which is not located far from the Maxim Gorky Drama Theatre. Most operas are sung in an original language. Ballets are exquisitely choreographed and are invariably accompanied by extravagant sets. Refreshments are almost always sold in the lobby during intermission (for an inflated price). Most Rostov locals will dress formally (but practically) while attending a ballet or opera. $10-$40 / 400-1500 rubles. edit
Rostov-on-Don ZooPark, This zoo is well worth a visit, especially if one is accompanied by children. As one of the largest in Russia, the ZooPark is home to a staggering variety of animals, including giraffes, camels, polar bears, falcons, reptiles, fish, and simians. Entrance costs only 80 rubles for adults and 40 rubles for children. To get there, take the #6 Bus from the Central Rinok and exit at the stop "ZooPark".
Shopping at the Central Rinok, "Rinok" might be translated at "bazaar" or "farmer's market". This massive outdoor-and-indoor assortment of tiny shops and booths can be both exciting and intimidating for Westerners, who are unaccustomed to either haggling/ bargaining or being yelled at by shopkeepers. Shopping at a Rinok is one of the most memorable experiences that Russia has to offer for an adventurous North American, so don't be put off by the different feel of things. The majority of the Rinok is devoted to food and clothing, but you can buy anything here. Yes, anything (though it might take a while to find). Even if one does not speak the language, shopping at the Rinok is far preferable to shopping at the nearby, overpriced, department stores. Just let the money do the talking. The Rinok is located downtown, on Stanislavskovo Street, just four blocks south of the central intersection of Bolshaya Sadovaya Street and Buddyonovskiy Prospect.
Maxim Gorky Academic Drama Theatre. (1 Teatralnaya Ploshad),  Despite the name, this theatre is a venue not only for dramatic plays, but also comedies and concerts. The theatre is located on the eastern end of Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, directly across the street from the monument known as "Stella". Even throughout the summer months (when other theatres may be closed), Maxim Gorky Theatre still operates. Prices will vary depending on the show, but tickets are generally inexpensive when compared to other large theatres.
Stroll Through October Revolution Park, More than just a wooded area, this park is filled with things to do: amusement park rides, ping-pong tables, and a petting zoo, just to name a few.
Stroll Through the City Park(45 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street), Sometimes called "Park Gorkovo", this park is filled with beautiful flower beds, a full amusement park, restaurants, and souvenir kiosks.
The best shopping can be done at the Central Rinok (Bazaar/ Farmer's Market) in downtown Rostov. (See "Do" Section, above). This Rinok, located on Stanoslavskovo Street sells EVERYTHING.
For a more Western-type mall experience, check out the new Megamag Shopping-Entertainment Complex (Megamag TrK) on the south bank of the Don River. Take a #75 or #73 bus from the Central Rinok across the bridge to 1 Poymennaya Street, on the stop "Megamag".
If you are uncomfortable speaking Russian, but need to buy groceries downtown in a familiar supermarket-type environment, try either Zelenyy Perekrestok (49 Buddyonovskiy Prospect, bottom floor of the department store "Astor"), or Magnit (146 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, next to the State Ballet and Opera Theatre).
It is not recommended to shop in the upscale department stores (such as TsUM, on the corner of Bolshaya Sadovaya and Buddyonovskiy), where prices are inflated and store clerks are intimidating.
If an English-speaking visitor wishes to eat in a sit-down restaurant, be warned that in southern Russia most restaurants do not carry a copy of their menu in English. Also, service at these restaurants is slow compared to North American sit-down restaurants. It is not uncommon to spend an hour waiting for your meal, even when the restaurant is not busy. For travelers on a budget, be warned that a meal for two in these restaurants often costs more than 1500 rubles ($40), and the portions are comically small.
Perhaps preferable is the cafeteria-style restaurant that is ubiquitous in Russia, where non-Russian speakers can point at items on display, or load up a tray. Most cafeterias carry good quality, authentically Russian food at reasonable prices. In Rostov, two centrally located cafeterias are:
1) Zolotoy Kolos (43 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street), and,
2) The cafeteria with the green-and-yellow sign (34 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street)
For those of you still reading who still want to go to a sit-down restaurant, the best ones are on the River Embankment (See section "See", above), on the north bank of the Don. These include: Frau Mueller (German Cuisine, 29 Beregovaya Street), Osaka (Japanese Cuisine, 30 Beregovaya Street), and any of the ship restaurants docked at the bank.
Prazhskaya Pivnitsa, (Gorky and Chekhova streets downtown). possibly the best beer in townedit
It is not recommended for visitors from North America to drink Rostov water. Buy all your drinking water from a large-chain grocery store (See "Buy" section, above) in 5 litre bottles for 20-50 rubles.
Westerners will appreciate the Don Plaza Hotel (sometimes called the "Intourist"). This four-star hotel is a three-star on the North American rating, and features a fantastic free breakfast buffet. I'm not kidding. This breakfast is freaking amazing. The Don Plaza has quite small rooms and spotty Wi-Fi, but makes up for those shortcomings with a really, really, really, really good breakfast menu.
Other options for hotels with less-illustrious breakfasts include the Hotel Rostov (corner of Krasnoarmeskaya Street and Buddyonovskiy Prospect) and the Hermitage Hotel (54 Ulyanovskaya Street).